Bariloche - El Bolson
23.03.2011 - 30.03.2011 10 °C
My timing is impeccable. I arrived to a wine tasting party that evening at my hostel, two flats on floor 10 of a high rise apartment block overlooking the lake and square in Bariloche- stunning views. So off I went to the supermarket, spending the last of my cash on food and wine. I then tried to get more out only to find it was a no go. My bank had put a block on my card since I don't often use that one and my other card had run out of money (I'd gotten so excited about life in Mendoza I hadn't bothered with boring money admin for a while- lesson learnt!). So having transferred money into my account it was a waiting game whilst I changes some 'emergency' dollars at the hostel to keep me going. That night I met Lambrose, 33 from Cyprus. We agreed to hire a car and do the 7 lakes road the following day. This would take us through Villa de la Angustora onto San Martin de Los Andes. By the time we hired a car and set off It was 1pm and we did a lot of picture stops onthe way. We tried to inquire about stayin in a refugio (hostel in the middle of knowwhere) but it had no room unless we camped- no thank you! So on we drive until we reached SC de Los Andes at 9pm! We found a hostel and despite being very tired, went out to look round the town. We found Ku a Parrilias restaurant (steak house) where i had the best venison steak ever with glorious red wine. I certainly got a sound sleep that night :-)
Off to a bit of a shaky start the next morning as Lambrose accidentally broke a glass window as he closed it. The hostel staff ended up shouting at us so we made a swift departure (nothing to do with me though!) back to Bariloche along the paved road eitherside of which was steppe vegetation, lakes or mountains. Day 2 was my favourite road trip! We arrived into bariloche at about 7, in time to buy bus tickets for my onward travel to El Bolson, return the car and make dinner.
On the bus to El Bolson i sat next to an Argentinian lady who despite the fact I told her I couldn't speak Spanish, insisted on talking at me in Spanish in the hope that some infiltrated through to my brain. As it happened some did and now I know some colours! I immediatley felt like she could be my argentinian mum (nothing to replace u though mum!) as I showed her pictures of my family and when we had got off the bus, we had our photo taken together, and she gave me her email address to email her photos too. She even helped point me in the direction of the tourist info centre for which I am grateful- may be I've made a pen pal eh?! The best thing, she was from mendoza so I can go back on my next visit!
I got directions to my hostel, a warm pine feeling lodge just out of town that's very warm upstairs but cool downstairs, and serves dulche de letche for breakfast (love it!) and settled in, chatting to my roomies, a nice german girl who's name I forget and Itai, from Israel. It's BBQ night (see, good timing!) which unbeknown to me, starts at midnight! Or it did after the wine and UNO and cards we all played :-)
Spent the next day with Itai, walking up to the lookout, picking fruit from trees along the way enjoying the sunshine and views. Then we had icecream, my first in Argentina- amazing! Vanilla and dulche de letche all for $13! about £2 yum! Dinner was steak cooled by Itai- he's a chef so who am I to try and help/hinder him in the kitchen? And it was very yummy indeed! We had a bit of a craft evening, learning to make paper boxes...dont ask!
Itai left for Bariloche so i went for a walk to the lake with Lawrence, who's French and not very lucky with directions! We got off the bus too early and went to the tourist info centre who told us it was a 1 hr walk to the lake. Or we could walk in the hills to a lookout then to the lake...we chose the latter and 5 hrs later (!) we arrived at the lake. It was 7 by the time we got home, my knees paying the price :s all good fun in hindsight! A hot empanada on the way home lifted our spirits n after a hot shower, and dinner life was fine again!