Yesterday we got the 10am bus to Villa La Angostura, an hour north of Bariloche. It´s basically a smaller, and less crowded, version of Bariloche, with lots of cute wooden chocolate & souvenir shops. It´s still touristy but it has a more relaxed feel about it.
We walked the 5 mins to Hostel Angostura, a gorgeous wooden building with lovely ensuite double rooms (probably the best we´ve stayed in in South America). The hostel has a nice lounge with amazing views of the snowy mountains. Just after lunch we walked the 3km to Brava Bay at the port to catch the 2.45pm boat to The Arrayanes National Park. Unfortunately the boat was full so we walked across to Mansa Bay to catch the other boat (which was more expensive but the nice guy in the ticket booth gave us a discount so it worked out cheaper!) For 45mins we cruised along the Nahuel Huapi Lake admiring the mountain peaks on one side and the lovely houses in the beautiful private bays (Las Balsas, Cumelen & Manzano) on the other side.
The Arrayanes National Park covers the Quetrihue Peninsula on the shores of the Nahuel Huapi Lake in the province of Neuquen. It sits within the Nahuel Haupi National Park and was created in 1971 to protec the forest of rare arrayan trees. The Arrayanes forest of 300 year old arrayan trees, with some individuals over 600 years old, is located at the southern tip of the peninsula. The view of these cinnamon-coloured trees is lovely. The end of the visit finished with a complimentary hot chocolate at Arrayanes Tea House.
Back in the centre of town we got followed around by five friendly dogs wanting to play, then, due to the lack of bars, we just chilled back at our lovely warm hostel and Jem cooked a delicious chorizo and pasta dish.
This morning, after a very sweet brekkie of a hot roll and dulce de leche, we got the 9am bus back to Bariloche and then caught the 11am bus to El Boson. We arrived here at lunchtime, found a hostel (cheap but not that great) and then had a wandered around the famous Feria Artesanal (craft fair) in the main square with buskers, bakers, candle-makers, flower arrangers and lots of other craft workers. There´s also lots of local food for sale so later we´re going to have a yummy 5 peso (just under a pound) sausage roll and watch the world go by.
Tomorrow we get a 12hr bus to Puerto Madryn where we will hopefully see some Southern Right Whales - fingers crossed!
Will be in touch, take care xxxxxx