I took a tour that takes you along 7 lakes & a bifurcated waterfall to get to Bariloche.We stopped at one place where I saw lots of sheep & got to try my first torta frita (fried dough).It was very good especially in the cold!We walked a little around a cute town called Villa de la Angostura & I bought some of their famous chocolate.When I got to Bariloche it was raining so I didn't do much else except buy more chocolate & a warmer jacket!
Luckily, day 2 in Bariloche was an absolutely gorgeous day - sunny and not too windy! I took a morning tour called the circuito chico (short circuit) during which we got some great views of the lakes & mountains & we stopped at a Rosa Mosqueta (rosehips) factory/store.The tea was so good & I wanted to buy some but I have no room for it nor a way to drink it.We then went to Cerro Campanario & took the chairlift up.The views were just spectacular and I was so happy!We continued along to the punto panoramico called by Belgium or something as one of the best postcard photo spots.We then went to the Capilla San Eduardo right by the expensive hotel Llao Llao.Next, I got on the boat Cau Cau, meaning seagulls.It was chilly w/ the wind but beautiful and they were taking pics of the gulls eating crackers out of our hands.At Isla Victoria we only had an hour & so I opted for the guided walk.She told us about the history of the island.Then it was pretty chilly on the way to the bosque de Arallanes but I stayed out on deck as long as I could appreciating all the beauty of the lake and the mountains.When we got to the Arallanes forest there was a self guided 30 min. walk through the beautiful cinnamon colored trees.That night I even got to go to bed in an 8 person dorm all by myself - what a treat!
Day 3 in Bariloche didn't go as I had originally planned but it ended up being even better!I was going to go to Cerro Catedral to walk to refugio Fray, but after a mix-up with bus times I decided to join a Korean & Swiss couple that I just met at the bus stop & went to Colonia Suiza with them instead.I was glad I did.There was a little crafts fair there and I got to see them make the traditional Curanto (meaning hot stones).They heat the stones using fire & coal then cover the stones w/ leaves, put meat, potatoes, pumpkin, chorizo, lamb etc. on the leaves, cover it w/ more leaves, then cloths, then dirt, then let it cook for an hour.It was very cool to see!Then we saw the homenaje of the curanto (always dedicated to someone) to some politician or someone who had just died.The food was great - very smoky.I liked everything but the mashed morcilla.The sweet potato & the mashed pumpkin were the best!After a few hours we took another bus to Bahia Lopez.From there we had a great walk, some along the road & some along the lago Escondido then the sendero de arallanes.It was very beautiful and I had a nice time talking to the couple.It started raining but luckily I had my poncho & my umbrella & it was fine since it wasn't windy. By the time I got back to my room there were a TON of people - 2 columbians, 3 argentineans & a polish girl!Yikes!Luckily nobody snored! :)