So after 24 hours on the bus we landed into beautiful Bariloche in the Argentine Lake District. We had heard that we would love this place and we weren't disappointed! It is honestly one of the most beautiful places that we have been.
The hostel we stayed in was lovely too, it was like a skiing lodge, with great kitchen facilities, as well as a nice garden perfect for relaxing in the evenings and having a beer or wine!!!..And with nice bottles of wine coming in at just over 1euro who wouldn't be drinking it!!??
The first day we did the Circuito Chico cycle route. This is a 25km route in the Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi. On the day that we were heading there was a handcraft market in the Colonia Suiza so we decided that we would head along to this as well as doing the usual loop!.....It was an amazing cycle but tough enough!!!! Especially as we should mention that the 2 days we were there were the hottest days they would have all year!!!
We stopped at the Suiza village for a break and well deserved lunch and ice cream!!! Shane tried the local Chiorpan. (beef sausage in a bun with chimichurri sauce, a mix of herbs, spices, olive oil and vinegar) We got back onto the bikes then, already feeling the effects of sitting in the saddle for a couple of hours!!!!...
We continued along the route, which surprisingly has very few flat sections....it definitely felt like the uphill's seemed to keep on coming and the downhill's went by way too fast!!! Stopping along the way to admire the view and take a few pictures (never on the uphill's though...we would still be there otherwise!!!) Even though it was hard we would do it all again (once our bums aren't so sore!!!), as it really is stunning there.
We got the bus back towards our hostel, but went one stop further in order to get Shane a well deserved local brew!!! We stopped at La Cruz, where Shane had some of the best brews of the trip so far...it was happy hour so one just wouldn't do!!!! So even though it was painful sitting on the wooden benches it was worth it!!!
On the second day we decided to climb to the top of Cerro Campanario, which is described by National Geographic as one of the top ten views in the world!!! Hopefully the pictures show that this is true!!! Again there were amazing snow capped mountains and blue blue lakes all around. If the climb hadn't taken our breath away first then the view certainly would have!!!
Amazingly on our first day we had met an Irish couple from Crosshaven in the supermarket who were over visiting their son.....who was a chef/owner in a restaurant on the Lake!!! So we decided to pop in to see the place on our way down to the beach. We were treated to a lovely chat and a glass of wine there. It was an unexpected experience, but one that has inspired aspirations in Shane to get a job in this beautiful part of the world!!!! (Of course that will probably happen again and again before we arrive back!!!!)
After that it was down to Lago Nahuel Huapi to cool off....even though it was 6pm at this time it was still well into the 30s temperature wise....however the water didn't seem to have absorbed a drop of this warmth.....so Phil got as far as a little paddle, but somehow Shane braved getting frostbite and ventured the whole way in!!! Crazy man!!!
Unfortunately that was the end of our time in Bariloche....we had booked the 30 hour bus to El Calafate at 9am the next morning! So we enjoyed being able to walk about and stretch our legs while we could!!!
And of course we have been getting in our fill of beef!!! It really is super tender and tasty here...the only negative is that they love their salt!!!....so we have learned when eating out to ask for very very little salt on the meat, and it's still a small but on the salty side!!!