To get to Bariloche we had to travel for 2 whole days. The journey took us along a road called route 40. The road itself was the tourist attraction. In this country, the journeys are more expensive depending on the beauty of the route you take. I guess it makes sense as its the scenery that people come here to see. Route 40 is one of the most beautiful drives in Argentina. We passed aqua lagoons and lakes, surrounded by mountains and wildlife, armadillos and flamingoes to name but a few. As we neared Bariloch the Patagonian wind ceased and the landscape changed dramatically from dusty and barron back to lush green trees and flowers.
We've decided that these last 10 days or so in South America are going to be actual holiday time. We've been so busy we just need to wind down and relax before the madness of New Zealand. This is the first town we've reached where we couldnt find accommodation. We're not used to booking in advanced. Its peak season now and Bariloche is a popular resort. Thankfully our bus company had beds reserved at a hostel, which we could have. Bariloche has a beautiful setting, right on the edge of a lake and surrounded by mountains. It's also chocolate heaven - not sure on why but there are shops the size of supermarkets here, just full of chocolate. I already love this town!
One day we took the bus to a nearby lake. The lakes here have beaches on them, which is wierd. We headed to one of the beaches. The water was crystal clear.....but freezing cold. It was coming straight from the melting snow on the surrounding mountains. It numbed your feet. However i decided to go for a swim in it, much to the fascination of onlookers. It was ok once u'd become accustomed to it and your heart had started working again. We also did a bit of walking and Lazing in the sun and eating lots of chocolate - would be rude not to. The weather here was beautiful, a welcome change. Next stop Chile, and our last 24hr bus journey...well in this continent at least