Wednesday 22nd January 2014
Pucon, Chile to Bariloche, Argentina
Packed up our tent in the rain at 6am today and had a very quick breakfast before setting off at 7am. The day was quite cold, only about 5C and wet, so pretty horrible. We crossed the border from Chile into Argentina during the morning and headed towards Bariloche, a town of about 100,000 people, still in the lakes district but this time in Argentina. Because the weather was bad, it was hard to see the mountains, but there was snow on the higher peaks and mist everywhere. The lakes district is very attractive round the lakes but elsewhere, pretty ordinary. On the way into town, we stopped for groceries for tonight’s cook group and while others were doing that, some of us looked without success for money changers but we were too far from the town centre. We reached camp which was about 13km from the town at a campsite by the lake and pitched our still wet tent. It was raining lightly all evening and we sat in our tent waiting for dinner. Somehow we missed hearing the dinner call even though only a few metres away and there was almost none left by the time we arrived and so it was a pretty miserable evening. To bed around 11pm. When Lynn got up in the middle of the night she tripped over a guy wire and fell flat on her face in the mud,, hurt her knee, dropped her torch and also her shoes came off in the accident. Still raining so not the best of days.
Thursday 23rd January 2014
San Carlos de Bariloche
Rained quite heavily in the night, woke up at around 7.30am and had breakfast. It was freezing this morning – probably only about 3C, but the rain had stopped and the weather looked more promising today. As we had to get Argentine money in the town, we arranged to go with 3 others from the group on the bus, using money borrowed from someone in the group. Headed off to the town around 10.30am, had a look around the main square, the others got money out of the bank and visited the tourist information centre before getting our money from the money changer’s office. We then visited a chocolate factory (there are a number in this town along with many chocolate shops) and then had lunch with our friends in a café. After lunch we split up with our friends as we needed to buy a SIM card for our phone. This only took about 2½ hours. We then did a bit of shopping and headed off back to the campsite (Camp Petunia) on the bus. The weather had mostly cleared and although cold all day, we had a really nice time. Once back at the camp, we spent some time down at the beach on the lake and sat there having our aperitif until it became too cold to stay sitting there, we headed back up for dinner, once more almost missing the food! To bed around 10.30pm. It was absolutely freezing cold in the night.
The town of Bariloche is the most popular in Argentina for skiing and has a number of really nice shops selling all variety of warm clothes, chocolates (previously mentioned) and lots of restaurants, hotels and guest houses. It also has many wooden building and has beautiful views of snow-capped mountains across the lake.
Friday 24th January 2014
Woke to a beautiful sunny day which made a nice change and enjoyed a good lazy breakfast including boiled eggs. We packed up a packed lunch and set off with a Canadian couple Joy and Dave to catch the bus to the Llao Llao Municipal Park which is on the lake. We walked approx. 8 klms, stopping on a rocky beach for lunch. The walk was through forests and had lake views. As the day was so fine it was a really nice day. Unfortunately when coming home we ‘accidently’ got off the bus 2 klms early so had another walk. What happened was that 2 young people gave their seats to Joy and Lynn. As the bus filled up, David and Dave moved to the back. The bus got even fuller and, in order to be able to get off OK when we got to our stop, Lynn and Joy left their seats and moved to the front of the bus. Dave and David, seeing this, pushed the bell – thinking the girls had seen our stop. Joy and Lynn were just standing at the front of the bus when they saw the guys standing outside on the edge of the road – unexpectedly – so got off too. Just a mix up but earned us an extra walk!