11.01.2012 - 13.01.2012 25 °C
When we awoke this morning it was absolutely freezing. It had continued to rain all night and the mountains behind us had a fresh dusting of snow on them. After breakfast the rain stopped in time for us to pack the truck. We had a stroll around the farm and there was a little chick resting on mum’s back.
It was time to head off for our next destination of Bariloche. We had yet another border crossing in to Argentina. The stamps are certainly piling up in the passport for both Chile and Argentina. The border crossing was nice and easy. We then continued on Route 40 to Bariloche.
Along the way we saw some flamingo's in with a paddock of cows.
It was a fairly uneventful day just travelling in the truck to get to our next destination; however the scenery once again changed from lush green forest to open dry plains with mountains topped in snow.
As soon as we crossed the border into Argentina the sun appeared and remained out for the whole day. We were more than happy with that as we well and truly over the rain. As we drove closer to Bariloche the lakes came in to view. The scenery was so picturesque that photos just don’t do it justice. We were not sure what to expect as we had heard the ash from the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano in Chile is causing a lot of breathing problems in Bariloche. Flights have been cancelled to and from Bariloche which has affected 5 of the group who are leaving tomorrow. They are now going by bus to Buenos Aires.
Once settled in to our hotel we had a group dinner. You will never guess what we had,big chunks of steak. What a surprise. Well we are back in Argentina.
Now some educational information - Bariloche’s real name is San Carlos de Bariloche, but is usually known as Bariloche. It is situated in the foothills of the Andes on the southern shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake and is surrounded by the Nahuel Huapi National Park.
The modern settlement of Bariloche developed from a shop established by a German immigrant that had settled in Chile and then crossed the Andes and established a little shop called "La Alemana" near the present city center.
It has a very german and swiss influence with lots of chalets, chocolate shops and even places that specialise in fondue - yum!!
This morning we were hoping that we would awake to another clear day that would be ash free. We were in luck it was a lovely sunny, clear day and the wind was obviously blowing in the right direction for us to not have any ash come our way. So today we spent the day in the truck travelling around the small circuit taking in the scenery of the lakes around Bariloche. We went up the Campanario Hill viewpoint by chairlift to get a stunning view of the area.
I couldn't resist this photo of these cats that were up at the look out.
We then headed off to the beach to have lunch.
After lunch we continued our journey around the circuit. We stopped to visit the cemetery for climbers.
From there we took a walk along the lake then it was on the the Llao Llao resort for high tea. It was very similar to what we have in Australia, but the cakes were different. The resort was very posh and we just rocked up in our daggy clothes and hiking boots. Shane went to find a toilet and security followed him so they must have thought he was a bit dodgy. It was a lovely relaxing tea looking out over the lake.
It really was a “wow” day today for scenery.
Today was a free day to do what we wanted. So first thing we did was have a sleep in as there have not been too many of them this trip. Today we decided to have a look around this lovely little town. We headed down to the main square and civic centre. The civic centre was opened in 1940 and in 1987 became a national monument.
Right next to the square is the main shopping street so we went and shopped till we dropped. There were lots of lovely litte shops that support local artisans. We helped contribute to the economy. Now we have to transport is all home. Oh well.
This evening we went and had a fondue dinner. This was a first for Shane. We decided on the cheese fondue with sausage, ham and potato. It was really nice and Shane thoroughly enjoyed it. He may very well be a fondue fan now.