Bariloche

There is just something about places that makes you like them as soon as you arrive. Bariloche was another of these places, and I guess you could describe it as a large ski resort.
Sitting on a huge lake and surrounded by alp like mountains it really does look very beautiful. The town itself is a combination of more modern/functional buildings and older wood and stone buildings. The outskirts of town are full of lovely big houses and hotels all sitting right on the lake.
We were annoyed from the start that we weren’t going to have enough time here as we have to get north towards Bolivia otherwise we will run out of time. So we just had to make the most of the time we had.
We managed to get a superb room with a view out over the lake right in town which was great and we spoilt ourselves on the first night with a delicious meal. I had wild boar and Sarah had a trout dish, both were specialities of the region and fantastic. Finally things are getting a bit cheaper wine for under $10 aus!!
The next day it was hiking for us again and after doing a bit of laundry and booking of busses etc we set off just after lunch. We had to catch the bus out of town and on the way saw a load of lovely houses and hotels on the lake and then ended up at a golf course where we both wished we had a set of clubs. Although with the wind that was blowing I think it would have been pretty tough!
The hike itself was really nice through the woods and then occasionally giving us a glimpse of some beautiful lakes and mountains. The whole time we were going along it was pretty flat but we certainly weren’t complaining. Obviously things changed and soon enough we were hiking up the side of a hill and the view from the top was spectacular. If the weather had been a bit better the views would have been truly amazing.
The rest of our time in Bariloche was spent eating and sleeping, both of which we enjoyed! The evening was spent in a busy local restaurant where Sarah had trout with mushroom sauce which was delicious and I had venison stew. Lunch the next day was the pinnacle for me as we had a sandwich from a local guy cooked in the grill and topped with his chimichanga sauce.
The pinnacle for Sarah though was the chocolate shops!!! This area was originally Swiss and German and so the chocolate theme runs strong, although the German organizational ability seems to have been very quickly bred out of the system. Anyway we browsed and sampled and ended up carrying a bag of great chocolate away with us.
Then it was off to Mendoza for more wine and food here we come!! T

   
We had to change buses on the way from El Chalten to Bariloche and we got dropped off here in this tiny town at 6am where it was bitterly cold and nothing was open/existed.  We weren’t even really sure if we were in the right place, but boy were we happy when a chap opened his cafe and let us in and then doubly happy when our bus arrived.

 
Great view from our room

   
Not all the buildings look like this but it gives an idea of what the place is like

 
The start of our hike through the woods.

   
We came across an area full of these otherworldly trees I think called Arrayanes. Really quite surreal.

 
I amongst the woods were a couple of meadows and openings with a few flowers.

   
The views from the top were fantastic what a place.

   

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