Thursday, 14 April 2011

Patagonian Lake District

Well at the end of our very bumpy trip up Ruta 40 we were delighted to end up at one of the nicest hostels we have stayed at to date - Hostel Achalay. Pablo the owner waited up until 1.30am to receive us and was so helpful in the morning when we finally woke up. The hostel was only a couple of minutes walk from the main streets so we spent the rest of the day wandering around the town. Bariloche is something out of an alpine postcard, with chalet style buildings and its location right next to Nahuel Huapi lake. There are cholcolate shops everywhere & I did manage to avail myself of some Fra-nui (fresh raspberries enrobed in first white chololate and then a sumptuous milk chocolate - Super yummy!) from the famous Rapa Nui shop.
 We also tried out the local Parrilla - El Boliche de Alberto with the most amazing steaks for not very much. Yes I know I can't normally eat steak, but this was sooooo nice & I took loads of antihistamine! It must have been good because I didn't get a single hive. Near to Bariloche is the very chocolate box Villa la Angostura, which I went to visit one day when Dean fancied a lazy day! Unfortunately the buses were all full for the return trip so I was ablout to turn around and leave when I bumped into two guys we had met on Ruta 40 Jeff & Azim! They followed me back to check out out our place & decided to stay. We had a wonder around the town and treated ourselves to a cup of the very lush hot chocolate in the cafe in Rapa Nui.
We also managed to sample some more chocolates - well its rude not to try when offered isn't it! We then had a walk down to Cerro Viejo where we took the ski lift up for some stunning views of the town and the lake. Azim & I took a luge back down, but Jeff had to take the lift back down due to a knee injury from the "w" trek he had recently completed. That night we did a little micro brewery ale sampling & then went to La Fonda del Tio a local restauant with enormous portions.
We had to share a milanase between two of us and I still had to leave half of mine! On our final day we did manage to escape the town and took a bus and then a ski lift up Cerro Campanario. The 360 degree view from the top was placed in National Geographics top ten and it is so easy to see why. Despite the bitter wind tugging at our cameras we managed to fill our SD cards with dozens of breathtaking shots and had it not been a for our afternoon bus to BA I'm sure we would have stayed longer. Albeit in the warmth of the Cafe!

Got a trip to Argentina coming up - make sure this place is on your list!