Bariloche, Argentina

Arrived in Bariloche around 5PM on Good Friday. Noticeably colder now but a walk down to the lake shows we are up in the mountains. A huge stage was set up in the middle of town with a band playing random U2 songs and market stalls surrounding it selling handmade crafts and BBQ’ing food. We stopped. Enjoyed one of the best Choripan’s ever and then sat down for a beer.

Met the rest of the people from our dorm and after being pointed in the direction of a couple of local bars we went and drank a few more beers.

First full day and we decided to “make the most of it” as they say. Rather than do that, we thought we would waste as much time as possible and balls up most of it. Up early, out early, at the bus stop ready to hike a 2500M mountain. 9:30AM, next bus, 11:15AM. After asking several times as buses pulled up we decided just to get on any old bus and go wherever it was going. But no, you need a bus pass for every other destination. So a long walk into the centre of town and got a pass. Jumped on the next bus which happened to drop us off near the viewpoint with a ski lift to the top and bicycle rental 5 minutes away. Bike rental $300 (Pesos, not Dollars), money in pocket $250. Ski lift it was then.

It wasn’t all bad, top of ski lift, just pure beauty. It didn’t look real. It looked like a poster in HD right in front of you. The colours were just so intense we sat on a rock for over 2 hours just soaking it in. Pictures probably don’t do it justice but you will get an idea.

Back to the hostel after a failed attempt to get the bus to the Terminal de Omnibus, there are 2 different bus companies, with 2 different bus passes. 2 hour nap and then wen’t out on a dorm room night out with the 3 Aussies and the New Zealander to a few bars and clubs. Very funny night with “Jim” (Actual name Michael, but looked like Jim from American Pie) being the highlight for which I can’t go into detail here.

Recovery day began and made our way to the Terminal de Omnibus, the company we needed was closed until 16:30, it was 13:45. Back to town, Choripan take 2, hot chocolate and brownie. Stopped off at the hostel and got a note from Joe (NZ) saying, don’t make plans for dinner, I caught a Trout while fishing the lake. Terminal, booked ticket and back to hostel to see the Trout. On the way back, walking down a road we had 2 or 3 times already, pouring down with rain Brogan steps onto a pavement and sinks to the bottom! Wet cement, no signs, no warnings, but at least Brogan has left her mark on the city. We went back 4-5 hours later as I wanted to write my name in, it was solid. I was gutted, but a part of Brogan is going to be there for a very long time (check out the picture near the end of the gallery below).

A 2KG Trout the length of your lower leg staring back at us. We set up the BBQ and after a failed attempt to get the coals lit the guy running the hostel, Tomaz, told us to use wood. So Joe got wood. He took it off this old looking bench that was falling apart in the corner just behind the BBQ. The wood worked like a charm and the Trout, which took a lot longer than expected to cook, was on the BBQ slow cooking for over an hour.

Half way through our meal Tomaz looks outside and notices a little part missing from the bench. He asked us if we knew what had happened to the bench, Joe replied, “It probably went on the fire…”. Lost in translation Tomaz moved around the hostel bar asking people if they knew. When Tomaz asked me this time, I said “We used it to light the BBQ, on the fire”. “On the fire?!, I thought you said on the floor?!”. Not the most appropriate time to get the giggles but I was off, could not stop myself. So it turns out we burned part of his bench to make our dinner, what a dinner it was by the way!

P.S Joe is a carpenter and told Tomaz he would repair his bench fully in the morning. It is not funny to vandalise other peoples property. Joe probably didn’t think through knocking a bit of wood off the bench but he, and I (for burning it) apologised to Tomaz and all was forgiven.

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