Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bariloche, Argentina


July and August  is the height of ski season in Patagonia. A winter wonderland and a time for school break.  High school students arrive in Bariloche in droves and they have some unusual customs which have become tradition.  For example.  All the kids go to a costume shop and they all buy the same outfit, like a toga or spider man.  Around midnight they board buses and all the different schools gather at one of the three discos. The next day they return the costumes and buy one of another theme. Repeat daily for a week.

Cerro Campanario Volcon Tronnador-Glacier

Located at bus stop N17, 4K which is, north 17.4 kilometers from the central square in Bariloche. At Cerro Campanario a ski lift takes visitors to the top for a magnificent vista of Patagonia.  For the more fit and adventurous, a strenuous and sometimes very steep but short hike is an option.  A cafeteria is available for excellent and inexpensive lunches. 
Short but Steep Hike for Lunch


Magnificent Visa 

Lunch at Cerro Campanario


After the lunch and hike the rest of the day was dedicated to shopping. We usually got back to our rooms around six for a siesta to prepare for the night life.  Dinner in South America is late by our standards.  The early bird specials began around 9PM. 

Chile and Argentina both have lots of stray dogs.  They blend in well and don't bother anyone. They also all look very well fed and were especially so when Sue is around. She always carried treats or leftovers for her little peros.

Bariloche Central Square


Our third day in Bariloche we made arrangements to hike Volcon Tronnador.   We saw this on our ferry crossing from Chile and we were thrilled to be able to hike this landmark.  A two hour bus ride is required to get to this spectacular national park. There is and additional 30 pesos (US $8) fee to enter the park on top of the reasonable bus fee.  The ten plus mile bus ride inside the park was the type you always hear about from others.  You know, the crazy bus driver on the edge of the cliff stories.   Yup, we had him, and he gave us the ride of our lives.  The road is one way in from dawn till 5PM and one way out from 5PM till dusk.  (around 9PM). 

Checking our route to the glacier

The round trip shorter hike to the glacier takes approximately four hours. That allows enough time for a leisurely lunch before boarding the bus back to Bariloche.  There is only one bus departing, and if you miss it you are stuck there till five pm the following day.  Unless you are lucky enough to hitch a ride from the few others leaving. 
Hiking to the glacier at Mt Tronnador

Checking the map

 Left to the glacier.  Only one hour more

First view of the glacier

Almost there

 At the edge of the avalanche zone

 The return hike
Lunch with new friends.

Sue had a good day.

We end our trip in Buenos Aires

Part 1. Chile

Part 2 Patagonia.


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