San Carlos de Bariloche
From our first exposure to Bariloche whist watching a TV program years ago, we had been keen to go there. One of the most attractive cities in Argentina and a popular holiday and outdoor destination, Bariloche is located on the southwest part of country close to the Chilean border. Sitting on the shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake and the foothills of the Andes, it is a beautiful city with spectacular views and exquisite scenery. It is also known as Argentina chocolate’s capital.
Getting there…….20 hours on a bus!
The wait at the Terminal de Omnibus in Mendoza was a little longer than planned as the bus was running almost an hour late. There were no screens to tell us where to go, but fortunately there was an information kiosk where we managed to find out that it would arrive at one of three gates.
Long after our due departure time, there were plenty of people milling around said gates, so we assumed that they were all waiting and it would likely still arrive.
When it did pull in, we joined the throng, pushing and shoving towards the back end of the bus to deposit bags. A fun experience, as being the only foreigners, the baggage handler held up the queue to demand a tip. The hostess on the bus just shook her head.
Whilst the bus was a lot older and less comfortable than the one to Mendoza – Glenda’s seat wouldn’t recline properly as it was broken – it was still pretty spacious. It was also not totally full which made it feel less cramped. It was surprising how many sections of what is supposedly a main road were still gravel roads. As before, we slept, ate, and read. We woke up to sunrise across the pampas, miles and miles of nothing. We were grateful that as we moved into the last few hours of the trip – when we were starting to get cabin fever – we entered the lakes district. The scenery was absolutely stunning and the rock structures were some of, if not the most spectacular we have seen anywhere in the world. Sadly no photos as the bus was moving too quickly and we were enjoying the views too much!
That said, we were glad to get to Bariloche, hop in a taxi, check in to our hotel and have a shower before dinner. With our hotel being 7km out of town, we were glad to have a restaurant next door as we had no desire to venture further that evening.