Bariloche - big trip - diary - argentina - march 2003

Lake Nahuel Huapi

Friendly gauchos


Friday 28 - Saturday 29 March

In the morning we took a quick stroll into the forest and 5 minutes walk from the campside, discovered a large lake with a stunning view of the valley, the first of many that morning on the descent into Bariloche. The town itself is another which resembles a ski resort, probably because thats just what it is during the winter months (July/August), although a mess of hotels are spreading along the lakeside to bring the tone down a bit.

Sleeping Sjaak

Cubby being fixed after seeing off an attack

During a quick email session we discovered Mr R1 Lucassen was logged on and in an internet cafe a few streets away. Another chance meeting with the beer drinking leather clad cloggy led to yet another drunken session in the various irish bars across town. A bit the worse for wear we drove a short way around the lake and crashed out in the carpark of Cerro Cathedral ski centre. A hungover tour of the western end of the lake in the morning, passed the posh golf course and ran across the path of some more dutch travellers we met the night before.

Back to town for lunch, we parked in a main street. Returning to the landy after the meal, we found a message from Sjaak, "there was a man in the landy". Someone had picked the low tech door lock to get into the cab and had a go at the cubby box with a screwdriver. Luckily the box withstood the attack, although the catch was now so mangled we couldn't open it with the key. The tosser thief, who only got away with the bag of coins left over from all the countries we've visited, was almost caught by Sjaak as he happened to pass by, but the guy got away. This is the second time our bag of worthless souvenir coins has been stolen even though its not in a visible place and despite the countless other things lying about the cab, very strange!

Rio Limey

Trees starting to turn yellow

Lago Traful

Feeling ourselves a bit lucky to still have all the stuff in the steel box, we continued north to San Martin de los Andes and decided to put everything valuable in the safe from now on. Our mood wasn't improved by puncture 15 which occured adjacent to the 'dedos de dios', the result of a piece of metal embedding itself in the tyre. The normally efficient wheel change procedure was somewhat disrupted by B breaking the wheel brace on the super-stiff nuts done up by a dillweed in Punta Arenas when the last puncture was fixed on the same wheel. The too-short winch handle actually came in useful and, with the help of some bits of the socket set, the spare was slapped on we were mobile again.

Valle Encantada...

...and 'gods fingers'

Volcan Lanin

Sun goes down over Lago Hermoso

The famous 7 lakes scenic drive was really breathtaking, culminating in a successful stop to get the jammed lock of the cubby box open, accompanied by the awesome sunset over the aptly named Lago Hermoso (Lake Beautiful). Some dorises had left their lights on all afternoon and needed a bump start so we gallantly came to the rescue, our fourth in Argie. After a bite to eat we went into San Martin to sample the nightlife delights of the tranquil lakeside town, discovering a 'freshers' party for the new university undergraduates. The seat of learning only has a total of 200 students, mostly studying tourism, but they were pretty friendly.

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