The rather misty view from Cerro Llao Llao
Coming into my last week or two in South America, I have started to feel the drag of travelling a bit. I have done a hell of a lot in 6 months or so, so I am finally slowing the pace down a little.
I took the Bus Norte international service from Puerto Varas (CLP13,000/£17/$26) at 9am and despite the pretty crappy weather passed through some great scenery in the Lake District on the way to Bariloche. I arrived at about 3.30pm and lazily took a taxi into town (A$16) to get to the hostel I had booked, Hostel 41 Below. A very amiable Hernan welcomed me and showed me around the place. Its a great place to relax and chill out and that's exactly what I did for 3 days.
Top ten view in the world??! Oh yes!! Cerro Campanario
The weather was still pretty cack, windy and a bit chilly. I met Luke and Dominique (UK) and we decided to venture out and see some sights. We took the bus 20 down to Puerto Panuelo, where we trekked for an hour or to the top of Cerro Llao Llao
, which on any normal summers day would have an awesome view - not the day we went...it was cloudy and cold, but at least we had got ourselves out for some fresh air!! Tyson and Keri, who I had been hiking with in Torres del Paine, randomly turned up at the hostel and so we all sat around with some malbec
and a few Iguana beers for the evening and chewed the fat - good fun.
If there is one thing to do in Bariloche, then it is to go up to Cerro Campanario. Its a hill about 17km outside Bariloche and you just have to go up it.
Cerro Campanario view
I was feeling a bit lazy so took the cable-car/ski-lift thing option, which is A$30 (£5/$7.50) return. Other more hardy fools decided to walk/trek up which looked far too much like hard work for me! The views from the top are simply stunning - it was voted in the top 10 views in the world by National Geographic and its not hard to understand why - fully panoramic view of the surrounding lake district and string of snow-capped mountains - yep, gets my vote too!! The weather was ok, bit windy and cloudy, but it still left me in awe, and after 6 months on the road seeing all this continent has to offer, that is praise indeed! (Laguna Quilotoa
in Ecuador still pips it as my favourite view of the trip so far though!). My final evening here was spent cooking what could only be described as a marvel of a concoction with Luke and Dominique - a improvised version of Chilli con Carne which was delicious! Everyone else in the hostel wanted a piece of the action! We then chucked on the classic Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and all its cockney rhyming slang which had us three feeling a little homesick....ha ha, how sad. Only a week left now a few more lakes to see before I hit Santiago!