AC´s idea of posing for a photo outside El Gaucho (our hostel)
Bariloche is a pretty big town in Argentina about 5 hours by bus from Puerto Montt. It is a majorly touristy town and is commonly known as one of Argentinas party towns for tourists. We stopped in Barilcohe twice, first time we stayed for one night before heading to El Bolson, and the second time for a couple of nights before heading north to San Martin. One of the biggest things we noted about Bariloche is the lack on random dogs following you around. Everywhere else we´ve been you pick up a couple of hounds after walking for only a couple of minutes, where are all the hounds?
Our first stop we stayed at a joint i can´t remember the name of, it wasn´t very inspiring.
At the steakhouse, a furry menu and a big steak knife, what more can you ask for?
However they did recommend a restuarant we go to for dinner, word was it is a good place for meat eaters and vegetarians. We were still with Adrian and Nick from the Navimag, so we all headed off down there. The place looked like quite the meat eaters paradise with pictures of people eating half a cow displayed all over the walls. The menu arrived covered in cow hide with hair and all and the biggest steak knives i´ve ever seen. All the boys decided to go for ´bife de lomo´which is about the best cut of steak you can get over here. Sarah was scanning the menu for a vegetarian option. With not many in sight, she asked the waiter what on the menu didn´t have meat in it, to which he replied ´coca-cola´, p1ss funy stuff by him. She ended up going for a salad and mashed potato. The steak was great and they served us up a massive plate of chips.
Heap of chips and lots of steak Argentinean style!
I love argentina, vegetarians, your are in trouble in this country. They do eat late though, we didn´t sit down to eat until 11pm and didn´t get out of there much before 12:30, however no pubs kick off till after 1am, so its not a problemo. It is amazing seeing couples with young kids eating at midnight, very different to Aus. Caught the 9:30 bus to El Bolson in the morning.
We stayed two nights in Bolson and returned for another two nights in Bariloche where we stayed at a new place called El Gaucho. The guys who ran the joint were realy nice and we could have stayed there for quite a while, however had to keep heading north to make our flight to Peru in a week or so.
The first morning of our second Bariloche stint was great with blue sky, after it had apparently been p1ssing down there for the last week or so.
Adrian and Nick tucking into their steaks.
We decided to grab a bus up to a local peninsula where you can hire a bike and ride about a 30km circuit through a national park. Now lets say up front that i am no lance armstrong and sarah is a no kathy watt (sorry to mention her - don´t know any other female cyclists), however i think as far as bike riding goes, she is better than me. We set off and within about 30mins the legs were aching and i was whinging, but we pushed through and made it back in about three and a half hours including various stops and a stop for lunch. Its fair to say that both our ass´we a little tender after not being in the saddle for a while, to quote a great movie ´my @rse has been copping a pounding´. There was a chair lift about 1km down the road which we caught up a big hill that looks over Bariloche and the surrounding lake system.
A nice hotel just out of Bariloche. Needless to say we didn´t stay there.
Had a bit of a snooze when we got back to the hostel to try to kill some time so we could attempt to stay up until the Argentinians head out (about 1am!) then went out for dinner about 10pm. We met Adrian who was back at the steak house eating another cow, however we pushed on from there to a pasta place and met up with him later at an Irish bar around the corner. Irish bars appear to be the same all over the world and this one was no exception, Guiness on tap to satisfy the Brits, what more do you need? Anyway we managed to stay out until 3am, which is pretty late by our standards, but the Argentinians don´t get home until at least breakfast time.
We got up pretty early the next morning, nicely hungover and caught a bus north to San Martin del los Andes. Bariloche was a great place and i would recommend it for anyone to spend a week or so there, you wouldn´t run out of stuuf do, places to eat and there´s certainly enough p1ss to drink. Plus no dogs trying to hump your leg!