The wind, which kept us awake for most of the night, is shaking the windows so badly that we expect they will explode inwards at any moment. The rain, which has been falling steadily, would no doubt follow. But at 8:30 am, we rush out the door and run to catch the municipal bus to Cerro Cathedral, some 20km west of the city. It’s normally a full bus in the mornings, with throngs of Brazilians, Argentines and Americans making the daily trip to ski, but on this morning the weather has most people staying in bed. Thankfully, they are not blessed with insider knowledge that says if it’s raining and less than 5 degrees in the city, it’s snowing hard on the mountain.
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I must admit: I have never been much of a hiker. My usual trek entails 40 minutes of prep time (both mental and logistical), 45 minutes of walking, and then a strong desire (often expressed verbally) to descend to base camp and seek out the nearest place to get a foot massage and a cider. So, I actually surprised myself when I agreed to go to Bariloche, the land of mountains and hiking, with my sister in mid-May. Little did we know that the fall weather would produce rain for an entire week, and all my mental and logistical preparations would be rendered unnecessary.
I’m happy to report that today we rolled out a whole new destination guide, this time, to the Lake District in Patagonia. It’s a great place to get all your questions about the Lake District answered (like, what to do while you’re there?). It’s a great resource help you plan your trip. If you want to know where to stay, how to get there, and where to eat, we have you covered. Oh, and the beautiful picture is El Lago Espejo, in case you were wondering.
Sitting aboard my cozy LAN flight from Buenos Aires, I enjoyed some of Argentina’s famous chocolates, a nice cup of tea and anxiously awaited our arrival into Bariloche. With each turn of the engine my inner outdoorsman began to emerge and I could feel us approaching those beautiful Andes Mountains. When the wheels finally touched the runway I rushed out of the plane, eager to catch that first sight of the Andes and Lake Nahuel Huapi bordering Bariloche. One glance was inspiration enough to quickly get to a hostel, drop off my bags, and head out into the rugged outdoors.
Free associating about Argentine Patagonia usually conjures up imagery of the expansive landscape accompanying Ruta 40, the breathtaking immensity of the Perito Moreno Glacier, the towering peak of Torre Fitz Roy, or the majestic snow-capped mountains circumscribing Ushuaia at the “end of the world.” Local guidebooks preach endlessly about the innumerable outdoor adventures and activities in which one can partake.
However well informed of the destination, most books and tour organizers fail to elaborate on one thing: the great food. Some of the best meals I’ve consumed during the past three months living in Argentina were sampled during my two-week navigation of Patagonia.