Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bariloche, Argentina February 28-March 14, 2011

We have just spent two weeks taking it very easy by Lake Nahuel Huapí, Argentina.  We arrived at the town of Bariloche by bus from Osorno, Chile.  We stayed at Balcón del Lago, located in Llao Llao, 23 km west of Bariloche.  It was just great and Rodolfo Gabarain, the owner, is a wonderful host.

The weather was quite warm when we got here, but summer has been rapidly disappearing.  We caught a bit of rain, and when the Patagonian winds came across the lake, it got quite cool. 
Araucaria tree
I don't know what these are, but they are pretty.

The lake area is simply gorgeous.  It is somewhat like a mix between Lake Geneva and California’s Sierra Nevadas.  There are many hikers here, and Bariloche itself has many accommodations for them.  Nahuel Huapí is fed and drained by rivers.  Just a few miles toward the Patagonian flat lands and away from the Andes, the terrain changes dramatically.  That is much the same as leaving Lake Tahoe and going east into Nevada.  In many ways, our two weeks here reminded me of going to the cabin we used to have at Big Bear Lake.  We did much the same things here as we used to do there, which is to say, not much of anything!  That’s what’s so great about it.  We don’t fish, we don’t ski, but we had a mountain lake cabin.  We didn’t fish here either, but we did go out to eat a couple of times.
The fancy (and expensive) resort hotel in Llao Llao.

I can strongly recommend for lunch El Tronador in Llao Llao just before you get to the turnoff from Av. Bustillo to the fancy hotel.  It is run by two sisters, and they don’t do dinner.  Also, we went to El Boliche de Alberto, a parilla (grill) restaurant.  After all, this is Argentina, and they eat beef here. Lamb and chicken were options, but not trucha (trout, a favorite of Penny's) like they had at El Tronador.

We drove north along the highway into the province of Neuquén for a while one day, and it was like going into another world.  A motorcycle with Alaska plates passed us.  I couldn’t catch up with it to get a picture.  I wonder if they came from Ushuaia and are on their way to Point Barrow?  Doing the whole hemisphere! 

We decided not to take the bus to Buenos Aires from here.  It would be an eighteen hour trip.  We could have split it up and stayed at a town somewhere in the middle for a day, but that would have meant buying separate tickets.  And besides, we want to see Iguazú Falls and still have some time in Buenos Aires before we head over to Montevideo.   So we are flying on LAN to Buenos Aires, staying one night, and then flying up to Puerto Iguazú.  


  1. Hello! thanks for your words. The flower´s name are "bandera española" "Spanish flag" (yelllow and red). Yes, your trip to Confluencia , Neuquen is a nother world: you have two patagonias: one, close to mountains: forest and lakes. Another one, to east: romantic desert with strong wind. In Cholila, Chubut (100 miles to south of Bariloche) lived butch Cassidy from 1900 to 1907. But now, Benneton bought a big ranch in 1991 and have 250.000 sheeps. kind regards!


  3. is Rodolfo's shiny red 1959 Chevrolet Impala!