Bariloche is beautiful. The soaring mountains, crystal clear lakes, and endless yellow, purple and blue wildflowers make it hard to believe such a place is real. On top of the stunning natural beauty, there are great outdoor activities. We focused on hiking and biking, taking down (or actually, hiking up): Cerro Otto, Circuito Chico, Cerro Campanario, Refugio Frey, the Seven Lake distict, and, of course, El Boliche de Alberto’s.
The next few posts will detail these outdoor adventures.
|The view from (near) the top of Cerro Otto.|
|605 meters is not too shabby!|
|Why wouldn't there they put a replica|
David at the top of Cerro Otto?
To save some face, and twenty bucks, we decided to walk down.* We took in a final sweeping view from the top, fought the blustery wind for some photos, and made our way downwards.
|A 'live' David and Jesse at the top of Cerro Otto.|
One of the things we enjoyed so much in Argentina was the culture of moving slowly, enjoying life, and sharing with friends (new or old). Just a few minutes into our hike we passed a Ranger Station and struck up a conversation with the ranger. He invited us into his (tiny) hut and offered us maté (thankfully with sugar). Three or four matés, and twenty or thirty minutes later (of conversation fully in Spanish!), we said goodbye to our new friend and pressed onwards.
Continuing down the mountain the scenery remained impressive. Passing a beautiful Refugio (a mountain hut) we were sad we couldn't stop for a coffee because it was under construction.
|Eeeeek, not what we were expecting as we rounded the corner.|
|Sneaky, unhelpful signage. Look at that trail straight-ahead, it looks perfect.|
The actual trail down was through a bush to the left.
Thankful that we found our way out – one grave was certainly enough in the clearing – we both expressed great relief and shared our previously withheld fears of spending a night in the forest. The rest of the walk was nice (made all the more so with our feelings of elation that we had “beat” the forest). We even ran and danced through the high grass a la The Sound of Music. The hills were indeed alive:
|No animals were harmed during the creation of this animated GIF.|
They fled when they heard the thundering footsteps...
And no post would be complete without some macro flower photos. Enjoy - the rest of the album can be found here.
The bees at Cerro Otto are HUGE.
Public bus from Bariloche (50 from town, and 51 returning to town) stops at Cerro Otto – right at the gondola base station – ask the driver to stop there for you, but if you are watching the road, you can’t miss it.
Refugio Berhouf at the top of Cerro Otto looked very nice and had a great porch with spectacular views. Just as good, if not better, than the touristy revolving restaurant. Its easy to walk to from the top (10-15 minutes walking down) – even if you plan on taking the gondola up and back.
* For our city-bound readers, hiking down is less physically demanding, but in fact is more strenuous on the legs and knees. This may have been a concern if we were not young. [JLM note: Thank goodness we did this before Dave turned 30!]