Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Trip to Patagonia - Dec 23, 2014 - Fly to Bariloche

- from our Itinerary:

Today, we trade man-made skyscrapers for a natural skyline as we depart Buenos Aires after breakfast for our flight to Bariloche, during which we can gaze out the windows at the frosted peaks that surround this lakeside city nestled in the foothills of the Andes. Set along the banks of the 40-mile-long Lake Nahuel Huapi, San Carlos de Bariloche—as the city is more formally known—is the gateway to Patagonia’s Lake District, and has a distinctly alpine flavor indicative of its strong Central European inf luence. This is most apparent in the wood and stone architecture of the city center, which—along with its status as an international skiing destination—helps  give Bariloche the nickname “Little Switzerland.”

We’ll take an orientation walk in the vicinity of our hotel to start getting acquainted with Bariloche. This evening, enjoy dinner on your own at one of the city’s many restaurants.

This morning we got to the crowded, domestic airport in Buenos Aires and got checked in. Then it was off to security and our gate. Unfortunately, during the time it took to walk from the checking counter to security, LAN Airlines decide to go on strike! We were not permitted to pass through security! As you might imagine, we were very disappointed (bordering on panic). Fortunately, after about 15 minutes, the strike ended and we made it to our gate.

Once we landed in San Carlos de Bariloche, we met our new local guide, Ezikiel, and headed to our hotel, Villa Huinid. The hotel was very nice, but it was about a mile outside of town, making it inconvenient to walk in to, and out of, town.

After checking in, we again boarded the bus and went back into Bariloche for an orientation and some free time. The part of town we were taken to, is very much a tourist area.

Pat and I could not decide on a place to eat dinner, so we walked back to the hotel and ate in their restaurant. We both had salads and I added a mushroom soup made with wild, local mushrooms. The meal was very  good.


Looking toward the plaza in the tourist area

Looking across Lake Nahuel Huapi

Lake Nahuel Huapi through the trees

Bandurria Austral Ibis on the hotel grounds