Thursday, December 25, 2014

Trip to Patagonia - Dec 25, 2014 - Explore Bariloche; Campanario Hill; Craft Brewery Visit; Brazo Tristeza Hike

- from the Itinerary:
 
This morning we explore Bariloche, starting with a guided tour of the city before venturing out into the surrounding countryside. At Campanario Hill, we’ll enjoy a chairlift ride up this picturesque peak, climbing high above the tree line for a panoramic view of Patagonia’s striking scenery. We’ll take in the beautiful collage of deep green foliage and snowcapped mountains mirrored in the region’s azure lakes. We’ll continue to Brazo Tristeza, an arm of Lake Nahuel Huapi, where we’ll hike amid lake and forest scenery.

Later, we’ll witness how Bariloche’s land and culture come together when we see how locally grown ingre- dients are used to brew beer at a family-owned craft brewery. Considering the strong German influence in Bariloche, it’s no surprise that locals are experts at transforming their region’s fresh hops, barley, and pristine water into a variety of beers and ales using artisanal methods passed down from generation to generation. We’ll have lunch at the brewery.

In the afternoon, we’ll walk around the city center while discussing a controversial aspect of this area’s history as a place where some German Nazis fled after World WarII. Dinner is on your own this evening.

Since we had already been shown the city on yesterday's orientation, we boarded the bus and went to  Campanario Hill. Although the chairlift was not in operation and the other facilities were closed, we had a short hike around the top. There were nice views of Lake Nahuel Huapi and the mountains.




We then drove to our next destination, , where we had a nice walk through the forest at Brazo Tristeza. On this walk we saw the local bamboo, which is not hollow like the bamboo we are generally familiar with. Parts of this forest is heavily covered with "Old Man's Beard" (which we know as "Spanish Moss").




Then drove to another location for a short hike with really beautiful views.






The next stop was a craft brewery, Gilbert Brewery, for lunch and a locally brewed beer. We all tried the Ale, IPA and Stout, all were served in pitchers for the table.





It was back on the bus and a ride in to Bariloche for a discussion of "Nazis in Patagonia" led by Hans Shultz, a local historian with German ancestors. He was very informative and interesting.