The Hot But Beautiful Bariloche And Patagonia

Arrived at Bariloche from Buenos Aires this afternoon. The bus was late.

It was so hot here.

The hostel staff drove me to the hostel. It turned out their hostel was overbooked. In the end, they offered me a bed on the floor of a ‘living room’ and gave me a huge discount. That sounded like a good deal to me. The bed on the floor was fine. I didn’t mind it. It had a nice view too.

My bed in the ‘living room’

I asked the hostel staff where I could go. He showed me a map and told me we were already in the national park. Cool! The lake was called Lago Nahuel Huapi. He showed me where I could do some trekking and then I did some more research on the internet. I told the staff I wanted to go to El Calafate. He recommended a tour to El Chalten to me. The tour costs 1,040 peso. Considering the bus trip alone cost 900, adding on to that the accommodation cost, etc., I took the tour. It’d take me two days to get there. Who said backpackers only know partying? We need to do budgeting all the time.

Lago Nahuel Huapi. It looked beautiful. When I look at the photo now, I can’t feel the heat. But I remember it was so hot that I wanted to leave the place straight away. I didn’t expect that. I was expecting cold weather.
The stone church by the lake – Cathedral Our Lady of Nahuel Huapi
The altar inside the stone church
So heartbreaking
You can clearly see the stone wall inside the church here. Simple and intricate, if you know what I mean.
The ceiling of the church
The water of the lake was so clear.
The lake. This word reminds me of the movie The Lakehouse and that’s the reason why I am not catching my blog deadline – I have been watching Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock on YouTube instead of writing this. Oh, can’t believe they had a crush on each other!!!! Ok, I am back. I am a ‘timebender’ according to some psychologists. That’s why.
The town

The next morning, I woke up at 5:15am for the bus to El Chalten.

My bed in the living room had a nice view. I was watching the sunrise when I packed my stuff. Sunrise at the peaceful and calm lake. Thank you God.

I woke up the hostel staff to call a taxi for me (he told me to wake him up the previous day so when he saw me in the morning, he didn’t curse me which was good :D). The streets were very quiet. There was no sign of buses nor taxis.

While I was waiting for the taxi, I took a few pictures of the sunrise.

I arrived in town just in time and got the voucher from the guide. There were only 10 people on the bus today. I met a couple from Switzerland.

While we were waiting for the bus, I saw a rainbow. It was at one stage, a double rainbow. Like the one I saw with Helen but I couldn’t see the whole arch this time. That’s a good sign. Told you! Rainbow and Switzerland. They really did seem to come together in my journey. ๐Ÿ˜€ The Swiss guy on the bus said maybe the flag of Switzerland should be changed to a rainbow. ๐Ÿ˜€

You can vaguely see the rainbow in this photo.
On our way to El Chalten
The snowy mountains that we saw on the way to El Chalten.

During lunch time, 4 Argentinian ladies from my bus tour saw me eating alone so they invited me to join them. It was so kind of them. One of them could speak English. They offered me a plum after I finished my lunch. It was so nice of them.

When we were on the bus, whenever they saw alpacas, ostriches, they pointed at them and asked me to look at them ‘aver’. It was really interesting to talk to them. They were really nice people. When we arrived at my hostel, those ladies didn’t get off the bus. They were heading to another place.

People do come and go.

The bus we were on.
And the route we were on – Ruta 40

Another day, another bus trip.

Good that the bus came at 10am so I could sleep until late.

Interestingly, it was a different bus with different groups of people. Those people staying in my hostel went on the same bus but we had some other new people on our bus too. Some more English speaking people and all of them and me sitting at the back of the bus with the roof windows opened letting in the winds. It felt so good. It was so hot outside.

I took this picture on the bus.
Then, we got off.
The mountain looked a bit treacherous to me. Mordor!
I love this photo, with the bird hovering above the land. We were close to our destination.
A very tranquil and peaceful area
A snowy mountain. Love it.

I met a couple from the US on the bus. OK, the guy was from the US and the girl was from Sweden. Like most American travellers I met, he wanted to renounce his US citizenship. Over the entire trip, he shared with us his numerous personal stories. He indeed had suffered a lot in the US. The US government saw him as a potential terrorist, for unknown reasons. So, you can imagine what he had gone through in his own country.

After the serious discussions, we started a topic on romance. An Australian couple shared with us how they met (friends for a long time and then they got together and then she realised he was the best man she could ever find). The American guy, unfortunately, didn’t have any sweet stories to share. Instead, he told us he and his ex girlfriend broke up after 5 years and he believed he didn’t do anything bad to her and it was hard for him, etc.. The Australian woman said to him ‘you shouldn’t let her hurt you like this. You shouldn’t stop falling in love again. If you do stop, you are letting her hurt you.’ Very well said. His Swedish girlfriend sitting next to him agreed.

The Australian woman also believed the majority of the people were good and she believed in humanity. She talked about love. She said people got divorced or they broke up, ‘so where’s love? Where has it gone? It hurts after the break up but it doesn’t mean that you have to close your heat. If you can do something bad to somebody, that means there is something missing in your heart.’ The American guy, after all the crises he had gone through, at first, didn’t buy it. But he was a bit convinced after he heard all that.

Travis and Marie, I hope you two are living happily together in Sweden now.

18 – 20 January 2013

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