Saturday, January 28, 2012

Untold Wonders of Trevelin

Our one day in San Martin de los Andes was beautiful, and the outdoorsy vibe and the lakeside views reminded both of us of one of our favorite places - Frisco, Colorado. A cruise along the lake, a steak dinner, and a cozy, well heated hostel to ourselves topped the day off. The next day we were off for San Carlos de Bariloche, but in retrospect, we should have stayed another day or two in San Bariloche was the commercialized Vail to San Martin's local Frisco vibe. At any rate, we were off by 11 and, as you saw in the final photo of the last post, the ashes set the desolate, post-apocolyptic scene.

The snowplows were out clearing ash all spring, but we only saw four or five people all day.
An outdoor lodge which should be opening for the season...but won't be.
The plume from Chilean volcano Puyehue-Cordón Caulle from space. Chileans love to mess with Argentina!               More on that later...
The resorts were closed, the roads were empty. We hardly saw a soul all day, which made our chance roadside encounter even more amazing. Imagine riding down an abandoned road in Patagonia, wondering how deep the ash and sand will be around the next bend, how long it will take you to make it to Bariloche, and running into...someone you know.
Astute readers will remember Leonie and Rick from our Salar de Uyuni Land Cruiser crew.
Three weeks earlier we had bid farewell to Leonie and Rick, the Dutch newlyweds who shared a cramped Land Cruiser with us through the Bolivian back country, yet here they were, equipped with a rental car and headed north from Bariloche to San Martin. We exchanged our impressions of San Martin and Bariloche, but with none of us having visited both, we were left trying to compare the virtues of two cities - when not one of us had been to both.
"How was Bariloche?"
"It was pretty nice, sort of busy."
"How was San Martin?"
"It was pretty nice, really low key."
Hmmmm. We decided to proceed to our destinations, and then meet up again in Bariloche in a few days, if it was better than San Martin. All of the guidebooks and websites went on about Bariloche like it was the Temple Mount, so we figured that they would head back there after a day in San Martin. When we got to Bariloche we realized that we probably wouldn't be seeing them again. It was just fine, but the guidebooks and websites had taken their toll, and there were more trinket shops than locals, and the prices reflected it. To be honest, I had some REALLY big plans for Bariloche, but with the ash collecting and the tourist vibe I had to retreat, and bide my time.
Our view from the hostel. Fine I guess.

Someone at Google Translate has some explaining to do; a la Monty Python's Turkish translation dictionary.

The lake was lovely

"Grandpa, is that really you?!"  HAHAHAHA!!! Yes, grandkids, back then we drank liquid beer and lightcycles ran on "gasoline." This is one for the history books.
There you have it, every picture we took in Bariloche. We spent three or so days there, as the food was really good, and we felt sort of obligated - I had been thinking of this place for the whole trip. Conclusion:

Valparaiso: lives up to the hype
Bariloche: much further away than Vail.

With that sorted out, we were headed south once again. Patagonia is beautiful; just wild, back country. It seemed like what the American west must have been in the 1800's. But with well paved roads.

That night we made it to Trevelin, Argentina, and found a wonderful orchard/campground - which was set to open in two weeks. The owner was great though, and he let us stay, as the only guests. Picture this:

Setting the scene

Four liters of Stella, weiners, oreos, tunes, and fire
Looking right: Really nice

Looking left: Absolutely lovely

Looking ahead: Beautiful!
and on into the night

Our fire-fueled two-person party lasted long into the night, and there couldn't have ever been anything better.

1 comment:

  1. The photos of the ash are amazing, and while it probably sucked to have such a beautiful place covered in it, I hope it was at least interesting to see.

    As for that store...