Saturday, March 5, 2016

ARGENTINA!!! The Lakes Region of Patagonia - 1st Day

On Thursday the 11th, we got on a huge tour bus early in the morning and took a 6 hour ride to Bariloche, Argentina, a community settled by German and Swiss residents in the first half of the 20th century.
Leaving the city of Puerto Montt, Chile and driving east through the countryside, the landscape was reminiscent of driving through Missouri, USA, ...

Well, except for the snow covered volcano and 

very tall mountains. 

Farmland, cattle and farm houses dotted the land and made me very homesick to be back in the USA and visit my family.

This was our ride. It was quite comfortable 

and we could see so much from our seats on top.

As we crossed over into Argentina it started to remind us of Wyoming.

After more than 41 years, Darryl is back in Argentina.

The city of Bariloche is located on the shores of Lago Nahuel Huapi, a huge lake surrounded by tall majestic mountains. This photo is on the opposite side of the lake from Bariloche.

This area of Argentina is a grand tourist attraction. And there are 4 main reasons to visit the area. During the winter months many 'Northern Hemisphere' skiers come here to keep in shape and hone their skills in these beautiful Andes Mountains.

In the summer months it is a beautiful and cooler alternative to staying in the big cities, The fishing in this lake is great and the vistas are stunning. And of course, some come for the Chocolate.  (click here to see what I am talking about)

After driving several more miles, we could finally see Bariloche in the distance.

When we arrived in Bariloche, we made it to our hotel, did a quick change of clothes and headed out for a tour with our cabbie. I was surprised to see so many people swimming in the lake. I felt the water and believe me, it was COLD! Much like swimming in Lake Superior or Michigan, or for my friends in Idaho, Little Limhi. 

Our cab driver drove us about 10 or 12 miles out of town to a ski lift so we could view the entire area around Bariloche. 

(That strange looking tree sprouting out of my head is native to this part of South America and is an Araucaria Arucana Tree, the national tree of Chile. And yes my children, the chickens are named after the tree.)

It was about 85 degrees and a beautiful clear day. Perfect for this ride.

Our view from the top.

See this handsome man? I cannot tell you how excited and happy he was to be back in Argentina. In 1975 he left his family and friends and schooling for 2 years to serve a church mission to Argentina. 

It was such a spiritual lift for him and I wish I could explain the joy I could hear in his voice as he talked with the cab driver and others about how he once lived in Argentina. (I believe when the cab driver asked Darryl where he learned Spanish and Darryl told him he used to live in Mendoza, Argentina, that's when the Cabbie offered to give us a private tour of the area. The Cabbie was excited to have Darryl back in Argentina!)

If you ever get to South America, I highly recommend a visit to this beautiful place. 

This is the big resort outside of town, the Llao Llao Hotel, Resort, Golf, etc. 

FYI - We did not stay here. It was around $600 a night. We stayed in town.

But it was a very beautiful place to see.

So, you think I am done with my Bariloche post? HA! Not hardly. This is only the first day and we were there for three days! Be sure to visit again for more fun and photos of the town, the Chocolate, the Chocolate Museum, the Teleferico Cerro Otto and more!

1 comment:

ryan lowry said...

I'm so glad to hear that dad was able to go back to Argentina. That must have been a very special experience for you both. The scenery is breathtaking and I too thought it looked a bit like Wyoming only a little greener. I always think of The Princess Bride or the outdoor store when I think of the word "Patagonia". Now I have much better images to fill my mind. Thank you so much for sharing!