Tag Archives: Cerro Campanario

The Bariloche Files

In the travel journal entry from the 15th of June, I’m writing from my daytrip to San Martin de los Andes and the 7 lakes. This was my worse day in Argentina. Probably the only bad day of the whole trip. It inspired the little story, Bubba de los Andes though, and I learned a few interesting facts about the Mapuche and saw some great scenery, but…

It’s interesting how boring the people you meet traveling are. Incredible. It’s a reflection of society. I would’ve expected that people who like travelling are more interesting. Not so. The percentages of boring people are the same as in normal society, in the high 90’s.

How stupid people are. This is also a reflection of society in general, everywhere in the world. The first old fat guy who got off at this first stop, who’s sitting in the first row, decided to stand and stretch once he stepped down off the bus! So everyone else coming from behind had to say “excuse me” and walk around him and prod him to get off the damn vehicle…

Bariloche is a terribly boring little town. Touristic. These fucken’ happy excited Brazilians are getting on my nerves. Where are the crazy, miserable people of Buenos Aires?

What a fucken’ nightmare. What were you thinking Spiro? Why book these bloody excursions? Tomorrow I’m skipping my booked excursion and taking the bus to a nature reserve (Llao Llao) near Bariloche. They said I can spend 3 hours on a hike in there if I want.

I wrote bits for the Bubba de los Andes story, and this line, but it doesn’t really fit in the story:

Bubba can you spare a dime?

The next day at Llao Llao was great and all the above general observations were completely shredded to pieces. I met some really interesting intelligent people. The Australian guy who’s wife was in Buenos Aires dancing Tango and had had enough of the big city so decided to get the bus to Bariloche for a few days to go on hikes like this. He’s a swimming instructor in Melbourne, where apparently, within a 5 mile radius which covers his area of work there are 4 public pools, of which 3 are olympic size 50 metre pools! We hiked pretty much every available path on this little peninsula.

We bumped into a Canadian couple of biologists who had just finished their degrees and were planning, upon returning to Vancouver/BC to apply for further studies. They had been to a wedding in Brazil where the girls cousin had married a Brazilian, in Goiania. According to them the Pantanal was the best part of their trip, but they are biologists, and so were in their element.

The bus stop to get back into Bariloche is at the foot of what is apparently one of the most expensive, exclusive hotels in Argentina. It didn’t seem that luxurious from the outside, but the setting is spectacular indeed. At the bus stop after the hike, our now 4-strong group, bumped into 3 Singaporeans who I had met in the hostel in Bs As. They were also very interesting, very intelligent people. What was that rubbish you were talking about yesterday Spiro? It wasn’t me! It was Bubba!

The girl is a photojournalist and one of the guys a … writing journalist. They were going around Brasil and Argentina taking photos and writing articles which they hoped to sell when they got back to Singapore and cover part of their trip’s expenses. Only a small part mind you, in the best case. They insisted that I had to see the view from Cerro Campanario and so I got off the bus on the way back to Bariloche, together with the Canadian guy from that lovely couple, got on the ski lift and we saw a most spectacular view.

That was my best day in Bariloche and another great day in Argentina. The people I met that day were wonderful, and they were all travellers. I even briefly met another couple on the way to Llao Llao that gave me a tip for a hostel to stay in Mendoza, where I eventually did end up in and where I met a load of locals as well as more travellers. But more about that later…

Back to the current day: it’s Saturday the 12th of June; these are my last few days in Porto Alegre. I’m getting sad. I can’t be everywhere at once though. I’m sure I’m gonna have a great time in Curitiba, where I’m going on Tuesday for a few days, then on to São Paulo again for a day or so and then Penedo in Rio de Janeiro state to spend next weekend. I’ll be in Rio de Janeiro on the 21st July for this, and will fly back to London on the 27th… Boo hoo…