Heading south from Pucón to the Lakes District in Argentina was worth the trip just for the bus ride. We´ve seen lots of beautiful scenery on our travels, but any stretch of that road would make a great photo for travel agencies everywhere.
Bariloche is set on a hill overlooking a mountain lake. This meant that although our hostel had 5-star views, it also had a 5-star hill to climb just getting there. But, we had a nice base from which to explore.
Our first day, we took a bus to Parque Llao LLao to hike to Lago Escondido. The walk was beautiful and mostly flat, so we had lunch in the park.
After lunch, Ravi and I hiked up to Cerro Campañia. Supposedly, National Geographic has this place on some list of really great aerial views, and picked the views from atop Cerro Compañia as one of its top ten, so naturally this place was striking a chord deep within Ravi´s DNA since time began. I must say, though, that the mountains, lakes, snow, and sun all make for a stunning picture once the nearly perpendicular uphill scramble is over.
Back in town later that afternoon, Ravi and I walked around the city center to explore Bariloche´s famous chocolate shops. We didn´t really plan on buying any chocolate, and I bet the store owners knew that too, but they generously let us walk around in their stores and enjoy free samples! I felt a little bit guilty taking their chocolate, but I got over it quickly.
Finally, we spent our last day walking around Lago Guitierrez, up to its mountain top mirador, with a stop at the nearby cascading waterfall. Like most places in Bariloche, it´s beautiful and doesn´t cost more than the price of a bus ticket to enjoy.
After seeing all these beautiful sites in Bariloche, I couldn´t help but think that I really need to explore the national parks that are just a short drive away from our place in Chicago.