Welcome back, intrepid readers, to yet another entry in our travelogue. I hope you don't find our observations too awfully banal. It seems to me that writing about travel is like opening a restaurant--many people try, but few do it well.
We may not do it well, but we do try, try again.
Anyway, we are now in San Carlos de Bariloche, a town in Argentina's Lake District, which is an area in the foothills of the Andes mountains alongside the border with Chile. As you can probably tell from the photos, it is absolutely gorgeous here. While Bariloche itself is not the most exciting place--it feels a bit like Lake Tahoe in the summer--the surrounding area is filled with snow covered mountains, dark blue lakes, and mile after mile of unpopulated forests. And unlike Punta del Este, where the weather conspired against us, here we have lucked out: often it can be cold, rainy and *very* windy this time of year, but we have had nothing but warm, sunny, clear days. It's so nice we're contemplating spending the rest of our trip here.
Plus, the hotel has a really nice gym.
I may not be able to use it though, due to an injury I suffered yesterday. I went whitewater rafting, which was great (Laura was jealous, but had to forego the fun, for obvious reasons): two hours floating through class III and IV rapids, one of which had a massive, 10-foot high wave that flipped our boat upside down. The rivers are really high right now due to the melting snow, and instead of being clear they are a milky green from all the sediment and debris. They are also really, really cold, so getting tossed in (twice) wasn't much fun. Nor was spraining my foot after continually wedging it in the side of the raft in an attempt to keep from getting thrown in.
I couldn't really walk today because of the foot, so we spent the day driving to San Martin de Los Andes, a small town about 4 hours away. We took different routes up and back, so we were able to see a lot of the area, including 50 miles of unpaved, gravel roads, which took us about 2 hours to get over (they call it the Route of the 7 Lakes, but given the condition of the road, we spent more time watching for potholes than looking at the lakes). Hopefully I'll be able to walk tomorrow so that we can do take some of the hikes for which the area is famous; if not, we may really have a reason to spend the remainder of our vacation here.