Saturday, 10 February 2007

Bariloche

We've reached the land of chocolate and good coffee. Need I say more! :-)
Bariloche is definitely not a laid back normal town but it has enough normal town to at least partially disguise the fact that it's a tourist town all year round. When it's not a major ski hub in winter it's the place where Argentina's (and many other nationalities) young take their summer break. It is in a beautiful location though on the edge of a large lake surrounded mountains.
We had a strange start when we arrived at La Justina to find one of the other backpackers who thankfully let us in while the owner was missing in action on errands. Lucky we didn't wait for her cause this lasted most of the afternoon. While it's a relaxed place with a nice kitchen and garden and friendly host having difficulty finding Justina was a bit of a pattern throughout our stay. The lack of locks other than the front door wouldn't be to everyone's taste either I suspect.
We've found lots of tasty places to eat including a deli just opposite the famous Juaja icecreamery with great salads and sandwiches, a place that did international mezze plates inspired by indian and middle eastern cuisines (hard to come by over here) behind the CAB office and a microbrewery with 7 beers on tap.
Tom was not easily taken with the row upon row of chocolate shops that line Mitre Street but having tried the good stuff at Mamushka I think he may finally have come over to the dark side and even he is talking about when we can go back! The Russian doll theme to their packaging is very cute and the chocolates inside gorgeous.
You'd think all we do is eat! The plazas here are full of trees and good to lounge around in but so far I think Bariloche is a good place to prepare for activities near by than a destination in and of itself. So far we haven't found supermarkets that are as good for stocking up for the trail as in Chile but we've found enough to stop us going hungry on the trail.

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