Thursday, December 6, 2012
To Bariloche via El Bolson
We would have liked one more day at Los Alerces but we have arranged to meet up with Marcela and Mariano in Bariloche so once more we are on the move. The drive north out of the park winding past lakes Menendez and Rivadavia is again filled with amazing scenery. Besides the Alerce trees for which the park was created, there are many other types of conifers and pines. It is also springtime and the green shrubs which we have seen all winter are now in full bloom. Flaming red notros flowers on dark green trees dot the landscape whilst Andean lupines in white and numerous shades of pink and purple line the side of the roads. Interspersed with these are amancay which has the most dazzling sunshine yellow flowers. In stretches there were miles of these amancay and looking at them reminded me of Wordsworth’s poem “Daffodils”. Although not daffodils they were, “beside the lakes and beneath the trees, fluttering and dancing in the breeze” and so bright we felt we needed our sunglasses just to look at them! It was a glorious spring day in the Andes. Our night stop is the small Andean town of El Bolson which has a renowned artisan fair on the weekends. Since this is Wednesday we missed it. Darn. At least the campsite was well equipped and quiet. The next day was an easy drive as we wound our way further up the mountains past high Andean glacier lakes, mountain passes and more of those gorgeous yellow amancay bushes to the city of San Carlos de Bariloche or as it is simply known “Bariloche”. Our Brazilian friends Luis and Luiza had told us about a great campsite called Camping Petunia which also has cabanas for Marcela and Mariano. However on arrival the first thing we saw was a sign that said “No se admiten mascotas” or in English “no pets allowed”. We go into the registration office and meet Noel who told us that as long as Winston is well behaved and walked on leash through the campsite then there was no problem. We tell him that our friends who have reserved a cabana for the weekend are bringing their dog also. After some negotiations and after assuring him that our pets are extremely well behaved, he agreed to let Pelusa stay in the cabana with Marcela and Mariano. We found a beautiful campsite just above the cabanas overlooking Lake Nahuel Huapi. There are four cabanas just below us built into the hillside. It is perfect for Marcela and Mariano and of course Pelusa. Just a short, easy walk either down a walkway or via a staircase takes us down to the lakeshore where we can let Winston run off leash. We can look up and down the lake and see the peninsulas, inlets and on the other side of the bay the city. Snow-capped mountains encapsulate us. This will be ideal for our stay.