San Carlos de Bariloche - The thirteenth step ... Six months in South America - CycleBlaze

November 20, 2022 to November 21, 2022

San Carlos de Bariloche

Sunday 20th November 2022 

We woke up this morning to clear blue skies and a light layer of frost.  However, there was no wind of which to speak so we enjoyed an hour or so soaking up the sun and watching the birds in the campsite.

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First mate of the morning.
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Flying Steamer Duck (Tachyeres patachonicus). The other three Steamer Duck species are flightless and use their rudimentary wings to paddle themselves in the manner of an old paddle steamer.
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Dark-bellied Cinclodes (Cinclodes patagonicus).
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A male Austral Negrito (Lessonia rufa). The female is a rather dull brown colour.
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Ruta Cuarenta was a lot busier today than yesterday and the ride to Bariloche was quite unpleasant at times.  But while the traffic was unpleasant, the views on the approach to Bariloche were wonderful.  We are hoping that there will be less traffic south of Bariloche.  

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We could see Bariloche from more than thirty kilometers away but it lay on the far side of the lake.
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We had booked an AirBnB in Bariloche before we left Angostura.  It was located in a less touristy part of town and was remarkably afforable for this area.  The host, Guillermo, spoke suprisingly good English and went out of his way to make sure we were comfortable.  After helping us get all our panniers and both bicycles up to the sixth floor apartment he asked us "What is the first thing a cycle tourist wants at the end of their ride?" to which we replied "A hot shower".  "And the second thing?" to which the answer was "A cold beer".  "Look in the fridge."  he said and there were two beers waiting for us to enjoy.  After feeling slightly abused by the tourist industry on our route from Junin to Angostura this restored our faith in Argentinians.

We had booked two nights in Bariloche because Leigh needs to buy a new hiking shirt.  In turns out that tomorrow is a public holiday so the shopping will have to wait until Tuesday and we will have another late start.

Monday 21st November 2022

After getting phone calls to the family done and some correspondence out of the way it was almost one o'clock before we wandered out for a walk around Bariloche.  Despite the public holiday most shops were open so we popped into an outdoor activities store to find a shirt for Leigh.  Prices for Columbia shirts were three to four times what we would pay for the same back in South Africa so we decided to wait until we got to Chile to look again.  I know that the import duties in Argentina are very high relative to most of the world but the prices we were seeing just seemed excessive.

We wandered further down into the tourist area and knocked one thing off the tourist-must-do list by buying some of the hand made chocolates for sale at various shops in Mitre Avenue.  Somehow chocolates made in colder climates taste so much better than those made in South Africa.  Is it the milk ?

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Mike AylingIn New Zealand we were told that their chocolate tastes better than the Oz varieties because the stuff made in warmer climates has an additive to inhibit melting in warmer weather!
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10 months ago

Further down the hill we had a look at the Cathedral Our Lady of Nahuel Huapi.  When we were here in 2018 it looked quite grey and dull, as did most of Bariloche then because the weather was cold and miserable for our entire stay.  Everything looks so much better with the bright sunlight that we have had yesterday and today.

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A really nice looking skate park has been built below the cathedral since 2018.  My son still skates even though he might be getting a bit too old for such a risky sport.  A few months ago he dislocated his elbow in a fall.  One of his skating buddies was filming him at the time and I felt quite queasy when I watched the video footage.   Luckily none of the skaters here were doing anything too adventurous and the falls we saw didn't look likely to damage much more than their egos.

The mountains and lake provide a picturesque backdrop to the skate park.
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Then it was a rather tiring walk back up the hill to our digs, stopping off at the local La Anonima to buy some groceries and a bakery to buy some empanadas for  a late lunch.

The standard number of empanadas to buy at a time is three. I'm not sure why.
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Tomorrow is a short ride to a campsite near Villa Mascardi.

The view from our apartment of the gap through which tomorrow's route will take us.
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Today's ride: 53 km (33 miles)
Total: 3,740 km (2,323 miles)

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