Posted by: Jeff | February 24, 2009

Back in BsAs

Sorry this update has been a long time coming!  I just got back to Buenos Aires last Saturday and before then I’ve had limited internet access.

Bariloche

Bariloche definitely lived up to its hype when we were there.  I can definitely see it as a skiing hub in Argentina, but during the summer months it’s just a quiet ski town in the Andes.  Note to anyone who goes there:  buy the chocolate.  There are tons of shops that sell chocolate around town (I tried a bunch of them), but the best I had was Mamushka.  Yes, it’s cheesy and over the top, but the chocolate speaks for itself.  Bariloche’s a great town, but there are still some little reminders that it’s a tourist hub:

What you are seeing is a Saint Bernard rescue dog (although I doubt that this dog really rescues anything) with a barrel of schnapps on its collar.  It’s definitely playing off of the Swiss town model.  Despite some of the most touristy elements, the city lived up to its hype.  The one restaurant that you do need to visit if you go to Bariloche though has to be “El Boliche de Alberto.”  Roanne, Ansgar and I had perhaps the best meal of our trip there.  We were able to get a 14-16 oz. filet (well, 3 filets that added to be about that), salad, french fries, bread, 2 bottles of wine and water for all of us for AR$210.  That’s about $60.  Now divide that by three people and you have a $20 steak dinner…and it was really, really tasty.

In Bariloche, we also found a good deal on a white water rafting adventure, so we took a day trip to the Chilean border.  The water there was, again, completely drinkable as it’s glacial runoff.  There we met two Irish guys with whom we ended up traveling for the rest of the trip.

Road Trip

After our stay in Bariloche, the five of us got a good deal on a rental car, so we ended up road tripping from Bariloche all the way up to Mendoza, about 900 miles away.  Enter the Peugeot Partner and its 70 hp diesel engine.  What an experience.  We got her up to about ~152 kph after flooring it for about 7 minutes on deserted Pampas highway.

Instead of going straight to Mendoza, though, we made a quick detour to San Martin de los Andes through the Ruta de los Siete Lagos, which I highly recommend again…it’s worth the trouble.  If we did something differently next time, I think we would have stayed in San Martin for a night; it’s essentially Bariloche’s less touristy analogue (and beautiful).

After San Martin, we made it to Neuquén before calling it a day.  Go ahead and skip Neuquén, there is not much to see here but dirty streets and shady characters walking around.  Finally, the next day we made it to Mendoza, which was my last stop before heading back to BA.  I

Mendoza

In Mendoza, the main activity revolves around the rebust wine industry that has grown around the city, and conveniently a lot them are within biking distance in the suburb of Maipú.  Ansgar, Roanne and I then set out on Tuesday to check out what Mendoza has to offer. Besides the terrible bike I got, and, well just look at the picture above, we really enjoyed ourselves.  First we went to the Rutini family vineyard, then to a distillery, then to a delicatessen, and finally to another vineyard.  every place had something to offer.  Seeing how they produce wine industrially, and not just a textbook example, was interesting.  At the distillery, a family of five produces their own spirits and chocolate and jams from fruits grown by themselves.  The distillery was definitely worth a second visit.

Back in Buenos Aires, t was time for me to settle back into a routine (and diet; I love red meat but eating it every meal can get old.) and settle matters with UBA before classes start in two weeks.

Saludos,

Jeff

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Responses

  1. Brian, I uploaded the sideways picture 3 times and it won’t rotate…maybe you can fix it?

  2. Did you get this solved? I know Brian has been having troubles getting WordPress working and has said I should help with any issues.


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