We planned our South American trip just about perfectly. 24 hours in the tropical jungle to see Iguazu Falls was just right. 2-3 three nights in most cities-Buenos Aires, Santiago and Valparaiso- were perfect for exploring all the top sites/sights and tasting all the regional Food and wine.
However, we slotted a full 4 nights in Bariloche- a lake town surrounded by snowcapped mountains. That was one night too many to be charitable and two night too many to be most accurate.
There’s no doubt that Bariloche is postcard gorgeous but in the off season (spring) there is not a lot to do. There’s skiing in winter and water sports and boat trips in summer. But its pretty damn cold now in early spring with changeable weather from sun to clouds to drizzle.
So, how did we manage to occupy ourselves? Let me count the ways:
- Do laundry
- Walk every inch of this swiss village, checking out the plethora of chocolate emporiums. Rapa Nui is the best with rooms full of chocolate confections: an ice cream bar; an indoor ice skating rink (busy) and a sit down cafe where we became daily addicts of their warm apple strudel and cafe cortados.
- Downloaded Daniel Silva’s latest thriller House of Spies to read while A plays his guitar in the late afternoons
- Eat delicious, huge meals every night late at night of fresh lake trout for me and local lamb and beef for him. Dinners never start before 8 and that’s considered early!
- Rent a car and take a gorgeous road trip the second day, circling the lake and taking loads of pix enroute to the micro village of Villa Angostura which has a little harbor. It also has a beautiful forest/ lakeside hike to some old arrayanes trees that have cinnamon colored bark.
- On our third day, we will find another route to explore and hike and maybe even get massages
- On our fourth day, we will happily pack up and leave for the flight to Buenos Aires where we will spend our last day before flying home.
And that’s how you “suffer through” 4 days in Bariloche off season! But don’t cry for me Argentina. We are happy travellers. Always.