Entering the Patagonian Andes

It had been almost two months since I´ve traveled completely solo (since before Cusco!) and now that I´ve left BA, I find myself ramblin´by my lonesome once again. After another 24-plus ruse ride (hopefully my last long haul in a while) I´ve arrived in Bariloche in Northern Patagonia. The long bus rides take their toll and upon this last arrival, I felt overwhelmed by yet another new place with all new faces and new strangers to meet. While I always eventually come to embrace the new environments, it is at first daunting. I have finally found myself off the gringo trail, which I had inadvertantly been following since the beginning. It seems most gringos have to to Brasil for Carnavle while I have gone the other direction to Patagonia, where it is mostly young Argentines and Chileans summer vacationing in their own continent.

After a little over two months ¨on the road¨ I´ve stayed in a plethora of hostels, from the mega-chain party hostels to tiny family run refugios. The first hostel I stayed at in Lima held court as my favorite (see first blog) until this point in  Bariloche, where I am staying a friendly nook-and-cranny hostel overlooking the Lake. I found out about this place, Hostel Pudu, on the 3rd day of my journey back in December, and scribbled in my journal to stay here if I ever made it…and lo and behold! I think the formula to a good hostel vibe is all about the atmosphere the owners create- as with the owners in Lima, the owners of Hostel Pudu are travelers themselves whose primary interest is to meet new people and help travelers bond.

View from near the hostel

View from near the hostel

Happy Birthday to Leo, the Argentine Bob Marley owner of Hostel Pudu

Happy Birthday to Leo, the Argentine Bob Marley owner of Hostel Pudu

cecilia-075

Bariloche itself is a beautiful ¨tranquilo¨ lil´ village with swiss chalets dotted along the pristine lake. And remember when I was stuck in the mud flood in Bolivia and hallucinated that it was Willy Wonka´s factory to get through it? I think Bariloche really is Willy Wonka´s factory: a little chocolate box town where you stroll and taste test the chocolate three times a block…

Bariloche

Bariloche

Scapes of the Patagonian Andes lakes region

Scapes of the Patagonian Andes lakes region

There I am at the Chilean border after falling into the river...

There I am at the Chilean border after falling into the river...

Yet again…my ambitions have gotten the best of me and I will not make it as far South in Patagonia as I had initially intended. Cést la vie! Today I rafted to the border of Chile and tomorrow I begin my first solo trek into the wild…wish me luck!

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~ by ceciliabien on February 18, 2009.

One Response to “Entering the Patagonian Andes”

  1. Good luck cecilia! Can’t wait to see more Patagucci pics! Xoxo

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