Argentina was not really in the plan for this trip in Latin America as I've already been to some places in 2004. However, the very bad weather in Chilean patagonia and the proximity with the Argentinean border made me think twice about it. I ended crossing the border to spend 2 days in Bariloche before going back to Chile. I eventually never go back to Chile (except to take my last flight to leave south America) as I like Bariloche so much that I couldn't leave after 2 days only. That's how I ended traveling 10 days in Argentina instead :)
I have to say, Bariloche is really something! The kind of place that let you "stuck" in there, if I wasn't too curious to discover more places I could have stayed much more than the 4 days spent there. I wasn't gone yet that I already wanted to come back!
The city itself is very charming with the view over the beautiful lake and one of the most amazing sunsets ever. Plus, chocolate shops at every corner and delicious Argentinean food, especially the so well know meat, It was like heaven for me! :)
The surroundings are even more seducing, all part of Nahuel Huapi National Park, you can spend endless hours wondering its beauty: majestic forests and centennial trees, amazing lakes acting like mirors, glacier, beautiful sky...hiking, taking a boat, a car, a bus, or wathever, every minute spent there is magical!
Ok, I think, you understood, I had a strong strong crush for this place! :)
I tough that the 24 hours bus in Chile was my record, that was before the 28 or 30 hours bus (after 24, every hour count double :)) from Bariloche to El Calafate in Argentina. I have already been to El Calafate 10 years ago, but I wanted to come back for a new experience: hiking the famous Perito Moreno glacier. I had the choice between half day hike and full day hike, as I am a courageous adventurer; I’ve done the full day hike ;) It was of course very beautiful even though a bit too much challenging for me; sometimes I just tend to forget that I don’t really have the physical condition of a real adventurer :)
While in El Calafate I also went for a boat cruise to see other glaciers: Upsala, the longest glacier in the region, and Spegazzini glacier, beautiful! Even if the weather turned quite cloudy after a bit, but that’s normal in Patagonia :). During this cruise, it was also very impressive to navigate around the big white/blue icebergs that sometimes look like amazing sculptures.
Heading southern again, I arrived in El Chalten. Surrounded by beautiful mountains, lakes, glaciers…this small town is known to be the national capital for trekking. Hiking in these beautiful landscapes, that was my plan then! But that was before the weather decided to turn very cold, snowy and foggy :( Instead of hiking, I ended trying many cafes and restaurants in town and enjoying the heater of my dormitory The day I was leaving, as the snow stopped, I went for a short walk to a view point, and that was already nice, so I can barely imagine the rest… At the end of the afternoon, the sky was clearing and I had the clearest view of Fitz Roy Mountain from the window of the bus, what a shame!
Well, I’ve already decided to come back to Argentina before that, so just have to add this on the next list, as well as many other places that I haven’t been yet: Salta, Peninsula Valdes and Ushuai are among them; and from there, I could luckily jump in a cruise to go to Antartica ;) That’s what it is being travel addict: dreaming about next destinations even while traveling :) Well, inchaallah, as we love to say in Morocco ;)