A Journal, with Pictures


by on Feb.10, 2016, under Happenings


On Sun­day Jan­u­ary 24 we leave Men­doza, fly to Buenos Aires and on to Bar­iloche air­port arriv­ing late after­noon. We are met by Alex Out­e­r­i­al our guide for the next few days and dri­ven through the town of Bar­iloche and past lake Nahuel Huapi to our home for the next cou­ple of day, Hotel Llao Llao. Our suite is spec­tac­u­lar look­ing out at Lake Moreno and Mount Tranador. We learn our hotel is con­sid­ered the nicest in Argenti­na, built in 1939 and recent­ly com­plete­ly ren­o­vat­ed and expand­ed. We dine at a quaint Ital­ian restau­rant, Il Gab­biano on the big lake, and the meal and wine are excellent.

The next morn­ing after a great break­fast at the hotel we are off on a hik­ing adven­ture. It turns out the Alex is a world class trekker and moun­tain guide, as well as very knowl­edge­able about Patag­o­nia. We dri­ve around the moun­tain behind our hotel to a lodge on anoth­er lake. Our objec­tive is to hike up the moun­tain to a water­fall with a view of the lake and lodge. It is a mod­er­ate­ly steep trail but we han­dle it and are reward­ed with great scenery.

After our trek we have a great lunch at the lodge over­look­ing the lake. We return to our hotel and relax before a din­ner at a restau­rant called But­ter­fly on Lake Nahuel Haupi. We have a great view and the sev­en course tast­ing menu with wine pair­ing fits right in with our new style. The next day we leave for a boat excur­sion on the lake. We will cruise from the west­ern in and can see the Chilean bor­der in the dis­tance and end up on Vic­to­ria Island. The whole area includ­ing Bar­iloche is in Nahuel Haupi Nation­al Park, once a pri­vate land hold­ing of Per­i­to Moreno an ear­ly explor­er of the area. He donat­ed 26 square miles in 1906 to cre­ate the park. He was respon­si­ble for import­ing exot­ic species of trees from all over the world to Vic­to­ria Island. After our cruise we hike around a bay and are sur­prised to find giant sequoias from our home state of Cal­i­for­nia as well as many oth­er inter­est­ing species.

We set out on our trek, which is a very easy walk around the island, that includes struc­tures that no longer are used as well as a school for area chil­dren that’s not in ses­sion. We see an amaz­ing array of dif­fer­ent trees and woods with beau­ti­ful views from the island.


We end our hike in a small bay that has an aban­doned tour boat on the beach where our boat has docked and it turns out that our first mate in fact is a accom­plished chef and has set up a gourmet pic­nic lunch on the beach. This is a very mem­o­rable lunch of course with wine and mul­ti­ple cours­es and to top it off out of the woods comes a young musi­cian who was below deck dur­ing our cruise play­ing first a local flute then a local gui­tar to ser­e­nade us. An incred­i­ble expe­ri­ence, one we will not forget.


After lunch we cruise back across the lake and return to our hotel. That evening we invite Alex to join us for din­ner at a restau­rant named Cas­sis. This is a tast­ing menu of native Patag­on­ian cui­sine influ­enced by the Ger­man, Aus­tri­an and Ital­ians who immi­grat­ed to the region. Anoth­er great din­ner, with fine Argen­tine wine and we enjoy the com­pa­ny of our new friend Alex. Tomor­row morn­ing we are off to Buenos Aires so this will be our farewell din­ner. Bar­iloche and Patag­o­nia will go down as one of the high­lights of our trip, how­ev­er it turns out there were no low-lights.



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