Argentina, Patagonia – San Carlos de Bariloche
Bariloche is am Argentinian town situated in Rio Negro amidst thousands year old forests, snow capped mountains, and crystal clear lakes. The town is situated within Nahuel Huapi national park (which neighbors the Andes). Local nature gives plenty of oportunity to do many adventurous activities throughout the year. In 2012, Bariloche was declared the capital of adventure tourism and the national town of chocolate in 2015.
We arrive here at Bariloche from Chile. We drive throuch wasteland without any traces of life and this all is due to Puyehue volcano. pustou krajinou bez života – to díky chilskému vulkánu Puyehue. Ten je stále aktivní a k největší erupci došlo v roce 1960, den po zemětřesení. Vulkán poté chrlil lávu a popel ještě měsíc a na jezeře Nahuel Huapi se vytvořila dokonce tsunami. Jakmile se dostáváme blíže k Bariloche, otevírají se krásné výhledy z okolních hor na modrá jezera.
The name Bariloche is derived from the word „Vuriloche“ a word from the Mapuche indians who live in Chile. The word means "on the other side of the mountain". The
settlement began in the year 1895. Then Carlos Wiederhold built the first mixed goodsstore. The city was officialy founded as San Carlos de Bariloche in the year 1902.
In the years to follow, the first road for cars was built which led to the first influx of tourists. The year 1934 marks the end of town's isolation as the railroad was constructed. Towards the end of the 1930s the most important buildings were built including the cathedral and Llao-Llao hotel creating what is known as making Centro Civico.
They say that if you don't walk through Centro Civico, you have never been to Bariloche. It is like not eating the famous chocolate or not being on the windy lake of Nahuel Huapi. The main lure here is the architectonic compound of governmental buildings made of stone. This is in high contrast with their small features made of wood such as doors, balconies, or window frames. Also, you may visit the Museo de la Patagonia within Centro Civico thus learning about the history of the region. Catedral Nuestra Señora del Nahuel Huapi is the main catholic church in the city.
Mezi tradiční akce v Bariloche patří Fiesta Nacional de la Nieve – „Festival of Snow“ is one of the traditional events in Bariloche. Winter sporting activites have their origins as events to entertain town's first settlers. Later in the early 1930s, the event moved to Cerro Otto, making it the first Argentinian championship.
Except for skiing and chocolate, the town's history is notorious. During the years 1901 to 1905, the famous outlaws Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid stayed at a homestead nearby. They ran away once they had realized that a detective from the famous PInkerton agency was on their trail. They left traces of their presence on the local storage's registry situated by the spring of the Limay river not far from Bariloche town. In addition to these two notorious outlaws, also many nazis fled to Patagonia during the WWII. There was even a legend that Adolf Hitler himself had a house on the lake shore.
We set out to the peak of Cerro Otto which rises 1405 meters above the sea level. You can even right up by cable car, however, this would leave you without all the vistas. Up on the mountain, there is a café which spins around its axis and one spin takes about 20 minutes. As we did walk and not travle by cable car we can't get any further. The cable car staff won't let us any further. Without understanding why we can't go to the very top.
We live by a local couple – Rudolph and Luisa we hitchiked by accident in northern Argentina. They gave us their contact. Now, in Bariloche, we can stay over night by them and have a taste of their empanadas filled with minced meat. So, it seems that hitchhiking in wintr and wind has advantages of itself.
GPS: 41°08'00.6"S 71°18'36.5"W
Text and photos: Tomáš Novák
There are many interesting places around Buenos Aires. To conclude our journey in Argentina, we visited Lujan and Tigre. Then we took a ferry to Uruguay.
The town was named after Calafate fruit, sweet berries used to make marmelades. Legend has it that he who tastes the fruit will never fullfill his taste. What makes El Calafate a popular destnation today, is Perito Moreno, a melting glacier. Los Glaciares national park covers an area of 500 thousand hectares and features 47 glaciers.
As we arrive in El Chaltén, steppes seem to be replaced by forests. Mountain rise high up into the sky. But the wind stays the same. Tourists love El Chaltén for beautiful nature. Glaciers, mountains, lagoons, waterfalls, and forests. Great temptation to take a walk to. Moreover, you can drink right from a river or a lake.
The further south we get, the worse the weather is. Constant wind, clouds crossing the sky, and cold. There are almost no cars to hitch. But we try our luck still.
Patagonia is an exceptional place. You won't experience anything like it anywhere else in the world. Only in South America. The Andes create a tall tall wall in the west, in the east there is the blue waters of the Atlantic ocean, it is the land of pines and lakes, and there is huge plain in its central part. And in the south there is the Tierra del Fuego and the town of Ushuaia. It is true end of the world.
We walk around the city center on our following days in Buenos Aires. Apart from historic houses or churches we see Teatro Colon, considered one of the best opera houses in the world for its amazing acoustics. Opened in 1908, the theater hosted some of the most famous dirigents, singers, and dancers of the 20th century. Consider Igor Stravinski or Luciano Pavarotti. In 2010, the city finished theater's renovation and opened it to the public.
Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires is a cosmopolitan city, home to 13 million porteños, as the inhabitants of Buenos Aires are often dubbed. Also, it is one of the most fabulous capitals in Latin Americe. Historic and modern architectur meet here and add to wonderful atmosphere of the city with vibrant night life.
Port Puerto Madryn is situated on a cliff making an edge of a plateau. From there you may enjoy the vista over the endless Atlantic ocean. Whale observation is the main attraction over there. However, keep in mind you can do this activity only from June till December. Local cliffs make observing whales so much easier.
Trelew is situated in the lower part of the Chubut river valley. The town was founded during a colonization wave in the 1884. Then the Welsh settlers were searching for a way to a port so they could bring their agricultural production. Construction of a railroad connecting the valley and Puerto Madryn was allowed. Trelew was founded as a railway terminal.
We leave Tierra del Fuego for north. In a bus we cross the Rio Gallegos and then we hitchhike again. Now we would ride along Ruta 3 along the coastline up to Buenos Aires.
The name Tierra del Fuego possibly came to be when some explorers spotted the coast of unknown land with fires scattered around and smoke clouds from the fires of the indigenous people. The fire must have lookd like the island floats in haze above the sea.
Salta, a town hidden in Lerma valley, one of the most fertile and pleasant places in the area. Situated at 1187 meters, its weather is perfect throughout entire year. Hence, tourist industry has been on the rise here. The city is usually overcrowded with tourists all the time.
a is the second largest city in the country. Founded by Jeronimo Luis de Cabrere in 1573, the city was named by Cordoba, Spain. Cordoba in Argentina is the capital of the Cordoba province and also was Argentinian capital two times in its history.
We leave Mendoza for the townso f La Rioja and San Miguel de Tucumán. We are about to hitchhike again. Eventually, a truck driver recommends us to visit the town of Vallecito known mostly for the place called Difunta Correa.
The town is situated on the foothill of the Andes. It is a beautiful oasis made by man thanks to huge irrigation system supported by the rivers of Mendoza and Tunuyan. The town is the gateway into the Pacific Ocean. Climate is very pleasant, wind and rain are seldom here.
Upon several days in the large city of Cordoba we move on. Mendoza is our next stop. Once we find out that a cheap suburb train rides to the small town of Cosquin we take it. Moreover, the train rides in beautiful terrain. Sometimes even Argentinians who travel there with children are quite amazed by the beautiful vistas. They often get off the train at train stations just to buy breakfast. Before our stop, we get off the train by Lago San Roque lake. Opened in 1890,one of the largest submarine sinkholes in the world is the greatest attraction around. Only looking at it one gets scared. We hitchhike our ride from here to Villa Carlos Paz town.
Leaving La Rioja we set out to San Miguel de Tucumán. We wouldn't have even thought that we would visit local folk dance competition.
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