I’m honestly just loving being here. This is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to, and I feel like being here is just in order. I’ve been a little bit tired, this past week, not so much physically, but drained. I feel like everytime I’ve wanted to say something it hasn’t been coming out right- or worse, I end up inadvertenly saying something I really would’ve never meant to say willingly without realizing it, whilst trying to say something else. I feel really bad when that happens. I think that might’ve come from pushing myself pretty hard lately. I’ve been writing something that’s very close to me and also very long. It’s the most intense thing I’ve written, and I’ve been working on it dilligently everyday for the past week and a half. It’s nearing completion, but I think taking a break right about now could just be a very good idea. And what could be a better break than travelling?
Anyways, no more about me. Let’s talk Bariloche. I left Buenos Aires at 7 P.M. last night and I arrived at 4 in the afternoon. That’s about 20 hours on a bus. I had a pretty comfy seat, but that’s still quite a journey. How did I get by?
Well, first they played a couple hours of mostly 80’s music videos on the bus. Duran Duran, Bon Jovi, Europe, all the big hair classics. After I was amused by a few of those, they served dinner, which was bus food, so it had limits about how good it could possibly be. They started playing Premonition, but just when that movie got interesting, I fell asleep. I slept till nine in the morning, and I even had an interesting dream, but I forgot it. I spent the rest of the time listening to all I loaded up on my iPod. It was quite a diverse mix. I would go from hearing a talk at Woodland, to Sleigh Bells, to Harry Potter on audiobook, to a podcast on philosophy, to some more music, to nothing at all but thinking and praying. After a while, the view outside the window turned amazing, and I just had to take a bunch of pictures.
We got to Hostel Alaska (yes, Alaska) fairly easily. I’ve used a lot of hostels over the past year, but I’m leaning towards saying this is the best hostel I’ve stayed at yet. It looks like a nice little wood cabin, with deep sloping ceilings, dens, flannel bedsheets, wooden everything, guitars, and cats. It lives up to it’s Alaskan name. Just outside and across the street is a massive, beautiful lake right in front of mountains. Everyone staying with me is awesome. I came here with my friends Mandy and Sarah. We met Brian and Elaina at the hostel. We also made friends with some other U.S. students who go to Belgrano from Texas and New York, Dan, Meg, and Kathleen. Our hostel owner Javier is one of the nicest I’ve ever dealt with. This place feels incredibly homely, and I wouldn’t mind living in a place that looks like this. You’ll just have to wait for me to get back to my computer to put up some real pictures.
Bariloche is a very interesting city. It’s on the edge of Patagonia meaning it’s got everything Patagonia is known for- namely gorgeousness. It has a lot of pine trees, some of the bluest lakes in the world, rocky coasts, and views of Patagonia and the Andes mountain ranges. It feels partly unreal. The woodsy natural setting matches all of the cabinlike buildings that are around. There’s no shortage of outdoor activity, and it’s really serene. It feels good to get to some nature after very urban living in Buenos Aires. The scent of the air is perfect. It’s nature, mixed with chocolate. It reminds me a lot of the Pacific Northwest, the only other reminder of where you are is the Spanish signage on everything. For that reason, I’ve dubbed it Latin Oregon.
We’re possibly renting bikes and doing a 20km loop tomorrow. I really miss biking, so I’m excited. There’s also paragliding, swimming, and kayaking around. I’ll see how much of that I can afford. Javier seems to know the best way to do everything around here.
After freshening up in the hostel, we went out to the town, since I forgot to pack swim trunks. I bought some for only a bit over ten bucks. We then walked up to a plaza by the city center which had the strangest juxtaposition of activity. While the capital building, which also looked like a cabin, was on one side, the view of the sun setting over a lake and mountains stood on the other. Adorable pure bred dogs walked around, with barrels around their collar for people to put money into to get photos taken. A lot of families had small babies around. Skateboarders flew all over the place. To make it even more chaotic, every car was driving around in a circle honking, since someone just got married. It was bizzare.
We went to a nearby marketplace. Mandy and I bought chullos, which were definitely on my to-buy list. We made it onwards to Dias de Zapata, a Mexican restaurant. I’ve been missing Mexican food. I didn’t get anything spicy, but the macho burrito I ordered was great, and I had it alongside a salad, guacamole, and a bottle of Quilmes. Afterwards we wandered around and found a chocolate shop. Bariloche is Argentina’s chocolate capital, and that’s a must. I ordered a couple of really nice pieces which only came out to five pesos. Still remaining to be tried are Patagonian lamb and Calafate Berry ice cream.
I’m completely thankful to be here right now. It’s a trip-within-a-trip. It just feels like a great break from feeling like I’ve been overanalyzing things lately, and in a gorgeous place nonetheless.