Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bariloche to San Martin de los Andes

Finding a Hostel in Bariloche


When entering Bariloche we went straight to the tourist information office, for accomodation guidance. We found a relatively cheap hostel (45 AR$), Punto Sur (, and bargained on its price (40 AR$). Sometimes, if you stay for a few nights you can get a discount. It wasn´t the fanciest hostel we found as it had a shower/bathroom, the breakfast was just some toasts with jam and butter from the freezer, and the computers there weren´t very fast.


However, Martin, the owner, was very helpful and cheerful, and offered us a private room, and the kitchen was very well equipped, and we made great Gnocchi there, with soy beans and tomato sauce.


We followed the advice of Daniel, who has been working there for the past two weeks, and went out to eat good and cheap icecream. We spent the next few days going over all the camping shops in town looking for waterproof clothing.


We found good gloves, but when we finally decided we wanted them, the right size was gone. At the end we just bought rain pants for Shoham (490 AR$). We found an interesting nature shop, and bought there many spices, grains, olive oil, 1 kg of honey and bad expensive chocolate. Only later we started thinking about the border crossing to Chile, which should happen in less then a week of riding, where we are not allowed to pass any food. We followed the advice of the vendor and went to her mother´s bakery where we bought terribly expensive healthy cookies (80 AR$/kg). We ate lunch in a pizza-pasta restaurant. This was the first restaurant ever to understand that we wanted half a pizza with cheese and the other half without it and with extra garlic.


In the middle of town we found 2 wandering Argentinian cyclists, Cris and Lukas, who were on a small bicycle trip from San Martin de los Andes to Esquel, and planned to camp at the expensive camping outside of town. We advised them to come to our hostel, and indeed we met them there later.

We gave them some presents: Shoham´s old rain pants and maps of the Los Alerces NP. We invited them to dinner, and Amit cooked ful (broad beans) and burgul (bulgur).

Getting out
We left the ugly city of Bariloche after spending 3 nights there.


We had 20 km of bad face wind, but after that the wind calmed down a bit thanks to the mountains surrounding us.



We found a perfect camping spot next to the sign: ¨fire and camping are forbidden¨.


In the morning we reached a very touristic and expensive town called Villa La Angostura. There we met again Alex and Fabrizzio (, the Swiss cyclists, who had to spend 5 nights at the expensive camping site, recuperating from some illness they had.


7 Lagos
We went on to the ¨Seven Lakes¨ road, which is a partly paved road that passes through some lakes (we saw only 5 of them including a lake we passed twice...).


This road exists only for tourists, and plenty of them. We saw also many beginner cyclists who rented bicycles just for a couple of days on this road.


In the evening, Amit´s tire exploded. Because of that delay we didn´t make it to a free camping recommended by the 2 Argentinian cyclists. Therefore we had to hide in the forest.


Remembering all the food we had to get rid off until Chile, we made a delicious dish of rice with peanut, honey and curry sauce.


In the morning, everything arround us was covered with frost, but the sky was very clear so we expected a sunny day, and took off the warm clothes before cycling.


We reached a road block where a Caterpillar tracktor was tearing trees on a very steep slope, to help make a supporting wall.


Right after that, the road was again paved, and we got a beatiful view of one of the (seven?) lakes.


We passed many Mirradors, where cars stopped, the people got off, took pictures and went on, and we ate lunch in one of them.



In the 10 km descent from the ski resort to San Martin de los Andes we saw numerous cyclists. We then passed around the lake, and saw even more cyclists, and some people walking on the road.

San Martin de los Andes


We went to the only camping site ran by ACA (fuel company), that gives discounts only for motorcars that are members of ACA club, and is otherwise quite expensive (30 AR$). The only thing it offers is hot water and showers, there is not even grass to put the tent on.


Nevertheless, we decided to stay because we liked the town a lot. Again we spent a couple of days entering all the camping shops in town, and this time we bought a TheNorthFace rain coat for Shoham (664 AR$).


We also fixed our bicycles at Sun & Ski Sports (Av. San Martin 414, we bought spare tires (58 AR$) and brake pads (12 AR$) and changed the whole gear system (250 AR$) in both our bikes. All the people that work there, and also another friend that spends a lot of time there and is a talented seller, are super nice, and the mechanics are very professional. One of them has been working there for half of his life, from the age of 13.


In the camping we met again Alex and Fabrizzio (, who were planning to take a different road to Chile, and also Philipp & Isa (, also from Switzerland, whom we met in the entrance to Torres del Paine NP, on their way south (they later took a bus from Ushuaia to El Calafate and continued north). We met also two French cyclists, and a Japanese cyclist, Hide, on his way to Alaska (good luck there!). We hope to fix our tent here before leaving, so that we can sleep with a closed tent at night (Amit is the only one of us capable to almost close the zippers). We plan to cross to Chile and get to Pucon in about 4 days.


                     Shoham & Amit

No comments:

Post a Comment