From San Martin to Bariloche

Saturday 14th November 2015

With Claudio and Annina, we had breakfast with Daniel. Kept reading about France news. What happened was just so sad, so horrible. I was glad to know that my family and that all my friends were ok and their family and friends too.  What a relief. Couldn`t help thinking of what had happened at the Bataclan and how families of some who were there would still be searching for information or how they had learnt about the terrible news. Their daughter died. Their son died. A brother. A sister. A cousin. Who knows.  My brother almost went to that Bataclan concert. He could have died. Can you imagine? Your daughter or son or brother or sister goes to that concert that night and in the evening or in the next morning, you learn that they have been shot by some fanatics? While what they just wanted to do was to go see their favourite band and listen to some music? It must be completely surreal. You must be processing this in your head and thinking: “What?? This can`t be true. This just can`t be true.” More than 120 people got killed, shot. Innocent young people mostly who don`t care about politics, who just want to have a normal life and like music. What happened is a tragedy. It is horrible and made me super sad all day.

We said good-bye to Daniel who was staying for a few more days in San Martin de los Andes, got picked up at 8.30am by the mini-van and picked up a few more people and off we went to see 7 lakes.  First we drove with Lago Lacar on our right, the one next to which San Martin de Los Andes is.
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We passed a group of houses and the driver-guide said that it was belonging to Mapuche families.

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The first of the seven lakes we stopped at was Lago Machonico.
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Here we are at the first lake with the mini-van.
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Next we stopped at a waterfall.
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Walking closer to the waterfall, there were those cows just behind the fence.
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Then we stopped at the second lake called Lago Falkner.
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The third lake was Lago Villarino.
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It was my favourite lake because of the cool reflections of the mountains in the water.
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The fourth lake was Lago Escondido. We couldn`t see it really well.
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Looking up was giving a much more interesting view.
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The fifth lake was Lago Correntoso.
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The sixth lake was Lago Espejo which means Mirror lake. I asked why it was asked like that and he said that probably when the guy who gave the name to the lake came, there may have been no wind and the lake would have reflected the sky in a mirror-like manor, but actually most of the time, there was wind at this lake.
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Learning about Didymo alga there

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Then we saw this huge house and went around it. It was somehow important to Argentinian people but not really sure why or what the name of it was.

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We arrived at Villa La Angostura where we stopped for 4O minutes.
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There was a small maritime museum where they were explaining how the wood canoes used in the past by Native Indians were being built.
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There were a few photos from the beginning of the century of Mapuche on their canoes.
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We were there on the 7th lake, Lago Nahuel Huapi.

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There was a closed Parque Nacional office, a pier where people could buy boat tickets. Some food stalls where we bought some snack and coffee. Then we left and stopped at another place popular with Argentinians, a luxury resort which was one of the first resort built on a lake.
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We saw some pretty ducks there.
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Then we drove alongside the huge Nahuel Huapi lake towards Bariloche.
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We could see snowy peaks in the background.
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We saw Bariloche in the distance.
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We passed some locals on horses dressed up who seemed to be going somewhere.
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In Bariloche, we passed a Carrefour. I was surprised to see one there as I had seen none until now.
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We got dropped at our hostel, the Penthouse 1004. We went to the 10th floor of the Civic Centre where it was located. The lounge area was pretty.
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The view of Bariloche from this floor was even prettier. To the left.
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To the right.
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We walked to Club Andino to get some information about hikes but it was closed.
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We went to the Parque Nacional office instead and it was opened.
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The guy showed us a map and pointed to multi-day hike in the area of Lago Moreno, around Refugio Frey, Refugio San Martin and Refugio Italia which could be great but the second and third days meant walking in the snow in some sections. I didn`t have the shoes for that, but besides it also meant we had a higher risk of getting lost. He suggested that we could do a shorter walk in 2 days involving less snow with Day 1 being the same. There would still be a bit of snow though.
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Then he told us about another hike possibility of 3 days going from Lago Mascardi to Lago Steffen. We would need to find a car and hitch-hike to Lago Mascardi but he said there was quite some cars passing by. Then could walk to Lago Mascardi about 6 kilometers, sleep there. Then the second day do the long 20 kilometers stretch to Lago Steffen, sleep there and then get back to the road and hitch-hike back. The only thing was that this area was quite muddy and also the scenery was not that interesting and the weather forecast said it would probably rain on Day 2 and on Day 3. At first, this was still the most interesting walk we thought of doing because it didn`t involve any snow but we were not that enthusiastic about it though. We decided to walk around and have lunch and then decide.
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We went to check the main plaza first.
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We also went to check out the lake. People were doing some exercise on the free gym equipment found in many places near lakes in Chile. There were some kite-surfers in the water. In another spot of the plaza, some people were playing music and dancing.

I couldn`t stop thinking of what had happened in France, far away from all this worry-less activity going on around me.  I was sad but life around me kept going, oblivious to events who had happened so far away. The main plaza reminded me of the abuelas, of the desaparecidos of Argentina, of the fact this country had also had its lot of sadness and suffering in the past, a time when France might have been dancing and singing while people in Argentina were mourning.
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We saw this really cool tag of a ruling tagger cat.
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And off a cool monkey listening to music.
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We went for lunch nearby at a place called Morphy`s. We each had a salad. Here was mine.
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During lunch, Claudio started feeling that his right ear was playing up and hurting him and he started feeling sick. We went back to the hostel and chilled out a bit there. I tried to catch-up with the blogging but was struggling. Annina came to me and told me Claudio was getting worse and best would probably to not go hiking the next day. We went to go buy food and medication but she was not looking a bit white so she went back to the hostel, I went for these quick errands, came back and we cooked. The kitchen was pretty wide and quite busy all evening long.

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While cooking, we met Amanda and Yann who were both Swiss-French. Amanda had a lot of her family living in Paris and was very affected too by what had happened, and it felt really good talking with her about what had just happened, even if it put us both on the verge of crying. We also talked about travelling and life and sport. She was a super-active girl, the most sporty I have met so far. She was a kite-surfing teacher, had done lots of windsurfing, diving, horse-riding, cycling, running, so many sports. She had travelled the world to many places. Amanda told us about El Bolson, where they were heading to the next day. It looked great! Until that moment, I had vaguely thought about it only, and not considered going there at all yet but she made me much more curious about it.

We had dinner and then went to bed.

Tomorrow morning, let`s see what we wanna do!