Bariloche: Cycling the Circuito Chico

Tuesday 17th November 2015

We woke up around 8am, finished packing the bags, brought them down, had brekky at 8.30am, said good-bye to Amanda and Yann. I also asked Javier if he could write down name of bands they had been playing as I really loved the music they were playing there. He wrote a few names down and an American girl from Minnesota added a few more. That was cool! Then the taxi arrived at 9am, we said good-bye to everyone and went to the bus terminal. We could see it had snowed during the night as the peaks in the distance were covered with more snow.
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At the bus terminal, we waited a bit for the bus to arrive. We saw old cars passing by.
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There was this painting I had wanted to photograph when we had arrived and finally photographed. It represents a Mapuche man really known from the locals. This painting was added in the city in October 2010 when Mapuche people asked for a name of a street to be changed for his name to recognise his importance.
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I found this video about him and about Mapuche do “la trilla”, which means “threshing” in English, the action of beating the stems and husks of grain or cereal plants with a machine or flail to separate the grains or seeds from the straw. It shows also the sewing of seeds and a woman sings a Mapuche song and we can see people dancing. While all other native Indian cultures are now extinct, it is great that the Mapuche one survived in some ways.

The bus arrived at 9.45am.
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The bus ride was stunning again. The mountains kept disappearing and reappering and disappearing and reappering again, behind turns of the winding road, behind other mountains or in the fog.
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We passed some pretty lake, and kept seeing the yellow retama flowers everywhere.
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We arrived in Bariloche around 11.45am, the two hours went away really fast! We checked in again at the Penthouse 1004. This time we had a dorm room with a view over the Bariloche plaza. I went to the Turisur agency to check out about the tour going to Puerto Varas by bus boat bus boat bus boat.
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It was going the next day. It is a very scenic route which starts with a bus ride, then a boat ride, then a bus ride, then a boat ride and so on and I had heard it was really really pretty and was keen to get back to Chile through this route! Here is a map of the route it takes.
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I bought a ticket for it and then went back to the hostel. On my way back, I saw some huge “St. Bernard” dogs on the main plaza. In Switzerland, St. Bernard dogs were being breeded by monks to operate rescue of people in the Alps after avalanches. Now, why are these dogs being exhibited in Bariloche? Because Bariloche is looking a bit like Switzerland? Just another way of making money from tourists? Not sure…
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Annina and Claudio had prepared some sandwiches with the rest of the cheese we had and some ham and avocado and we had lunch. Then we wanted to cycle the Circuito Chico. We went to the bus. On our way to the bus stop we saw these trees which had been knitted. To keep them warm in winter. In case they get cold. Of course.
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If you think about it, they can`t pass the knitting on the tree so it must be knitted directly on it. Must be quite a long time and an art to be able to get it right and at the same time so beautiful! Pretty cool!
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While waiting for the bus, there was this advert which had been modified a bit.
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We took this local bus to Km18.
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It was a bit crowded so we were standing most of the way.
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I was laughing when seeing this sign in Spanish saying “Prohibido fumar y salivar.” In Spanish, salivar means “to spit” so it is just a normal sign, don`t smoke and  don`t spit. But in French, fumar is “fumer”, same thing but “saliver” is a verb meaning “to drool”, when you see great food and your mouth is watering, or just the simple act we all do without thinking about it of creating saliva which prevents our mouth to get dry. Was funny to think that on the bus you are not allowed to drool.
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There we walked a bit to the “Bike Cordillera” shop. Just before to get there, we hesitated for a bit. It was quite windy where we were standing and it looked really cloudy in the distance. We were not sure it was worth renting bicycles and cycling around for a few hours if it was to be really windy and rainy. But we  decided to go check it out and ask the guy and in the worst case, we could always cycle a little bit only and then turn back.
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The guy told us that it would be ok, that there was not much wind on most of the road as it was mostly in the forest. We rented the bicycles. While filling forms, it was funny to see he had candies in a tiny little iron bicycle holder. Cute.
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We shoot off, going left first so up north. Here was the itinerary of the road we were about to cycle.
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While cycling, I didn`t take much photos. I was slower than Claudio and Annina and didn`t want to slow them down even more. Here is just one shot of the road we were cycling, surrounded by tall pine trees, them disappearing in the distance.
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We stopped at a few viewpoints from which we had great views of the surroundings. Here are some photos of our ride.

Towards the end, it was 5pm so we still had about 2 hours and decided to stop at the Cerveza Artesanal Gilbert brewery. The bar was really cosy and had a warm feeling even if we were its only customers at that moment.
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We had some of the artesanal local beer. We felt like trying all of these..but that would have been pretty hard to cycle back to the shop ahahahahah.
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It was nice to warm up there. Annina and Claudio loved the music and danced Lindy hop on the last song before we left. It was so cool to watch them dance! I love lindy hop, charleston, swing. This is the music which makes me vibrate, much more than salsa, samba and all latin dances actually. So seeing them dance was really really cool!

We left and started to cycle back. We had this great view from one of the lookout.

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Snowy mountains in the distance.

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We saw this bird that you see over there around all the time.


Lake from a bridge

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The trees tell us about the wind..

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We cycled about 30 minutes back to the shop, we were just on time at 7pm to give back the bicycles.

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Then we changed clothes for dry clothes and took the bus back to the hostel. The bus on the way back was quite empty.

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Landscape seen from the bus.

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Approaching the building in which our hostel was.

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Cool old car next to it.

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There we warmed up the pumpkin soup we had left at the hostel three nights before, had salad and fruit salad too for dinner, packed the bags and went to bed.

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Tomorrow, off to Puerto Varas! Back to Chile again!