Day 41, 10FEB2017
Josh is great at arranging trips and tours for us on our travels and today he signed us up for a 25km bike ride through the National Park around Lago Moreno Oeste. Through the company Circuito Chico we were outfitted with mountain bikes, helmets, and bright orange jerseys then sent on our way.
We began our day with a packed bus ride from the city center to km 18. If traveling in and around Bariloche, invest in a go-card to use with the local buses. You need only one card regardless of how many people are in your party. Load the card with money at kiosks – if the kiosk has the ability to load the cards it will have a “SUBE” sign posted out front. We used the card for four days in Bariloche and between the two of us used just under 200 pesos. When you board the bus, mention to the bus driver what kilometer you intend to disembark, they will calculate the fare based on how far you will travel. This being said, Josh and I never quite trusted this system. In theory you’d pay less for a shorter distance, however we often paid more for the shorter distances than we did for the long distances.
Once set with our rental bikes and a map we were off!
The day was a gorgeous sun-shiney day, true to our natures I earned an even better tan while Josh burned. We biked the first 3 km and then stopped for an hour kayak trip around the lake.
The water was so clear even 15m from the shore you could still see through the blue-green mirror to the bottom. Josh and I powered through the hour working our upper body and exploring the rocky cliffs from the water.
After kayaking we hit the road again.
I am terrible at riding a bike.
It took an hour before I figured out the gears, and then once I had that under my sleeves, we seemed to hit steep hill after steep hill in a relentless fashion. A few times we had to stop and drag the bike to the top of the hill, and even if we didn’t, when we did make it to the top of a hill we had to take a break.
There were several overlooks along the route, bridges to stand and peak under, and plenty of birds to check out. It was on the final stretch of the trip, with our final 1 km of a straight climb that I finally fell off the bike.
This resulted in me deciding that bike riding is for killers.
We returned our bikes and then walked the half kilometer to Cerro Campanario. For 400 pesos we took the ski lift up the steep mountain and were presented with jaw dropping views. Surrounding us in each and every direction was nature at its finest.
Lakes filled the valleys, trees lushly painted the landscape green, and in the distance snow caped mountains stood starkly white against the afternoon’s cloudless blue sky. This place was where you could touch the Greek Gods and see why people escape the monotony of busy life to the peacefulness of nature.
We opted for afternoon tea atop this mountain, and with an incredible vantage point we scarfed down a huge slice of chocolate dulce de leche cake with coffees and the best ham and cheese empanadas we’ve had this entire trip.
After a few photo sessions, we caught the lift back down the hill and then the city bus back into town.
While kayaking today we met Alex, a fellow American traveler, and he invited us to join him tomorrow for the Frey Hike in Cerro Catedral. For this reason, when we returned to our AirBnB we quickly showered and walked over to the nearby grocery store to grab lunch for tomorrow’s hike and then empanadas from a take away eatery before bed.