Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina

Even on Google earth when you look at the Map of Patagonia, one can not stare in awe as you see the perfect line the Andes makes. On the east is lush green while on the western side it is brown and dull.

– View over the lake

Choosing the perfect rainy day we pack our backpacks and headed to the bus station, Cruz del Sur is the bus company we chose and our ride for the next 6 hours to San Carlos de Bariloche located only 135km as the crow flies from Puerto Varas to the east.

– Coming through the Andes

As our journey enters the Andes mountains we are treated to old forests lining the sky and 200-meter waterfalls descending into the lush green valleys and lakes. As we crossed over the border the environment changes completely and the sky becomes clear blue and the forest becomes grey and the trees much frailer.

– Nahuel Huapi Lake

The bus takes us along the Nahuel Huapi Lake, and as the landscape becomes drier and desert-like you can see the city of San Carlos de Bariloche on the opposite bank of the lake and at the foothills of the Andes.

– Nahuel Huapi Lake

The bus drops us off on the outskirts of Bariloche and we walk the 3km to our home for the next few days. Marius rented us a modern apartment overlooking the lake located inside the city.

– View from our apartment over Bariloche and Nahuel Huapi Lake

The streets of Bariloche is lined with Artesian Chocolatiers and ski shops. A few microbreweries with a huge selection of craft beers and our favourite so far is from the Bachmann Brewery.

– Having some tasters at Bachmann

– Inside one of the many chocolatiers

– Bariloche Cathedral

The name Bariloche comes from the Mapudungun word Vuriloche meaning “people from behind the mountain”. San Carlos de Bariloche, usually known as Bariloche, is a city in the province of Río Negro, Argentina. The city emerged in the 1930s and 1940s as a major tourism centre with ski, trekking and mountaineering facilities.

We spend the next day looking for gloves for our trip to Puerto Natales and trying out all the Chocolates we could master. I have decided that if we ever return to South Africa to start a Coffee shop and become a Chocolatier ;-).

In the afternoon we took a private boat out across the lake and around the surrounding islands. Our guide, and seeing that neither Marius or myself can remember her name we will just call her, Florencia took us on a historical journey along the bay.

– Marius and Florencia

– A sunken ship in the lake, we use these devices to see underwater

In 1995, Bariloche made headlines in the international press when it became known as a haven for Nazi war criminals, such as the former SS Hauptsturmführer Erich Priebke. Priebke had been the director of the German School of Bariloche for many years.

– Built by the Nazis

In his 2004 book Bariloche nazi-guía turística, Argentine author Abel Basti claims that Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun lived in the surroundings of Bariloche for many years after World War II. Basti said that the Argentine Nazis chose the estate of Inalco as Hitler’s refuge.

– View of San Carlos de Bariloche from the lake

The evening we went out for a draft at Konna Cerveceria, the small establishment was so packed that we could not even find a table, eventually, we just ordered 2 drafts each and made ourselves comfortable against the wall in the entryway.

Standing there a dog (and I’m not referring to an ugly girl) came strolling by did its rounds and went out again, interesting as the breweries logo is also a dog.

– Marius in front of Konna