#ilovehiking #bazzalouche #horses
24hr bus, easy. Travelling with a couple = pot luck at coach partners = playing bus musical chairs to avoid fat man who smells of fish. Bus stops to pick up more people, musical chairs continues. Sleep deprived.
Having before been unenthusiastic about the idea of mountains lacking snow and the potential to ski, Bariloche, set snugly in the stunning lower-Andes, has completely converted me to summer mountains.
Horseriding to the heights, lead by gauchos in excellent berets, let down only slightly by Blauth’s horse who, named after a flightless bird, felt little need for speed.
Kayaking across a vast lake, to break at sunset for mate (the herbal go-to drink in Argentinian socialising – tastes somewhere between green tea and that sawdust that horses sleep on) and a quick dip in the fresh/extremely icy waters. Returning back through the middle of the deserted, still waters, lined either side by majestic mountains; the sky, as Const pointed out, the colours of the Argentinian flag.
Refugio Frey Hike. Having before considered a long hike/walk where you end up where you started relatively futile, Bariloche, once again, has converted me.
At a height of 2133m, we climbed, scrambled and slid our way around the mountains which gave onto staggering views of snow-capped peaks and green valleys, with only the sound of the crashing river below to break the silence.
Just before the oasis of the Refugio after 12km, we encounter a group of 15 Americans with backpacks and walking sticks, who ask us how long we’ve been walking for. We respond with 5hrs; they reply with 30days. As much as Bariloche is beautiful, my feet when we arrive back at the hostel after 9hrs and 22km of terrain that at points looked like Mars, would feel that was pushing it slightly.
That said, climbing over huge rocks, jumping over brooks and drinking the fresh mountain water is something really special, and is definitely a few hundred times better than Gold DofE in sodden Dartmoor.