We arrived in Buenos Aires in early January and spent a few days checking out the city. In many ways, BA reminded us of a smaller, more spread-out NYC…with more of a European influence. As expected, the language barrier made everything more of a hassle, and we spent many hours sorting out our cell phones, buying bus tickets, and even losing one ATM card in the machine. (That was fun to explain in our Spanglish!)
We also checked out one of the climbing gyms in BA. The guy-to-girl ratio was exactly the same, it smelled of stinky feet, and there was lots of beta-talk. Good to see some things remain the same wherever you go!
We’d decided take an overnight bus to reach Bariloche, a city in the south at the start of Patagonia. While not necessarily cheap, buses here are much less pricey than flights–and you get to chose the ‘class’ of bus. Ours was cama ejecutivo, meaning wide seats that recline and meals/drinks are served by an attendant, like on a plane. The long-distance bus station even tags your baggage when you board.
Surrounded by national parks, Bariloche is situated on the edge of a series of lakes. In the summer, the town of Bariloche means hiking, trekking, biking, kiting, climbing, boating, kayaking. Winter brings lots of snow and therefore skiing and snowboarding. With log houses, a working public transport system, chocolate shops on every corner, fondue restaurants, and the mountain vistas, you might think you’re in Switzerland.
Our first day here, we rented a scooter and cruised around the outskirts of town, to check out a few of the local sport climbing spots and get a sense for the area.
Trout fishing on the Limay with Harrison, a seasoned Montana rancher we met through our Spanish school. He and his wife Lynne have been our patron saints for the last few weeks – graciously hosting us in their rented apartment in town.
We’ll be based in Bariloche, climbing and learning Spanish, until mid-February when we continue our adventures further south and into Chile.