first days in bariloche

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!)

Snapped this with my phone at a dinner spot in San Telmo, our local neighborhood in BA…
tango sunday

While BA offers many cool things to see and do, heading to the city’s beaches is NOT an activity we’d suggest…
worst beach ever!

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.

A yummy hot chocolate from Mamuschka and our first lesson in yerba mate
chocolate caliente primero mate (prepared by felipe)

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.

This lago (lake) is right by Morenito, one of the climbing spots

Off the main roads with the scooter

One of the awesome classic cars still in day-to-day use here (how do they keep them in such good shape?)

Empanadas – Argentina’s fast food equivalent!

Our gracious host and Spanish teacher Aleluya (front right) and some other students and teachers from the Ecela Spanish school in town

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.
Fishing on Rio Limay, Rio Negro, Argentina

Views from a lookout at the outskirts of town


We’ll be based in Bariloche, climbing and learning Spanish, until mid-February when we continue our adventures further south and into Chile.

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3 Responses to first days in bariloche

  1. kim says:

    hey – my boyfriend and i have just arrived in bariloche and are hoping to get out to do some climbing (we have gear etc), any recommendations on best crags? best travel option (we dont have a vehicle)…any other local info for good spots in and around town? Thanks so much for any info you can share…really we’re just looking to find a cool spot where we can chill out and climb for a week or so, so any info you have further afield in Chile would be fabulous as well. we fly from santiago end of March…

  2. ian stone says:

    Did you get a chance to see the climbing wall at the North Face in Santiago? I was there to buy some boots but didn’t have the gear or time to try it out.

  3. capetownsteve says:

    No, unfortunately we didn’t. Is it a full on training wall or just a demo wall?

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