Sunday, February 8, 2009

"Rest days" in Bariloche.

Having signed up for a weeks worth of Spanish/Latin American lessons in Bariloche, Gemma was busy for 6 hours each day, Monday to Friday. These lessons were all about helping Gem overcome the confusion with forming verbs and their gender etc...

Ian had decided that he didn´t need to do this because pointing and shouting was working rather well.

In total we spent 8 days in Bariloche. There is so much to do in the surrounding area we could easily have stayed for another week. However, the frequency of the visits to chocolate and ice-cream shops was increasing and so were our waistlines, yummy!

While Gemma was off being baffled with irregular verbs every day, Ian decided to "relax" on his rest days in the only way he knew how... bike rides!
Cycling up a mountain wasn´t enough, he then cycled to the bottom of another one and walked up it. Follow this up with a 50 mile ride out to a village with nothing there, due to boredom, and you have yourself a good candidate for admission to a special hopsital.

It was during this boredom that Ian realised there might be only way of getting out of Bariloche. Gemma had been dazzled by the lights in the chocolate shops so there was only one thing for it. A photo of Gemma was handed in to every chocolate and ice cream shop in town with a strict note not to sell her anything else.

We just might get out of here afterall.

To end our stay we both went out for the day in spectacular weather to scale yet another mountain. Cerro Catedral is the largest peak near Bariloche and a huge centre for outdoor activities year round. We decided the best activity was to ride the cable-car all the way to the top and save ourselves for the evening finale.

The views from the top of Cerro Catedral were nothing short of spectacular. Panoramic views in all directions of hundreds of lakes, mountains and volcanoes. Lots of photos taken.

Feeling adventurous Ian searched out a small remaining patch of ice and tried some butt-skiing.
There is a video of this event which the blog page does not seem to want to upload. We will keep trying and in the mean time we assure you it was in no way dangerous and that Ian would never do anything stupid without proper guidance or any safety measures in place. Having said that, can anyone donate us some new pants and trousers?
Once down the bottom the evening finale was to begin. Posters all over town had been advertising this event for ages - The Annual Bariloche Music Festival held at the Swiss Colony. With Bariloche being the premier holiday destination for thousands of people every summer, we arrived expecting Glastonbury, Woodstock, Rio Carnival even... it was potentially huge.
The bus dropped us outside a house with a nice garden. In the garden was a wooden platform, some speakers, a BBQ, a couple of portaloos and a beer stand or two. Approximately 500 people had managed to find themselves places to sit and wait for the acts. We were given a few starved looking drummers with something that could have been easily replicated by an infant school music class. At least they had some local food and beer to keep us occupied.

The next two acts were no better and within a couple of hours we were on the bus back to the tent. With Rio Carnival just days away, there was obviously a reason these acts were here and not there.

So tomorrow we leave Bariloche and begin our journey through the 7 Lakes route north. Lots of beautiful camping, great lakes and probably some hills. It´s suposed to be beautiful, it certainly looks it from the top of the mountains here.
Love to all xxx

1 comment:

Globalmum said...

Ah! I'm really hoping that you can get the video up here - I love the idea of you 'butt skiing' Ian. We have snow again here - but you're not missing much! Loads of love to you both, Mum (2)