Trip in the lap of astonishing Andes in Argentina

#1 Aug 22nd, 2015, 06:15
Join Date:
Jan 2013
Location:
Buenos Aires, Argentina / Krishnagar, India
Posts:
176
  • Tourer is offline
#1
Though the trip was made exactly one year back, I did not write the TR here because I was confused about in which forum to share a TR which is not made in India, recently I came across this section which felt suitable to share my experience of that awesome trip. It was my first trip in Argentina where I am currently residing because of office assignments. Around this time in last year, I was yet to make a long trip here apart from some very short trip to nearby places of Buenos Aires. When I came to Argentina, the first place which was on my wish list to be visited was the Iguazu falls. So I started planning for the same, but later thought of going there later as suddenly I thought of skiing in the Andes, and this was the perfect time to do the same. And Bariloche was my favourite for this reason, as it was one of the most beautiful places here, which is called as Switzerland of Latin America.
I had a long weekend coming ahead just after ten days. And I could manage one more day leave at that time. So I planned to go during this time. But I was having really very short time to plan. Only ten days left and I am yet to book all the things! I have never done a proper tour in this manner and that also in a different country with Spanish speaking people! first when I told my plan to other people and asked if anyone is interested to join me nobody wished to go, rather advised that I also will not be able to make the trip with such a small time in hand without any booking ready. But I was stubborn to make it happen, hence thought of going alone. Going to such a place alone, was a tough decision, as more than 90% of the people there do not understand English and my Spanish communication skill was very very poor. But later one friend of mine joined me, though he also do not know Spanish. We have done the booking through Hostelsuites in Florida Street in Buenos Aires. We have booked the to and fro journey to Bariloche by bus. It was a long journey(more than 1600 km). But the buses were very comfortable, and having the food & toilet inside itself. And we wanted to see country through . Hence we booked the buses.
We waited eagerly for 15th August, the day of starting. On 15th , it was a weird feeling, as being an Indian, for the first time we did not get a holiday as usual on 15th August. But throughout the day I was excited for the trip. The bus was scheduled to start at 7: 30 p.m. We went to Retiro bus terminal. And then became totally puzzled. All the announcements & display were in Spanish, we could not understand from where we can get our bus. It was a huge terminal. Nobody could help me by talking in English. After a lot of search, we found out the counter for the wanted bus agency. The person told us to come there just ten minutes prior to the departure time. Then only the station of departure could be confirmed. We roamed for some time. At 7: 20 p.m., I went to the counter and what a shock. The gentleman told- “Sorry sir, you have missed your service, as your bus has already left”. I was so tensed to hear this.But after few minutes, he checked the ticket again, and informed that the bus has not left, and informed us the platform number. We ran to the terminal & got inside. We have reserved the first two seats in the first floor of the bus, to get the best view on the go .
Soon after we crossed the traffic of Buenos Aires we were served dinner. After that I relaxed, basically I like these nocturnal long journeys with soft tunes murmuring in the headphone of my Walkman. I can’t recall when I went to world of dreams. Well, in the morning I woke up little late. The bus had couple of 5- 10 minutes stoppages. Most of the whole day’s journey was through the endless grassland, without any trace of human beings. It was something which I had never seen in India.
At around 8:30 p.m. our journey ended at Bariloche. We got down in a small and deserted bus terminal. And soon all other people left, and we kept on waiting for our pick up cab as told by tour operator in Buenos Aires. After a while when we did not see any one coming, we called the tour operator help desk, but no answer! Then we called up the hostel number, first they denied of any bookings against our name! but later they confirmed it. After searching for some contact details of the cab operator at last we got it! Good thing was the operator understood English! At around 9:30 p.m. at last the cab came and dropped us to the hostel.
We got a room of six people. We befriended an Argentine guy and a Columbian girl. They were also staying in our room, it was a nice and enjoyable company. The guy was to leave on the next day, he could give us some more information about the place. After some time we cooked the food in the kitchen of the hostel, had dinner and went to sleep along with sweet sound of rain on the roof, eagerly waiting for our first experience of skiing on the next day.
Next morning we woke up early, had breakfast in our hostel and then asked the receptionist (we were lucky to have an English speaking lady) to help us by talking to the tour operators in Spanish and translating the required information to us. She called up the number and given us the direction to the tour agency office. When we went out the scenery was simply awesome. There was a huge lake just beside the city and in the opposite side of the lake there were snow clad mountains with their reflections on the lake water. We spent some time to enjoy the vista and then went on to search for the tour operator office. It was really tough to find it. But at last we got it. From there they have given us a ticket which was to be displayed at the base of Cerro Cathedral mountain skiing counter to get the skiing equipment. And they arranged for the cab also for the drop to Cerro cathedral. After a small journey we reached Cerro Cathedral mountain. We took our skiing gear and queued up in the line to get into the rope way to get on the mountain, there was a separate queue to get the ticket, so at first it was confusing and after coming to the end of the queue only we could understand this fact. So basically there were one queue where we had to book the ticket for the rope way to go on the mountain, then after getting the ticket we had to be in the queue to enter the rope way. Some time got wasted in all these, as both the queues were long. At last we got on the rope way and came to the mountain from where small chair lifts(it is like small rope way with small two seated chair instead of larger cable cars by which we came up to this place) would take us to the top of it from where we would come down via skiing. My friend got scared after coming this much and told that he do not want to break any bones by trying skiing which was completely unknown sport to both of us. We did not opt for any training thinking that the Spanish speaking instructor would not be very useful. But I did not want to miss the opportunity of giving it a try. Hence geared up, took a chair lift and went on top. The very moment when I came down of the chair lift, leave alone skiing, it became almost impossible to stand on the slope of snow, with those skiing boards on my legs! I was continuously slipping and falling as I was trying to stand on my feet! It was really very tough to come down by skiing, believe me though every other person was zooming away by skiing, without proper training it is really tough to do in this kind of slope. I literally got sweat in snow! But the view from the top of the mountain was simply mind blowing with snow clad peaks & blue lakes all around. I am just out of words to describe the beauty of the place. Just imagine fresh powdery snow clad mountain surrounded by numerous other similar peaks, and in the below the green valleys and blue coloured lakes are visible with their own marvel! I shall let the pictures do the talking instead of wasting so many words regarding the beauty.
After spending the whole day over there.we came back to city of Bariloche. In the evening we were roaming around the streets. The city was simply awesome with beautifully structured buildings. The chocolates of Bariloche was very famous. So I had lots of chocolates from a famous shop named Rapa Nui. Then went back to the hostel room. In the night had a long chat with the Columbian girl about both our countries, had a fun time and I danced also with her with the tune of an unknown Spanish song . Then went to bed & sleep conquered easily after the tiring day. We had to wake up early for the next day’s seven lakes tour.























#2 Aug 22nd, 2015, 09:06
Join Date:
Oct 2011
Location:
USA
Posts:
191
  • Ashgirl is offline
#2
I love your determination to do & see what you want ... to not miss on an opportunity.
#3 Aug 22nd, 2015, 11:57
It's all Greek to me, but Benglish will do
Join Date:
Dec 2005
Location:
over a 'wine-dark sea'
Posts:
16,375
  • theyyamdancer is offline
#3
Very interesting. Thank you for posting your travel report and pics. I particularly liked this line:

Quote:
Most of the whole day’s journey was through the endless grassland, without any trace of human beings. It was something which I had never seen in India.
You are totally crazy to ski down a mountain without any prior knowledge of how to ski.




Looking forward to more of this...
#4 Aug 22nd, 2015, 14:36
Join Date:
Oct 2007
Location:
Kolkata
Posts:
2,957
  • asishdas is offline
#4
Excellent! This is the first time I had read a travelogue on Argentina.

It seems that your assignment would keep you some more time in Argentina. Please share your trip stories, both short and long, with us. Also, please share your impressions about the people (of whom we know very little), their food, customs, dresses etc. etc. I'm sure it will be hugely interesting and will open up hitherto unknown vista of an exotic country.
#5 Aug 22nd, 2015, 16:48
Join Date:
Jan 2013
Location:
Buenos Aires, Argentina / Krishnagar, India
Posts:
176
  • Tourer is offline
#5
Thanks Ashgirl & Theyyamdancer for your notes of appreciation As my known people say, I am always very much adventure seeking, & may be that is why I did not want to waste this opportunity .
#6 Aug 22nd, 2015, 16:50
Join Date:
Jan 2013
Location:
Buenos Aires, Argentina / Krishnagar, India
Posts:
176
  • Tourer is offline
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashgirl View Post I love your determination to do & see what you want ... to not miss on an opportunity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by theyyamdancer View Post Very interesting. Thank you for posting your travel report and pics. I particularly liked this line:



You are totally crazy to ski down a mountain without any prior knowledge of how to ski.




Looking forward to more of this...
Thanks Ashgirl & Theyyamdancer for your notes of appreciation As my known people say, I am always very much adventure seeking, & may be that is why I did not want to waste this opportunity .
#7 Aug 22nd, 2015, 17:03
Join Date:
Jan 2013
Location:
Buenos Aires, Argentina / Krishnagar, India
Posts:
176
  • Tourer is offline
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by asishdas View Post Excellent! This is the first time I had read a travelogue on Argentina.

It seems that your assignment would keep you some more time in Argentina. Please share your trip stories, both short and long, with us. Also, please share your impressions about the people (of whom we know very little), their food, customs, dresses etc. etc. I'm sure it will be hugely interesting and will open up hitherto unknown vista of an exotic country.
Thanks Asish kaku for your appreciation. I am already here for close to one and half years. Now I am planning to to go back to India. But I have done some other trips also within this last one and half years, as I love travelling. This trip to Andes mountain was done in 2014 August. And due to the adventure bug inside me, I have done skydiving also here, which was an out of the world experience(if you wish, I shall share a photo of the same) . I shall try to write couple of more Trip reports regarding the other trips after completing this one. This is a very beautiful country indeed with awesome people, the only problem apart from missing the family members and Indian spicy foods here, is the problem with language, as people here speaks Spanish, and most of them(>90%, even in Govt. offices/ reputed banks/ in ATM displays also) do not know English at all, not even the numbers if you tell in English. And most of the websites & paperwork are also in Spanish only! The time zone & weather are also very much different as it is 8 and half hours behind Indian schedule. The climate is colder, and being in southern hemisphere, the winter and summer time is exactly opposite to that of India. The people are very helpful & in spite of easily distinguishing me as foreigner due to the darker Indian complexion, they do not try to cheat even though my Spanish communication skill also is still poor.
#8 Aug 23rd, 2015, 15:46
Join Date:
Feb 2009
Location:
Dis Location
Posts:
766
  • Sajish is offline
#8
Thank you for this, Tourer. Looking forward to more. I would have traveled to South America, had it not been for the prohibitive flights. :|
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tourer View Post This is a very beautiful country indeed with awesome people, the only problem apart from missing the family members and Indian spicy foods here, is the problem with language, as people here speaks Spanish, and most of them(>90%, even in Govt. offices/ reputed banks/ in ATM displays also) do not know English at all, not even the numbers if you tell in English. And most of the websites & paperwork are also in Spanish only! The time zone & weather are also very much different as it is 8 and half hours behind Indian schedule. The climate is colder, and being in southern hemisphere, the winter and summer time is exactly opposite to that of India.
Are they looking for a replacement for you?
#9 Aug 24th, 2015, 02:24
Join Date:
Jan 2013
Location:
Buenos Aires, Argentina / Krishnagar, India
Posts:
176
  • Tourer is offline
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sajish View Post Thank you for this, Tourer. Looking forward to more. I would have traveled to South America, had it not been for the prohibitive flights. :|

Are they looking for a replacement for you?
Currently I am looking for a replacement so that I can travel back to India
#10 Aug 24th, 2015, 22:19
Join Date:
Jan 2013
Location:
Buenos Aires, Argentina / Krishnagar, India
Posts:
176
  • Tourer is offline
#10
The next day we woke up early in the morning as the seven lakes tour to a town called San Martin De Los Andes was scheduled to be started at around 6:30 am in the morning. My friend & I have booked two tickets in a minivan kind of vehicle. Just after waking up and being refreshed quickly, we started our journey . The very first reddish rays of rising sun kissing the mountains & the reflection of the light on the lakes made it a scene to behold. The driver cum guide was continuously telling about numerous things, but as all were told in Spanish, I found it better to soak in the music of my headphones. Actually we were scheduled to come across total seven different lakes to the town of San Martin De Los Andes, which is around 200 km away and come back on the same day. The road condition was very good. Here I must mention that the road condition for the entire 1600 km stretch of Buenos Aires to Bariloche was very good, even though most of the places were completely devoid of any locality ( as seen in one of the photos in my earlier posts). The journey itself as well as the San Martin town was simply marvelous. Various lakes were having different coloured waters. Some were having turquoise, some green, some deep blue, some are very much transparent. Each of them was very beautiful. The day was freezing cold with sub-zero temperature. Last night´s frost did cover the grasses beside the roads. We had multiple stops in front of various lakes for some time. The places were looking like just out of wallpapers! Yes, that beautiful! I tried to catch a fragrance of the same in my lenses. It was too cold to take my fingers out of my thick gloves in order to take the snaps! After a lot of such stoppages at last we reached the town. The place seemed to be coming out of a fairy tale story book with blue coloured lakes with small boats with sails & green mountains around, small stone paved roads, beautiful parks, and all the cute Swiss cottages. I should mention that San Martin de Los Andes as well as Bariloche are the most beautiful towns I have ever seen in my life! We were strolling around in the avenues, but it was really tough to stay too long beside the area of the lakes because of the bone chilling cold wind. After spending a wonderful day, we came back. This evening also we roamed around the streets of Bariloche and took some more pictures of this picturesque city. And again I had a feast of chocolates & ice cream. Then came back to the hostel, cooked our food and went to bed. Next morning´s sunrise also, as seen from the lakeside here, was mind blowing with a riot of red on the water of the lake & the snow covered mountain. This day we did not have any other plan other than spending some time there before getting the bus back to Buenos Aires.

The police station in Bariloche

Some photos of the wonderful lakes on the way to San Martin de Los Andes







Some snaps of San Martin de Los Andes, felt like a town straight out of the pages of fairy tale stories.












Some more photos of beautiful Bariloche




Sunset in Bariloche

The onset of evening, with the moonlit mountain of Andes
A snowman made in front of a chocolate shop in Bariloche

The superb sunrise






The dining hall of our hostel

The food provided in the bus

One vacant bus stop on the way back to Buenos Aires, this town of Neucuen was the most populous city in the whole route!

A night snap taken from the bus while returning back to Buenos Aires

Sunrise seen from the bus while returning
#11 Aug 24th, 2015, 22:27
Passion for Football & Trekking never die
Join Date:
Aug 2009
Location:
Kolkata
Posts:
2,823
  • Legend is offline
#11
Can't ask for anything more than that...your snaps tells everything....Wonderful snaps ...just speechless...
Rules r meant to be broken
But!!!!!!
Don't break rules in Himalaya
Please Keep Himalaya clean & plastic free
#12 Aug 24th, 2015, 22:56
Join Date:
Jan 2013
Location:
Buenos Aires, Argentina / Krishnagar, India
Posts:
176
  • Tourer is offline
#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Legend View Post Can't ask for anything more than that...your snaps tells everything....Wonderful snaps ...just speechless...
Thanks for your appreciation
#13 Aug 24th, 2015, 22:56
It's all Greek to me, but Benglish will do
Join Date:
Dec 2005
Location:
over a 'wine-dark sea'
Posts:
16,375
  • theyyamdancer is offline
#13
Patagonia is definitely on my wish list.
#14 Aug 24th, 2015, 23:01
Join Date:
Jan 2013
Location:
Buenos Aires, Argentina / Krishnagar, India
Posts:
176
  • Tourer is offline
#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by theyyamdancer View Post Patagonia is definitely on my wish list.
Sure!! Come to these places, Patagonian beauty will make you more than happy
#15 Aug 25th, 2015, 00:00
Join Date:
Oct 2004
Location:
Chennai, India
Posts:
70,780
  • Nick-H is offline
#15
You look so confident in the photo with the skis! Can't imagine that next you would be stripping and sliding everywhere

Not many people would have the courage to learn to ski this way.

Thank you for sharing the trip and the excellent photos.
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.

Posting Rules

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Forum Rules»
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2
© IndiaMike.com 2018
Page Load Success