After eleven years living, dancing, teaching tango, and writing in Buenos Aires, I came home to L.A. in 2014, where I'm reconstructing my life.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Patagonia--Land O'Lakes 'n Chocolate

Plaza in San Carlos de Bariloche and Lago Nahuel Huapi

 Pristine waters, snow-capped mountains, fresh, clean air, piney forests--I had been dreaming about it for so long.

So when  DescuentoCity had a promotion for a week's trip for two to Patagonia and the Lake District, including air, at half price, we snapped it up.

Beef fondue just like in Switzerland

Our first stop was in San Carlos de Bariloche, the main town and the hub of most activities, including tango--we found a milonga downstairs in the Casino.
Espejo or Mirror Lake

 We passed along the Ruta de los Siete Lagos on the way to San Martin de los Andes, a posh ski center with wonderful restaurants and ski and chocolate shops. (No one leaves Patagonia without a box of chocolates!)
The most famous and pricey of chocolates is Mamushka

Santuario Nuestra Senora de las Nieves, Our Lady of the Snows, in Junin de los Andes

The windows all had scenes of local life

Lago Escondido

 Being low season and between foliage a month ago and snow next month, it felt like we had all Patagonia to ourselves!

I had heard so much about Bariloche and its Alpine architecture and chocolates that I expected it to be kitschy and Disneyesque. Instead, the chalets are charming and the region indeed reminded me of the Swiss and French Alps, where I have spent a lot of time in the past. The landscape and flora are reminiscent also of Lake Tahoe and Taos, New Mexico, and, in places, even Palm Springs.

Villa La Angostura was our final stop for two nights at the luxuriously peaceful country inn on the lake shore, La Posada. The quiet little town doesn't have much of anything to do, and so finally we just relaxed.

Shopping arcade in Villa La Angostura

view from our room
We toured National Parks, ate lunch at a Mapuche lodge in the woods, and snapped away because every moment was a photo opp. We also picked up the occasional piece of trash to carry back to town, as the whole area is super environmentally conscious. If you fish (with a license, of course) you can only keep one fish per day. But the restaurants are full of trout and Patagonian lamb. The good food and the pure air made me feel wonderful.

I can't wait to go back!


Tango Salon Adelaide said...

I'm quite envious, Cherie. During our stay in BsAs last month we had planned to go to San Martin de los Andes, but the very wintry weather reports put us off! Maybe next time.

tangocherie said...

Sorry you didn't go because a month ago the foliage was in all of its glory! But anyway, you had more time for tango in BsAs. And you can visit Patagonia next trip. While I loved the autumn there, I want to try summertime in Bariloche.

Katie said...

Cherie, I'm so glad you enjoyed your trip to Patagonia! Aren't we lucky to have such a beautiful place in our adopted country? I don't think I would ever tire of the fresh air and beautiful vistas there. I hope you get to return soon!