Let me first explain the title of this post. As you will shortly see, I wasn’t able to post many pictures of this “would’ve been” spectacular vacation, because my purse was stolen on Miami beach at the tail end of my trip, and OF COURSE my camera was in the purse. My wallet, license, car keys, house keys, and a few other unmentionables were also in the purse, but that’s a whirlwind of a story for another day…
So, let’s start at the beginning… Six months ago I decided I wanted to do something completely out of the ordinary for New Years. For a few years now, I had trekked up to Stowe, VT for an overindulgent ski weekend with my friends. Don’t get me wrong, it was a total blast, but I had a hankering for something new and exciting. So, I signed up for my 2nd G Adventures trip that would take me through southern Chile, Patagonia, and finally, Argentina. With my limited knowledge of South America, I was under the impression it was going to be beautifully warm and a wonderful escape from the New England winter. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I met my fellow travelers in Santiago, Chile, which was…. ok. If you’re thinking about going to Santiago, I would skip it. There are far more beautiful places to go in Chile. If anything, I would just head to the wineries – Chile is famous for it’s wine, don’t you know? From there, we travelled to Puerto Varas, in the stunning Chilean Lake District. The town was super cute, with great restaurants and shopping. While I thoroughly enjoyed the town and neighboring sites (e.g. the Osorno Volcano), it was FREEZING! Not having the right gear and clothing (I swear “really warm clothing” was not listed on the packing list), I came down with a horrific cold, which lasted throughout the majority of the trip. Boo.
After Puerto Varas, we took a total of S-E-V-E-N buses and ferries in the freezing rain to Bariloche, Argentina. I will stop complaining for a brief minute to say that the trip across the lakes and views of the Petrohue Falls were absolutely stunning. You can catch a glimpse here (thank you iPhone):
Which brings us to New Years Eve. Remember when I said I wanted to do something totally different and exciting for New Years? By the time we got to the hotel in Bariloche, I was so sick that I spent the remainder of the night basking in my whirlpool bath (seriously the biggest highlight of the trip) and then crawled into bed to watch the only English speaking channel, which ironically enough was playing Pink Floyd’s The Wall. No folks, this night could not have gotten any weirder.
The next day was New Years Day, and had I not been on my deathbed, I would have been really pissed at the tour guides for planning only one full day in Bariloche, when that day was New Years Day and everything was closed! But alas, I felt like crap anyway, so I stayed in bed and slept away my cold.
That night, I felt well enough to join my travel companions for dinner in town. From what little I could see, the town was adorable and I was so bummed that I didn’t get a chance to see more of it. For anyone heading to Argentina anytime soon, absolutely go visit Bariloche for a few days. You won’t be disappointed!
Thank goodness I was finally on the mend, but we only had one day left on our trip (double sad face.) So, we packed up our things, said goodbye to Bariloche and spent the rest of the day flying (mostly waiting to fly) to Buenos Aires. We were left to tour the city on our own which I was a bit disgruntled about. There should have been an organized tour of the city, or at least the hot spots (the city is HUGE!), but there was nothing planned. A few of us took a cab to the neighborhood of “La Boca,” famous for its soccer (sorry, futbol) stadium “La Bombonera,” and Caminito, the colorful artists’ street right by the water (see below)
While we thoroughly enjoyed La Boca, there was just way too much to see in only one day and night. We had a fantastic last group dinner (sorry, I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the restaurant), and just like that, the trip was over.
In trying to stay positive and upbeat about this trip, I will honestly say that Argentina and Chile were absolutely gorgeous and I would go back in a heartbeat. However, of all the places we visited, I would focus on spending more time in Bariloche and Buenos Aires, and maybe find some other cute towns in between.
Until next time dear readers (all three of you)….