This is the last entry in the blog series for Argentina. To read from the start of our Argentina travel blog, click here
Our trip to Bariloche was one borne more out of necessity than anything else. We’d heard that it was a bit of a tourist trap, but also a good place to get buses onto anywhere in Chile, so we took the trip regardless.
It’s one of those towns that seems amazing when you read in the Lonely Planet – the ‘centre of the Argentine Lake District’, ‘buzzing’ etc. – but we’ve learnt to take these descriptions with a pinch of salt, as they’re often the kind of places we hate. (We’ve actually found we much prefer the towns described as ‘blue collar working towns’ or ‘nondescript’ as they feel so much more genuine, and have better, cheaper food, nicer people, cheaper accommodation…)
Some of our travel buddies were ahead of us and had reached Bariloche and described it as ‘a town that’s been fucked by tourism’ and they weren’t wrong! It’s basically streets of tourist shops, chocolate shops, overpriced outdoors gear shops, in a town by a fairly pretty lake. We decided pretty quickly we weren’t gonna fork out the crazy prices to do any activities or hikes here, so just took a couple (more!) days to chill.
This is basically what the entire high street consisted of
Accommodation was mad spenny, and we were forced into a dorm room with 4 others on the first night as everywhere was booked, and it cost us about 18 quid each (OUCH!) and I managed to trap myself in the bathroom, which was definitely not cool. We managed to find a lovely little double room above a bar for the second day though, and after having been in dorms for well over a week in El Bolson and El Calafate, we absolutely loved being back in a double, and spent most of the (cloudy) day hauled up in our room, watching Breaking Bad on my phone and having some much needed cuddle time! We also went for a little walk around town, saw the cool wooden sculptures that the town’s famous for, yet MORE craft markets, some cool graffiti… And we managed to find one pretty reasonable local eatery that served the local delicacy of venison stew (and steak, of course) which was delish!
But we did manage to find a nice meal out!
On the last day, I caved and ended up buying some expensive chocolate from one of the touristy chocolate shops. It was visually an amazing shop, all red and white pinstripes, huge displays of crazy chocolates of different flavours, shapes and combinations. We bought some dulce de leche filled bears for about 4 quid which was the cheapest thing you could buy, pretty much. And in their defence, the little guys were delicious.
And then, truly drained by Argentina’s inflation-induced crazy pesos prices, we headed back into the country we were starting to really love … CHILE!