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Bariloche - imagine Switzerland transported to Argentina....

1,375km from Mendoza, my coach trip brought me to Bariloche, the scenic North of Patagonia, close to the Chilean border.

Bariloche is the first place that I've felt that I was a 'tourist' visiting a foreign place.
If you imagine somewhere like Geneva (or, to a lesser extent, Bala) you might get the idea - stunningly azure lake shimmering in the Spring sunshine (after Mendoza this was a chilly 8° - the first time I've shivered since arriving in South America!)
Magnificent, snowcapped Andean mountains interweave into the farthest distance your eyes can see and, along the lake shore (and its parallel Main Street) are tourist shops galore selling all kinds of souvenirs, as well as cafes and bars offering all kinds of refreshment...

Close your eyes and, surrounded by so much alpine architecture, you might be in the middle of Switzerland (or Snowdonia?) and just to add to the Swiss parallels (and to prove just how great God is) there is even CHOCOLATE!!!
Chocolate shops galore!!! For example, I went in to a travel agent to book a scenic boat trip to the Chilean border and ended up leaving with a pocket full of 'melt in the mouth' truffles!!
(This writer, as those who know me well will appreciate, was in chocolate "heaven"!!)

I possibly needed the 'succour' of chocolate as the following day Lago (Lake) Nahuel Huapi - serenely reflecting the naturally eroded minerals in its turquoise water - was also inundated with water from above!
Those dizzying mountain cliffs were shrouded in low cloud but, like any tourist timetabled to see Snowdonia even in the rain, I also set off for Chile...
Several passengers were travelling westwards and on to the neighbouring country and I was very impressed with the way the company organised customs, baggage handling and herding everyone to the right place at the right time...

Despite the weather (and the "liquid sunshine" never stopped!) I enjoyed being on the water, the waves and waterfalls bringing a soothing calmness all of there own...

Two buses and two boats later, I arrived within a short distance of the border with Chile to find a small Frontier Post - complete with a tableau (complete with Imperial motorbike) recalling the fact that  Che Guevara began his famous journey through Argentina and  Chile from this place...

Returning back late to Bariloche the place was "buzzing" with hundreds of young college students. With the help of the barman at one of the town's microbrewery pubs, I discovered that, with the potential to hike, snowboard, ski, kayak, white water raft, mountain bike, cImb, fish (as well as sedately travel on the lake, as I had done!), Bariloche is THE place of choice for Argentinian ans Chilean college students to celebrate the end of their academic course!

I've never witnessed so many 'Selfies' in such picturesque surroundings....!


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