February 26 - 27, Flight to Bariloche, Argentina

After a delay of a couple of days due to the flu bug disrupting my digestive system, the long and arduous trip south began. First a flight from Milwaukee to Atlanta with no problems to speak of; then a few hours wait until the flight to Buenos Aires boarded. Seems they overbooked the flight and were begging people to take a $600 voucher, a free hotel in Atlanta and dinner on Delta with no takers. The thought of delaying the trip one more time, just wasn't in the cards for me . Plus in the cost of air travel these days $600 isn't going to get you very far. Anyway, we all boarded which included a group of 25 Argentinean high school kids returning home after an exchange student program in the US. They were excited!!! And let everyone on the plane know it all night long. My seat -- right in the middle of the whole group. Couldn't have been luckier!!! A eleven hour flight to cheers, songs, screaming, laughing, all those things that teenagers love to do. The teen couple next to me decided to take advantage of the dark and enjoyed each other's company all night long. What stamina!!! That was the longest kiss I have ever witnessed!!

The stewardesses tried several times to quiet the group down, but that is like asking a kid at Christmas not to be excited when they see their favorite gift! The plane was full, so the kids couldn't be separated -- much to their relief. All of us "old farts" just groaned and tried to sleep the best we could.

From Buenos Aires to Bariloche is only a two hour flight. However, it originates at a completely different airport than the international arrivals. It is a 40 miles away allowing me an expressway taxi view of the city of Buenos Aires. Not a good way to see the city. Will have to make sure that I put the city back on my list of places to go. I know there are better parts to the city then what I witnessed as we crept through rush hour traffic bumper to bumper for over an hour.

But on to Bariloche. The town sits in the southern part of Argentina at the northern end of Patagonia. There is a Swiss feeling to the town that is a chocolate-lovers haven. The industry sprang from early Swiss pioneers who settled at the nearby village of Colonia Suiza and saw the potential in all those healthy cows!! Chocolate with lemon, chocolate with local berries, chocolate candy pieces in all sizes and shapes, dulce de leche, and on and on.

The town itself is situated on the Nahuel Huapi Lake with the Patagonian Steppe to the east and the towering snowy peaks of the Andes to the west. What started out as a quiet mountain town in the middle of beautiful wilderness has turned into a cluttered mess of shops and restaruants dependent on tourisum to survive.

But there is still beauty! See for yourself.

Nahuel Huapi Lake

More Nahuel Huapi Lake

Children Swimming

Another View!!


Bariloche Cathedral

Sunset in Bariloche

View From Hotel