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We woke up late for us so far this holiday, 8am. The lake was covered in cloud/mist but then sun was shining and it promised to be a beautiful day.

We had breakfast (cereals with yogi milk, jamon, queso, white & black bread, cakes, juice) and headed into town. At Yacutinga Charlie had given us the name of a friend of his in Bariloche who ran fishing trips. We thought we’d give it a go and went off in search of Baruzzi Deportes. After walking past the shop a few times we finally spied it and went in to book our trip. Thursday 9.00, me, Stef & Andres (Charlie’s friend) for a day’s trout fishing on the Limay river!

We found tourist info and The Andes Walking Club and got some maps for walks in the local area. We want to do at least one good walk while we’re here.

Bariloche town has a very German/Austrian feel. It’s busy with lots of cars (but not that many people) and is definitely a centre for outdoor sports. Virtually every other shop sells outdoor wear, camping gear, fishing gear, bicycle stuff. The only other competitors are pharmacy/perfumery shops, it feels like there’s one on every block.

We want to be able to get the most out of the camera (timed photos, long exposure, piccies of both of us) and decided to get a tripod. Also much needed lens cleaning kit and more films! We also sneaked a photo of Stef and the St. Bernhards from the main square while the official photographers were away.

Exhausted from all this shopping we went for a lite bite lunch. This end up being a pretty big meal at a typically Bavarian restaurant. Stef had smoked port and sauerkraut, and I had lomito completo (steak sandwich with lettuce, toms & chips). I get the distinct feeling I’m going to have chronic veggie withdrawal symptoms here. Lettuce and tomato seems to be as far as it goes!

In the afternoon we headed for the Cascada de los Alerces. This followed the unpaved road that goes past the Hotel Mascardi. Even though we only went about 30km it took the best part of an hour to get there. It was very bumpy and at some points quite narrow with a sheer drop down to the lake. After five minutes I had to tell Stef he was fine, to stop sitting in the middle of the car.

The views down to the lake are stunning. For miles all you can see is the blue of the lake framed by green mountains. On the way we passed a beach on the lake shore. The temptation was too much and within minutes Stef was up to his knees in very cold clear water. I couldn’t resist either but drew the line at my ankles.

At the end of the beach was an education/school camp site. It’s such a fantastic setting for something like this, and you can picture kids going wild in this beautiful setting.

We finally made it to the falls which, although minute compared to Iguazu, had their own magic. The water was crystal clear over the rocks and crashed into a white and pale blue maelstrom. It’s amazing how powerful the fall is and that any plants can cling for life on the rocks around it.

We headed back to the hotel for more cervezas in the garden. For a day that had started so overcast and cloudy and cold (5°C) it had been beautifully warm and sunny (26°C, temperature’s a courtesy of the car’s thermometer).

The air here is so clean and fresh it makes you feel healthy just breathing. Every now and again you get a waft of pine. Stef’s just seen more hawks in the garden and is off in search of a photo. His bald patch is growing and growing and growing!

We’ve just survived dinner. We opted for the menu of the day again. The cream of pumpkin soup was fantastic. The veal milanesa with papas noisette was two bits of bread-crumbed veal with chips. No veg, salad, garnish. It was pretty grim. I took the safe option for desert (fruit salad), Stef had the raspberry tart (ok except the jelly). Although we’d had a relaxed day, the quietness of the hotel (only us and the single old lady now) sent us both to sleep (combined with the Elton John tape) and we headed for bed.