We spent 2 nights in Bariloche and I now have a new roomie as I am on my 2nd tour. Hester is from Rotterdam. This time in Bariloche the sun was shining and so the views were stunning. The storms really had not done it justice last time. The first day we arrived late lunch to the Soft Bariloche hotel - not the best, but at least the bed was comfortable! After arrival we had free time to explore the town. Sui Ping (a fellow traveller) and I took the Teleferico Cerro Otto cable car up to 1,405 metres to take in the views. Then 6 or us joined our rep, Rodrigo, for dinner. Rodrigo seems very friendly and organised, so first impressions there are positive. The next day 6 of us went kayaking and horse riding at Los Baqueanos in Bariloche. A great day and their hospitality was fantastic, although I ached in a few places the following morning! We then had a fabulous steak in a restaurant called El Bouche de Alberto. Probably the best steak of my trip so far! We decided it was also time to try the ice cream - yummy!
When I first heard of the 6 hour journey by public bus (which became 8 taking into account the 2 hour process at border control), I was dreading it. Truth be told though, the local buses put the comfortable Kings Ferry commuter coaches to shame! We had comfy seats with extra leg room, which converted almost into beds... Despite having travelled from/to the same destinations in my previous tour (in reverse), the bus journey was a fresh change of scenery as we travelled through green landscapes which I hadn't seen by boat previously. We arrived into Puerto Varas and stayed at the Park Inn. Comfortable enough, and on the 4th floor, so no noisy streets like the previous 2 nights. We settled in and returned to the restaurant I had already been to before - it was a lovely restaurant, so this was fine by me! The group all chose to take the 14km trek the following day at Osorno Volcano. I had trekked a little in the area, but had plenty of new views and much closer sights of lake Petrohue (which I had travelled from Puerto Varas to Bariloche)... We then had a very short boat journey across to have lunch in a local before returning to the hotel. In the evening, Hester and I discovered Cassis - a shop/restaurant which sells the best cakes and crepes (as well as great looking pizzas). We were in heaven!