Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Starting out early, we drive the unpaved road from Junin to Parque Lanin.  As it is gusty and cold, we decide to do a driving tour instead of hiking. The park is a total of 146 square miles and filled with Araucaria or pehuen trees, which resemble artificial Christmas trees. Lainin stands at 12,385 ft, a dormant volcano.  The terrain is barren except for these trees.  Ray checks out the river and then we head out.

We are on our wa back to Bariloche via Route 40 which takes us south through a landscape that is as varied as California┬┤s in a span of just a few hours.  We drive from the grassy plains to a river valley with mountains on both sides, and then to an area that has tall sandstone columns and formations.  It takes us almost the entire afternoon to drive down and we arrive at the intersection that leads to the town of Villa Traful, 30 km down an unpaved road.  We go a short distance and decide not to proceed, but then feel we must as the guidebooks say it is an absolutely beautiful town.  It is almost dark when we reach the overlook and it is indeed a beautiful setting, a lake with granite cliffs that come steeply down to the water┬┤s edge.  Alas, we missed the sunset over this town, but as it is getting dark, we head back out the dirt road and toward Bariloche.

We have reservations at Villa Huinid, along the shore of the lake.  We pick up McDonalds for dinner and discover their hamburgers have no ketchup, mustard, onions or pickles.  The hotel is beautiful and sits across the street from the lake. What a pity we have to leave early the next morning to catch our flight back to Buenos Aires and El Calafate.


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