¡Via Bariloche!

In the past 24 hours I have discovered two new things that I love related to traveling:
1. Long-distance buses.
2. Hostels.

When I bought my Via Bariloche bus ticket a couple days ago, I chose a seat on the top level. I had always envied the people sitting on the top level of buses, planes, or trains, and had never done it before. So I climbed up the stairs and into my comfortable seat on the second level of the bus with a huge smile on my face. As I walked into the bathroom of the bus, I thought that it was another first for me: the first time I had gone to the bathroom in a land-traveling vehicle… but then I remembered driving down to State last year… (That’s for any cross country gals reading this post.)

The 18-hour bus ride seemed like it took less than five. I got a full night’s sleep, and whereas I usually wake up after taking a redeye groggy and feeling like I haven’t slept at all, I felt like I had just woken up after a night in a bed. I think I actually even slept eight hours without waking up. I read Eva Luna (in Spanish), half-watched three bad movies and fully watched Robinhood, and looked out the window. By the end of the trip, my window had various splotches on it from where I had pressed my forehead against the window to observe the Argentinean landscape go by. I saw fields of sunflowers, mostly without petals and faces towards the ground, but with a few still looking up towards the sky; miles and miles of cropland or grazing land; tiny towns, many with buildings advertising “Parilla” (meat restaurant, I think) to all who drove by; and near the end of the journey, rolling desert hills with low fertile pockets interspersed.

I arrived in Bariloche, and without a problem took a taxi to my hostel. Not only is this place cheaper than anywhere else that I could stay, but it is so much more fun. I’m in a dorm room with five other people, but I have my own little closet box and I bought a lock downtown to close it. There’s a fully-stocked kitchen for anyone’s use, and right now I am sitting in the dining hall listening to Manu Chao with some other young people too. There’s a garden with a hammock outside, where asados take place once a week. I’ve already met one guy from Buenos Aires, and there are so many other people to meet here tonight. Everyone here must have interesting travel stories, and I couldn’t have chosen a more perfect place when I need to find hiking buddies for the next three days. I’m making a vow now to stay in as many of these hostels as possible before I get too old and it’s creepy to stay in youth hostels…

Bariloche is lovely, located right on the banks of a lake that’s surrounded by snow-capped rocky mountains. There’s a lot of chocolate, outdoors gear, and knitted items, which makes it an awesome place for window shopping. Now, I think I’ll go out and actually try some chocolate instead of just drooling over it through the window!

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6 Responses to ¡Via Bariloche!

  1. Jessica says:

    All of this sounds so incredibly lovely! And you sound so happy to be exploring it all! I can’t wait to hear about some of the people you’re meeting, the food you make, and the hikes you go on!

    Hahaha, and thanks for the xc shout out – I’m glad you didn’t have to resort to that method of relieving yourself on this bus ride!

  2. marjorie says:

    Tengo celos!
    Toma cafe y come chocolate para mi! y fondu?
    Vas a Villa la Angostura?
    Be safe on your adventures there, okay?

  3. chocomama says:

    you can just guess what i will comment on!
    so how is the chocolate???

    i laughed when i read your comment about the hostels (and it being creepy to stay in a hostel when you get old or older). you will be happy to learn that there is also a network of elder hostels…

    have fun and travel safely! (that’s the mama part of the chocomama speaking…)


  4. susan perlstein says:

    What an adventure you are having!!!!!! And exactly how old do you think is too old to stay in youth hostels?!?!? (I had a good laugh about that one!)

  5. Edwah ONeill says:

    Thanks for your comments I will be taking the same bus ride in two weeks, only to Junin de los Andes to fly fish for trout. This is my third trip to Patagonia but have flown from BA to either Chapelco or Barriloche but due to last year volcano in Peru those airports are still closed due to the massive ash still swirling the earth. I too booked a full recliner on upper deck but was really dreading the length of 18 hours you make it sound not to bad. Does the bus have wifi and electrical outlets for devices?

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