I arrived in Bariloche yesterday after a somewhat interesting bus ride from Puerto Varas. The bus was clean and comfortable and featured on-board entertainment in the form of an up-close look at the healthy black market of bus tickets. The bus was packed, even though the previous day only 12 people had purchased tickets in advance. I saw several passengers give the driver cash when they boarded the bus, and in one instance I was sure I saw a passenger give the driver a license in exchange for a passport just before the Chilean border.
Last night, my friend M.E. and I joined the locals of Bariloche for dinner at a little pasta place in the neighborhood up the street from the touristy area. In Argentina, people eat dinner late and I’m sure that at 9:30, M.E. and I were in the early bird crowd. The pasta and wine were delicious – and $10 a piece!
After sleeping in and going for a walk by the lake this morning, I visited Dirty Bikes for my bike fitting this afternoon. My bike is great — except for the fact that it’s lacking a motor, which means that I will have to pedal over the Andes. I’m off to the welcome drinks now followed by dinner at the Boliche De Alberto Grill before setting off on a 37 mile ride for Villa La Angostra tomorrow. I’m looking forward to getting on the bike!