We were welcomed back into Argentina like old friends. We both agreed that the border crossing in the shadow of Volcán Lanín was the easiest and friendliest that we have come across so far. The staff were happy to chat, fixed up some paperwork issues that had been giving us problems and even boiled some hot water for our thermos… having water for a mate break is a big deal to Argentines.
The Lake District of Argentina has been a paradise for wild camping. It seems that we can take any random road alongside a lake and find a perfect spot for the night.
Hitting the snooze button. Lago Lolog.
A morning at the gym, Lago Lolog.
Honey, I’m home. Lago Gutiérrez.
Our good luck didn’t end at the border crossing. We arrived in San Martin de Los Andes and checked our emails to find that Manu and the La Chanchita Bus were also there. Manu has just finished his project and it’s a real beauty. A 1966 Mercedes Bus that was once used as public transport in Buenos Aires, he’s fitted it out as a six berth camper ready to take snow seekers wherever they want to go in the area.
We met up with them at the Chapelco ski resort and followed them back to Bariloche along the amazingly scenic Ruta de Siete Lagos (Seven Lakes Drive).
Is it a bus or a cabin?
In convoy with La Chanchita
Once in Bariloche, Manu welcomed us into his home and showed us around the area. We had a great time throughout the week, hanging out with him and his friend Lu (and his dog Bengoa).
Manu also knew of a hidden lakeside beach, perfect for a dinner party around the campfire.
A lesson in asado
We couldn’t have hoped for a better week. All thanks to the kindness and generosity of this one guy. There was only one downside. Argentina didn’t get much snow this winter, so the ski resorts were either completely closed or not worth skiing.
But not to worry. Manu had a plan for that too…
Posted from: Coyhaique, Chile.
PS: for some amazing photos from this week see the La Chanchita facebook page.