Mendoza to Patagonia – The Long Way Around.

After a good four days of tasting wine, exploring the city and dining out it was time to gather our things and far flung thoughts and head south toward Patagonia and Argentina’s infamous lake district. I passed through the Bariloce area on my way to Ushuaia on the bike a few months back in January. But with my bike sitting safely at Dakar Motos in Buenos Aires and no traveling with my two friends Tim and Angie we had a number of options to consider for getting to Villa La Angostura – at the opposite side of the lake from Bariloce.

Parque General San Martin – Mendoza.

Gates Park Sanmartin Mendoza-Park-Fountain

Mendoza Parque Sanmartin

Mendoza: Parque General San Martin – this massive city park in Mendoza takes up 420 hectare in the city center just a 20 minute walk from the central plaza. The gates on the left above were shipped from England but were originally forged for the turkish Sultan Hamid II. The fountain is just one of several that sit in the center of roundabouts in the streets that wind through the park.

Onward to Bariloce & Patagonia

To fly to Bariloce would require us to first fly to Buenos Aires and endure a three to four hour layover. Plus the cost was out of hand. Alternatively, we could rent a car in Mendoza and drive. But this would take two days unless we decided to make a marathon run — not advisable. Or, we could take a bus and sleep the 17 hours it would take to get to Bariloce.

The thought of 15 hours on a bus didn’t appeal to my visitors. But it was the only viable option, unless we wanted to stay in Mendoza or go back to Buenos Aires. But the fabulous Andes and the gorgeous lakes of Northern Patagonia are a must-see for anyone visiting Argentina. Along my journey I met many travelers who weren’t fortunate to be riding motorcycles through these wild lands. So bus transport is the more commonly accepted method of travel. And the busses, I was always told, in Argentina and Chile are among the best for traveling — in the world. Fully reclining seats, service not unlike an airline and smooth riding nice suspension makes the distances more palatable. Ahhh. And consider this: we could bring a couple bottles of wine and a sampling of foot appetizers. The bus would depart Mendoza around 7:30pm and we’d be arriving in San Carlos de Bariloce around noon the next day. If we played our cards right and polished the two bottles between the three of us, we’d be fast asleep and wake up for breakfast somewhere in the desert outside Bariloce.

Andesmar Bus Tim On Bus

Bus Cruising

It’s not exactly motorcycle cruising, but for an overnight ride to Patagonia, it’s pretty damn comfortable.

Cheers Beers

Goodbye Mendoza – Hello Patagonia! Cheers!

Lagonauelhuapi

View as we drove toward Villa La Angostura.

By the time we got to Bariloce our rested souls gathered our things and made the way to the rental car agency and then onward to Villa La Angostura – a small town nestled among a bay and several inlets on the northwestern shore of Lake Nahuel Huapi. At over 60 miles long, Lago Nahuel Huapi is a glacial lake occupying over 300 square miles. It at the surrounding area are mostly part of Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi. Tim had arranged accommodations at a beautiful lodge made of Patagonian cypress that sit just above a small by on the lake.

Patagonia Lake

Lago Nahuel Huapi in Villa La Angostura.

Puerto Sur Hosteria

Our lodge in Patagonia – Hosteria Puerto Sur, Villa La Angostura.– photo by Tim Amos

Hosteria Pool

Taking in a little swim before any strenuous activity. – – Photo by Angie

Angostura Architecture2

The architecture and homes around the lake are inspiring. The blend of stone, glass and wood creates dynamic and cozy spaces.

Angostura Architecture

Modern architecture with great lake views. I could live here.

Cypress Farmacia

Even casual stores in the small downtown of Villa La Angostura uses the patagonian cypress to full extent. — photo by Tim Amos

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