Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Not a bad view from Cerro Otto ...

View of Lake Nahuel Huapi, from Cerro Otto, Bariloche
We took a few breaks from all of that chocolate eating and those penitential gym visits, to see a couple of the sites around Bariloche.

It was a bit limited, as we're not yet up to the multi day, or long and steep treks, and whilst not cold, most of the days here were pretty cloudy, so there wasn't any point in trying to see the views then.

Gondola ride up Cerro Otto, Bariloche

We were quite keen to get a view from somewhere high though, and if we weren't going to hike up somewhere, and as Nic didn't think he fancied the open chairlift up Cerro Campanario, we settled on the gondola, or cable car, up Cerro Otto.

The company offer a shuttle bus up to the base station, although there is only one an hour, and you do have to book your place some time ahead if you want to get on a particular one.

Gondola ride up Cerro Otto, Bariloche

We hadn't booked - the decision to go was a bit spur of the moment when we saw the sky had finally turned from being overcast to blue and sunny - so we pottered around the market stalls for a bit, then  hung out with one of the many stray local dogs that had taken up residence in the warm hut that served as ticket office and waiting room.

As it was towards the end of the days, and we wanted to ensure we got up the mountain before the sun decided to do a disappearing act, we positioned ourselves at the front of the bus, so that we could be first off, and not end up stuck behind the whole bus-load waiting for a gondola. That worked well, and we were soon in the little red cabin, being winched up to the top of Cerro Otto.

Michaelangelo replicas at Cerro Otto, Bariloche

There are a few activities at the top, like sledding in the winter, or going down a vinyl slope on an inflatable 'cart' in the summer, and hiking or - for some obscure reason - a cabin of distorting mirrors! They had an exhibition of replica Michaelangelo sculptures, and there is even a disco up there. We weren't partaking of any of these though, we were just interested in the view.

View of Bariloche on Lake Nahuel Huapi, from Cerro Otto, Bariloche

It was quite a nice view! From up here, in one direction, you can get a little glimpse of Lake Gutierrez, alongside another mountain, Cerro Catedral.

In the other direction is a wonderful view of Lake Nahuel Huapi, with its mountainous backdrop and Victoria Island in the middle. As we were here later in the afternoon, the sun was glistening on the water, and the colours seemed to become various shades of blue.

St Bernard dog at Cerro Otto, Bariloche

Up here, as in town, there were a few St Bernard dogs, complete with their emergency barrels around their necks. I don't know whether these are actually used as rescue dogs too, but day to day, their primary purpose is to hang around tourist sites, hoping that they will entice someone to pay to have their photo taken with them.
View of Lake Gutierrez, from Cerro Otto, Bariloche

After taking a wander around the top, we decided to head back down, to see if we could make the next bus back, rather than waiting another hour for the last one.  As we were a two, we were able to skip a big chunk of the queue, as they wanted two people to fill up a four person gondola.

View of Lake Nahuel Huapi, from Cerro Otto, Bariloche

That was lucky, as when the bus arrived, it was quickly filled, so I suspect that had we had to wait for all those in front, we may well not have got on, or possibly even not been down in time for the bus at all. As it was, we were soon back at the hostel, battling with the lousy WiFi to try to upload our photos!
View of Lake Nahuel Huapi, from Cerro Otto, Bariloche

View of Lake Nahuel Huapi, from Cerro Otto, Bariloche

View of Lake Nahuel Huapi, from Cerro Otto, Bariloche

View of Lake Nahuel Huapi, from Cerro Otto, Bariloche

View from Cerro Otto, Bariloche

View of Cerro Catedral, from Cerro Otto, Bariloche

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