Argentina: Bariloche

In a desperate attempt to move on from Patagonia, we paid $175 each for a bus ticket to Bariloche.  We were thrilled to be heading north, and as I expressed this enthusiasm in the bus terminal, a fellow traveler burst my bubble, “Bariloche is part of Patagonia.”  Twenty-eight hours on a bus, and we still wouldn’t be free!  However, our bus couldn’t have been nicer–it was what I imagine of first-class airplane flying.  There are all the luxuries one could want: seats that recline, hot meals, a stewardess who places the pillow behind your head, unlimited movies in English with Spanish subtitles and a fiance (Joshua) who brings a bottle of wine.

Arriving in Bariloche, we headed to an unsuspecting hostel called Penthouse 1004.  We had to take a service elevator to the top floor of a dated multi-use building.  Penthouse 1004 was right next to apartment 1003 (go figure).  At this point our expectations were not at their highest, but once we walked in and saw the kitchen that you would actually want to cook in and incredible views of the entire city (even from our room), we dropped our bags.

We spent our time walking the streets and perusing chocolate shops along the way–which is literally every other store.  We never fully understood why there are so many chocolatiers in Bariloche.  All we could decipher was that European tourists started moving to Bariloche and they brought chocolate and ice cream making skills with them.  This turned out to be one of those cliches, “too much of a good thing.”

I am a sweets fan, but Argentinians put me to shame.  When ice cream is sold by the kilogram (2.2lbs), you know that it must be a staple of their diet.  It’s not uncommon to see folks ordering individual pints when out with friends!  I try to save those ice cream events for the rare combination of a hangover and a rom-com marathon.  The Argentinian food pyramid would incense my 7th grade health teacher as I’m guessing it consists of a base of dulce de leche followed by a heavy stack of chocolate and ice cream topped off with steak all drowning in red wine.

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