San Carlos de Bariloche
San Carlos de Bariloche is a tourist oriented town in the foothills of the Andes in the Argentinian lakes district. Perched on Nahuel Huapi lake and situated within close proximity of the associated and extensive National Park it is without doubt spectacular countryside. Bariloche features beautiful temperate rainforests, rugged mountain peaks and a thriving snow sports scene over winter. The town seems to have chosen chocolate as its representative food group and there is plenty of it - we probably tried ten different varieties of chocolate ice cream, they were all delicious.
Nahuel Huapi National Park
Nahuel Huapi National Park is remarkable in its beauty. The lake and its many tributaries weave between precipitous mountain ranges and the views during Autumn were to die for.
Crystal clear lake Nahuel Huapi turned out to not be nearly as cold as we had expected so I jumped in to see what was lurking under the surface. To our surprise, we found two species of crayfish, one of particularly unusual proportions, and spotted a number of fish and mussels in quick succession. Aquatic biodiversity was impressive, guess they don't mind the areas relatively cold climate, not quite reaching a daily average of 5°C for almost half the year.
There are a number of Chusquea dominated native bamboo forests which made for an interesting and unexpected change of scenery. There is apparently a native cat species which call these forests home, although we weren't lucky enough to see one.