Andrew and Brian are sorting their laundry, packing their clothes and gathering together their gear for our first trek, Cerro Catedral. Marlie is cutting up the last of our fresh vegetables for a balsamic avocado bruschetta, as I sit in the front passenger seat wrapped in a blanket, writing and taking in the view of the surrounding lakes with approaching low lying clouds obscuring and alternately allowing the sight of the bases of surrounding peaks that I’ve been anticipating viewing for the last partly cloudy/overcast 48 hours since we’ve reached Bariloche.
The Llao Llao Hotel is one of the finest in the region, perched on a bluff overlooking its lavender lined golf course, all on an isthmus surrounded by the cobalt blue waters of Lago Moreno Oeste. We stopped today to investigate this piece of Argentine high society, impressed by the views and jealous of the patrons enjoying the afternoon tea-spread, in the garden view solarium. We wandered the grounds, enjoyed the views of the surrounding lakes, and discussed how wonderfully crazy the different levels of accommodation and comfort that satisfy different travelers needs and expectations. After exploring the grounds, seeing the grandeur, we were ready to drive on and search out a free flat piece of dirt obscured from traffic for our gratis camp for the night.
After a quick pull over, inspection and photo-op of a particularly moody blue bay, we arrived at our site for the night, perched on a hillside directly opposite of the Lloa Llao hotel. Here we are sipping wine, unpacking our first laundry load, and organizing our gear and food for our first permitted trek in the Reservation National Nahuel Huapi, Cerro Catedral. Lemon pesto ravioli accompanied by a fresh balsamic pico de gallo, with fresh buttered baguettes, is our chosen, yet practical (we have to use all of our perishable fridge food up) power meal before the the ascent manaña.
The air is cooling with the increasing cloud cover, as the the sun is setting, while the clouds have opened their deepest grays, to allow a wave of constant drizzle. Morale continues to be high (as does our wine consumption) and the forecast for sunny days ahead is looking as bright as Brotherbears naked ass as he bathed in the frigid waters of the A. Casa de Piedra creek this early AM.