What a difference 24 hours can make! After gaining entry to Argentina, the sun shone even brighter and we felt like we were truly on holiday again. The picture at the top of this post shows the view from the back of our boat as we sailed on Lago Frias from Puerto Frias to Puerto Alegre.
Arriving in Puerto Alegre, the glacial nature of the lake became even more apparent. I’ve been to mountain lakes before but I don’t think I’ve ever sailed on any that looked as pure as this one. There really wasn’t anything but a dock in Puerto Alegre…but what else do you need with a setting like that? Truly spectacular.
From Puerto Alegre, we took a bus to Puerto Blest on Lago Nahuel Huapi . Puerto Blest had a hotel but little else: once again, the natural setting was the highlight. Here, we had the option of going for a hike at a nearby waterfall. I instantly accepted – it would be great to stretch my legs after a half-day of traveling. It was another pristine location…and we actually went there by boat too!
The hike up beside the Cascada de Los Cántaros was quite easy…it was a wooden boardwalk all the way to the top! It seems to be a very popular activity for day tours, so I suppose that it makes sense for the trail to be so accessible. There are numerous viewpoints along the way where you can take pictures of the waterfalls. While I’m not going to include any of those in this post, they will likely appear later.
At the top of the trail is a 1500-year-old tree as well as a mountain lake shimmering almost-too-brightly in the midday sun. Struggling with the glare, I did the best I could with my camera. Still, after the rain and worry of the previous day, I was hardly in a position to complain about the sunshine.
As I had some extra time before the boat returned to Puerto Blest, I wandered off on a more natural trail through the woods. It wasn’t part of the itinerary but it was fun to explore the terrain with my hiking boots fully on the ground. I found a picturesque hanging bridge passing over the famous waterfalls after only a few minutes of walking. Even though I was the only person on it, it was rather shaky and I have no reason to doubt the sign’s warning about its limited capacity.
From Puerto Blest, we sailed across Lago Nahuel Huapi onward to Puerto Pañuelo and finally finished our epic odyssey across the Andes with a short bus ride to Bariloche. The boat trip was rather cool (some would say bracing) but, of course, it was the middle of the Argentinian winter and the sun was beginning to set. We were grateful for the clear skies and the great scenery, although this was a bigger lake and it wasn’t quite as dramatic as what we saw around Puerto Alegre.
We finally arrived in Bariloche just before dinner and happily reunited with our group. Stay tuned: we’re only just getting started in Argentina!