March 9th
written by Alonna

Our last weeks in South America were spent in the northern part of Patagonia, called the lake district. This area is mountainous, dotted with cone-shaped volcanoes, and as the name suggests, contains many lakes. Our first stop was Pucon in Chile, where we were shook by the 8.8 earthquake our first night. Unfortunately this meant that during our 3 days there, we didn’t get a chance to hike up the active volcano, peer into the crater, and slide back down on a sled. We’ll have to come back.

Next we stopped in a cute mountain resort town in Argentina called San Martin de los Andes.  We hired a guide (our German B&B owner) to take us mountain biking. It was fun, but we’re both now convinced that mountain biking as we know it doesn’t really exist outside the USA. We encountered this in Europe and Costa Rica and now South America. A town can even be known for mountain biking, rent you a nice bike, and then point you towards a gravel road (or worse, a paved road like in Switzerland). At least in this area of Argentina single-track exists, but there are no signs or maps, so you have to pay a guide to show you around.

Bariloche is a much bigger and busier town, a beautiful 4-hour bus ride south of San Martin. There’s tons of adventure sports in Bariloche – biking, rafting, kayaking, hiking, climbing, canyoning, etc. We skipped most of these, but we had a great time hiking with our friends Jaime & Gareth from England. I met and traveled with them in Ecuador, and since we’re both doing round-the-world trips, our paths will probably cross again in New Zealand or Australia.

Another day in Bariloche, we rented a moped to drive around part of the lake. Someone had suggested this, and we didn’t realize how brave we were until we picked up the moped and started driving. It was intense. Ben drove and did a great job, but he’s not used to driving a moped or motorcycle, and there was tons of traffic. We’re lucky to be alive!


  1. 03/09/2010

    Oh I just keep reading about more and more fun things.

    I’ll bet by the time you were done riding the moped you were getting pretty good at driving it.

    It looks warm there. Here it is raining and snowing and is going to all week.

    The baby calfs are starting to come now so there is plenty to do. Betty

  2. mom A.


  3. Anita Tjan

    8.8 earthquake – wow. Beautiful scenery! The big news here in Boise is that the City of Boise bought the 700 acres near the cliffs that were going to be developed (Hammer Flats). Decisions like that make it possible for others to enjoy the outdoors.

  4. Sandra

    Great scenery!! must have been beautiful. Hey – thank you for keeping your “Where are we now” updated – today’s 7.2 earthquake in Chile had me worried about you until I saw you are in Turkey now.