By Molly Templin, Global Scholar
Bright and early on January 18, our Global Scholars group boarding a plane to visit Bariloche for the weekend! Our Study Tour had started. We had a jam-packed itinerary and beautiful weather coming our way. Once arriving in Bariloche, our tour guide for the weekend, Cecilia, surprised us with Rapa Nui chocolate en route to our hotel. Prior to this weekend, everyone had to us a couple things: take all the free chocolate you can get, and try the reindeer. Our first stop was at Jauja restaurant on the hillside streets of Bariloche. We had a beautiful covered terrace reserved for the group. The food was decadent; filled with reindeer, sirloin, pasta, flan, or raspberry ice cream. Next, we made our way to the INVAP plant where an Argentine state-owned facility develops nuclear technology while encompassing their environmental impact of the region. We got to witness prototypes of satellites created in house to be set into space. After a long day of traveling and site-seeing, the rest of the day was ours for the taking. Certain groups took naps, others wandered the streets of Bariloche patiently waiting for the colorful sunset to come.
Saturday was an all-day excursion from 8:30am to 19:00. Everyone enjoyed a pleasant complimentary breakfast at the hotel before our bus left to Villa La Angostura. En route the guide gave us some brief history of the land which is called estepa and the region doesn’t accumulate more than 300mm of rain annually. Traveling along the hillside following Lake Nahuel Huapi, there were various eye-catching stops to pass the time. At the beach we had two ours to relax, sun tan, hike, or swimming! Before boating we grabbed a quick bite to eat at Los Amigos del Sur and had empanadas with milanesa or pasta. Afterwards, we boarded a catamaran to sail to Victoria Island on the Llao Llao peninsula. Llao Llao is a Mapuche term for sweet, since it was really sweet, they emphasized it twice! Once reaching the peninsula we got to hike a quick circuit around the Parque Nacional Arrayanes woods. We had a beautiful boat ride back to the main land before getting back on the bus to Bariloche. Everyone was exhausted from the sun and all the activities but somehow, we mustered up the energy to have relaxing dinner in the streets of Bariloche.
On the last day in paradise, the group had leisure time the morning to take advantage of the street vendors, stocking up on chocolate, and taking pictures. After lunch we reconvened for another bus ride around the Circuit Chico. During our bus ride we got to cross in between Lake Nahuel Huapi and Lake Moreno. We went to the top of Cerro Campanario to see a breathtaking panoramic view of the lakes and mountain side. After descending from the top of the mountain, we stopped at Lake Moreno for the remaining time on the east and west side where the east was supposedly shielded from the wind. At the lake some groups went for a short hike, sun tanning, and refreshing in the lake! It was a perfect way to end the most amazing getaway from the big city, Buenos Aires.