We woke up to some amazing scenery on the bus with tiny hamlets and lakes against the backdrop of snow capped mountains. We still had a few hours to go till arriving in Bariloche so we just sat back, enjoyed the scenery and ate breakfast on the bus.
After an 18 hour ride, we arrived at the bus station just after lunch and grabbed a taxi up to the hostel with John. We were staying at Hostel 41 Below which had been recommended by Chris, a Philippine living in the States, who we met first in Buenos Aries and then in Mendoza. The hostel had good reviews and a discount due to the low number of tourists in the area. It was a really nice hostel but fully booked for the night. We had booked beforehand but Irish John had to stay in another hostel for the night.
We had some food and then set off to walk around the town with John. We headed to the chocolate museum with Irish John but it was closed apart from its shop. The shop smelled amazing.
The plan to come down to Bariloche was always to see the amazing scenery in the area and to have a go at snowboarding. John, my John not Irish John, had never been snowboarding or skiing in his life so it was a great chance to add another “tried for the first time” to his growing list. I myself had tried snowboarding once but on a dry slope in Sheffield when I was about 13 years old.
When I was 10 years old I suffered a bad skiing accident in an indoor ski centre in Tamworth. I fell over on my side and the ski on my left leg smashed into my right shin. I got up and continued but then saw a trail of blood in the snow coming from my leg. The hit had made a massive gash on my right shin which required 9 stitches. 16 years later, I still have the scar on my leg, which does look like a shark bite which John likes to tell everyone as a joke. That would be the first and the last time I will ever go skiing!
Anyway slightly nervous we decided to try snowboarding rather than skiing. The resort next to Bariloche is called Catedral Alta Patagonia. We planned to go snowboarding for one day, so we grabbed some hire gear from a local shop after checking prices in about 15 shops.
We grabbed boots, a snowboard, pants, top and gloves. I managed to grab one photo on my iPod touch of John all geared up in the shop!
We headed back to the hostel to make our evening meal and chatted away to the various snowboarders and skiiers all in the hostel. Some were backpacking similar to us while others were on a two week holiday just for the snow sports. We tried to get some tips from them and asked about lessons. We got an early night ready for an early bus to get to the mountain.