Christmas in Patagonia?

EliA

Registered
I'm thinking about taking a trip for the 10-12 days before and after Christmas. I'd love to see more of Patagonia as I have only been to the Peninsula so far.

From my point of view there are two trips I could do. One is to Bariloche/El Bolson/anything else near there, and the other is to El Calafate/Perito Moreno and if I'm really diligent and willing to fork out the $$, all the way to Ushuaia.

But, I know nothing.

Can anyone help sway my decision one way or the other? Make recommendations on places to stay, things to do (off the beaten path a bonus), and other interesting or useful bits? I can spend a reasonable amount of money, nothing crazy but not a shoestring either.

Also, Christmas is a big day in my family and I'm probably going to be bummed to not be with them, so any advice on what to do that particular day to keep my spirits up are also welcome.

Thanks for any help you can give me.
 

fifilafiloche

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I did all the way up from El Bolson to Bolivia on my motorcycle on the old route 40.

I can recommend you the San Martin de los Andes area, north of Bariloche. It s simply gorgeous. La ruta de los 7 lagos is something you dont want to miss!



Then it all depends how far you are willing to go up north till Mendoza, but you will cross areas of magnificient beauty in national parks totally uncorrupted by the tourist industry cash machine. This is a real dream. I have magic memories of the Lanin Volcanic National Parc :



You could push it up till "La valle de la Luna" which indeed looks like another planet, between the Moon and Mars.



You can watch some pictures of my travel in my profile so that you have a better idea of the miracles of nature you will find there.

Regarding your family, this is fairly simple. Just ask them to put a laptop computer on the Xmas table with a camera. Go to a locutorio with a camera or use your netbook on a wifi connection in a gas station or pasteleria and feel as if you were sharing the dinner with them. It will be a funny cyber experience for them ;)
 

EliA

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Fifila, thank you for the advice! I had very good intentions of responding but I was robbed last night and have been mildly distracted. Asi es la vida... luckily they didn't get much since I never carry much worth stealing.

I spent some time in the Atacama desert in Chile, including a place called Valle de la Luna, is it pretty similar to the one you posted?

My sister was in Hong Kong last Christmas and we spent 3 hours on video chat with her which I found fairly obnoxious. My family is determined to do the same with me this year so I'm actually hoping that an escape to the extreme south will be a good enough excuse for a simple phone call.

I think we've decided on the extreme south, Ushuaia, El Calefate and Perito Moreno. So, now that I've chosen I'd love some specific advice on places to stay and go while there.

Muchas gracias y feliz sabado.
 

fifilafiloche

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I can t give you advises on anything south of the 52d southern parallel, since when i got there in March, it was getting fairly cold further south, so i chose the norther direction.

On the way to Patagonia, there are several places without dsl, you can always say on the phone that the area is lost in the middle of nowhere so no video cam this year.

Send them a postcard right now for Xmas so that they can recieve it in time.;)

You should make a thread out of your experience last night, it s always interesting to share.
 

EliA

Registered
Thanks again, Fifila. Anyone else out there have anything to say about the southernmost parts of Patagonia?

Regarding my robbery, it was a pretty simple affair but I blogged about it if anyone is interested. It's listed below in the daily URL, or: www.vidadesconocida.blogspot.com

I didn't mention the streets in the blog but it was crossing Juan B Justo at Honduras in Palermo. Although I say I won't take a cab when I could walk, in this case I think I will take a cab any time I need to cross those tracks again since as soon as I told an Arg friend about it he told me he was robbed in the exact same spot. Seems like a hotbed and no wonder, those tracks, while well lit at the crosswalks, are otherwise dark and creepy.
 

lbaron

Registered
Hi! Two years ago my esposo and I went all the way down to Ushuaia at Christmas, and it was wonderful! The town is like a dream, not of natural wonders, but of people who have put their heart and soul into "the bottom of the world," as they call it. We toured ice-breaker ships on their way to Antartica, took a drive up to the hills to see the resorts, but we mostly stayed right in town. Best seafood I have ever eaten! The air seems to have more oxygen than anyplace I've ever been, it made us savor the air, especially after BsAs. (haha). The steam train to the Beagle pass and the sea lions was really fun, too! From there, we hopped a ship and went across the Magellan Straits to Punta Arenas, Chile. I was not as impressed with Punta as I was with Ushuaia. By the way, if you stop at Puerto Madryn, the town on Península Valdés, you can see the penguins and their chicks. Christmas is the time of the year to see them before they migrate. Wishing you a wonderful trip!
 

lbaron

Registered
PS -- Re Punta Arenas, if you go, it's worthwhile to hire a driver and see the patagonian steps. There are wildlife refuges where ranchers rescue animals that were injured in the Andes. We came upon another ranch that opened their kitchen to us. Lamb is the meat of choice, with a fabulous Chilean wine. Afterwards we hiked about ten miles to work it off, and came across families of fox that were being taunted by armadillos. Funny!
 

EliA

Registered
So it's decided, we're going to El Calafate and Bariloche, Christmas day at a beautiful lakeside resort.

Any specific recommendations for what to do/avoid around the Bariloche area will be much appreciated!

Also, I need some warm and hiking appropriate clothes and shoes. Does anyone know of a good place to buy these or do you have some women's wear to offload?? I need hiking shoes/boots, a windbreaker, gloves, and some waterproof pants. I'm generally a medium/size 10 and I wear size 9/40 shoes.

Thanks!
 

elhombresinnombre

Registered
EliA said:
Also, I need some warm and hiking appropriate clothes and shoes. Does anyone know of a good place to buy these or do you have some women's wear to offload?? I need hiking shoes/boots, a windbreaker, gloves, and some waterproof pants. I'm generally a medium/size 10 and I wear size 9/40 shoes.
My current walking boots are a pair of military boots that I bought in the subway underneath the Obelisco. Traditionally made in traditional leather, they are not as heavy as they look and so far have proved indestructible. They do need breaking in before you do any serious walking though and wearing good walking socks is essential. They breathe perfectly but then leather was the original Gore-Tex®.
 
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