We’ve been in San Carlos de Bariloche for 48 hours, and it feels like a good place to spend the next three months. If we can keep finding places to stay.
For the first week we have an apartment at Alto Rolando. It’s small and all three of us sleep in a creaky loft, and trying to make a meal feels like camping with a refrigerator, and I don’t like the shower (it’s how I imagine taking a shower in an RV).
But none of that matters because Roland Heights is already booked for the next few months, which we learned Saturday night before hastily reserving the only other centrally-located apartment we could find on bookings.com. High season has begun.
Friday night we went to La Barra, a pizzeria that let us in at 7:30pm even though they didn’t actually open until 8pm. Lou settled into his “office” with a glass of milk (which we had to specify cold and without sugar), and Pete got our friendly server talking about the town. When we left we had a recommendation for a preschool and increased confidence.
From 9am to 5pm for the next two days, Pete was in a basic life support class offered by a mountaineering club. Thankfully, he’d set up our phones with local numbers on Friday night. That meant I could text him Saturday morning to say I was locked in our apartment and on the verge of shedding tears of frustration. (I also emailed the owners, who live downstairs, and 15 minutes later the husband let us out.)
Lou and I have spent most of our free time walking. It is our sport. After a long walk up and down hills on Saturday morning we returned home—tired and beyond hungry—where we were met by our landlady, Alicia. She followed us into the apartment with a hotel ledger. I was conscious of the dirty dishes in the sink and our stuff, which seemed to have exploded out of our suitcases to cover every level surface.
Because I am able to understand simple Spanish, I had no problem filling out the ledger. But I was completely unequipped to say “I can’t pay you right now because the folder where we have a few thousand American dollars and our passports—which my husband calls ‘the Alamo’—has been hidden by my husband for safety and I can’t find it.” At that moment, Carolina (Caro) the cleaning lady showed up. The place was feeling crowded, and Alicia made her way to the door saying we could pay her later, no problem.
P.S. The scenery around Bariloche is spectacular. Pictures to come.