South America Part III (and please vote for me!)

Before the third chapter of my South American trip, please, if you don't mind, take a quick visit to the link below, and vote for my entry in a photography contest with MEC... it could win me a hiking trip to the Arctic!

We finally reached Argentina, in a small town called San Martin de los Andes. Here I went for an awesome day snowboarding at a resort called Chapelco, inbetween a couple late nights enjoying beverages, live music, and new friends. This town reminds me of the Whistler area... skiing in the winter, fly fishing, biking and other activities in the summer, expensive market areas for rich tourists. Beautiful place. After 2 days in this town, we got to take a trip on the 7 Lakes Road. In BC, the Sea-to-Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler is known as quite the scenic drive, but it pales in comparison to the variety of landscapes you get to see on this road.  What would make it all the more interesting is I was travelling this road 2 months after the eruption of the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano that left many areas of Chile and Argentina coated in ash. I was told that these beautiful lakes I was seeing, were actually coated in a meter of ash shortly after the eruption. Much of the land was still covered, like I was in a desert.

The 7 Lakes Road finally brought us to Bariloche. Here, I would split from my travel group, and stay on my own for 2 weeks of snowboarding. After my group left, I found a new hostel (Hostel 41 Below... if you ever go to Bariloche for skiing or snowboarding, I recommend it. The owner shreds, and most people staying there are there to ride as well), and quickly found a family of new friends from all kinds of places. Bariloche would be my new home for the next 2 weeks, which would be filled with steak, wine, and snowboarding. More to come...


A view of Bariloche off in the distanceStanding on a layer of ash, overlooking the beautiful lakesHDR of the winding roadsLots of farmland coated in ashSunset on Lake Nahuel HuapiThe interior of the Bariloche church, very impressiveLa Catedral de Bariloche at sunset