The one thing I love and both hate about photographs is their power to deceive the viewer about what they’re actually looking at. If I’m shooting a sunrise at a beach that you wouldn’t otherwise even throw a towel down onto, you’d never know from the photograph because as a landscape photographer, I don’t take photos of things I can’t make seem appealing.
Unfortunately, the same does also apply to those taking photos of their hotel or hostel. They need to show what it looks like inside, but the photos can lie, and they most definitely did for our hostel that we stayed in last night. You also can’t photograph a lingering smell, which is why I think we fell for this accommodation thinking that it was going to be OK.
We got off a 24-hour long bus ride around 8pm in Bariloche. The first 8 hour bus ride from El Chalten to Los Antiguos was bearable. They fed us vegetarian Empanadas, a juice popper and a small chocolate bar. We had one stop where we sought water and a toilet break, and other than that, it was all smooth driving throughout the night.
Changing buses at 7am was great fun, the late stragglers holding up the trip, but thankfully bev and I were up the front of the bus. We had nobody reclining seats into our faces and a clear view of the open road ahead of us.
We could see when the road surface was shit, the potholes or the long sections of unsealed road.
I found the whole experience somewhat unpleasant, I just couldn’t stand the claustrophobic feeling that I got each time I climbed back on the bus. The recycled air and the lack of places to move about to… I am thankful that I don’t have any more bus trips to do.
When we arrived at Bariloche, we were relieved, finally after watching the bus drive through pretty much the Argentinian boondocks, we had arrived at our summerly-ski town. Our happiness was shortlived as we realised that our accommodation was halfway across town, up several hills and that we’d be lugging our bags up those same hills with us. We seemed invisible as taxi after taxi passed us by and left us trudging up hills exhaustedly. Finally one stopped and got us closer to our hostel.
We then waited outside the locked-front-door for close to half an hour while the owner returned from somewhere with a dog that looked pleased to be home.
Our accommodation, once we checked in, was less than what the photos had shown.
As I said earlier, smells don’t show in photos.
We had that ripe, fresh-paint smell, accompanied by bathroom-didn’t-drain-properly and owner-hasn’t-opened-the-windows-in-a-while scent.
The bathroom was dinky.
By this I mean, the shower was in the middle of the room, a curtain wrapped around it hopelessly, the curtain rail was plumbers pipe and didn’t really work and soaked your clothes if you had them anywhere in there with you. Giving up, we sought food closeby and then collapsed in bed.
At least the beds were comfortable.
In the morning, it was time to transfer to our hotel for my final week here in Argentina, something a bit more upmarket in Hosteria Del Lago. A short cab ride revealed a lake, alpine-styled ski village hostels, restaurants and it’s all just so stunning to look at. Large bunches of blooming roses are everywhere and it’s just so pretty.
What a day of contrasts. It’s been Bev’s birthday today so we took some time to go to the city, have some ice cream, some drinks and nibbles and then returned to our luxury (in comparison to our accom this morning) hotel. Had a swim, explored the shoreline.
Can’t wait to see more of this area over the coming days. Can’t wait to show you more of Bariloche!
It's summer here, so the roses are stunning! These ones are for you mum!