Let me take a moment to praise the Argentinian bus service. These are not your typical dirty backpackers mode of transportation, they are classy. Not only did we get 3 meals with snack and drink refills intermittently and high quality movies, but we also played bingo for a bottle of wine, I repeat, we played bingo on the bus; it was like a cruise on wheels. This, of course, came with a hefty price tag.
San Carlos de Bariloche is a town in Argentina's Lake District, which is an area in the foothills of the Andes mountains alongside the border with Chile. As you can probably tell from the photos, it was absolutely gorgeous. And yes, the lakes really are that deep color of blue. It is a snazzy little town full of chocolate shops, outdoor gear and nice restaurants. Aside from the mini market and Seattle-esque concert, the town itself was too fancy for my taste (it is known as the Switzerland of Argentina). I could, however, handle the fancy scenery surrounding it. We hiked to Cerro Catedral where we were surprised by a heavenly lake atop the mountain and Cerro Campanario which provided a spectacular view of the lakes. Patagonia was off to a great start!