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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

“Grab hold of my foot!” I yelled…they all knew best - Day 452

What exciting things happened today? Collecting our camera, eating in a rotating restaurant and... “Grab hold of my foot!” I yelled...

Hurrah! Our camera has turned up, so we were going to meet Joselina at the Bus Terminal just 20 minutes away. We got there in plenty of time, but she was held up a bit due to a run taking place in the town. Not a Park Run through. Sadly, there are none of these set up yet in South America.

I could see the package sitting in the Bus Office, phew! Soon, Joselina’s beaming face came through the door. Hugs all around, she signed for the box and handed this to us. Joselina's sister Teresa had collected the camera, wrapped it, organised the courier, communicated with her sister, and then Joselina came all the way from the other side of town to meet us and sign for it. How very kind and we are incredibly grateful to them both.

We offered to take Joselina for a coffee, but she had a family dinner to go to. However, it turned out that she was going to be driving right passed a cable car that we wanted to visit today on the other side of town. That was rather fortuitous!

We had a lovely drive with the use of the “conversation” facility on Google translate. It worked really well, so we were able to chat about all manner of things. Joselina dropped us off at the cable car, we said a very fond farewell, promising to look after our camera, and went to purchase our tickets.

“How much?” For two tickets it was ARS1,300. I was sure it was supposed to be ARS330 each. The strange thing also was that I thought the cable car was further around the peninsula. Oh well. We piled into the little red wagon, made in Austria, and travelled up the hill through the rain. Yes, it was raining a bit today, up until now we had been very lucky with the weather, and Joselina informed us that it had been cold and raining back in El Calafate for the last few days.

We reached the summit, had a fast walk outside to see the view and returned swiftly to the warmth of the building. There was a small exhibition randomly celebrating 500 years of Michelangelo's work, with replicas of a few of his famous sculptures, including David, Pietà and Moses. Two families with young children were noisily looking around, and one of the little girls had gone under the protective rope and had started to climb on David! Luckily, her Dad then managed to coax her off!

It was lunchtime, so we went up to the 360-degree revolving restaurant. The outside half of the floor of the round room was slowly moving, giving us a view of the mountains, Lake Nahuel Huapi with its many islands, and the town of Bariloche as it rotated. We sat there for ages, enjoying the view, especially when we saw flickers of snow. Yes, definitely worth staying put.

Eventually, we left the warmth of the building and climbed into another little red cable car…and then…I don’t know what happened, but as you can see in the photo, I nearly fell. Luckily Tim grabbed hold of my foot! We managed to retrieve my glasses thankfully. What a commotion!

At the Tourist Information Office a couple of days ago, one of the assistants recommended to us to get a number 20 bus to the end of the peninsula, have a walk around and then return into town on the same bus number. We did as she suggested, first walking along the bus route for a bit, as the sun had come out and, of course, we needed to recover from our drama! Also, we quite like having a nose at houses, discussing what we like and don’t like about the design. I’m not sure about some of the wooden statues in some of the gardens. Not our cup of tea!

We caught the 20 bus and then I realised that the cable car we had been to was a different one to where we had aimed. The other one was ARS330 and nearer to the peninsula, but open chairs up which would have been rather unpleasant in the rain, and no rotating restaurant. Joseline knows best.

The bumpy ride took us to the end of the line, which happened to be right outside Hotel Llau Llau. I had read that this grand five-star hotel has the most beautiful view across the lake, so suggested it was time for Tea. As we entered the establishment, we were informed that there was no room for afternoon tea; however, we could sit in the Lobby. (I think it was more like we didn’t look the part. Perhaps my slightly dusty trainers with socks and maroon tights with a ladder may have put the concierge off a bit!) Well, the lobby was lush, with dark wood panels, leather sofas, chairs covered in deerskin and light fitments with antlers. Our tea and petit fours were a delight, and the view was as the description had promised.

At £215 per night including breakfast, a spa and health club, golf course and in and outdoor swimming pools, it seems a bargain, but not for us. We're sticking to our Airbnb, almost 90% cheaper, thank you.

Returning to the bus stop, we could tell that the tourist information assistant was correct. Very quickly the bus was full, and we zoomed past many bus stops with people looking forlorn as it didn’t stop.

We walked around town, picked up our laundry and then caught another bus to the terminal, intending to step up the hill for 20-minutes to our place. Hang on a minute, the bus has taken a right turn. We ended up going all around the houses and finally arrived just 5 minutes away from our accommodation. Ah, the bus driver knows best!

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