Tours are great and all but sometimes being able to get around by yourself is rather priceless. After renting a car this morning through a very local outfit I headed out on the open road. First up was a little town that apparently wins Argentina's annual competition of most flowery villages (this concept doesn't really work in English but you get what I mean). After a coffee in Villa la Angostura I had a choice between San Martin de Los Andes and the tiny little hamlet of Villa Traful on what is supposed to be the prettiest of the 7 lakes (there are, you guessed it, 7 lakes in the Argentinian lake region). 60 km of gravel and dirt roads, and lots of beautiful sites, I'm back home in Bariloche and very proud of my driving skills.
The weather didn't get any better today so instead of another hike I joined a few people I'd had the chance to meet on the plane to Bariloche for a boat ride out to Puerto Blest. I had a imagined a village nestled into the end of one of the lakes but it turns out Puerto Blest is just an old hotel type structure that was probably built 60 or so years ago and now provides a lunch and a place to shelter from the rain for tourists. It's not that bad actually since the whole location is completely underdeveloped and you can go on a lovely 10km walk to two lakes and a beautiful waterfall. This end of the lake Nahuel Huapi is so rainy that a it's an entirely different climate to Bariloche and feels and looks very much like the temperate rainforest of British Colombia. You get the boat from Puerto Pañeulos which faces the impressive Llao Lloa hotel (pronounced Chao Chao).