Last day here in Bariloche which has been our home for the last two weeks. Getting on the night bus to Mendoza (wine country) this afternoon where we will be spending Christmas. Our last couple of days in Bariloche was filled with fun activities. Eric, Brad and I went river rafting one day where Brad had his second near death experience after choosing the "more adventurous" boat, falling in the water and ending up underneath the boat when trying to come up for air, twice, and then getting caught by a whirlpool on the third attempt. We had a great time though and after reaching the Chilean border (the river runs through both countries) we enjoyed some traditional Argentinian asado before heading back to Bariloche.
Camilla and Erik arrived on Tuesday after spending a couple of days in Buenos Aires, great to see them!! We rented a car one day and did the "Seven Lake Route", enjoyed some amazing views, a very cold swim and a short hike. Yesterday we went horse backriding in the mountains, it was so much fun, and a bit dangerous (helmets are apparently not for gauchos and so not for tourists either). First time I have been on a horse without a helmet and riding "Western style" was totally new to me but we figured it out after a little while. We were out for 5 hours climbing all the way to the top of the mountain where the ski lifts are and rode through a gorgeous forest before reaching a cliff where we had lunch, steak sandwiches cooked up by our guide on a little grill. Later we galloped on gravel roads with crazy stray dogs running after us barking. The trip ended very unfortunate when Brad experienced his third near death experience on this trip. With 10 feet left to the gate where we stopping, Brad´s horse was in full gallop and as he assumes we are going straight the horse apparently wanted to turn towards his stable (sharp right turn) which it did and Brad flew off the side together with the saddle that came off. It was a scary moment but fortunately nothing was broken, head didn´t hit the ground. A very sore butt and back was the result and Brad is not looking forward to our 18 hour bus ride today.
Erik and Camilla joining us meant the addition of another ukulele for the "concerts" we have been having at the hostel the last couple of nights. Who knew backpacking would make me take up playing the violin? The amazing people at our favorite hostel of this trip Penthouse 1004 includes Javier who had a violin and a guitar and got us all playing instruments and singing while sipping wine after dinner. Fantastic.