The Patagonia I Dreamed About

The Patagonia I Dreamed About

Any Argentine tourist dreams of visiting cities like San Martín de Los Andes and Villa La Angostura in the province of Neuquén and take a ride through the famous scenic route of the 7 Lakes.
 
Through the course of the years I grew up exposed to images, stories and tales that made me want to visit these places.
 
Finally, the moment arrived and it was time to visit these destinations of whom I heard so much and what I found wasn’t disappointing at all.
 
 
During the morning as we were getting closer to the mountains, after spending the night in Piedra Del Águila, the first snowed peaks could be seen in the distance and the winding road made them get lost and then be found in other directions.
 
As we were arriving in Junín De Los Andes, we could observe the first rivers, pines and spots with the little snow that was still left. It was the preview of what was about to come…
 
San Martín De Los Andes was finally reached after driving almost 1000 miles. As we entered the city, the constructions made of rustic wood were the first thing that caught our attention. It’s the common factor and the characteristic element in the buildings.
 
 
As we neared the downtown area, an active city could be appreciated. Full of shops, full of people, full of life.
 
Despite being a big and crowded city, there were no traffic lights there. The locals opposed to them. When a passer-by crossed the street, cars stopped and left them walk. I’ve never seen anything like that in a major city and that certainly speaks very well of the locals.
 
The Ski season had already started, it was Winter Holidays for many people and with the Cerro Chapelco’s facilities a few miles away from the city, San Martín de Los Andes is the best option to stay in to those who want to enjoy this famous Winter Sports Centre.
 
After arriving to the Hostel and despite being tired for the trip, it didn’t take long for us to go to explore the city.
 
The first stop was Lake Lacar.
 
It stretches in front of the city and it is surrounded by mountains, with its dock and its clear waters. It’s a beautiful lake with colorful cottages and restaurants that border the street next to the shore. That’s the same street that becomes Route 40 and led us to the Seven Lakes later.
 
That same day we also visited 'Mirador Arrayán', it’s an overlook in which we found spectacular views of the city and the lake. A few miles ahead, that same road becomes part of the Arrayán Circuit. It runs through 11 miles in the middle of the mountain. 
 
To be continued...