Had originally planned to salvage my last day in Bariloche by doing a little bit more sightseeing - going on the "Circuito Chico" to see a bit more of the Lake Nahuel Huapi. But the still cloudy weather - plus with the addition of rain kinda put me off that. Ended up sitting in the dining area of the hostel and chatting to the other guests.
The Belgian girls in my room were going to the hippie town of El Bolsón, about two hours south of Bariloche. The Kiwis, Tessa and Jeremy (from Pucón, Chile) had also strongly recommended it, saying it was their favourite town in Argentina so far. So thought it would be better to see that, than spend the day sitting in the hostel. Besides, my bus to Puerto Madryn later that evening passes through El Bolsón too, so I didn't really have much to lose.
On the bus, ran into Juan again. Unlike me, he had not only talked of doing the Circuito Chico, but had actually gone there in the morning - came sun or rain. Anyway when we pulled into El Bolsón, it was still raining, and everyone was hungry - so off for some lunch!
We found one not far from the bus terminal, and I was pleased to find that they had even cut a section for vegetarians! How considerate!! With the order of two bottles of wine, we ended up spending quite a bit of time there.
The two Belgian girls (both called Sara) were quite refreshing, with their sharp and frank sense of humour. During lunch, one of the Saras, with glass of wine in hand, asked Dean (Sydney, Australia) very casually if "he'd got lucky yet on his trip". Somewhat taken aback, he replied, "I've been travelling for ten months already!!" Well, I guess what a better way to get to know someone better huh? Actually earlier on, over breakfast, the other Sara had recommended me a hostal in Buenos Aires - a small place, but the guy there was sooo gorgeous (she rolled he eyes to reinforce her point), and was a lot of fun, taking them out partying in the evening.
By the time we'd finished lunch, it was too late for me to do the hike with the Saras and Juan. I had only about an hour and a half before my bus was leaving. So Dean (who was limping from a sprained ankle) and I went in search of a local beer brewery recommended to us by the tourist information office.
It was only a small place, but the guys there were happy to give us a quick tour. We didn't really even have to move - it was so small, we could see everything from standing there! What was best was the free samples of beer they gave us afterwards. Tried out a shot of wheat beer (which we liked the best - lighter and more refreshing!), blonde beer, red beer (my first ever, I think! but didn't like very much) and finally a black beer. They were happy that we purchased a bottle each to swig down (great idea Yat, just before a 12 hour bus journey!), and Dean bought six more to consume afterwards.
So you see, my few hours at El Bolsón allowed me to see just these... There's usually market on Tuesday, but all the stalls were closed due to the rain. We had come to see some hippie stuff, but the hippiest thing we found was a rainbow hanging over the street of El Bolsón...