Bariloche: St. Bernards, Skyway Tram, Hiking Refugio Lopez & a good meal

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Hayden looking out from the refugio after a long hike and taking it in. I love these shots where the kids dont know they are being photographed.


So we have now been in Bariloche for about 5 days. Honestly the first couple we have been in reaction mode dealing with stuff from our incident in Pucon. However, we have now submitted everything to insurance and they are doing their stuff on their end. Note to anyone travelling, it’s a good idea to take pictures of any/all items taken on a trip. One of our issues is my camera which we don’t have evidence of purchase and your online credit cards don’t go back far enough to record the information. So you sort of get in a pinch, now that everything is digital is great, however not being able to go back further than 18 months is a concern… okay back to the trip.

So in Bariloche is much different than Pucon was – there is no where near the same amount of traffic or people. The restaurants are not overflowing with people, but they are busy. We managed to get downtown Monday and Tuesday to take some laundry to get done – it cost $6 for a bag of laundry to get washed and folded. e went shopping a bit trying to replace things we have lost. We found, finally, a blue tooth keyboard for the ipad so we can now blog easier. Note that apple products are not sold in Argentina so its a problem. I managed to get lured into a black/market sales deal for US dollars to Peso’s at a local clothing store – this is how it’s done here – lots of guys on the street saying “cambio” (change) and if you want the street rate of 13:1 vs the official rate of 8.5:1 you do it. It’s a 30% savings on your money.

We ended up walking downtown with the boys and having breakfast was nice. In the center of town there is a great plaza with lots of local merchants. Several photo opportunities with St. Bernard dogs & puppies – which we of course had to partake in.   We ended up going to the top of Cerro Otto by taking the tram to the top.  You could have tried to hike it, but it is so steep we saw guys trying it and they were sliding back down the hill.  It was a good ride, and at the top there is a restaurant which was nice.


6 month old puppy


Hiking: Cendero Refugio Lopez So yesterday the weather was a bit colder (60F) and we decided a hike was in order. We purchased replacement camel backs the other day so we are back being able to hike and everyone able to carry their own stuff. So we drove to the base of the mountain – which is at lake level – and then proceeded to hike to the Refuge. This refuge was built 1950’s and is at the top of the mountain. It’s about a 6.5 Mile hike, with about 3,300 Vertical feet in elevation gain so it was pretty steep in parts. Most of the hikes here and in Chile the ground has been very soft and coming down it’s sort of slick and slippery coming down the paths. We do fine, but there are a couple of spots on this hike where you are holding on.

Refugio Lopez

Refugio Lopez

We hiked up to the top, once there we found the Argentinian military finishing their climbing exercises for the day. I had a conversation with a trainer in my “Spanglish” about their climb where they were, etc. He was a nice guy and we chatted about what they were doing. The climb up for the military was a bit hard – they have to take a lot of stuff – stretchers, etc. to support all these guys. There was even an emergency medical staff there in their 4×4 ambulance.


You can see the refuge in this photo – it was about an hour away. It’s way up on the side of the hill – center of the picture.


The boys and I looking over the valley from the edge of the cliff.

The boys and I looking over the valley from the edge of the cliff.

We finished the hike and while at the top noticed that the sky was dark with smoke. We found out that a brush fire had started across the lake and was filling the sky with smoke. This led to some very unique pictures with the sun being red in the dust.

At the end we were all pretty beat from the hike – which is good for all of us – and needed to find a place to eat. We stopped at this German style pub – and promptly ordered drinks (beer included) – this led us to ordering a Table Plate – of meat/cheese and this unbelievable beet/cream cheese dip for chips that we will be making back in the states.

Not 100% sure what we are doing the remainder of the week – we have some other places to hike – one is a one-way road (for miles) that goes in until 2 pm, then they open it up the other way at 3 p.m. for everyone to leave. We have inquired about going sailing with a charter – so we are working on that, but the winds have been 30+ knots – so not so fun in a smaller boat.


Getting in the goldola – reminds me of steamboat


Part of the way up our hike to the refuge. pretty spectacular scenery.


At the refuge at the top – they had made this little water holding area/pond – which looks out over the other side of the mtn range




This was a cool restaurant about 2/3rds up the hike to the refuge that you can go to – of course you have to hike up to it. No one was there when we came back down.



Going down in the tram.



At the top of the Cerro Otto place they had ‘dirt tubing’ – the boys got to go three times – very different than snow. Bariloche is a big snow place – there is a huge ski area here, but you have to use the tubes for something in the summer i guess.



The boys at the top of refugio lopez


The army waiting for the new troops to haul gear up the hill. Good thing it was not hot.



Gavin marched down with the argentinian army for a few steps.



The trail to the refugio – sometimes you wonder about erosion and if they will stop use of this trail – it’s pretty bad in spots.



Picture I took from the road after hiking – the sun is impacted by the smoke in the air – but you can see the mountains and lake and it’s pretty special.



Our meat and cheese plate after a long day of hiking – pretty awesome indeed.






  1. Granddad says

    Boy, are you seeing some beautiful country. The pictures almost have us being there too. We are glad the pace of the adventure has settle back down and that you are moving on beyond the disappointment of the robbery. When you get back, you will be able to jog up Mount Si without stopping.

    Hugs to everyone!
    Love, Dad


  2. Suzanne Hoagland says

    Such gorgeous country, and wow you all must be in AWESOME shape! Hoaglands are just getting plugged in to your trip, so will connect more often. Thanks for the wonderful sharing – it is such a gift for all of us back home. Miss you all – Cindy, Nowell, Hayden and Gavin!

    Giant hugs and smiles,


  3. The Daggs says

    Love the hiking photos! Great to see you again the other day and spend some time together. We really enjoyed it!


    • Thanks- hope you made it back over the border yesterday. We spent about 6 hours in the car today going to puento Linda and seeing the glacier there… Very cool but a long day in the car on gravel roads. Have fun in Orlando!


  4. Josephine Hoagland says

    OH MY GOSH, that puppy was SOOOOO cute!!! It looks like you guys are having tones of fun, and I am curious about the whole concept of dirt tubing…


  5. Rick Carver says

    Glad you have recovered from the Pucon incident. Beautiful country, enjoying the blog and photos! Be safe.


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