Monday 4th March
We worked in the morning, then went out to lunch and met up with a German couple we had met the day before while on our cycle ride by the lake. After a nap, we went out again to meet up with them and had coffee and cake in a place Zab liked the look of.
Tuesday 5th March
After some time spent faffing in the hotel, we took the bus out towards the circuit chico to have lunch at a recommended vegetarian restaurant out there. Unfortunately, it was closed, but we found another place just down the road and ate simply, but with great views.
We then backtracked towards the lake and wandered around on the beach for a while before renting a two person kayak and going out on the water. This mostly involved Zab sitting at the back doing the paddling, while I lounged and took pictures. However, once we started paddling together, we built up to (what felt like) quite an impressive speed, and the act of synchronised paddling induced a kind of zen-like meditative state, with no distractions other than the soothing splash of oar on water.
Wednesday 6th – Saturday 9th March
Nothing much exciting. It was cold, windy and rainy outside, so we stayed in worked, did yet more travel planning (it never ends!) and either popped out to our favourite lunch place or a cafe later on, and occasionally a short walk by the lake.
Sunday 10th March
The weather finally cleared up, so after a very lazy and chatty breakfast, we went to the bus stop to catch a ride out to Cerro Catedral, a ski resort out of town. I had assumed there wouldn't be a timetable for the buses, not giving Argentinian public transport enough credit for being that efficient, so we just turned up and waited. After about 45 minutes of waiting, we discovered there was in fact a timetable, and the bus we wanted only went every two hours. Luckily, however, there was one due to come in 15 minutes.
When we finally arrived at the town below “the best ski resort in South America” (as several roadside signs reliably informed us in Spanish), we were slightly disappointed at how dead it was. Zab was especially disappointed that the ski-lift wasn't operating, meaning we couldn't get up to the top of the mountain for views over the lake. Since it was a Sunday at the end of the summer high season, I wasn't especially surprised by this.
We then decided to walk down the hill towards Lago Gutierrez, with the helping hand of one of Zab's favourite apps to guide us. The walk more than made up for our disappointment at Cerro Catedral, with beautiful views over the valley and lake below us, and the physical effort giving us just the exercise we needed after four days spent indoors, mostly sitting. Once back in town, we of course, visited a café and got chatted up by the waiter.