For today I had a mountain bike tour planned. There were several bike rental shops in Bariloche but I chose the most convenient option which was hiring the bike directly from the hostel. Therefore, the bike wasn’t of the highest quality e.g. only one of the two brakes was actually working.
My first destination was the center of Bariloche. This town is said to be the chocolate capital of Argentina. There are numerous chocolate shops in town and you can enjoy strolling around and tasting the free samples they are giving away. Especially for Easter a massive Easter egg was build up in the central square of the town. I read 27 bakeries worked for two weeks to produce 4,000kg of chocolate to make this giant Easter egg. It’s 8.5m high, 5m wide and weights over four tons. The egg is so huge that it was expected to be certified by Guinness Records as the world’s largest.
Today is Easter Sunday and around 10am the big Easter egg will be broken up and distributed to the crowd. When I arrived at 10:30am this process was already under way. Two guys were standing on a small crane and using a hammer to break the egg into pieces. Everybody in the crowd was keen to get a piece and a long waiting line formed within minutes. Since I didn’t want to wait two hours or so just to get a piece of chocolate I decided to continue my mountain bike tour.
The weather was beautiful and sunny and I really enjoyed my ride along the lake. The terrain was a bit hilly and so I got a good exercise going up and down the many small hills. I covered maybe 25km on tarmac before I hit the dirt road. Riding a mountain bike on a busy street in South America was actually not bad at all. Everybody, with the exception of bus drivers, was driving very carefully and I felt save at all times. The dirt road was much more fun since there were significantly less cars and I could use the whole road for riding my bike.
The next stop was Colonia Suiza which is a tiny Swiss-style village. Every Sunday they have a small market here selling all kinds of Swiss specialties such as cheese or tortes. The village also features a brewery where you can sit in a beer garden and enjoy a cold beer.
On the way back I wanted to take a small circuit route but I somehow missed the road I should have taken for it. Instead I ended up on the larger circuit driving about 70-80km on that day. The route was very scenic leading me through forest and along the lake so time went by quickly.
I was back at the hostel in the late afternoon. Most of the other people were already back from their activities and chilling out in the living room type of area of the hostel. My British fellow travelers Mollie and Ian were playing chess against each other and Mollie won. Jurie, my fellow traveler from Japan, came back quite late. On the way back from the bus station to the hostel a guy tried to attack her. Luckily she managed to walk into an Italian restaurant and the owner of the place asked one of his guests to drive her home after dinner. These are actually the situations you need to be aware of that they may happen. When being far away from home you can be easily identified as a tourist and become a target for attacks. Therefore, you should be more careful and always keep in mind you should behave differently than back home.
For dinner the couple owning the hostel prepared a barbeque for us. It was served quit late around 10pm and many people were already starving at this point in time.