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January 10, 2013 / JustinKays Porter

Chasin Rain(bows) with Corbin / Ruta de Los Siete Lagos

Today we left Bariloche to drive the scenic and very popular Ruta de los Siete Lagos (Seven Lakes Drive) from Villa Angostura to San Martin de los Andes. About half of the road is gravel, half nicely paved. The drive passes seven beautiful alpine lakes nestled in the Andes, blanketed with lush forests and bright wildflowers. We were both very excited to see all of the wonderful eye candy this drive has to offer, and we also looked forward to the small town of San Martin at the end of the drive (rumored to be a quainter, quieter, less overwhelming version of Bariloche).

Part of the unpaved Ruta de Los Siete Lagos

We set an early alarm this morning, hoping to get on the road before the forecasted storm rolled in. We woke up to a beautiful rainbow arching through the ominous sky, into Lago Nahuel Huapi. This was a very nice site to see, but whatbdid it mean? Did the storm already pass and we were getting sun peeking through? Or was the sun just starting to be enveloped by the clouds? We would soon find out it was definitely the latter!

The rainbow from our picture window in Bariloche

With a full tank of gas, we set off with Corbin around the south-eastern portion of Lago Nahuel Huapi on the way up to Villa Angostura. We made it about two-thirds of the way there, drinking in the beautiful views of Bariloche, Nahuel Huapi, the surrounding mountains, and the never-ending rainbows. Then the rain hit. And when it rains, it pours! We made it into Villa Angostura and ducked into a cafe for coffee, hoping that the crazy rain would subside if given a little time. And it did, for awhile…

Chasing rainbows 🙂

The drive from Villa Angostura to San Martin really is stunning. The views make even the bumpy gravel road and psycho tour bus drivers seem irrelevant. We just wish that we had had a little more sun and a little less rain and wind to make the drive and the exploring more enjoyable. There are lots of short hikes around each of the seven lakes on this drive, but after the first lake, the rain and wind were so bad that we couldn't get up the nerve to wander around the lakes. So we did most of our sightseeing and enjoying from the warm, dry, windless interior of Corbin.

The storm coming in

There are massive lupines everywhere!

Lunch inside Corbin. At least we had a view...

It would seem that the Patagonian weather finally got the best of us today. We still very much enjoyed the drive and the beautiful views, but we can't help but think how much prettier the scenery would be with blue skies instead of grey. So we completed Ruta de los Siete Lagos, but it was slightly bittersweet. I guess we will just have to come back some day to enjoy the drive in all of its glory.

The drive ended with a wonderful view of San Martin and Lago Lacar. After our exhausting day of driving and battling the elements, we checked into our place and settled in for a siesta.

San Martin and Lago Lacar

 

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