I’ve already begun booking my vacation, even though it is still months in the future. There are still a few question marks. Now that Calbuco has gone to orange alert, I suspect I won’t have any major volcano troubles.The biggest question right now is how I will get a reservation on the November 13 Tren Patagonico between Viedma and San Carlos Bariloche. I suspect what I’ll do is contact an English-speaking tour agency in Buenos Aires, one like Say Hueque, which is geared to more independent travelers like me.
According to the international rail travel website The Man in Seat 61:
Viedma is across the river by small ferry from Carmen de Patagones, but no same day connection is possible so you need a night in a hotel. The Trén Patagonico from Viedma to C. de Bariloche is tremendous fun and thoroughly recommended! Comfy secure sleeping cars (solo travellers are given a compartment to themselves and a key to lock it), excellent dining car serves steaks and wine, good company and wonderful Patagonian scenery in the morning. Excellent value, and you can buy the tickets in advance in Buenos Aires at Gallerias Rio Negro on Reconquista.
I’m afraid that by the time I get to Gallerias Rio Negro on November 4, the train will be all sold out.
In the meantime, I booked a ideally situated hotel overlooking the Recoleta Cemetery on Azcuénaga in Buenos Aires, and a nice boutique hotel near the river in Puerto Iguazu. For Valparaíso, I’ll be at the La Nona B&B on Galos (Wales) Street atop Cerro Alegre. It’s in the blue building on the left in the above photo.
Yes, it’s beginning to take shape!