It was over a five hour drive south from Torres del Paine to airport in Punta Arenas. From there we flew two hours North to significantly warmer weather in Puerto Montt. We spent the night in town before an early morning pickup for our scenic trip through the lake district from Puerto Varas to Bariloche. It made for a long day with five bus rides and three separate boat trips. The lakes each had distinct scenery with a variety of colours and volcanoes in the background along one and flowers along the edges of another. We passed through little towns between the lakes, one with a population of 12 and another with only one full time resident, the park ranger. We went through the tiniest of border crossings when we left Chile and entered Argentina.
As we approached Bariloche, the shores were lined with people out enjoying the sun. We stayed there for two nights in a beautiful lodge next to the beach.
We returned to Buenos Aires on Dec 31st. We skipped the chaos of the New Year parties around Puerto Madero and instead had a more personal celebration with a late dinner at a French restaurant and we brought our champagne back to our room in time to ring in 2011 in private.
On Jan 1st we had an exceptional meal at the renowned Cabaña las Lilas and the following day we spent the morning watching the street performers and crowds of people from a café in the heart of the Sunday, San Telmo market. That evening we went to see what the city is famous for, Tango. I am not a fan of dinner theatres, but there were moments of brilliance in the show that certainly made it worthwhile. The remainder of our time in Buenos Aires was spent revisiting some of the city highlights (Recoletta, Galerias Pacifico, etc.) we had already seen a year ago when we passed this way on our world trip.