Unspoiled mountain lake in Argentinian Patagonia, far from villages and towns, far from modern facilities.
Argentina has its own Lake District, in the east of the country against the Andes Cordillera, around the city of Bariloche – short for San Carlos de Bariloche. Several emerald-blue lakes provide fabulous views, at the foot of snow-capped mountains, rimmed by dark-green pine forests. In winter this is the most upmarket ski area of South America, and in summer the surroundings are equally attractive, for the many Argentine holiday makers as well as foreigners. Which makes the Lake District a very touristic zone, indeed, with all its disadvantages.
Further south, in the province of Chubut, there are also plenty of lakes, equally attractive, but without the infrastructure of Bariloche. One of the largest is Lake Vintter, 40 km from the nearest village, Rio Pico, and well over a 100 km from anything resembling a town. After all, this is Patagonia, the vast emptiness of Southern Argentina. On the shores of Lake Vintter a Russian immigrant, Nikita, and his German wife, exploit a camping site and some wooden cabanas, or holiday huts. They provide the bed sheets, towels, toilet-paper, water and wood – indispensable for the Argentine addicted to his asado, and equally indispensable for heating the water as well as the stove that warms the inside of the cabanas (sometimes it does get chilly here, even in summer). All the rest you need to bring yourself, the food, the wine, and anything to entertain yourself with, because there is really nothing else. Walking is popular. The lake is rather too cold to swim, but boating would be an option, if you bring your boat. And apparently – I am no expert – there is no better place for fly fishing.
Electricity? Four hours of generator at night, no more (unless the proprietor is out, then the light comes on much later – essentially, you spent an hour or so in the dark). Telephone? Out of reach. Internet? You must be joking! If there is any place on earth where you can switch off, it is here.