We are traveling through the San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina area while on a year trip through South America. The San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina area is very close to the Chilean border and features many large lakes formed by glaciers during the ice age. The lakes are surrounded by the volcanic necks of even older mountains.
The lakes are long and trough-like which makes long wind fetches a possibility any day. Since being in the area there have been 4 excellent paddle board days (light breezes with hot sunny days) out of 7 spent here in July, 2023. There are public beach accesses off of most roads around the lakes, we launched straight from our wild camps on smaller lakes.
We packed our Blue Fin SUP/inflatable paddle board from the United States into our camper which we shipped from Houston, Texas to Buenos Aires, Argentina. (We recommend shipping to Montevideo, Uruguay, see other posts as to why). I’m telling you up front also that we are super careful to completely dry and inspect our board before transferring between lakes.
In Argentina, we are seeing Atlantic Kayak brand kayaks, some inflatable and solid paddle boards of unknown brands and sea kayaks on these lakes and on the Atlantic Coast. You can rent at most of the lakes as well. The kayaks are much better on windy wavy days than our paddle board.
Our experience with Paddle Boarding is in the mountains and rivers of Montana, USA. The skills we learned there have transferred well here. Our board can be standup or sit down, with or without a seat. The removable fins makes navigating streams and rivers easier. The advantage our set up has is for compact travel and possibly packing it into trails, which we have done in mountain lakes in Montana.
Pumping up the thing….we have 2 ways to pump: manual and electric. We have a manual pump that came with the board and fits in the carrying case and we have a cigarette charger pump. We haven’t used the manual since buying the electric run pump, it’s so much easier. Also the manual pump probably needs a new gasket to make it more efficient while pumping. We pump until 12 psi to get it firm enough for to carry Mike and my 375 lbs.
The kids launching on Lago Mascardi from “the secret sunken dock” on Nile’s 15th birthday.
Please tell us your stories of quietly cruising the waters by boarding or kayaking in this wonderful world we live. For instance, my mom loves her kayak in the waters of Buffalo, NY and Clearwater, FL. Enjoy!