One of my favorite things about Bariloche – aside from the beautiful lakes, the snow-capped mountains, the excellent craft beer and the throngs of chocolate shops – are all the trees wearing jumpers.
You’d have to be blind or blind drunk to visit Bariloche and not notice them – practically every block in town has two or three jumper-wearing trees. Of course, I’ve seen yarn bombing before, but I’ve never seen an entire town centre covered in knitting. The yarn bombing even extends to streets in the poorer areas quite far out of the centre (although there it looked more like t-shirt bombing).
It took me until my last morning in Bariloche to hear a plausible sounding reason for the phenomenon. This time last year, a large volcano in nearby Chile erupted, and Bariloche was covered in ash. Walter said it was terribly depressing – everything was grey and dusty and dreary when it was supposed to be spring. According to him, this is when the yarn bombing first started to appear. He reckons it was someone’s attempt to bring a bit of color back to Bariloche.
However, I still have no idea who is responsible for it. Miriam said she thought it might be the owners of Rapa Nui, my favorite chocolate shop, but she wasn’t sure. Whoever it is, I want to congratulate them. This quirky touch lifts Bariloche out of being simply a very pretty ski and adventure tourism town, and turns it into a place with a proper personality. One you just have to like.