The nearest town is Rio Gallego, provincial capital and over 300km away. 4000 according to Lonely Planet, 8 according to the hostel owners, 12 already according to a taxista who considered himself a tourguide. Few people anyway. But a nice place, at the Lago Argentina, apparently completely full in wintertime. Without reservation not necessary to travel there.
Bariloche is a completely different story. 3 hours flying further north, hence only a oneday busdrive away from Buenos Aires, it became the first mountain resort in the Andes. Wherever you walk in this city, it seems that there is no other business then tourism. Activities to be done everywhere, excursions, an incredible amount of hotels and other places to stay, souvenirshops wherever you go, it depends for nearly a century on people visiting it. For those of you who know Austria, Zell am see would be a good comparison. Mountains close, lake just in front of it, nice area, but just a bit over the top.
I decided not to stay for more than a night in Bariloche. If I want to see something of Chili, I need to move onwards. Hence I booked a trip to get me into Chili via a scenic route. More about that one tomorrow.