Friday, January 15, 2010

Arriving in Mendoza

After 6 days in Pucon, Chile.... waiting for the volcano to re-open for summiting I finally gave up and bought my bus tickets to get to Mendoza, Argentina via Santiago. Wouldn’t you know, the day after I bought my tickets they announced it was going to re-open. In reality it was a ``might` re-open in a couple of days so I decided to stick with my original plan and head out. I splurged for the plush premium seats for my overnight trip to Santiago and was happy to find that the two girls across the isle from me were from Australia and they had come armed with a couple bottles of wine they wanted to polish off before flying back home from Santiago. Needless to say, I was happy to assist them with the mission. They had been travelling for a few weeks so we spent a couple hours sharing stories of adventure and drinking, then slowly we started to fade and the bus attendant came in to convert our seats into beds. The seat folds down completely flat and had an eye mask, earplugs, a fresh pair of socks, blanket and pillow. After we were all tucked in it was lights out. I woke up around 6am, just shy of our arrival in Santiago.... wish they had this kind of bus transport in the states.

I decided to kill a day in Santiago to break up the bus trip and give myself some time to try and find a few things in the larger city. I was out of face wash and knew this was the place to try and find it. Now mind you, all I wanted was some cetaphil (allergy free) face wash which you can buy in any grocery/drug store in America for about $6. After searching 4 pharmacies I finally found some, exactly what I wanted but I about choked on my gum when she rang it up and told me the price. At first I thought I mis-heard (common problem for me with Chilean spanish) so I asked for her to repeat the price. They wanted 13,000 (about $26 bucks) for the stuff. Naturally, I bought it anyway. I was tired of my face breaking out from using some other stuff so I decided to splurge for the day. No wonder my budget has been blown to hell. While I was at it, if I was going to spend some money then I knew exactly where I wanted to go for dinner. I went back to the same restaurant, Brown Cat, Morgan and I had been to for the best meal I’ve found anywhere in Chile, rabbit with a bacon cream sauce! HEAVEN. I cought the movie Surrogates and called it a night.

The following day I finished my bus trip, another 7 hours to Mendoza, Argentina. The border crossing went faster than the last few had so all was well. The streets in Mendoza are lined with big trees and there are several parks so it doesn’t look like the desert but as soon as you step off the bus, there is no mistake. It was about 5pm and well over 95 degrees, holly crap. The hostel I booked online stated it had AC and a swimming pool so I grabbed a cab with a British girl and we headed toward the hostel. Of course, the AC is only available in a private double room (bastards) which is only $180 pesos ($45) a night. As for the swimming pool, its about 4 feet wide and about 8 feet long, even so I have a feeling I’ll be in it before long to cool off. The fan was a bit noisy in the room and the British girl didn’t like to sleep with earplugs so she turned it down to stop the noise. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep very well. The hostel manager said he was moving folks to different rooms so maybe tonight will be better, if not, I may be splurging for a private room for the third night. AC here I come, those of you who know me can appreciate how much I´m melting right now. I haven´t hit the cranky stage yet but its coming, I'll be missing Seattle weather by day three or four.

Well, I’m off to explore the city, will post photos of Mendoza with my next update.

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