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Yo Hablo Espanol

A hop into chile, A skip into Argentina...

storm 6 °C

We landed in Chile a few days ago, our hostel was basic but liveable. Much like my spanish. There are some really nice parts to Santiago, the Arts Quarter for example. We went here for our first meal out where we ordered ´parilla´ which we found out was just several different cuts of meat and sausages all BBQd. No Veg, No potatoes. Henry was pleased. It was good, but just a plateful of meat felt strange. They really don´t eat vegetables here. They advertise ´guarnicion´ which is guarnish, but what it means is a token flake of lettuce. It suits us fine. We have had a big steak almost everyday. Im not sure how much good it will do us. Ive also had to brave a migraine and start drinking red wine (so has Henry!!) you are almost an outcast if you dont. We had bad jet lag as our flight left at 5pm, lasted 11hours and got to Santiago at 12.10pm the same day. We have just about got over it. Once in Mendoza ( a crazy bus ride over the Andes) we found a lovely hostel, met some decent folk and spent a couple of days just getting over our jet lag, getting to know the city and having more Asados (BBQs). We took a photo of the BBQ for Dad so he can get some ideas on how to build one next to the garage at home. On the day before we left Mendoza we went to Maipu to do the wine tours. Here, you hire a bike from Sr. Hugo (who plies you with free wine) then cycle the wide avenues visiting vineyards and beer gardens trying their wares for a nominal fee. They have liquors and Absinthes and olives. It was a recipe for disaster. We met some Americans (AJ and Christian) on the bus and went round the course with them. It was a really chilled day with good wine and good company and surprisingly no accidents, I wonder if AJ and Christian actually got their bus that night...

The next day we were due to go to Tafi del Valle on the bus. To get over our hangover we went to a helardaria (ice cream parlour) for a treat. The sky was black as we left and the air pressure was suffocating. As we got to the parlour it started to rain, then it started to pour then it started to hail like i have never ever seen in my life. We have a photo of one of the hailstones. Its not an exagerattion to say that some of the hail stones were as big as ping pong balls. Within 20 minutes the roads were rivers. And we were stuck in an ice cream parlour! There was a few minutes when it was really scary as if it hadn´t let up it could´ve been more dangerous. I thought it was a hurricane or something but apparently its normal. You can´t go outside though as the hail could knock you out. There was a couple of car windows smashed. We had to wind our way back to the hostel knee deep in water (from the drains...) it was exciting and scary. We wouldve missed our bus but the guy from our hostel came to the station with us so we could draw out cash and pay him there and not have to do 2 journeys. Lovely guy. The bus ride was 14 hours and the bus leaked the whole way on my seat. At first i thought the previous passenger may have had a wee accident on the seat but then as the water gushed through the baggage holder above me I realised the issue. Soggy and tired we caught the next bus to Tafi Del Valle. 2000metres high in the hills of Argentina this place is very sweet but life is very slow here and English is scarce. So far we´ve found out that there is a lake we can walk to but we are not sure where this is... It seems many people come here to trek. It is still raining. Our hostel is very basic but seems clean enough and is friendly. Bed soon I think, we´ve got a lake to find tomorrow...

Posted by HenryKat 11:31 Archived in Argentina

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