21st to 28th Jan ’14 – Much needed R & R*

 

We spend a lovely seven days at the country home of Alex, just outside the town of La Falda. It is a small town that gets overrun by Argentinian vacation goers during the summer months. That is exactly why I don’t leave the haven of this home once in the seven days that we spend here. I catch up on writing and play with some photos. We take leisurely walks to the river, we exercise and I meditate. We eat healthily and detox from all the excess vegetable oil we consumed during our time with the vegans. By the end of the week the itch of needing to be on the move has set in and we are once again ready to hit the road.

We greet our new friend Alex and take one last look at this home away from home before heading on our way to town. We booked an overnight bus to the wine town of Mendoza that leaves at 23:30 so we decide to have dinner at a family run parilla just around the corner from the bus terminal. We order a bottle of wine and sip away awaiting the arrival of our well-deserved food. After a week of super healthy eating I am very excited about my restaurant steak and chips.

2 beautiful steaks arrive and we fill our plates with salad buffet. Omnomnomnomnom! We waste no time and almost attack the dessert table, filled with chocolate mousse, flan and fruits. We definitely overdid it, no question about it.

Tummies full, we load our luggage like packing mules and take the supposedly quick walk to the La Falda bus terminal to catch our accommodation for the night.

23:30 comes…and it goes.

00:00 comes…and it goes.

Finally the bus arrives at 00:30 just as I start falling asleep leaning against a concrete pillar. The driver screams and shouts at us, as if it’s our fault that he is an hour late. We are herded into the bus like sheep, and we are off into the night.

I few hours into the bus ride I awake suddenly from a  nap with a shudder. The bus is swaying from side to side, and we are moving very fast, much faster than we should. Buses in Argentina are fitted with a little light in passenger cabin that starts flashing when the driver exceeds the legal, and safe, limit of 100km/h. The light in our bus is dancing frantically as the driver dodges potholes in the darkness on this winding mountain road. I have a horrible feeling that we might die in a bus in Argentina tonight. I do not recommend Cata bus company when in Argentina.

We make it alive. Mendoza Terminal is busy in the morning, but not insane. We grab a taxi to Punto Urbano Hostel where we are treated to a free breakfast because we arrived before 10am – Thanks Maggie! Mendoza is Argentinian wine country, but the city itself is like a mini version of Buenos Aires. We don’t visit any of the surrounding wineries, we rather walk the town and get some life admin done. We are using Mendoza only as a one night pit stop on our way to Santiago, Chile.

Tomorrow we are off to country number 4! (Technically number 5 if you count the 2 hours in Paraguay..)

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