March 30, 2006

A Jaunt to Argentina and Back Again

Well, I´m back in Santiago again. Just spent 5 days in Mendoza, Argentina which was great! Im really looking fwd to getting back to Argentina again, but it could be a while before that happens. I´m moving at a snail´s pace at the moment, and should have been in Patagonia AGES ago. Now its getting really cold and if I want to see it I need to hurry. Tried to book the NAVIMAG during the week..thats a ferry that takes you on a 4 day trip from the Lake Distrrict in Chile down to Puerto Natales which is the gateway to Tierra del Fuego. What I didnt know is that it only sails once a week, and the next available place is on April 10. So, I decided to come back to Santiago for a few days and do some serious job-hunting. Ive made quite a few friends here now and I actually missed the city for the 5 days I was away. Once I get back from Patagonia, Im really hoping to find a teaching position and stay here until August or September, so fingers crossed!
Spent a few very relaxing days in Mendoza. Its quite a big city but has a vcery small town feel and its very pretty with lots o sycamore-lined streets. Most backpackers in the city are there to tackle Acongacua or do some serious adventure sports. I spent my first day there wandering around the city and just hanging out in the hostel. The next day I booked a full days horse-riding which was fantastic! A group of about 10 of us spent hours riding in the desert and finished the day with a long lazy 3hr bbq. (the food in Argentina is to die for, especially the steak!) Met a very nice English couple that day and we decided to tour the wineries outside Mendoza the following day. We hired bikes which becmae very interesting after a few glasses of vino! The most famous wine in Mendoza is Malbec - very very good!
And so, yesterday I decided Iseen and doine what there was to do in Mendoza and got on the bus back to Santiago. At the border, there was a bit of commotion on our bus as a female passenger was taken away, her ags were searched and when she finally got back on the bus she was guarded for the rest of the journey! I think everyne just assumed she´d been cuaght with drugs or something, but in fairness, the Chileans would nearly arrest you forcarrying an apple over the border! They are super-strict!
The bus journey over the Andes is spectacular - I havce never seen anything to equal the beauty of the Andes. Its coming t the end of Summer, start of Autumn here and the colours arejust amazing.
It looks like Im going to be here in Santiago for my birthday which im glad about because a few of us are going to go out and celebrat, and im really looking fwd to it.

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