Published: March 25th 2009March 15th 2009
(pictures to come)
I spent the last few days in Bariloche at the Playa Bonita and kiyacking on Lago Guiterrez. The lake was huge and we stopped after an hour and a half to drink some Matte (Argentinian tea) and to eat medialunas. We also had a quick swim but the water was freeeezing!
It was sad to say goodbye to Bariloche but a breathtaking bus ride out of the town made me realise how lucky I had been to spend two weeks there.
6 hours later I was at Neuquen. The bus terminal looked more like an airport and following my trusty guidebook I found the bus and headed into town to find a hostel. Neuquen was a little peculiar on first thoughts. It has a 1950´s American feel to it, with pastel colours, huge signs and fast-food joints all over. I soon found my hostel, located in a quiet street and settled in for the night with some much needed fruit and salad.
The next day I had intended to take a trip to see my beloved dinosaurs but feeling a little queasy I decided to spend a day in town instead.
The evening before
I had met Mariela (from Argentina) and her 4 year old son, Tedeo. She had a travel story for everywhere! In the morning Mariela had a job interview and asked if I could look after her little boy for a few hours. Of course, I was more than happy too and as he only spoke Spanish it was going to be good practice. I have to admit, I did briefly think it was part of plan and that I could end up adopting a 4 year old boy and bringing him back home.
Anyhow I spent the morning feeding Tedeo ice cream at the local heladeria (ice-cream parlour) and then at the park where he taught me Spanish and I taught him English. He found the word "tree" hilarious! and "muy fuerte, muy fuerte, muy fuerte" was his favourite phrase on the swing, meaning "stronger, stronger, stronger." Luckily these swings were cemented into the ground Dad! Luckily Mariela turned up in the afternoon (phew) and we enjoyed lunch and took a long walk to the river where we sat and Mariela helped to plan the rest of my weeks. Mariela also introduced me to Reiki but out of fear
of being cursed for the rest of my life I´ll tell you the story when I see you next!
The following day, I took a very early bus to a town called Villa Chocon to finally see my DINOSAURS.
My bus arrived at 10.30am. I found the museum, saw the biggest dinosaur discovered so far (classically named ´Gigantosauras´) and ummmmmmm ......that´s probably as exciting as my day got. The dinosaur digs were a good 8k walk away and again and as I wasn´t feeling too great I decided to stay put, find some shade and stay around the town. It was a bizarre place, said to be purpose built (although aren´t all towns purpose built?) to house the workers from hydro electric plants nearby. It resembled something of a hi-di-hi holiday camp - I wasn´t surprised to find it had been built by the British!
The following day I headed off to Mendoza - traditionally known as the wine region of Argentina. I don´t want to talk too much about bus journeys but in this case, it´s necesary. I was actually looking forward to my ride, a good nights sleep and a chance to learn some Spanish
verbs. Unfortunately, I chose seat number 16.... After a few minutes a rather large (let´s say... not sober) man headed straight towards seat number 17 and I knew I was doomed. As soon as he sat down, he was asleep within minutes, snoring SOOOO loudly and bizarrely jigging his legs the whole time he was asleep. It was going to be a long 20 hours! Luckily after 12 hours (I misjudged my journey a little!) I had arrived in Mendoza.