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Published: June 15th 2018
There was a sad farewell to Denmark (despite almost falling out the previous night over a game of the 500 cardgame) prior to hopping in a taxi to the huge bus station Terminal Santiago. I’d booked a ticket online a few days before with Andesmar and after validating my online ticket and checking in it was a short wait for the right bus to turn up before boarding it and settling in for the day (South American buses really did have the most comfy seats some of them were like 1st class plane seats). I‘d heard that the views across the Andes during the journey were spectacular so I made sure I booked a window seat and had my little music MP3 player fully charged.
It was also going to be a border crossing (my last on this trip as it turned out) so I made sure I had my passport to hand and after a while negotiating the Santiago traffic we were pulling away from the city on to route 57 which would join route 60 to Argentina. I had been giving it much thought over the previous week and particularly as I left Santiago on my own again
as to how much longer this part of trip would last. It had so far taken me across the world from China to Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Ecuador, Chile and Argentina however I was starting to get homesick and my 40th Birthday was soon approaching in May 2012. Whilst I had met some amazing people on this trip and was sure I would meet many more, I really wanted to be at home for the big occasion with family and friends. The London Olympics were also due to start in August and I thought it would be great to be in London for that ! There was still a part of me that wanted to continue the journey to North Argentina, North Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador again and Colombia however I was starting to realise that these places and countries could wait, after all you can’t see everything on one trip and my last flight on the RTW ticket I’d purchased from Trailfinders was from Buenos Aires which wasn’t that far away.........
The bus journey really did pass through some stunning scenery including the mighty Aconcagua mountain range and the Cristo Redenter de los Andes statue. The
journey took around eight hours including the border crossing and a couple of stops to take pictures. When we finally arrrived in Mendoza I was really impressed.....lovely wide streets, cafes and bars and lots of green space.
I was booked into Hostel Lao on Rioja street and after a stroll from the bus station and an easy and friendly check in I settled it to my new home for the next week (back in the dorm room). I liked the feel of the hostel it is in a large house with a great garden, living room with fireplace, great pictures on the wall and a terrace level and hammocks for chilling out. My favourite part was the great vibe of the hostel including the friendly hosts (English and Argentian couple) and the other guests (CarLyn from the States, a group from Brazil and France, Holland and Denmark were also represented). Throughout the course of the next week we would have barbecue nights, wine tasting nights, nights down the Irish Believe pub and a brilliant day trip cycling around some wine vineyards. We spent one afternoon watching the Champions League final down the Irish pub that Chelsea ended up winning
against all the odds and the bottles of Quilmes were flowing that day. I also remember there were some delicious Ice Cream parlours in town.
Many of the other guests were heading north to Salta, Chile, Bolivia and Peru but alas those destinations would have to wait for another time and the decision was finally made to head home to London via Córdoba and Buenos Aires...........traveling just really was the best concept ever invented and there was so much more to see 😊
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