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Published: February 17th 2006
Well, once we arrived and walked all about and checked at least 20 places for a place to sleep, Scott asked a man standing in his yard if he knew if there was a hostal nearby. The man turned out to be our savior. His name is Steve and he speaks fluent English due to his Irish grandparents. He sent us towards a nearby hostal, but said if it was full (which it was), that we should come back. We came back and he and his wife invited us in, called around some more, and then offered to drive us to places until we found one. They were amazing - completely unexpected kindness after our crazy hard day. We got lucky with the first stop at Casa de Coco, or this guy Coco´s house. His upstairs is all bunk beds and we even lucked out in a small room with our own bunks. We got there close to midnight, said good-bye to Steve, and then showered and feel asleep. Or at least Scott did - this boy is a good sleeper. I tossed and turned a bit and slept off and on. The bed was not comfortable, but it was still nice to rest my weary bones.
The following morning I got up while Scott slept and had some breakfast. Coco gave me some bread with butter, jam and cheese and some tea. I had another shower and then Scott was up, so we went for a walk about San Martin. Seriously the cutest place ever, even cuter than Pucon was. Like Pucon, it is covered in rose bushes that are all in bloom - I literally stop to smell the roses quite often. It is very European, chateau-like here. Very touristy with tons of shops with very nice employees who don´t hassle you. Lots of ice cream and chocolate shops. A fat girls worst enemy and best friend.
We walked around the town while my clothes were being washed at Coco´s. We headed back so I could hang up the clothes to dry - oh my there are more than there should be - and I´ve never been so happy to smell clean clothes. We went out in search of food, by now it is close to 4pm or so - and we found that the restaurants are closed until about 8pm for dinner. We did end up at a cafe and had some crepes, which were very good. We did some more wandering and looking and relaxing and then made our way to internet and dinner. Dinner was pizza for me and pasta for Scott. Apparently the other option is a steakhouse, so no doubt that will happen shortly. After dinner we looked at some handicrafts and Scott bought a little man carved out of a matchstick - I had been given one of these as a gift at my friend Kari´s halloween party just this past fall. Mine is a witch, and Kari and her husband Tim picked them up while living in South America previously. It was nice to see them here and be reminded of friends at home. After this, we just headed back and crashed. Well, Scott crashed and I listened to my ipod, doing my best to dance around while laying in bed and trying my hardest not to bust out into song. It was hard, as it always is, but I restrained myself.
Thursday I got up, and Coco prepared little toasted breads for me while Scott - you guessed it - slept in. This boy sure knows how to relax. I need a lesson. Once we got going, we decided to walk up a trail from town to a lookout that looks down on the lake (of course this town is also on a lake) and the town itself. It cost about thirty cents once we reached the top to actually go to the lookout, which was perfect, because I only had the peso equivalent of thirty cents or thirty dollars, literally, and nothing in between. The view really was beautiful and worth the crazy dust and dirt clouds we created and wore the rest of the day. I´m filthy and now have the confirmation I needed about my toenail - it is definately going to fall off. I can see tons of dirt underneath it and am able to look all the way down inside. Not a good sign I´m thinking.
The rest of the day was spent meandering around and then back to the hostal for some rest. Around 7pm we set out again so I could sign up for a tour of the seven lakes in the region before dinner. Most of the stores and tour agencies close for siesta between 1pm and 4pm at least, which is why we waited until 7pm. I signed up for a tour and Scott decided to pass, but we realized my tour was going to Bariloche, the next detination on our list. So I agreed to just be done with the tour in Bariloche, which was the final destination before driving four hours back to San Martin, and Scott planned to hop on a bus to meet me there. We had dinner at the same pizza place as the night before - we are saving our exciting food trips for Bariloche, for which I was given several restaurant tips, and then bought a bottle of wine and went back to Steve´s house to say thank you for being so kind. We ended up there until almost midnight, at which point we were driven back to Coco´s house by Steve, I packed up my things, and went to sleep for my early start the next day.
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