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Published: April 6th 2011
Heading into Chile
Border crossing in the middle of the Andes
From landing in Buenos Aires I made my way to the bus station, met up with Jenny. We geared ourselves up for a long bus ride and boarded at around 5pm. We got on and our ´bus host´ was a bit of a dude...all leather jackets and slick sunglasses. He introduced himself and explained the route and the itinerary for the journey (it´s just like a flight really) And what a journey it was!
We were with Andesmar, the quality of buses can vary in South America, but this company was great! It started off with a film, Due Date playing, then Date Night- but stopped half way through so we could play a game of bus bingo! A bottle of wine was the prize- me and Jenny were so close...we were waiting for the number 85 for ages! Anyway once the game was over the film carried on, then hot food was brought out, tea and coffee, blankets, pillows and then one final film before lights went out about midnight.
The seats were ´semi-cama´which means they almost fully recline, but not quite- you can still have a good nights sleep on them though. So we got our heads
down and enjoyed quite a comfortable ride. This route stops at Mendoza in Argentina before reaching Chile and between Mendoza and Santiago lie the Andes. So from around 6am we left Mendoza and drove through the Andes to reach Chile...all the travellers talk about how good the scenery is and they weren´t wrong. In fact, the border crossing was right in the middle of the Andes too.
The border control process is rigourous between Argentina and Chile though...two sets of sniffer dogs, no vegetables or fruit allowed in, thorough bag searches then fines for anything you haven´t declared. After the second round of sniffer dogs we were back on the coach and now in Chile heading for the capital.
We got chatting to some American girls on the bus who were talking about a festival that was happening in Chile that weekend. We hadn´t heard anything about it but we were intrigued. We decided to head to the hostel first, check online what the festival was and decide from there if we should get a ticket.
We arrived at the hostel and the woman was in a frenzy because apparently, Hostelworld (the main website used to book
hostels) had made a massive error and because of the festival she had overbooked and had 10 people too many arriving. We got there in the nick of time because she managed to squeeze another set of bunk beds in a 6 man dorm for us- we were like sardines in this hostel...but we were just grateful that we had a bed at all. We checked online and saw the line up: Fat Boy Slim, The Killers, James, Cyprus Hill and a few others were on so we decided to buy a day pass.
After the hefty, sweaty bus journey we thought we´d eat out so we wandered around Providencia (the area where we were staying) and eventually found a gorgeous restaurant. The night was still really warm so we got a bottle of wine, chicken pil pil, pasta and salad and spent a few hours relaxing.
When we got up to leave the restaurant Jenny said she thought someone looked really familiar, we heard a US accent and because we´d had a bit of wine we were staring at this one man who looked really familiar...it was a group of men just hanging around chatting. The penny finally dropped- it was David Arquette! Just hanging around Chile!
Now, he has gone off the rails of late since him and Courtney announced that they are going through a difficult patch (according to reliable sources such as the Daily Mail entertainment section which is actually very up to date with celebrity affairs) so we reckon that in order to get through this personal crisis, he headed to Santiago with a rock band- he could have been stood with a band, possibly even The Killers (we like to think), but either way we were starstruck. I was ready to run over and get a picture but Jenny rightly informed me that that wouldn´t be cool and instead should remain aloof (?!).
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