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Dear Diary:

6th October 2005  -  Getting in and out of Mendoza

Mendoza in the wine country of Argentina is a fantastic place to visit. Getting there from Montevideo was a bit of a mission, El Rapido?  I think not!with bus number three for my trip being side lined if only temporary this time. Good old El Rapido was not so rapid at one point!

Wine any one?While in Mendoza, you can do lots and lots of stuff from wine tasting and touring the heights mountain in South America! On day for me, it was wine tasting! It was kinda like the tour of the Scottish Scotch Distillers I did a few years back, in that after the first stop, you are no longer interested in the process, just the tasting.

The tallest HILL in South America!I had to say an extra two days in Mendoza due to the pass across the Andes to Chile being cut buy snow This worked out really well as the next tour I did was a drive up the pass to see Mt Aconcagua the tallest mountain outside Asia and Point de Inka, the most southern point that the Inkas got to. The blizzard that had cut the pass was one the Chilean side and as we drove up the mountains, it was just Beer in the Snow... Just like olf times!kilometer after kilometer of parked Trucks waiting for the pass to open. The net result was the road was empty for us and our day of sightseeing.

Aaaawwwwww...While on the tour I had the opportunity to hit the snow. We all decide that 2hrs was not enough, so we sat in the sun and had a beer instead, dome tried other things! Its just lovely in the Andes and well worth a visit.

As usual life in the Hostel was FAB and I met lots of nice people. WE did the communal cookout and many bees were had. Pity about the annoying French guys who thinking yacking loudly at 4am in a doom is ok, but thats life on the road.

Point de InkaI hoped to get to Santiago the day after my tour of the mountains, but i had not got a ticket. So I showed up at the bus station bag in hand. I hit about 10 bus counters and no joy at all. They all said every bus was full due to the blizzard closure! DOH! But then I stopped in at one of those little travel agencies in the corner of the station that you notice To HEAPS for the help with the ticket!from time to time and wonder who would ever stop in there? Well I did and met a very lovely lady. I don't know who she called and hat she said, but 10min later I walked out with y ticket and 2 hrs to kill! Thanks Caroline! You Rock!

Any way I made it onto the bus and it was a lovely clear day The dance group on the bus to Chile!all the way to Chile. The bus encountered no problems and the journey was one where the who bus knew my name by the end of the trip! Why? Well the bus was a full of a Tango Dance company of teenagers on he way to a big concert in Santiago! It was interesting to be surrounded on a buss by 15 guys and gals all practicing various form of English - Check out he video here! At the border it turned into a snow You may get sea sick on this road!ball fight and that mercifully killed some of the time the customs guys seam happy to inflict on all!!

Any way, once through customs we all survived one of the more interesting roads I have ever been one. Our driver had a smoke in one hand at one stage and one hand on the wheel! Gulp! See the video of the road here and you will know what I mean!

Nice to meet ya guys!!Well, in the end I made it to Santiago here my trip had started and more important made a bunch of new friends! Hope the dancing went well guys!

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