Thursday, April 5, 2007


We caught a coach to Argentina today, leaving a foggy Chilean morn, bussing our way through some spectacular scenery and overtaking way too many fuel tankers around blind corners. Apart from one or two near misses, the trip was fantastic, I'll write more about the Argentino intercity busses soon, but for now I will say what a pleasure it was to be served coffee and snacks by an attendant while sitting in a chair more comfortable than our old green couch back home. LAN Chile could learn much from its earth-bound people-carting competition.

Intensely sweet, served in a tall glass with a straw, but its coffee and its complimentary!! On a bus!

El autobus climbed the hills into clean, clear air, the muy-serious guards stamped our passports while the dogs sniffed around our bags and we were let into Argentina. The ride from the border to Bariloche is a gorgeous introduction to a seriously beautiful country. We passed lakes coloured intense blues, saw white topped mountains, patches of spiky desert; all that stuff you see on postcards, but in real life!

The bus dropped us off 3km outside of town at the terminal, and there we discovered that you should never place too much trust in a money-changer, even when they are being nice. Against our better judgment, we decided to use American dollars in Argentina at first, as the money man suggested. Of course when we arrived, it became apparent that no, you can't use dollars to catch busses and taxis, so we found ourselves stranded in new country with no pesos and no means of getting into town. Enter Matt, fireman from the US of A who lent us the 50 cents or so each for a bus ride to convenience- and to the bank. Bariloche seems to be a hotspot for the plethora of Israeli travelers here, and the town was pretty much booked out, due to Lent and the Argentinean Easter holidays. After a couple of hours hunting, Angie and Matt found us a set of plastic covered mattresses for the night. The place was was a ghost house, and looking at the state of it (non-flushing toilets were the highlight), it wasn't hard to see why.

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