Hola from Bariloche in Argentina we arrived here yesterday but first an update on the last week.
Last Saturday we were in Auckland and had a chance to meet up with Rachel a girl we went to uni with, had nice catch up and gossip over lovely crepes. That night we spent in our favourite Belgian beer bar The Occidental where a good band were playing. Had a few beers and a laugh watching a very drunk old man dancing. He was as Peter Kay would say .... Dancing like your dad! Claire has the video to prove this. Sunday we were up early to finish packing and book the last fews things online for our Peru trip then it was off to the airport. I think we were both feeling pretty nervous about Chile and the unknown as we felt so safe in New Zealand and Aus and Japan. Checked in and got rubbish seats an aisle and middle seat of four in the centre even though we were there early for check in. Luckly i had a spare seat next to me so we spread out a bit. Seemed like a newish plane with bigger personal screens than usual and also video games you could play. Food was ok fish and potato. When El Capitan came over the speakers he would talk for ages in spanish and then briefly in english. So he came on about an hour before landing to explain they had detected some cracks in the windscreen and that we would have to lower our alltitude and everyone would have to remain seated for the rest of the flight! Meaning they had to stop serving breakfast one row in front of us!!!!!!!! Landed safe and well somehow found landing cards and customs forms as the air stewards didnt bother giving us any. Found a shuttle bus that could drop us at the hotel door thank goodnesss for that. By this point we were both rather hungry and very tired. We lived Sunday twice bit like groundhog day as we left Auckland at 5.30pm and arrived in Santiago at 1pm Sunday. Two guys tried to carry our bags on our way to the bus but i grabbed mine away and claire couldnt so when they asked if we had pesos we said no and they disappeared.
The hotel was good, nice twin room with own bathroom and cable tv. Think we slept on and off till monday mornng. Manged to find a Mc Donalds and then back to the hotel to sleep again. We have never had such bad jetlag. At night we met our Gap Adventure Group and went for dinner with them. 15 of us together for the next 12 days.
We didnt see much of Santiago as it seemed pretty scary and even Ali our group leader told us to be carefull and not carry much with us.
Tuesday 17th we checked out at 1pm and had to wait around till 10pm for our night bus to Pucon. All fo us had heard bad things about Santiago Bus Staion so wasnt looking forward to going there. Even the taxi driver who dropped us there said be carefull. We stuck together and got on the bus asap. Now Chile long distance buses are ace! We had semi Cama seats these are semi reclining with a big footrest that pulls out from he seat in front, we also got blankets and pillows. Ten hours later we arrived in Pucon which sits by a lake and a big volcano.
Checkin wasnt till 1pm and it was 9am when we arrived so went for breakfast and had cake. Headed back to hostel and lucky for us there was a double room available so we got it. Big room with big bathroom and tv and double and single bed. Pucon was nice Claire thinks it looked like austria all wooden buildings. We had one rainy day which we spent watching movies in english with spanish sub titles.
Next stop Puerto Varas another bus trip this time just a normal bus but still more comfy then a british coach. A triathalon was on in the town that weekend so had a wee market on and live music at night. We took a local bumpy bus to visit some nice waterfalls in a national park.
Monday lunchtime we took another bus to Bariloche in Argentina again another semi cama bus very comfy. Ali said it should take us 6 hours including border crossing but in the end it took us till 9.30pm to get here. We exit Chile and get off the bus and get passport stamped then back on the bus for another hour till you get to Argentina border and get another stamp. Bariloche is again by a nice big lake surrounded by mountains. Its nice and warm today and we as a group are having a bbq tonight so im hoping for a big steak yum
I do talk alot about our hotel rooms because for the last 5 months we have had to share rooms with many people and share a bathroom so the fact we have our own room with en-suit is fan bloomin tastic! Only thing we have to remember is not to flush the bog roll DOH think we may cause the breakdown of the sewage system here.
We have some pictures to upload but at the moment we cant so we will upload asap.
And Jen and Jess -we have lots of giant things to add to the game - mahala!
Ok so I havn´t added much to the blogs in a long time whoops! so here goes.......the flight over was a bit bumpy for me and the whole crack in the windscreen nearly pushed me over the edge!!! as for not getting breakfast......me and no food = very grumpy claire!! The guy that tried to get cash out of us at the airport shuttle just grabbed my bag and wouldn´t let go- not impressed! But luckily having our own room made me feel so much better- no squeaky bunk beds!!!! Jet lag was bad this time round for some reason- took me 3 days to settle into a new routine. We are now 3 hours behind UK instead of 13+!!!!
Santiago felt very much like any large Spanish city- didn´t really dawn on me we were in South America till we left for our next small town- lots of mountains and volcanoes along the way. The smaller towns resemble Austrian ski resorts with little wooden shallet like buildings- it´s a bit more touristy in these places so feel a bit safer!!!! Beautiful scenery and great food as always!!!!!
There are loads of stray dogs.....everywhere...and they follow you...or more like me for some reason!
Went up another ski lift today- in Bariloche- amazing views of the lakes and mountains
Off to Buenos Aires tomorrow- 24hour bus journey here we come!!!!! I will never moan about travel times in the UK ever again!!! - an 8hr journey is considered short over here!