It was getting dark and all we could hear were gun shots! I was out of my depth here! We had no idea where to go and apparently it was the coldest night of the year. I really started to panic! We found the bus station eventually but buses were not leaving until 12pm, where were we going to wait?
An Irish lady that worked for the embassy kindly helped us and guided us to a restaurant, hotel and wifi hotspot! When we arrived they informed us they didn't take card so Ed said he would go get cash out if I just watched all the bags!
He was gone for almost an hour and I was really worried and then the tears began. I was the only one in this restaurant and I kept pacing up and down. The owners were trying to calm me down but I had no idea what to do!!
Finally Ed arrived back after having to go miles to an ATM as the one close by didn't work. He had also bumped into the 4 English guys on our bus earlier, they all went and booked the bus together as one could speak Spanish. We all sat in the restaurant and enjoyed a deserved dinner, exchanging travel stories! We needed food and to chill out it had been a long day! Before leaving I thanked the restaurant owners so much for their help and patience.
We boarded our bus at half 11 for Salta. We got comfy and were woken up a couple of hours later to a guard with a gun checking our passports. It was all very strange as we were not even at the boarder and tourists passports as a rule do not get checked. He took notes and let us be. We were woken again at 4am and told we had to swap buses and the next one to arrive was 7am!!
This was a nightmare. We slept in the bus station and waited around till 7am. I wrote my diary and caught up with the blog. The bus finally arrived at 7am and we were in Salta by 10am the journey in total had taken 28 hours!!!!
The boys had a different hostel so we waved them off and set off for a walk to the hostel. It didn't take us long. We checked in and the lovely man gave Ed and I a separate room with a bathroom. We must have looked desperate haha!! We were very pleased!!
We spent the morning sorting our bags out, showering and planning the next few days. We had a walk around the town and found somewhere for a late lunch/dinner and watched the Italy vs Uruguay game. We also took all our washing to a launderette and stocked up on toiletries and water!!
I didn't feel well and in the afternoon I was sick and went to bed for a few hours whilst Ed watched another game. When I awoke we sat in the hostel spoke to a few people and Ed enjoyed some traditional empanadas!! We collected our laundry and headed back to pack it away and get an early night! I think the long journey and all the panicking had knocked me I needed some rest.
The next day was the Argentina game so we showered and headed into the city square. The streets were bursting with people, there was a giant screen with television cameras in the square, it was lovely to see!! They are so passionate it's a great atmosphere to be within.
We sat in a restaurant and enjoyed a tasty Lomito Especial (basically a steak sandwich) it was amazing!! Argentina smashed Nigeria and the town went crazy! We had a mooch about I got much needed cash out and we met our friends from NZ. They fly home similar dates to us so we have more or less the same plan. We all headed to the bus station and booked our next bus altogether to head to Mendoza. Ed and I plan to horse ride tomorrow and 2 of the girls are going to come along too, so we booked it all up ready. As we walked around a dog decided to follow us which was cute we named him Herby!
For the past couple of days we have passed a bakery and tonight was the night to try it yum yum!! We said goodbye to our friends and grabbed some warm bakery goods for dinner. We headed back and grabbed a lonely planet book to investigate other things for us to do. We spoke to the hostel man and he let us try a traditional mate drink- quite tasty.
We showered and headed to bed!
The next day we were up early and met the girls in the lobby for horse riding. We popped our bags in storage and the ranch man picked us up in his pick up truck. His pup sat in the boot so cute!! He has a machete in the front and it stunk of wine haha. We arrived after an hours journey through the countryside. It was beautiful and horses roamed the area. We were quickly chosen a horse and off we went. The weather turned and we got soaked! We went up steep hills and back down them, the ride was almost 2 hours! At the end we got to do a fast trot to which was fun! My horse new I was scared and kept playing with me!! We had a great day riding I'm glad we did it, even though it scared me very much at times!!
The ranch man drove us back squeezing 7 of us in his car!! When we got back to the hostel we met the others, showered and grabbed snacks for our bus journey tonight. We looked into cheap flights to Rio and they sold out there and then, we were gutted! We then grabbed all our things and headed by taxi to a famous steak house- Viejo Jacks! Little did we know when we arrived it was shut, forgetting their restaurants don't open until 8pm. So we had to walk around town until we found somewhere else.
On the way we spotted Herby and he ran over to us it made our evening that he remembered us haha! The restaurant let the dog in and it laid under the table, it was something that would not be allowed for sure in the UK. We sat down in the only open restaurant and enjoyed a steak!! Yummmmmmmy!! We were full to burst and grabbed another taxi to head to the bus station.
We boarded our bus more or less straight away and off we set for Mendoza!! This bus took 20 hours in total!! We were fast asleep more or less straight away. The bus was so empty there was just us and a couple others. We managed to get a good nights kip.
We spent the best part of the day travelling still. We enjoyed yoghurts we had brought for breakfast and fruit and sandwiches for lunch. I wrote my diary and we watched a couple of films, I felt ill through dehydration AGAIN. The weather looks a lot nicer thought and I was excited to get off and enjoy it!!!
We finally arrived after 20 hours! As soon as we got off the bus we booked our next bus for 3 days time to leave for Buenos Aires. We grabbed taxis and checked into our new hostel. We chilled out and each had a shower. We enjoyed free cake and wine before heading out to get cash out and enjoy dinner. I enjoyed a light chicken stir fry tonight and the boys had yet another impressive steak. When we got back we booked a wine tour for the next day and the others booked white water rafting for the day after! I still didn't feel to good and the bus had killed us so we ended up just falling asleep.
On the 28th June we got up and enjoyed free pancakes for breakfast and got ready for the Wineries. We walked to catch the bus, it didn't take long and we were there. As a group we purchased our bikes and headed off to stop number 1, they had no tandems left sadly so we made it there individually. It was so much fun cycling around the picturesque town in the sunshine.
We were trying mostly red wines which are not normally to my taste however they were gorgeous. We purchased one to enjoy again later. The boys headed off to the Brazil vs Chile game and us girls made our way to winery number 2. We had a tour of the vine yards and the massive pumps. We then spent the rest of the afternoon in the sun sipping on several bottles of fizz and wine, the staff needed bottles finishing which we of course helped with. The winery also farm olives so got to try some olive oil and yummy doughy bread. It was the perfect combination.
We left feeling rather tiddly and headed back to meet the boys. We caught the end of the game and enjoyed light nibbles for lunch before heading off to winery number 3, we had not enough time to reach the final winery. We were all slurring our words and cycling all over the place haha. We climbed inside the wine tanks which was fun, not sure the owner of this winery was that fond of us oopsy!!
We dropped our bikes back and headed back to the hostel. We grabbed an easy dinner and spent the evening having a few drinks and relaxing in the hostel. We spoke about our great day filled with laughter!!
Ed, Tom, Georgia and Anna got up early and headed white water rafting whilst I stayed back with Liz. We got washing done, enjoyed a bit of a beauty session, sorted or bags out and relaxed for the day. We had a lovely late lunch in town after a walk about and got back more or less the same time as the others. They filled us in on their adventurous morning which sounded great. Before heading to the bus station we sat and watched a film and packed the rest of our things. The taxi took a while to arrive so in the end we walked to the bus station.
I caught up on dairy writing and watched a film before falling asleep. This was a comfy bus but was very cold!! We were looking forward to Buenos Aires and had booked a hostel that is apparently really fun!! Only 15 hours to go and we reach the capital!!