Cordoba is famous for two things; constantly being confused with the Spanish city of the same name and 'The World's Most Pointless Barbecue'. It is not known as the birthplace of magician and light entertainer Paul Daniels.
The WMPB was on the roof terrace of the Baluch* Backpackers Hostel. Barnes attended wearing the sleeping bag , which just a few days short of it's monthly wash is taking on a curious cabbage aroma. Everyone followed suit, wearing duvets and blankets to combat the bitter cold. It was as if Jesus had nipped down to Tesco to pick up a tonne of steaks and a crate of Quilmes (forgetting the Richmond's Irish Pork Sausages and burgers) and proceeded to hold the Last Supper in an igloo.
On our second to last day in Cordoba we participated in a city tour on what was supposed to be an authentic open-topped London bus. However, the seats weren't suspiciously damp and there were no kids happy slapping each other in the back, so we were slightly disappointed. There are over 7,000 traffic lights in the city - the only fact that stuck in our mind on an otherwise dull excursion. We now know why we spent most of our time huddled up in the hostel watching Die Hard 4 and trying to make pancakes using stolen milk.
It was nice to chill out after our bus frenzy in the last week or so - including the 23 hour marathon up from Bariloche. Incidentally, our last night in Patagonia was celebrated with drinking games starting with Ali, Jesse and Mark from the States followed by a lively chat with some Mexican lads in a basement. Victoria getting confused by 'Buenos Noches' (good night) and Buenos Aires was almost as funny as the time she asked for her soup to have no 'origami' sprinkled on it.
We were joined on our journey back to Mendoza (again) by an Australian girl, Melanie, who was clearly impressed by the breadth of our knowledge on South American Bus Travel - we've now completed over 200 hours and seen Ocean's 13 three times:
If you should ever find yourself bussing it around South America we'd have the following advice:
There are three levels of comfort on cross - country services:
Semi-Cama: Reclining seats to 120 degrees. Pre-departure entertainment is usually a video montage of Roxette's Greatest Hits. Films during the journey almost always star Nicholas Cage. Minimal leg room, so expect Victoria's big toe to be wedged somewhere near your ear whilst you try to sleep. Pack mashed egg sandwiches as a precaution.
Cama: Wide reclining seats to 160 degrees. Complimentary pillows and blankets, hot meal served with wine bought by dedicated in-service team member (possibly called Vincent). Nice bit of leg room, but expect Victoria's big toe to be wedged somewhere near your nose whilst you try to sleep. If you listen carefully you can hear Duran Duran playing from the driver's cab.
Tutto Letto: Full bed service. We haven't travelled on this premier class before, but we've heard rumours that they feed you grapes and fan you whilst Nicholas Cage (dressed in one of those amusing naked lady aprons) prepares vegetarian caneloni in the kitchen area.
Unfortunately our weather forecasting skills leave a lot to be desired. We suggested that Mendoza was having a warm spell that would remain until the summer...so naturally we've been having heavy snow. We couldn't decide where to go for our 'special meal' so we decided to go to a mexican for starters - Nachos and a lethally strong Margherita served in a homosexual glass (the drink not the nachos). For our main course we went across the road to 'Lasal' for some fine dining and live music (thankfully Celine Dion was busy that night).
Off to Santiago again to tomorrow,
Love Victoria and Tom xxx
* Pronounced 'b******`