Our first day on the truck seemed awkward! There's 17 other people on the tour and most are doing a full circuit of south america lasting 7 months! Everyone has also been on the truck for about two months apart from another girl who joined the same time as us who has a sister already on the truck. It took a while for us to learn everyone's names and for them to learn mine!
We drove for a couple of hours to a place called pucon in the Chilean lake district, it looks very similar to a small German ski town and they even had a German bierkeller which we visited. We had the option to hike up a volcano and also to go to a Chilean ranch for the day but both were out of our price range and we decided to do neither. I think Dan regrets not doing the volcano though. We went to the bierkeller with some of the others off the truck and had some beers until 3am. Then just before bed I came out of the toilets and twisted my ankle on a step.
We woke up after our first night in the tent and it was raining, most people had gone to the ranch for the day and I found my ankle massive and swollen and I couldn't walk at all! Dan had to piggy back me to the toilet. Dan pottered around all day with Scott who drives the truck helping him who made a lasagne without an oven and it was delicious! I read the girl with the dragon tattoo pretty much all day! It also rained all day so it was quite depressing! Everyone came back from the ranch pretty drunk but annoyed because the ranch was very expensive for what you got $60 each for just a BBQ! We were glad we didn't do it.
The next day a large proportion of the truck climbed the volcano whilst we went down (I hobbled) to the nearest bar which was right on the edge of a really pretty lake, the sun was shining and it was lovely! Everyone came back from the volcano utterly exhausted so I'm glad I didn't do it and also because with my ankle I would have lost $100 if I had paid to do it.
After pucon we had another large drive day to a place called Bariloche which is in Argentina. It was the first of very many border crossings between the two countries. Bariloche also had a lake but this one was massive and the campsite actually had a beach next to the lake. The water of the lake was absolutely freezing cold, I couldn't even put my whole foot in! We sunbathed for a while but it was so hot we went back to the campsite to seek shelter. We also didn't do any activities here because again everything is expensive and we weren't that interested. We did think of hiring a moped to do a bike tour but the tour seller said you weren't allowed to use mopeds. I think she was lying though so we would buy bicycles from her because buses even went down the same route. We also had a large problem with money in Argentina because the black market rate for the dollar was 10 compared to 6.5 legal rate. A massive difference. The trouble was after paying for the local payment of the truck we had no dollars left and didn't know where the black market was. Luckily Scott our driver offered to lend us dollars and we could give them back when we reached an ATM that sold dollars. A few people also went fishing and their fisherman wanted to exchange dollars because he felt the rate was going to go way up. (which since then it has)
The next day we had another relaxing sunny day and luckily exchanged dollars with the fisherman to last us through Argentina. We also had some steak and cheese sandwiches for lunch followed by a homemade quiche! Yum!