What a last few days! Truly epic folks. A lot to catch up on so I´ll skim through and not bore you with the details too much..... good to you, aren´t I?
Left sleepy Penitentes on the 2nd and caught another bus to Mendoza. Haven´t been drinking hardly at all, so the hefty bottle of local Malbec the night before was causing a bit of tramp´s sock mouth, enhancing the sweaty 4 and a half hour bus ride through winding desert roads. Tis numerous dichotomies, this country - leaving the snow-laden Penitentes, it only takes about 10 minutes to get back into desert country, the ground parched and lifeless again. Rolled into Mendoza at half 4, leaving an awkward gap of a mere 7 and a half hours to kill before the coach to Las Lenas. There really was only going to be one solution to this - steak, more red wine and beer.
A cool place is Mendoza. It´s gridded, like Noo Yoik, so it´s dead easy to wander round and pick your spot. My spot happened to be a busy square, easily the most tourist-trappy area of the whole city but, I was in the mood for a bit of people-watching so nestled into my pigeon-pummelled chair and ordered a feast. Yet again the Argentinian bovine characters delivered on the meat front; they´re clearly forced to go to Fitness First every day and drink protein shakes. Tasty and tender and perfect with the local drop. So after filling my face dropped into the Liverpool, a pub with a picture of the Beatles as it´s front awning. Not sure John, Paul, Ringo and George would´ve endorsed the gaff so heavily had they known of its existence - tenuous pics and articles and fake gold discs were everywhere, apparently convincing you of the pub´s strong ties to Merseyside. Oddly, my opening gambit of ¨ey, calm down, come éad¨ was met with n unimpressed ¨Que?¨
1am, bus to Las Lenas. The coach was a bit naff, completely unlike the excellent others up to now, and the driver obviously thought of himself as a bit of a Tokyo Drifter, skidding it round progressively more and more snow-covered corners as we rose through the mountains. It was hairy as hell, and me and the other 8 or 9 dudes on the bus were white-knuckling for the second half (8 divided by 2 is 4 hours!) while praying that Senor Rally-Boy would keep all 4 wheels in contact with the road.
This was all forgotten once I´d checked in and got up the hill. Thigh-deep powder for 2 solid days - absolutely awesome. You know that feeling, when you´re tanking it through perfectly pure powder, and the only sound is the ethereally quiet whoosh that your board makes. On day 2 (night number 1, I lasted til about half 9 before crashing out - rock will never die! I blame El Mansell for the lack of sleep) met up with a few people... 2 girls who live in Val DÍsere, a couple of guys from Canada and Oz - and a dude who works in one of the bars, so free beers to my utmost pleasure. Needless to say everyone was well up for it after such a slash-tastic day, so the second night lasted til the sun was making an appearance. Top jollies - the clubs really kick off up there, with everybody getting on it proper til dawn.
That pretty much brings us to now. Yesterday, left the brilliant Las Lenas at 4pm, still feeling marginally wasted, into San Rafael at 7 then killed 4 hours til my bus to San Martin de los Andes. Which left on time, and rolled into San Martin at 2pm today. Ouch - 15 hours is a long time to be sat on a coach, but the journey was dead picturesque, as we rolled through massive open Patagonian plains and towards endless horizon.
Meeting up with Ben and Si later for bevvies, then it´s Chapelco time - the park there is well good apparently, so the shred continues tomorrow morning. Bit of a rush job this one, but you get the idea dontcha? San Martin has got the feel of a frontier mining town, dating back a hundred years or so... I like it.
Such amazing scenery over the last few days, it reminds me of a cross between NZ and Oz - breathtaking relief coupled with endless desert. Will keep you posted gang, love n snogs x