Penitentes is tiny, just a couple of hostels and cafes plonked by the side of the road which links Argentina and Chile. It´s beautiful though, surrounded by towering Andean peaks. Thought about riding for 2 days, then saw the piste map - nope, one´ll do. Woke up yesterday still knackered, cos the French dude in the next bunk was snoring like a rutting warthog all night. Leaned over at about 3am and gave him a firm shove with my foot, in the vain hope that that would make him roll over onto his side. All that did was make him gurgle more, like he was drowning in syrup, and then one of those sigh-mutter-continue-snoring combos that we all so love at that time in the morning.
Anyway, Penitentes. Minute, but great terrain. 2 chairlifts is all, and a couple of drags, but it´s mini-golf-tastic - small couloirs everywhere, and I reckon if the powder´s deep and soft, it´d be a riot for a couple of days. The snow was good, but not good enough for that kind of tomfoolery. There´s a park too, and I ventured in to have a crack at the decent looking rails on offer. Thought I´d test the quality first, and it´s a good job I did or my Uninc would´ve been mincemeat. Every 4 or 5 inches or so, there was a massive burr on each one, like they´d made the things out of barbed wire and then hired a welder to make them even more deadly by gouging out great chunks of metal and adding other lumps elsewhere. No thanks - kept on the P4-style jib route. Ended up riding with a couple of instructors for an hour or so, who knew where the natural hits were, so was a great shred.
Hooked up with a couple from London in the ¨bar¨ after, who´ve been on the South American road for 4 months. Chicken and chips included in the hostel price, and a firm bottle of red while laughing our asses off at the BIG SHOW on telly; which basically involved Joe Punter and his wife getting their kit off on national TV. What are they thinking?!
Right, so it´s Tuesday morn and I´m off again. Bus to Mendoza (again), then hopefully get a connection to Las Lenas today. If not, tomorrow; no rush, manana manana eh? x