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Travels in South America

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BOLIVIA | Sunday, 9 November 2008 | Views [416]

So we decided that we wanted to go all the way down to Tiera del Fuego.  This is a long way.  Argentina is over 5,000 KM long.  So we needed to get moving and cover some ground.  From Uyuni we wnt to Tupiza, from there we crossed the border into Argentina and went to Salta. 

What a difference it makes just going a few hours into a different country.  Salta is so much more European and developed than anywhere we went in Peru and Bolivia.  There are proper restaurants and shops, good roads, clean streets.  Seems so strange after 2 and a half months.  We stayed in Salta for a couple of nights and then got the bus to Mendoza.  This was a very long bus journey, 18 hours.  Luckily Argentina has excellent buses (although expensive, it cost £40 each) and we managed to get some sleep.

Mendoza is a really lovely city.  It has pretty parks and loads of nice restaurants and bars.  You can also do rafting, climbing and horse riding there.  Unfortunately the hostel we stayed in wasn't that great.  It was a bit lacking on the cleanliness front, particularly in the bathrooms.  From Mendoza we got another bus to Santiago, crossing the border into Chile.  Country number 4.  (We will be going back to Argentina.)

Santiago seems like any other city. It's very big, has some nice parts and some bad parts.  Bits are pretty, other bits are ugly.  We stayed in what is essentially a good hostel, although the receptionist was so stupid we wanted to strangle him.  On Friday night we went out.  In Chile and Argentina the locals eat late and go out late.  We didn't leave the hostel until 1 a.m.  We went to a salsa bar.  One of the girls from the hostel tryed to teach me how to salsa, alas I think it is impossible.  Dave, of course, refused to attempt it.  Shame on him!  Eventually we got home at about 5:00 a.m.  Ridiculous.   In Santiago we also visited a couple of galleries (the museum of contemporary art is SHIT), a museum (lots of pots), a ginormous statue of Mary (the cable car up to it was good) and we used the metro (way nicer than the underground in London).

That brings us up to date.  Tonight (9th November) at about 10 O'clock we are getting a bus to Pucon.  Interestingly the buses in Chile are a lot cheaper, although of the same quality.  Pucon is in the Lake district which is where we want to be so for a little while we'll stop covering so much ground and actually spend some time in places.

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