Trekking and Biking

Trip Start Jun 30, 2010
Trip End Aug 25, 2010

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The past two days have been fairly full on. It's been good to get out and explore after two days of staying in and chilling in the hostel.

On Monday I had booked a "High Andes Trek" . The name is a bit misleading as I don't think we ever got above 3000m or so. It's also not really a trek, in fact there's only really a half hour walk to the Aconcagua mirador; which dragged on to almost 2 hours due to the lazy Latin Americans (guides words, not mine). The national park wasn't that impressive though, but it evoked a nostalgia for Huaraz. Regardless, as I have found throughout the trip, the sites don't really matter as much as the people you are with. The cheeky Australians and I were constantly teasing the guide, yet she was actually very good humoured even when we pushed her - I'd repeatedly say "esta drogado (your high)" when she pointed out imaginative shapes in the cliff rocks.

Today was a lot more relaxed, at least to begin with. Chantal arrived from Santiago a couple days ago, but is staying in a different hostel to me. We decided to rent bikes and cycle round the park, with intentions of going to the zoo nearby, but we never found it. It was a fun day though, and taking pictures while on the bike certainly tested her coordination; she nearly fell in the river. With no suspension, the bikes weren't forgiving, especially for me. Although we were fine in the park, navigating through the traffic on the way to the bus station wasn't easy. At first we cycled on the pavement, but there were too many people to go at a reasonable pace. However, on the road things are a lot different to the UK. Drivers tend to signal at whim and most are unaware of the cars around them, let alone the cyclists. It's no Lima or Buenos Aires, but it's a world away from cycling in rural Warwickshire.

Back at the hostel I've met up with some great people. A few French, South African and Argentine (it's the long weekend here) travellers got together around the table for a few beers and bottles of wine. We started off drinking, and ended up getting out the guitar and singing classics until about 5 in the morning. I'm glad I chose to take the 12:30 bus to Santiago, rather than the 8:30 one.
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