Valparaiso to Mendoza!

Trip Start Apr 03, 2006
Trip End May 29, 2006

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Saturday, April 8, 2006

Hello again!

As Amber has nipped for a shower, I thought Iīd write a couple of lines on our last two days. We left you last time with a plan to find some watering holes in Valparaiso, Chile two nights ago. Well, things didnīt go according to plan as we found Valparaiso to have nothing in the way of bars which didnīt look as if the 8 ball would stop rolling as you walked in. Plan B was to buy a couple bottles of wine and a snack and head back to the Hostel for a quiet one. Great wine and great company made it a great night!

Yesterday was also a chilled day, taking in another cerro (hill) and funicular. Once we checked out of our hostel, we decided to head back to Viņa Del Mar up the coast from Valparaiso with our packs and spend the day sunbathing in a lovely park. Very nice!! Our final mission in Chile was to find a meal for two with 4000 Pesos (a fiver). Iīm proud to report we succeeded with 2000 Pesos change - a hot dog, plate of chips and a Coke Later. Job done.

Then it was time to get on the bus! A 10pm start saw us leave Valparaiso behind (John - thank goodness!! - ok place but I think Iīll put it down in the "it was an experience" column due to the mad traffic, therefore smog - I would recommend Vina Del Mar to anyone though, much more chilled with a nice park) and head into the Andes. We were woken up at 3am to go through passport control in the middle of the Andes, a really cool experience in spite of the late hour and cold weather thanks a will placed coffee stand!

Right, Amberīs out the shower so Iīm off for one (much to Amberīs relief) then its a trip into Mendoza (a lovely city from our first impressions walking from the bus station to the hostel). We are booked onto a Rafting and Zip lining adventure day tomorrow and another day of wine tasting on monday before flying out of Mendoza on Tuesdays, rock and roll!!

Hope you are all well!!

Amber - Cheers John! I didnīt think Valparaiso was all that bad, it just did not offer the kind of thing we have come for and we didnīt really explore too much thanks to the plentiful undesirables and dogs. Agree with John - tick in a box - the main port of Chile was worth a visit for the Cerro Conception area where we stayed which had some funky little art places but I would have to disagree with our guide books and say if you find yourself in the area as John said, stick to Viņa del Mar.

Today we have wandered around Mendoza and you can really see the difference from Chile. Things seem cleaner and more relaxed despite the excessive number of very, very old cars chucking out fumes. Just another day taking in the various sites and the culture before the antics of the next two days. Tonight we are in search of a true Argentine steak and some fine wine (I see a theme.. wine/beer/food..) and have a local place highly recommended by Mona Lisa at our hostel.

Hope youīre all enjoying the banter. Cheers
John & Amber
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