Hot dogs, wannabe europeans and wine!

Trip Start Sep 30, 2006
Trip End Dec 24, 2008

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Thursday, January 11, 2007

Calama,  has been renamed Calamity, we had to kill 12 hours waiting for the next bus to Santiago so we sat on a park bench and watched the world go by. Local Chileans walked by wearing their designer jeans, t-shirts, Gucci shades and Nike airs, all jiber jabering on their mobile phones. The park had a sound system which played James blunt, dido and the like. It all felt very European. Chileans are still sporting the odd shell-suit, bum-bag and dodgy perm.

One very amusing situation kept re-occurring all day. Calama has its fair portion of wild dogs roaming around the streets and parks and today seemed to be dogs on heat day. You couldn´t turn around without a pair of dogs, shall we say ´getting it on´. The one incident we´ll not forget in a while was when out taxi stopped at the pedestrian crossing to let two dogs walk across, which was weird, but then the dogs stopped in front of our taxi and ´got it on´. There was nowhere else to look but ahead, we just couldn´t stop ourselves laughing at the comic timing as the taxi driver beeped and beeped the dogs just kept going. It was the same in the park... all day. Childish humor but it was so funny!

Our bus for Santiago took 24 hours and when we got to the central station we caught the next bus over the border to Mendoza in Argentina. It took six long, sweaty and dull days to get here but its all been worth it as Mendoza is amazing! 

Its a year round dry and sunny city with wide pavements shaded by old trees. The streets have irrigation channels running down their sides, like little streams, and cafes on every corner with bottles of wine for 2 pounds. Put your hands together, palm to palm, thats the size of the steaks here, cost; 2 pounds. We took a bus out to a winery as they offer English tours and free tasting, they make a malbec, which was excellent. The best deal we´ve seen so far was 7 bottles of wine for 11 pesos, thats 1 pound 80! Enough to shower in it and turn as purple as violet Beuaregarde. There are about 50 winery´s to cycle, bus or walk around, yesterday we hired very old school, retro looking bikes, mine was so old that you peddled backwards to brake, and cycled to a champagne winery, chatted to the locals and drank top quality champagne all day.

After 5 days its time to get back on the road and head south again, to visit Neuquen and see where they found the worlds largest dinosaur, the Argentinosaurus huinculensis the largest herbivore and the well named Giganotosaurus Carolinii the worlds largest carnivore.

Cooper Out

Love Dan & Kat 
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