Taffy Of The Valley

Trip Start May 30, 2005
Trip End Sep 30, 2006

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Tuesday, January 3, 2006

We got back to Mendoza without any problems and were lucky enough to be able to buy tickets to Tucamān on a bus that left 1.5 hours later. We gave the ticket salesman our names, he couldnīt believe my name (It means Rum in Spanish), perhaps he thought it was some sort of stich up. When Fran pipped up that "We call him Cuba Libre", the man almost wet himself! I guess itīs the equivalent of someone turning up in the UK and being called Gin, or perhaps Vodka.

The 15 hour journey was surprising pleasant. Thatīs until we got to the bus station in Tucamān. We ran right into half a million Argentinians trying to buy tickets to Tafi de Valle, with only two windows serving we were forced to wait for over an hour to get our tickets. And then after this is was a further 2.5 hours before reaching our destination! It took us just over 24 hours of travelling in total, not a lot of fun.

I was distressed at the fact that the lady in the hostel said that Iīd only be able to get my clothes washed if it was a nice day tomorrow, havenīt they heard of dryers! being as the weather was pretty wet it wasnīt encouraging. That evening was spent looking around town. This area of Argentina is best viewed on a long walk and the rain was starting to make it look likely that all plans for this area would be scuppered!

Fran only stayed one night in Tafi De Valle as she is on a bee-line to get to Boliva and so left at some ridiculous time in the morning to get soaked on the way to the bus. This meant that when I got up I needed to look for somewhere else to stay as I didnīt want to pay the 6 quid room rate by myself. It was actually a nice room, with 3 beds and a balcony, but thatīs a lot of money for one person round here.

The first place I tried turned out to be along some dodgy dirt track so I turned back before reaching the hostel. Hostel 2 turned me away because I was on my own! They didnīt have dorms. Hostel 3 wanted 8 quid for a tiny room with no window and one bed. Hostel 4 would have been pukker, but at 20 quid for one night.... Hostel 5 was run by a dragon, honestly! she woke someone up to ask if they were leaving that day, she wasnīt even going to put me in that room, she showed me a dragon pit and asked for 3 quid for it. She was such an old hag that I didnīt want to stay there. The simple solution was to return to square one and have my 6 quid bit of luxury. Except. Someone else had taken the room before I got back! Now what!

As you can imagine I was a little but put out by this, and it was still raining so Iīd continue to smell like a tramp, in fact without a room I may have well have been a tramp. I was heading to Cafayate next, but the next bus wasnīt till 9pm, 10 hours away! and Iīd be getting in at 1am. Not Good. The solution was quite simple in the end. I got on the next bus back to Tucamán, 2.5 hours later and by mid afternoon I was there. It didnīt take long to find somewhere to stay, and then not long after that to find a Laundrette. After having a chuckle about my name again they gave me the good news that my washing would be ready that night! bonus.

With this I headed straight down the bus station and ran into another half million Argentinians on holiday. It took one and a quarter hours to get to the front of the same queue again, but I didnīt care. I had a ticket for the 6AM bus to Cafayate, Iīll pass through Tafi De Valle which is annoying but at least I get to where I want to go. Iīll be smelling of roses, well as much as any bloke can smell of Roses!
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