Esteee - Arrival at Argentina!

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
Trip End Nov 04, 2008

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Flag of Chile  ,
Sunday, February 3, 2008

After our Rodeo antics we spent the next day gathering information on bus trips, hotels and similar for our trips to Argentina. The exercise is quite frustrating (as stated in another day) as Chileans lack the "art of information". They certainly have all the services up and running, but they seem to be incapacitated to right the information down on a sheet of paper and place it somewhere. So getting information usually means visiting a few travel agents, bus agencies and asking a few friendly bystanders.

Somehow the best information on a bus company is always obtained in the competing company..."we dont have that service, but Company x does...."

Originally we wanted to travel down South to Ushuaia (theoretically the last town in the World - although 2 or 3 other places have mushroomed to claim their touristic right to it!). However 2 things made us decided to turn East and then continue up North:
- All buses where booked from Puerto Natales to Ushuaia for 4 days (another 4 days in Puerto Natales did not make sense)
- All our list of recommendable hotels, B&B, etc where full so we risked arriving there and not having anywhere apart from the camping

We were also not wanting to join the "tourist train" towards what sounds like "Patagonian Disneyland" - thousands of tourists cramming in buses, attractions, hotels, restaurants, etc, etc. Its just no our "cup of tea". From the previous days we found out that Torres del Paine, Calafate (Argentina) and Ushuaia (Argentina) where pilgrimage targets for a large community of young and loud travellers (Israeli and USA students have been the most numerous).

This reminds me of a story at a camping at Torres del Paine where there was a group of young USA students chatting in the evening (one word out of five was "like"..."like this" and "like that"). Anyway, there was this tall guy who was talking in a semi-drunk state to his colleague something that went like this:
- Drunk USA student 1: "When I started this trip, I was like worried, like of going back home"
- USA student 2: "Oh yeah?"
- Drunk USA student 2: "Yeah, like afraid of like change like (pause)....however, I´m not like afraid anymore. I will continue drinking wine out of cartons"

I guess you can´t beat the logic....Talking about logic, I attach a picture of the Chilean National emblem with a Condor and a Deer (I think...could be a Guanaco). It goes "By Reason or by Force" - either you collaborate our way or you get it!

So getting back to the point...we finally decided to get a bus from Puerto Natales to Rio Gallegos in Argentina which chops off the final part of South America but saves us a lot of money and the frustration of massive tourism (in peak season - January and February are the July and August of South America...its similar to going to Benidorm in August with no reservations...)

The night before we had our last dinner in Chile (until we return to Santiago in a few weeks), which consisted of a good "Lomo a lo Pobre" (steak "poor style"), which is basically any selection of meat with a couple of fried eggs on top and french fries. The size of meat around here is enormous...We also celebrated with some "Ventisqueros" red wine ($5,500 = about 8 Euros).

The trip to Argentina was uneventful in the "Pinguino" branded bus...lots of dust, bumpy roads and backgammon games mixed with siestas. No problem getting over the border, although it was time consuming. We now have a 90 day tourist visa (same as Chile), at no cost. Only some countries have "reciprocal visa fees" such as USA, Australian and Mexican citizens - basically those countries charge Chilean citizens to get into their countries, so Chile "reciprocates"...and why not!

Leaving Chile behind we also leave a few unique expressions which only Chileans use. Here are a collection of the most common in Spanish:

El Chileno no se emborracha...SE CURA O SE COCE
El Chileno no tiene amigos...IENE YUNTAS
El Chileno no se burla...AGARRA PAL´ HUEVEO
El Chileno no se enamora...SE AGARRA
El Chileno no tiene depresión...SE ACHACA
El Chileno no conversa...PURO HUEVEA
El Chileno no hace el amor...CULEA, TIRA, SE MANDA UNA CACHA,UN PATO 
El Chileno no molesta ...ES LADILLA
El Chileno no baila...PERO TRATA
El Chileno no va a una fiesta... VA A UN CARRETE
El Chileno no se toma un trago...SE TOMA UN COPETE
El Chileno no toma aguardiente...TOMA PISCOLA
El Chileno no toma Ron...TOMA VINO
El Chileno no se molesta...SE EMPUTECE
El Chileno no te golpea...TE HACE MIERDA
El Chileno no fracasa...LA CAGA
El Chileno no flojea...SACA LA VUELTA
El Chileno no sale corriendo...SALE APRETANDO CACHETE
El Chileno no sale apurado...SALE CAGANDO
El Chileno no es dificil...ES COMPLICAO´
El Chileno no es molestoso ...ES HINCHA-COCOS
El Chileno no te reta...TE ECHA LA FOCA
El Chileno no te reprende...TE ECHA LA CHORÍA
El Chileno no conquista.... JOTÉA
El Chileno no es un tipo bueno...ES UN BACÁN!
El Chileno no es creido...SE CREE LA RAJA
El Chileno no hace negocios raros..ES MAFIOSO
El Chileno no es burgués...ES CUICO
El Chileno no es del pueblo...ES FLAYTE
El Chileno no es volado...ESH ASHI SHUPER LOCO
El Chileno no camina por el andén o el margen de la calle...CAMINA POR LA VEREA'
El Chileno no anda en coche o carro...ANDA EN AUTO
El Chileno no come bananas...COME PLÁTANOS
El Chileno no come aguacate...COME PALTA
El Chileno no come cacahuates...COME MANÍ
El Chileno no come hamburguesas...COME MIERDONALS
El Chileno no come bifechorizo...COME CHORIPAN
El Chileno no come fresas...COME FRUTILLAS
El Chileno no dice Aguas!!, Cuidado !!... dice: GUARDA CULIAO
El Chileno no dice La Policia!, La Ley!...dice: LOS PACOS COCHETUMARE!!! (Los Pacos viene de que todos los Policias originalmente eran Españoles y se llamaban Paco muchos) 
El Chileno no dice baterias..dice: PILAS
El Chileno dice Hola pero tambien dice: QUÉ ONDA? QUÉ CONTAY? COMO VA?
El Chileno no dice eso tan feo...dice: ESA HUEÁ DE MIERDA
El Chileno no tiene panza...tiene guata
El Chileno no es guaton
Y uno deportivo... muchos Chilenos todavía dicen GOOOOL!!!!pero la gran mayoría le ponen apellido y dicen: GOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLL !!!!!!!CONCHETUMADRE!!!!!!

End of night was a great little restaurant calle "Puesto Molino" where we had our first pizza in a long time. We "splashed out" quite a lot in the hotel and dinner given it was a new country:
- Dinner $58 pesos = Euro 11
- Hotel $110 pesos = Euro 22

Obviously the above is not at all expensive, but it is slightly higher than our average for the hotel (just by little) and Argentina is about 10-20% cheaper than Chile generally. However the hotel was well worth it for several reasons:
- we had our first private bathroom (en suite) since we left Europe! (nearly a month and a half)
- we had TV in the room - first time since the Talca (11th January) which was good to catch up with some news and "Simpsons" (here Homer is Homero)
- we had hotel towels! First time we haven´t had to use our own since Santiago
- croissant breakfast included.

Guess what the hotel was called...yep! "Paris"

Anyway...a whole lot of luxuries :-)
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