Specialties

Bariloche, Argentina

Immediately upon arrival at my hostel on Feb 6th, I made another impulsive splurge РI really need to stop doing that, eh?  I booked whitewater rafting for the following day, having never done it.

In my dorm room of eight people, I met Renzo, a porte√Īo on holiday with his friends Alejandro and Eduardo – all three were just a smidgeon younger than me. ¬†Renzo spoke the best English out of the three, though I really was trying with my Spanish. ¬†As seems to be a common theme with the Latinos I’ve met, they were all shocked that I was travelling by myself at my age and without fluency in Spanish, but appreciated that I tried. ¬†(I guess they haven’t really been talking to other foreign travellers then, cause there’s plenty of people like me around, and plenty more that don’t know any Spanish!) ¬†Within one minute, Renzo offered me mate.

Mate¬†(sounds like ma-tay) is a very common drink I’ve been seeing for the past few weeks, and it seems that it is inseparable from Argentinians. ¬†People carry around a gourd (itself called mate) made of wood, a pack of yerba mate leaves, and a thermos or pot of hot water. ¬†Everywhere. ¬†I’ve always been curious to try it, and to be offered some without any sort of prompting was a pleasant surprise. Continue reading

Road

Route 40, Argentina

It takes 25 hours to get from El Chaltén to Bariloche by bus. Almost 1500 km. I opted to split it into a two-day bus journey.

Two French girls (Anne and Louise) who were staying at my dorm in El Chaltén gave me the details, as they went the other way Рthe road is beautiful, but the scenery gets samey. Also, most of the road is unpaved.

They were certainly right. Route 40 is legendary for its barren nothingness. That is no understatement – there is barely anything around, not even little towns or gas stations. We couldn’t make rest stops for food just because there weren’t any places around. Given that I didn’t bring anything other than half a sandwich and an apple with me, that didn’t bode too well for me… Continue reading