BA to Chile
Back at Chillhouse in Buenos Aires, things were just as before and Carol was getting restless. We decided to leave at the weekend, but ditched our plans to head up through Argetina because of bad weather. Instead, we would chase the sun to Chile.
This left us with a few days to get to know a couple of Swedes who were going in the same direction, via a series of veggie meals out. One meal was fantastic, the other saw our new friend Alex insist that the waiter walk him through the 50 plus buffet dishes to identify which were ‘sin carne’.
Alex had been living in San Francisco for many years and had a strident American accent. Our British sensibilities were mortified.
The day before leaving, we briefly took in some culture at the Museo LatinoAmericano Del Arte (MALBA), which was full of colourful and unique paintings and installations from across the continent.
Lethargy had by this time a firm grip on us and this ended our excursions in BA, despite the many sights we had heard about. That evening there was a birthday BBQ at Chillhouse and we went clubbing at Cocoleche, getting only a few hours sleep before our 24 hour bus ride.
The bus journey meal consisted of a bizarre stop off at a motorway service station cum classy restaurant. All passengers were piled off the bus to dine on a full meal complete with tablecloths and bread. We sat with a girl called Mia from Leeds and laughed at the idea of staying at the tiny, scary campsite attached to the station, as is common in South America.
The border was high up in the mountains, where Carol’s stomach began reacting to the altitude and we had to line up behind metal benches to have our bags searched. Finally, in Santiago, we decided to immediately bus onwards again and quickly arrived in the nice enough beach resort of Vina Del Mar.
We stayed in a cabana (cabin), with wooden ceilings, walls and Granny furnishings. On the beach we got in touch with our younger selves by spending some time building a huge hole and made the acquaintance of our first of the many dogs that swarm the beaches and streets of Chile.
I may be beginning to come around to dogs from this trip, although whenever I meet the mangy, watery-eyed specimens at bus stations I begin to doubt this.
A Chilean called Pablo showed us how to skimboard in the foam of the waves. I grazed my leg badly, Carol was a natural. His promised party that evening never happened, so we cooked some good pasta and went to the very American mall for a subtitled film.
We boarded a bus for our next beach to the north, sad at the news that Carol would have to leave in a month, a month and a half early. I crossed my fingers that she’d be able to stay for my birthday.
posted Thursday May 2008