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Archive for October, 2011

Valporaiso – grubby colour

October 31, 2011 Leave a comment

The next morning is a whole new day and we take a bus out to the Pacific Coast to Valporaiso. Built up as the cultural centre of Chile, Valpo is certainly interesting. A rare remnant of colonial wrinkly tin houses covered in ethnic graffiti. Generally dirty and dog bound it has the grubby yet intriguing  feel of mature dreadlocks.

 

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Bus to the top of the world

October 29, 2011 Leave a comment

The bus from Mendoza to Santiago is a must. It only needs to be done once, but it is pretty special.

The day started badly, because as well as the banging headache and parched throat, the Mendoza bus station had a wildcat strike and all busses were empounded. As I went around the bus kiosks, they told me that the Santiago bus was going to travel, but we needed to go and wait on a square in town, and that the bus would arrive there well away from the blockades and the protestors.

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Mendoza – Wine Heaven

October 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Mendoza is known for it’s wine – we know it for “Mr Hugo”. As a town, it was also destroyed by an earthquake, so benefits from a renewed street pattern, giving the same comfortable and green character of San Juan. The squares are really nice and there is an unusual arrangement of 4 small squares around the main Plaza d’Independencia.

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San Juan shook us up a bit.

October 25, 2011 2 comments

San Juan came as a pleasant surprise after the rough gruff town of Tucuman, having been destroyed in 1944 by a devastating earthquake that killed 10,000 people, the place was re-planned with wider streets, tree-lined avenues and an irrigation system that keeps the place clean and fresh – two unusual luxuries in Argentina.

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Tucuman – Spanish for pants

October 24, 2011 1 comment

Tucuman really is pants. The only saving grace is the half interesting museum of sugar, sort of showing the kids how sugar is made from sugar cane. Apart from that, it was edgy and uncomfortable.

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Desert to Jungle in 3 hours

October 23, 2011 Leave a comment

On our last marathon car hire day, we took a short detour to see the traditional route people take to Cafayete from Salta (i.e. not the 250 km dirst track we had taken the day before). The valley has a famous reputation, and to be fair, it is pretty, and there are a couple of stunning sights, but you have to share it with other tourists!

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Cafayete – Home of Torrontes grapes and the best white wine EVER!

October 23, 2011 Leave a comment

After the car/back breaking drive down, we settled into a hostal called Rusty-K in the small town of Cafayete, an easy going, slightly scruffy laid back kind of place; rough pavements and lots of dogs, but enough trees and people to feel safe and comfortable.

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