|Mendoza to Santiago
Breakfast of ham, cheese and toast and then a short taxi ride to the bus terminal. Today we are going back into the mountains by Andesmar bus all the way to Santiago, Chile. It's time to say 'chao' to Argentina. This really marks the beginning of the end of our 4 month jaunt.
We spend only a couple of days in Santiago before flying out to mysterious Easter Island, Tahiti and then home.
We had a good last Argentinian meal yesterday evening and its with some sadness we are leaving.
So the road we are currenly on snakes its way up once more into the Andes and we leave Argentina behind. A land of rugged unspoilt beauty, miles of endless unpopulated areas, passionate people, a country with a decaying capital but with a fresh optimism, confident and able to produce some of the finest steaks, wine and dancing in the world.
We have had some great times here and feel we have probably judged the time right. We are however, travel weary and aching for the warm comfort of home and home-cooked food. However, what is becoming clearer everyday is that there is a big beautiful world to be seen. We have only just scratched the surface and are immesly priviledged to be in a position where we can be able to see more.
The Chileans must be relatively paranoid that something nasty is going to cross the border from Argentina as the crossing formalities are extensive and a pain in the rear. Not just the usual long queues and exit entry stamps but a full xray and bag check by sniffer dogs. One guy was carrying some dried nuts and had to empty his case, smalls and all in front of everyone, quite humilliating really.
Once over the border formalities its on down a series of switch backs down into Chile. It is truly spectacular.
Arriving in Santiago our hotel is basic but we will manage for 3 nights. Tomorrow we are going to do a walking tour & then the day after go to Valparaiso...