At 5am on Wednesday the 2nd of May the alarm clock woke me up. I got out of bed, dressed and went outside. Slurping a can of Red Bull and smoking 2 full fat Camels I tried to wake up.
I went back in my room, picked up my bags and headed to the bus station. Walking out of the entrance and onto the street I wondered how many steps it would be before those two dogs “went for me”. Turns out it was 17!
Carrying on down the street the sound of a dog whimpering put a smile on my face. Turning the corner and walking past the square another two dogs got up close and personal. Well what do you know! Turns out that adrenaline is much better at waking me up than taurine!
Arriving at the station I had a 20 minute wait....time for smoking.
The bus took 4.5 hours to travel to the city of San Juan, stopping at many small villages along the way. At the bus station in San Juan I only had a 30 minute wait for the next bus to the city of Mendoza, it was time well spent.
A few hours later I arrived at yet another bus station, this one was in Mendoza. In the taxi to the hostel the views of the city of Mendoza weren't bringing back any memoires from 18 years ago.
The hostel is on Ave San Martin about a 20 minute walk from the main square and because it's the low season I was one of only 3 guests....nice and quiet, brilliant!!!
In the early evening I strolled to the main square or Plaza Independencia. It's a big square and I didn't remember it at all, now that I come to think of it I don't remember anything about Mendoza!
I checked out the “Irish bar” (well you have to really) and luckily a game of football was on the tv otherwise I wouldn't of stayed. Near the hostel were several bar so I thought I would check out a few.
The 1st one I walked into was the Casa de Usher, a dimly lit “grunge” bar with live music and ashtrays on the bar. I don't know why this keeps on happening to me I’m just glad it does...thank you universe you’re the best!
In the morning I dropped of my clothes at the nearby laundrette and then went for a wander. I went back to the main square and checked out the modern art museum. It was small and disappointingly full of works by art students, C- I’m afraid. Then I went to the nearby Plaza San Martin. The place was cordoned off and swarming with police and “men in black” complete with earpieces. Unlike in the film, these black suits looked cheap and ill fitting. For some reason my act of walking around the square made them nervous.
I've been in Argentina now for about 6 weeks and there are two things I’ve noticed.
a) Argentinians find it hard to walk in a straight line, or they just like making a bee line towards me...who knows?
b)This country is the “most European” of all the Latin American countries I’ve been in.
How do I know? It's the only country I’ve been in where the locals give me “that look”. You know the one...if I was walking down the street in England people would avoid walking near me because they would assume I’m an enforcer for the EDL.
Just ask my parents!
“the sun was in our eyes and we didn't know it was you” is not an acceptable defence for crossing the road to avoid walking past your son!
So what else did I do, well apart from the obvious not a lot! I know how wine is made and what it tastes like so going on a “wine tour” was the wrong side of boring
On Saturday (after being in Latin America for two years) I managed not to go out till 11pm!! Shocking I know. I got back in just after 4am and when I woke up in the afternoon I realised that I had missed one game of football and the Portuguese round of MotoGP....bollocks!