Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Best things in life are free (or should be)


Mendoza: Day 2

We arrived at 9am at the bus station in Mendoza. We had to wait some time until we could meet Romi (a friend from there who attended school in India — check UWC for more on this).

[Ok, this is probably the time when I explain a bit about how I know Romi, and so on… Romi and I met in 2001 while applying for a scholarship to attend one of the -at the time- 12 UWCs around the world. We got along from the beginning, and I was happy to find out that we had both gotten a scholarship: Romi went to  Mahindra UWC in India, and I went to Waterford Kamhlaba UWC in Swaziland. Romi and kept in touch ever since, and have met a couple of times after graduation, since we both returned to Argentina to study medicine. Apart from Romi, there are many other UWC graduates in Argentina, and many of them live in Mendoza, so this was a good chance for me to meet up with them.]

So, back to the trip. We had some hours to kill, so we stopped at the tourist information office inside the station, and asked for tips on what places to visit and so on. Two very helpful ladies gave us all sorts of advice, and recommended that we visited Tunuyán (west of Mendoza city), where we’d find a paradise of home-made gastronomic goodies mixed with an oasis of spirituality. We were not fully convinced at first, but after reading a little guidebook that they gave us, we decided to visit Tunuyán on the following day (here’s the chronicle of that trip).

After gathering some touristic information, we left the station and walked towards the city center (blue line, X1 on picture). We walked along Sarmiento, a pedestrian lane, and sat down at a bar to have breakfast and make a plan for the week (we realized that we had taken a bus for 14hs and had no idea of what we’d do in the 7 days we were ment to stay there!)

Once we had sat in one place as long as we possibly could, I got a bit anxious and asked to walk around a bit, just so as to use up some of the energy I had accumulated over the previous weeks, when holidays seemed like a far off dream. We walked to a second tourist office, to find out how to get to the higher mountains (the once with snow, you know… we wanted snow!! :) And soon after we found ourselves on board of a streetcar that drove around the city centre (purple line, X2). Well, a wanna-be streetcar, for it turned out to be a normal bused dressed up as a trolley. Nevertheless, it had its charm (like a bell used to ask for a stop) and not many people use it, so it turned out to be a kind of private ride.

At around midday Romi picked us up and took us to her apartment. She lives in a lovely and quite big apartment that she shares with Pipi, her dog, another two people.

We used the afternoon to go back to the station and get bus tickets to Tunuyán. Then we had a look at the city, visited the Foundational Area and its museum, sat down at the foundational square, listened to folkoric music as we watched a group of people dancing to it…. I learned a bit about the history of the city, which in some way made me feel good. These years of studying medicine have made me forget how much I enjoyed history lessons!

As the sun was setting, we headed back to Romi’s house, where we had supper and a long chat with her. It was a lovely day. We hit the bed early, for a very exciting day in Tunuyán would be waiting for us the next morning!

Pictures of Mendoza

Trip to Mendoza: Day 1

The long awaited week-long holiday finally arrived! I sat for a pharmacology exam on saturday (26/7) morning, and soon after I was back home packing my bag. I didn’t want to repeat the germany experience (carrying some 17kg on my back! or worse: making a friend carry them for me!) so I packed as little as possible… The lucky clothers were a pair of snowpants, two tops, one winter jacket, one beanie, a pair of converse all star and a scarf. The rest, I wore so as to save space (a single pair of jeans, a top, a sweater and hiking boots).

At 6 Dechi and her family picked me up to go to the bus station. We hopped on the bus some minutes before seven and started our 14hr long trip to Mendoza. The bus was extra-comfortable (seats are as wide as 1st class air-seats and go almost flat), but the first 1-2hs were a real challenge to cope with, since the drivers were blasting some 80s music at an unbearable volume. No kidding, I set my mp3 player with in-ear headphones to max. volume and I could still hear the music! I LOVE 80s music, but I don’t enjoy being forced to listen to music. Besides, at that volume it was more noise than music… to top it off, they were showing the videos that accompanied each song on an LCD screen… terrible!

After counting to 100 some hundred times, Dechi kindly asked the driver to lower down the volume, to which he replied that there was no way to make it any lower, for there was only one volume level (sounded like a lie to me… but who knows!!) So they ended up turning it off and making Dechi feel guilty for not letting the rest of the passengers listen to the music (honestly, I think she did us all a favour!)

Some minutes after, supper was catered and we were even offered wine! (which I obviously accepted! shame it was cheap wine). The food wasn’t great either, but it was good enough to fill our stomachs and allow us to enjoy a good sleep afterwards (how bad is it when you are locked on a bus for 14 hs and your stomach craves for food??)

After supper we watched a movie, forgive me for not remembering the title at this point… I think I had watched it aleady, but I still watched it all again, so I guess that it was a good movie. Once the film was over, I fell asleep and was only woken up sporadically by the smelly feet of the passenger behind me…