Thursday, 16 July 2009

Ruta 40, 1 July 2009

Jess and I had intended to stay in Bariloche for a week, but when we got there we didn´t really fall in love with the place. Maybe it was because the weather was grey and cloudy. Maybe it was because it was super expensive because it was geared up for the skiers. Maybe we had just overdosed on lakes and chocolate. We just didn´t feel the need to spend any longer in Bariloche so we jumped on a bus and made our way to Mendoza on the famous Ruta 40.

Ruta 40 is the longest road in the world. It crosses the entire length of Argentina, and it was made famous by Che as he travelled it on his famous motorcycle journey. We travelled 586 miles along Ruta 40 for 17 hours.

We had booked the tickets the previous day and had gone for the budget seats on the bus to save a few quid. But when we got to the bus station the bus we were booked on to had been cancelled.So, we were put on the next bus (2 hours later) and given a free upgrade to executive class. Woohoo.

The journey way pretty impressive and the surrounding landscape was pretty special! Once we got out of the snowy region the land was very dry and barren and all the scrubland was a golden yellow colour. THe journey continued like this for some time, in fact it took us 2 hours to reach the first town. The town wasn´t very much, jsut a few houses and a petrolstation.It was really desolate.

5 hours into the journey we hit our first traffic light!

We were waited on with great attentiveness as the bus man did the rounds with drinks and coffee.

We enjoyed two films in English, Red Eye and one with David Duchovny and Maggie Gyllenhal. Then we took a pause from the films and indulged in a game of bus bingo! Yes, Bus Bingo! Sadly, neither Jess or I won the prize bottle of wine but we did improve on our Spanish numbers! It was a greatfun way to practice a bit of Spanish.

We felt like royalty on this bus, that was until they served dinner.

We were given a smelly plastic tray and on it was places a crap looking sandwich, a swiss roll and a portion of rice.

Jess was in fits of giggles at the face I pulled at the dinner. I was not impressed. I doused the rice in mayonaise (that was supposed to be for the sandwich) which made it more palatable and then ate the teeny tiny crappy sandwich. I left the swiss roll till last only to be disappointed that it actually was a swiss roll with ham rolled into it.Interesting.

I was not impressed at all.

But then, the lovely bus waiter appeared with hot dishes... it was a weird canneloni type thing made with crepes rather than pasta. It was yummy! Dinner was redeemed!

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