We are going to Mendoza, Argentina. It is an 8 hour bus ride that went something like this.
6:00 am – Wake up at Leo’s house.
7:00 am – Leave Quintay to get to Valparaiso.
7:10 am – Think that I am going to die because there is a lot of fog and Leo thinks that he is driving a race car. Luckily, the road has been paved in the last year.
7:22 am – Comment that there is still a lot of fog and maybe Leo should slow down as I wipe the sweat from my palms.
7:44 am – Arrive in Valapariso thankful to be alive and realize that Leo is a better driver than most of the people in this city and maybe country.
8:05 am – Leave Valparaiso on a double decker bus. We are sitting in the very front seats on the top level for a good view of the Andes as we drive into Argentina. (I like saying it Arr-hen-teen-a.)
8:12 am – Watch four buses, including ours, nearly all collide because of one crazy driver. I had a great view of two buses pull up beside each other and call each other names.
8:15 am – Fall asleep because it is too stressful to constantly wonder if I am going to die on this bus.
9:45 am – Wake up as we start to enter the Andes. Put on the iPod and rock out to Mika.
10:38 am – Pass vineyards while looking at the snowcapped Andes in the background. We keep crossing small streams of glacial melt. I will get to test the rumors that Argentinian Malbec wine is some of the best in the world.
11:03 am – I think that I am in France. There are about 30 turns on this road. We are on our way to the ski resort of Portillo. There are a few ski runs, but no snow.
11:52 am – 3185 meters. Pass through the Tunel de Cristo Redentor. Emerge into Argentina. Start going downhill, finally.
12:43 pm – Get through customs. Like most bureaucracies there was a lot of waiting in lines and paperwork. My passport is nearly full. There was a smashed Mercedes that had been towed to the immigration area.
12:55 pm – Saw an 18 wheel truck on its side. Lots of wool that it was carrying had spilled out. That slowed us down a bit.
2:45 pm – Another 18 wheeler on its side. This one was carrying buckets of cement. Or so it looked. The bus drivers stopped to talk to the police that were making sure traffic was flowing smoothly, for 15 minutes. I am beginning to think that this road is a little dangerous.
3:46 pm – Arrive in Mendoza. Bus stations are weird places with strange people. The people coming and going are not too bad, it is the people just hanging out there that make me a little worried.