A 6am start for us, our bus leaves at 0630, making a 13.5 hour road trip to our halfway point 800km down the Route 40 (classic North – South Argentinian highway) to Perito Moreno where we´re all put up in overnight hostel, arriving just before 8pm. 120km today is also on unpaved roads ouch! It´s just a normal coach too, not the luxurious cama seats we´ve had up till now that recline nearly all the way back. Boo Hoo Hoo.
As we were leaving our hostel this morning we were behind another couple booking out who mentioned last night they were getting the same bus. They were having issues as the night desk guy insisted they still had to pay over AR$100, but they´d settled up two days before and checked again yesterday! It looked like it was going to be a long drawn out affair (he was calling the dayshift up trying to sort it out) so we muscled in toget ours sorted so at least some of us could get to the bus on time and hold it up for them, if possible. They bought the idea and we made the bus. In true Spanish time, there was really no rush, they made it too…hurray!
The bus journey was only made bareable by the frequent stops we had, to get out stretch our legs and go for a we. There was no air-con to speak of, just desk fans bolted to the ceiling along the isle that the driver took long enough to put on initially and then kept forgetting each time we set off again.
This evening we got talking to the Canadians again and low and behold they´re from – yep, you guessed it – Vancouver! Josh and Elise – they´ve taken a year out too and so far they´ve done Columbia, Ecuador and Chile, and are now doing Argentina. We had dinner with them, our bus tickets were supposed to cover dinner or so we all thought but when we arrived they told us it wasn´t included, funny how it was very specific about lunch both days not being included but not so about dinner. Saying “arrival at hostel and dinner”. Hhmm…
The town of Perito Moreno is pretty much a one horse town, but worse than that it’s in the middle of nowhere, nothing around for hundereds of miles. It´s only saving grace is a nearby tourist attraction, it´s convenience as an overnight stop for this bus and that it has some cash machines (where we´re going, El Chalten, apparently has none!)
We find we´re sharing a 4 person dorm with a retired French couple. She speaks really good English; he speaks neither English nor Spanish. We cross our fingers and he doesn´t snore – he´s a big guy. It´s not too bad, but Bernice put her earplugs in from the off just in case!