We spent 2 nights in montevideo at the Splendido hostel. The hostel was big but there was no one there for us to talk to! It did have a good lounge with a tv so we watched lots of football and films as the weather was horrible. On wednesday night we tried a couplw of bars recommended in the lonely planet which were ok and we went for some food but as we were low on cash we had to only order what we could afford but the bill came to 3 pesos more than we had as they charge for bread. We thought about legging it but paid on the card instead! The next day we were woken up to marching bands outside the window as it was a public holiday and the procession was down our street, it was to celebrate a famous uruguayan dictator.
As we were woken up early we got up and then we walked along the sea front heading to Poscitos which had been recommended by Rodrigo, but we got as far as a big shopping centre then it started chucking it dowm so we decided to not go any further and got a taxi back after buying our dinner in the supermarket.
It then didn't stop raining for the next 2 days so we decided to stay in that night and ate gourmet cuisine of quiche refried beans and veg! The next morning we laid in and then just walked around the city centre before catching our bus then boat back to Buenos Aires
at 8pm. The boat was very rocky as the weather was still terrible. We weren't sick though! We got off and collected our luggage and then tried to get a taxi which proved to be difficult as no one seemed to understand our amazing spanish.
Luckily a uruguayan lady and her son came to our rescue and we shared their taxi back to Palermo house, the same hostel where we stayed last time.
we dumped our bags and went straight out for some food and drinks about 11pm.
21st June - after laying in we got a subway to the main bus station as it was a nightmare trying to book tickets on the internet. we found the bus terminal and the area was rough. we then bought our bus tickets to Bariloche and decided to go with the most expensive ticket (first class) as the journey was 20hrs and we would want to sleep, tickets were 40 pounds each. We then got the subway to Av. Florida as Emma wanted to buy some converse trainers and a coat as it was cold. We looked round loads of shops but emma couldn't decide and didn't want to pay more than 15 pounds!!! We then saw C&A and had to go in for a look as we recognised the name and thought emma could get some cheap trainers but we both came out with a new coat, both black and both the same make - 'Mace'!! Very trendy!! After our star purchases we went back to our hostel and chilled out for a few hours watching a euro game before the hostel bbq.
We were pleased that there was a better crowd of people in the hostel this time and we sat round drinking and eating lots of meat. Neil and an Australian bloke Chadd were the last men standing after eating until the food ran out. We were supposed to then be going out with Mariel but unfortunately she was ill so we couldn't so we just drank more free red wine at the hostel.
22nd June - We needed a long lay in as we were hungover but had already decided to go to San Telmo this day. Chadd came with us and we arranged to meet some of the others there. San telmo was buzzing with a long street full of craft and antique stalls, there were also lots of people along the street that were dancing and playing music.
It was fab! We all met in a cafe for some food and then started walking to the Boca Juniors stadium to hopefully get some tickets for their last game of the season.
We got to the stadium which is in the roughest part of the city and walked around for 30 mins trying to sort tickets out, luckily we were with someone who could speak spanish. We got to the main part of the stadium and were going to be led through a barrier by a police man but while waiting we were being spat and shouted at by the oppostion supporters. Emma was quite scared! We decided not to go in as we were told we would have to cover up any blue or yellow cloting that we were wearing as we thought we were going to the oppostion part of the ground.
Emma was wearing a blue hoody! We left and caught a cab back with Chadd, some of the others got in and said it was a good game but very scary. Boca won 6-2, we watched it on the tv when we got back.
23rd June - We slept in until 4pm and went out to the supermarket and to phone Neils Nan as it was her birthday. we then went back to the hostel to get ready to go out to 'las canitas' which is another area of Buenos Aires with lots of bars and restaurants. We walked there and tried out a couple of the bars which were good and then went for a big tenderloin steak and salad in a parilla . It was the best we'd ever had and with a bottle of wine it all cost about 17 pounds.
24th June - We got some lunch at midday and then got a taxi to the bus station for our bus at 2.30pm. The bus was amazing and better than we thought - much better than the megabus! We had our own little section with fully reclining seats which were a bed.
The journey did not seem to take 20 hrs as we had films to watch, afternoon tea, dinner, champagne before bed and breakfast, we arrived in Bariloche at 10am.
25th June - we got a taxi to the hostel which is one of the best so far as the rooms are clean and big, there is a good kitchen and communual area. The bed is definitely the best and it the first time we have not used our sleeping bags this trip! we slept for a few hours then went out to have a look around.
Bariloche is a lovely town surrounded by lakes and snow capped mountains, all the buildings are wooden like cabins and it feels very safe. There are lots of chocolate shops as Bariloche is famous for its chocolate and it is also famous for mountain dogs which we saw lots of (Emma wanted to take one home!).
26th June - There are lots of activities to do in Bariloche and so this day we decided to go mountain biking on a 25km trail. We caught a local bus to the bike rental place which seemed to be in the middle of nowhere and went in but the man there said that we couldn't hire any bikes as it was too windy! We thought it wasn't that bad and were a bit annoyed! We then got the bus to the port to see what was there.
We paid for a boat trip not knowing exactly where it was to or what it was and spent the next 4 hrs on the boat and 2 islands with a guide who didn't speak any English. We seemed to be on a tree enthusiasts tour so we were a bit bored looking at lots of trees, the scenery was amazing but the islands we saw didn't seem to have much attraction (just different trees!).
That night we cooked dinner in the hostel and sat round with the other people staying who were also travellers and didn't end up going out until midnight, we went to a bar that sells Artesanal beers so neil sampled a couple and then went to watch a live band in an Irish pub, they sang in english and spanish.
27th June - We were going to try and go mountain biking again today but the weather was still windy so we thought that we wouldn't bother making the bus trip again.
Instead we caught a bus to the main terminal to buy our tickets to go to Mendoza
next week and to El Bolson
for a day trip on sunday. After this we walked back to the centre along the lake which took about 45 mins and walked around for the afternoon and took some photos etc. we were glad we didn't go mountain biking as the weather wasn't great. That night we went to a mexican restaurant that had been recommended which was brill. Afterwards Neil could not move so we went back to bed to sleep!
28th June - Today we got the bus to Campanario mountain where we took a cable car up to the top where the views were amazing. You could see where we had gone on our boat trip to Isle Victoria and Parque Nationale Arrayanes and the ski slopes where lots of people have started to go as it is the start of the ski season, although there isn't enough snow yet so we decided to wait.
We got the bus back to the centre and bought a cool bag as there is no food on our 20hr bus to mendoza. we are now in the hostel cooking here tonight and going out for a few drinks later. Neil is going to try the other 5 beers!