Travel Day: San Rafael to Santiago

Santiago Travel Blog

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Che Lagarto Hostel
Got up early to catch a bus to Mendoza (can not catch a bus directly to Santiago from San Rafael) with Iselin bus line for 17 pesos.  Also, bus companies in San Rafael are reluctant to sell tickets to Santiago because of the mountain pass may be closed.  Iselin buses have large seats and are very comfortable.  In Mendoza there are many bus lines travelling to Santiago.  I think there are different routes the buses elect to take depending on the weather conditions.  So it is no problem to get a bus to Chile from Mendoza.  The only problem is picking one company.  I have no idea how to choose one, i just went in to one and bought a ticket.  So further research on this subject may be necessary.
The frigid TV room
 

I chose Tas Choapa.  Not a really good decision.  The bus seats were small and uncomfortable, and the bus was in bad condition.  The price was 45 pesos and took 7 hours, one of which is spent at the border waiting for the border officers to check the baggage of every passenger.

15 minutes out of Mendoza the Andes come into view.  I was blown away at the size of those mountains.  The drive through the mountains was equally impressive.

Once in Santiago a guy came up to me at the bus station with information on Che Lagarto Hostel.  I have heard of the chain before so i went with him.  The taxi ride was only about 3 US.  The hostel had dorm rooms with bathroom for 13 US includes breakfast.  That was the only good thing about this hostel.
First view of the Andes
  I swear to god it was colder inside this hostel than outside, and it was tit cold outside.  The hostel only had 2 space heaters, which did not make much of a difference.  One was placed in the eating area and the other in the TV room.  At night i had to constantly add more clothing as the temperature dropped.  The hostel had free internet, but there was only 1 computer and it was constantly in use.  To top it all off, there was no hot water in the showers.  Damn i hate the cold.

I met Joline at the hostel and we went for dinner on Ricardo Cummings street.  This street was famous for all its restaurants and bars.  We ate at Memo Cafe.  I had the lomo ala Pobre, which as i learned is steak with a fried egg on top.  The steak had a good flavor to it, but i just dont understand the egg thing.  We also ordered a bottle of wine which only cost 6 US, which came to a total of 13 US, very cheap.  Went home and shivered all night.
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Che Lagarto Hostel
Che Lagarto Hostel
The frigid TV room
The frigid TV room
First view of the Andes
First view of the Andes
Santiago
photo by: Bluetraveler