Mendoza to Santiago: Crossing the Andes and Bar Make-Outs
Mendoza to Santiago: Crossing the Andes and Bar Make-Outs.
I woke up hung over, which was fine because yesterday was a blast. Irmante and I head for our bus Mendoza to Santiago that would take us from Argentina to Chile. As we boarded the Mendoza to Santiago bus, someone had their things in my allocated seat. A woman standing there told me that the people who had put their possessions there had not realized the seating. Then the woman went and stood out of the way. I felt her as she looked at me. It is crazy how much a person can read from a glance at someone’s eyes. I felt the way the she was looking at me, and it would take me 150 words to entirely describe it, but there was a feeling in that look.
Irmante sat behind me and the woman with the look sat in her allocated seat beside mine for the Mendoza to Santiago trip. She, the woman, was Annette, from Germany. I snuck a glance at her immigration papers we were handed to see how old she was. She was 35. She was attractive. We visited for hours on the Mendoza to Santiago drive. She had just been to Antarctica and was heading back to Germany on a container ship that is going to take her 25 days from Chile at $100/day, and she will pass through the Panama Canal.
The road from Mendoza to Santiago is said to be one of the most beautiful drives in the world. It about 8 hours of gorgeous. It is amazing how in Argentina on the drive, the road goes through tunnels through mountains. Then, as you are driving through a mountain, you come out the other side, and BAM, you are in Chile. We stopped to clear immigration, and I smuggled a pack of ravioli into the country that I had hid in my luggage. The x-ray machine is not susceptible to ravioli! On the immigration card to get into Chile, there was a list of things that you cannot bring into the country. ‘No animal semen or embryos’ certainly stuck out the most for me… Luckily I was packing neither of those.
Then in Chile, it seemed that the road was hair pin turns down down down down. There is an abandoned ski life just outside of the immigration border that crosses the hairpin highway. It just seemed really cool somehow. And there was suddenly a different style of infrastructure, of how the road and their road tunnels are build. They Argentinians and the Chileans are said to hate each other. I asked it if was a friendly hatred, but I was told that there is real resentment, for whatever reason.
Anyhow, Annette told me to check out the Carnival in Martinique. She said that all of the women dress completely in costume so that you can not even see the color of their skin. People are completely unidentifiable, and that is how the party goes and it if full on. The men are not covered, so the women choose the men, and who they will dance with and wherever that may lead. No one knows anyone’s identity, race or age. That is pretty fascinating. A woman in her 60’s was who invited Annette.
Eventually the Mendoza to Santiago trip ended when we arrived in Santiago. Annette seen my ‘Bad Mother Fucker’ belt buckle and told me, “That is an interesting message.” I gave her a Beaver sticker and we lost track of each other in the bus terminal when Irmante and I were changing money. Santiago is incredibly crowded. Too crowded. It is madness like Seoul, South Korea. Tomorrow is Good Friday, so perhaps it is due to the long weekend. It is the most crowded that we have felt anywhere in South America, even Rio. We decided we will leave as soon as we can. So, Irmante and I headed to the hostel. Illegally smuggled ravioli tastes good.
Annette found me on my Big Beaver Diaries Facebook page and send me a message to meet up. Irmante came along but she was not feeling it. She did not seem to like Annette. Women are catty creatures. We headed to an area of the city called Barrio Italia. Irmante had a drink with us and then left. The Annette and I found a really cool blues bar where we smashed pisco sours, a specialty here. The drinks we not even going to my stomach: they headed directly to my brain.
We bar hopped a bit, and we found a Karaoke bar, and had a blast partying with the locals. I have begun to tell Spanish speakers who always want to guess my city as ‘Toronto? Vancouver? Montreal?’ that I am from “Grande Vagina,” said with a thick Spanish accent. People’s knees nearly buckle with laughter over that.
There is a really cool street just lined with bars and terraces, and party-boy Beaver was out, having a blast. Annette told me, “I knew as soon as I met you that you are crazy!” We went back to the blues bar and I made out with her a whole bunch. I caught her by surprise when I went to kiss her. She told me, “I knew it was coming, I am just surprised by your timing of it!” I told her I was trying to keep her on her toes. I was surprised that an attractive 35 year old woman was not a better kisser with more passion. But, it was a lot of fun and she is really cool. Eventually, it was time to head home, and I hoped my home would be in her bed. We were fooling around against a wall on a street outside the bar. When I put my hand down her pants she told me she was on her period. That did not bother me, but she was not going to take me home. I have never been afraid of a period in my life. That is what towels are for! But, she was reluctant. I told her she was going to miss out on an awesome time. She told me that she really likes my confidence. I wanted to go home with this woman, even if she was not going to sleep with me, but she was sure it was better if she went home alone and thanked me for the wonderful evening. We kissed goodbye and she got into a taxi.
So, I walked home alone. The end of the Mendoza to Santiago experience. That period made me sad…