Holidays Walks

Aconcagua – last day in Mendoza

This was our last full day in Argentina and it was a relaxed affair. Carmel read her book around the pool and I faffed about on the computer copying more photos from the groups cameras.

The weather was disappointing in that it was not cloudless skies and 40C. It was very pleasant and plenty warm enough though. Carmel and I had lunch at the Park Hyatt which was very quiet. Carmel had the bug for rosé wine after trying a very good glass of the stuff on our winery tour the day before. Service was almost non-existent so lunch turned into a two hour event, but it was all still so much nicer than being high up a mountain.

I visited the largest supermarket in the city, a Carrefour about 15 mins walk from the hotel. Ruth had bought a 8GB memory stick the night before so I was keen to also get one, as the 4GB one I had bought the day before was not quite big enough to store the photos that everyone had taken. Just like Tescos et co. in the UK, supermarkets supplied electronics cheaper than the specialised stores.

Later on in the afternoon Carmel spent a couple of hours dozing and reading around the pool. I had a much more entertaining thing to do – I had to go and report my camera missing and get a crime reference number so that I could claim on the insurance when I got home. I asked at reception for the location of a police station and the person there gave me directions to somewhere about 20 mins walk away.

The police station was a very rough building that appeared not to have been looked after at all. The public entrance was through to two or three battered rooms with non-matching and sparse furniture from a couple of decades ago. The paint was peeling off the walls, and there were scuff marks over all the doors and walls where people had kicked or punched them. The surly and uninterested policeman who was at the desk near the door did not or chose not to speak English and he had to ask somebody else to come along. I was quite daunted by this entrance and was wondering if getting a crime reference number was perhaps a mistake. However the English speaking police person was a friendly girl who was very chatty and nowhere near as intimidating as the surroundings. She invited me into an office which would have been considered perfect for use by Hollywood as a 3rd world interrogation room.

After taking a statement and a bunch of details I was given a document with a crime reference number and I was able to leave. Of all the time I spent in Argentina on this trip, the most scared I have been was feeling very British and out of place in that police station. Although the police girl herself was extremely friendly and seemed out of place. While I was collecting the report the next client came in. A Brit who had been mugged and lost his camera, wallet and passport at the strain station. I almost felt lucky, but the photos on my camera meant more to me than my face, wallet or travel documents.

A little later we had our final group meal of the holiday. Carl chose the restaurant which was up near the Carrefour supermarket and was perfectly decent.

The meat eaters almost exclusively had steak and chips, washed down with a lot of local beer. One of the waitresses was absolutely stunning, but seemed more interested in flirting with Jamie at 18 than me and some of the others who were way too old at almost twice his age. I felt ancient.

After dinner we wandered down towards the centre of town to find a bar we had seen earlier in the trip. The bar was called The Liverpool Pub and sounded a perfectly pleasant place to end out stay in Mendoza.

The bar used to be owned by some Scousers (or at least Liverpool FC fans), but now was run as a Argentinian bar and did not seem to have any character or charm to keep us interested for long. In reality we were all stuffed and tired so after having a single drink each, within our little splinter groups, we headed back to the hotel for the last night.

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