Thursday, 14 June 2012

The road to Cordoba

Having enjoyed the previous hitching adventures so much we decided to continue the adventures and hitch from Mendoza to Cordoba. As mendoza wasn´t that big we walked to the main junction to stand by the road to Cordoba. We´d worked out that once we´d got to San Luis that it should be pretty easy to get the rest of the way up to Mendoza. However, as always we´d slept in later than planned and did´t hit the road till about 11am. So after standing around for a about half an hour we finally got a lift from a guy, who´s car was littererally falling apart. he was on his way to the garage to get his car fixed and wasn´t sure if his car was going to make it to the garage, and yet, he still felt he should pick up a couple of hitch hickers! What a hero! Anyway, he only took us a small way down the road and then we were stuck at a pretty desolate dual carrage way waiting for our next lift.

Eventually a truck pulled over and gave us a lift. He was a really friendly bloke but seemed a wee bit shadey so my defences were up innitially. Anyway, he was a nice bloke and was going to San Luis that day, unfortunately at a painfully slow pace. Plus he kept making stops at various places. Having said that, he kept buying us stuff! When we stopped at a inter county checkpoint he bought us both a sandwich (which was dry as santans balls!) and a bottle of coke. Then when Kate told him she didn´t drink fizzy drinks he offered to go back and change the drink! Everything was going fine until he pulled over into the back of a dodgey desolate petrol garage in the middle of bum fuck nowhere (One of Kate´s phrases there), then started speaking to one of guys there. I was convinced we were gunna get rolled so I was intently checking the mirrors to see what was going on. So then after a few minutes he got back in the cab and explained to Kate that he was buying dodgey petrol from another country to avoid the Argentinian taxes! He also said (and I understood this from the hand gestures he gave) that we had to keep it a secret or he´d get beaten up! So eventually we arrived in San Luis at around 9pm at night and it was obviously pitch black. We´d talked it over on the way and decided it was best to sleep there for the night. So after dropping off his cargo in a truckers parking lot (where I thought we were going to get rolled again!) he then drove us to a nearby hotel he said was cheap. It was´t! But after some impressive negotiations from kate we´d managed to barter a near by hotel down from 25 pounds each to 10 pounds each for a private room. So after some food we hit the hay.

The next morning we wondered to a near by petrol station to see if we could blag a lift from the truckers. By this stage we´d figured out that it was far quicker and easier to be cheeky and ask truckers at petrol stations where they were heading, that way they could tell we were gringos (and interesting to speak to) and they were more likely to feel sorry for us and give us a lift. it was all going a bit shit though as no-one was heading our way. so we decided to walk up the road to the next intersection where we were told we´d have more luck. So on the walk there we found a pack of stray puppies so we fed them the left over dry sandwhich from the day before but in the process I was massacured by the most furousios midgeys ever. They were fucking brutal, get this, onf of them managed to bit my knee through my jeans! And this was the middle of the day, the midgey bites were everywhere, mostly over my arms but a couple on my face and they were swelling up to about 2 inches in diametre. So I quickly put tuger balm on the bites and cursed the existance of every mosquitoe on the planet for about 20 minutes. Then we asked a truck driver who was by the side of the road where he was heading and as he wasing going our way he offered us a lift. But Kate´s spider sense was tingling as the guy seemed a bit weird and as he offered for us to put out bags in his trailer we politely declined the offer and kept on walking. It took ages before the next ride and eventually we´d gotten a lift about 30 clicks down the road to a service station. By this time it was lunch time so we figures we´d stop in and it was lush. Meatball maddness! I´d been craving meat balls for ages and did´t tink I´d find somewhere that would have it, especially not a service station in the middle of no-where!

Anyway, after a hearty meal I was feeling a lot happier and we managed to get a lift from a truck driver who took us a pretty fair distance. It was starting to get dark and he was stopping in at a town on the way to Cordoba so he dropped us off at a petrol garage. we were pretty worried that we were going to be stranded at this point so we got pretty damn cheeky with asking people where they were headed, plus niether of us had enough money for a bus anywhere!. As we were waiting outside an early thirties guy in a keved up hatch back pulled in and helped his elderly mother out of the passenger seat. I said ´Buenos Noches´ to them as they walked passed and they both blanked me! Then Kate went back into the petrol garage to ask a guy there for directions, delebrately loud so that everyone there coule hear where we were going and what we were after. Then the guy came out of the garage and asked if we wanted a lift with him and his mother and we were chuffed.

He was called maurice and was the best ride we´d got by a mile. 5 minutes down the road, whilst going about 120kph he cracks open a beer and starts handing it around. Then he cranks up the sterio and we have a little sing along to all the latino hits we´d been hearing in the clubs. then he tells us, from what i understood, that san Luis has a drug problem. What he was actually saying that he usued to have a drug problem! So Maurice, the legand, was a part time orthopeadist and part time semi pro rally driver (I´ve seen videos of him being interviewed on Argentinian TV so he was legit). Anyway, he took us into Cordoba and we managed to find a hostel that we´d been recomened and hit the hay....

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