Bariloche to El Calafate on Route 40


“That went up like a scuba-diver’s fart.” If anyone knows the meaning of this expression or when one would use it, please let me know. We ate supper together with other travelers at our hostel in Bariloche every night and one night Tys, a Danish guy who looks like Nick Carter (from the Backstreet Boys), was reading Latin American Spanish sayings and phrases from this book he had with him. Most of them were quite funny and made sense but we couldn’t figure out this one about the scuba-diver. Would the fart go up fast? Or slow? Or unnoticed? Or not go up at all?

We had such an awesome time at Moving Travel Bar Hostel that we ended up staying there for 4 nights and not 2 like we originally planned. Julia (pronounced Gulia), the hostel’s owner, is very friendly and helpful. She also makes yummy supper every night and bakes bread so that her guests have fresh bread for breakfast! Her hostel is very clean, in a good location and wifi is fast and free. She made us a ma-te to taste. (It is spelt M-A-T-E, but you say ma-te and not mate as in good day, mate.) Mate is a caffeinated herbal tea which is very popular in Argentina. There is an art to making it and a social and ritual way to drink it. The tea is drunk through a straw with a filter and is usually shared. To me it tasted what I imagine tobacco in boiled water would taste like. I preferred it with some sugar but I’m not the biggest fan of mate quite yet.

Marc, Tina and I had a fun time in town yesterday after siesta. We visited Bariloche’s Cathedral and went to a local panaderia (bakery). You have to pay if you want a photo with the gorgeous St.Bernard dogs which the owners walk around town with, but Tina managed to distract the guy so that I could play with the one puppy a bit and Marc took a quick, sneaky shot. After supper we went beer tasting at Mushka, a place recommended by Julia, and had conversations about life and death and that you should not be too hard on yourself. On our way back to the hostel a cute “el perro” (dog) walked us home.

Here we are, on a bus again, this time on our way to El Calafate. It’s a long journey but we are very excited to see glaciers. Marc’s boss said it is an extraordinary sight and we should really make an effort to see it. Route 40 is the scenic way as well as the fastest way to get there road wise. An airplane trip is a bit more expensive but is obviously a much faster option if you don’t have a lot of time. But then you don’t get to see the places along the way. With the bus we drive the whole day today, arrive in Perito Moreno tonight, sleep over there, drive to El Chalten the whole day tomorrow, sleep over there and then there’s a 3 hour bus drive to El Calafate on Sunday. We bought a ticket from the travel agency which includes accommodation and all the traveling.

We had to pay for this ticket and the hostel in cash but you can only draw 1000 Argentinian Pesos at a time and you can only draw twice a day. I can imagine this might be a problem if you left drawing money for everything to the last day so it’s just something to keep in mind. It seems that this is the case in the whole of Argentina.

The snow-capped Andes mountains I can see through the bus window are absolutely stunning. I’ve also seen two big eagles flying around. The bus should be stopping for lunch soon but if it doesn’t I’m going to have my dulce de leche treat we bought at the Panaderia with Tina yesterday….Marc is sleeping… Do you think he’ll notice if I eat his as well?

I googled the scuba diver quote when when we got to our hotel in Perito Moreno and actually found an answer: “subo como pedo de buzo” (literally “to go up like a scuba diver’s fart) means to rapidly climb the social ladder….makes sense doesn’t it? On the same page there was another funny quote: “vivir en nube de pedos” (literally “to live in a cloud of farts”) means to be out of touch with reality.



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2 Responses to Bariloche to El Calafate on Route 40

  1. says:

    Very interesting. And lovely pics
    Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom – let your email find you!

  2. Mmmm, mate. We can’t wait to get back to Argentina next year. Enjoy El Calafate. Bien viaje!

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