BootsnAll Travel Network

San Juan

From Cordoba I got an overnight bus to San Juan so I arrived early on Sunday morning. After walking 45 minutes across the town to the hostel, I found that the address I had was wrong and the hostel had moved to another location only 5 minutes from the bus station, so I walked all the way back again. Walking through the town I thought it was strangely quiet and then I arrived at the hostel to find there wasn´t many more people there either, so it was a big contrast to busy Cordoba. I met a nice Dutch girl in the hostel and we started trying to find something to do for the day, but soon realised that there really wasn´t anything. After spending the rest of the morning walking round the town we realised that only 3 things were open, a tour agency where we booked a trip for the next day, the church and the supermarket. Every other building seemed to be either a medical specialist or a lawyer so we were starting to wonder what the people that lived there were like. The only few people we had seen had been cleaning the pavements with kerosene, which seems to be what everyone does there at the weekend. Well, that and go to the supermarket, where we must have queued for at least an hour just to buy a few things. So we ended up spending the rest of the day at the hostel where other than a lot of staff there didn´t seem to be anyone else there. But we passed the time Ok and in the evening an American guy turned up as well. We had an intersting meal together in the evening, because of the farmers´ strikes choice of food was a bit limited, no meat and very few edible vegetables, but we invented a new dish and found that peaches, red cabbage and pasta sauce with rice actually made quite a nice combination. The next day we had to be up at 5am for a very long day trip to the Valle de la Luna, a national park a couple of hours drive from the town. The park is full of geological features, strange rock formations and a lot of important sites where they have discovered some of the oldest dinosaur fossils in the world. On the way back to San Juan we also stopped off at a town called Vallecito which is basically just a huge shrine. It was one of the strangest places I´ve been because the size of it was unbeliveable. Apparently everyone that drives past is suppossed to stop and leave something or they get bad luck. The main thing to leave was car number plates, there were thousands of them from all over the world. Then there were groups of buildings with various different collections of things people had left, ranging from photos, wedding dresses, guns, knives, tropheys and even a collection of cars. Apparently one guy had even donated enough money to build 12 houses in the town. What made the place even stranger is that the legend the shrine is based around isn´t recognised as a mirracle by the church and they want nothing to do with the place. It was all just very strange. We arrived back at the hostel late in the evening and were unsuprised to find it as quiet as ever. For the first time in 9 months I even had a room to myself so I got a good nights sleep before leaving for Mendoza the next day.

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