11.03.2013 - 05.04.2013 25 °C
iiHola flacitas y gorditos!!
Waw, it has been a while. I know and I’m sorry, but I had to get a life on track here and live a little instead of writing about it. But I’ll try to tell you as much as possible about what happened in between!
First of all I’ve had the chance to see a few more things in the Mendoza region. First I went to visit our second wine region, Luján de Cuyo. Wineries here are a lot more luxurious than in Maipú, where I did the bike tour. We visited 3 wineries, for those who are interested: Achaval Ferrer, Catena Zapata and Belasco de Baquedano, and had a 5-course lunch in the last one. Everything was super fancy. We had a family of crazy Brazilians and a girl from Buenos Aires with us, who made it a really fun day. Can’t stop repeating is, the most amazing thing about working in tourism is that you’re so often working with happy people. As long as there are no complaints, I know, but I haven’t heard that many yet. Belasco de Baquedano also has an aroma room which is unique in Latin America. The room is filled with different scents in small cylinders, and it’s up to you to use your nose and guess what it represents. I think it’s so innovating! (Or is it my sales skills that are developing? You will never know )
The next thing I got to do was the high mountain tour. This is a tour that sells a lot and indeed is a great experience. During the tour we follow the road 7 to the border with Chile, about 200km from Mendoza. On that road we make various stops, like the cementerio de los andinistas (the place where people who tried to climb the Aconcagua are buried, often together with their hiking shoes), El Puente del Inca (a naturally formed bridge with hot springs), Parque del Aconcagua (where we do a small hike and with sunny weather see the top of the Aconcagua) and drive up to Cristo Redentor (the old border between Chile and Argentina at 4000m high). Being that high I did feel a bit dizzy! And it was also ice cold (well, kinda like in Belgium now).
At work everything is still good, even though after Easter it got extremely calm. Argentineans have time off from ‘White Thursday” until the next Tuesday. The hostel was packed! From weeks before the telephone didn’t stop ringing and there were constant bookings to be treated, because in the end the whole city was full. The ministry of tourism tried to help some people, but also at the door I had to disappoint a lot of people desperately looking for a place to sleep. The two days I worked during this weekend were very intense, but I actually like to be busy like that. It is the complete opposite of what it is now, because the low season really started. The weather is still nice, but fall has started. I also met Viktoria at our pizza party, the German ex-flatmate of my ex-flatmate in Spain who was living there when I visited Saioa in September. She is doing her internship in a guesthouse in Santiago de Chile. Small world!!
To use my time in the agency, Virginia gave me some projects to realize. We will work around e-commerce, relations with other hostels, B&B’s, guesthouses etc who also apply a personalized form of tourism, universities in Argentina, and a strategy to reach the European market. I will work extra hours at home, so that I can stop working at the end of May and travel to Chile and Buenos Aires.
A few weeks back we also did a team building with the whole team, we went rafting and canopying. It’s again one of those things I would have never done in Belgium, but it was so cool. I really feel like I’m expanding my horizons! And it only turned out good. However, now they want me to go paragliding (running off a mountain with a parachute, about 1km high). That might be this weekend or the next one…
Outside of work I have been trying to find a hobby, so every Saturday I’m going to salsa gym. Too bad I can’t go to the real technical classes, but I’m always working at night. The teachers are really nice and I also went to the bar where they go out every Wednesday a few times. The first time I danced with them was pretty scary, because they want me to stare into their eyes the whole time to “feel the music”. Oh yeah, this is the real shit!
In the meanwhile my roommate Katrien left. Very sad!! She was like my sister here, the closest person to me. Now the house is a bit empty. She is now travelling in Chile for a while. Hopefully we will end up together again in Buenos Aires in June.
To end, some more funny Argentinean vocabulary!
Re-algo: they put re- before everything to indicate that something was “super” rebien, relinda, …
Flaco/gordo: a few days ago I heard a conversation between two girls my age in the bus, they weren’t speaking about people, they were only speaking about “the thin one”, “the fat one” , “mi viejo” (my old man). Haha!
Quilombo: like a disaster, but also as in “tenes un quilombo en la cabeza?!” (are you crazy?!)
Miss you all! Big kiss!