Day 26: The World Outside of Buenos Aires / by Sarah Kakusho

I wanted to wake up with the sun. But I couldn’t. I woke up too early, fell asleep, and then woke up too late. Erika and I arrived in Mendoza around 10am-ish. We headed out and grabbed a cab that ended up misreading the address we gave him and took us down the wrong end of the street. I got a little worried because he was kind of pissed…flooring the accelerator and whatnot, but rest assured, Erika and I made it to our first hostel, safe and sound.

We got into the place, and it was really nice. Very homey. We were actually surprised at how nice the place looked because this hostel was just a back-up for one night because the other hostel we wanted to stay at didn’t have an opening for today. The room was a double room with 3 beds and a bathroom attached. I would say it’s about the size of an ADA double room at Soka. It was pretty roomy and comfortable.

We went into the kitchen to fill out a paper to check-in. There, we met a family who was traveling…AROUND THE WORLD. A husband and wife with 2 kids (9 and 11). Erika asked for their blog site, so I posted it on the side, under Konnections. They completely set aside their life in San Diego to travel for a whole year around the world. They had already been to Peru, and plan to travel to Egypt, Cambodia, Tanzania, Laos, and all these other places. Anyway, Erika found out that the wife heard about Soka, so we ended up sharing what Soka was about and stuff. Wouldn’t it be awesome if their kids were future SUA students! Anyway, they were awesome, and kept us company for the one night we stayed there. Check out their blog. >>

Anyway, after that we went to check out the other hostel we were going to stay at for the tours. We got there and asked about going to Villavicencia which is Argentina’s main water source and to see if it’s possible to go see the mountains, or check out some wineries. It was recommended to us not to go to the mountains because the road might be blocked by snow, so we decided on the wineries for Saturday, and Villavicencia for Sunday.

Mendoza was calling us. So we walked around. Erika was looking for the great fountain of Mendoza and when I spotted a small one that was on Paseo Saramiento, she burst out laughing and told me she wouldn’t make me walk so far to show me the dinky fountain I pointed out. XD Then, we found the big fountain in Plaza Independencia…

Wow.

Never in my life had I seen streams of water twirling in the air. It was quite a sight. And they had a feria there too! So, I bought a bracelet. It’s amazing how vendors here make their own goods and sell it for such a cheap price. Why couldn’t Americans be like that?

We had a map that showed us where we were going, and we noticed that two blocks from each corner of Plaza Independencia, there were other parks, so we walked around and found Plaza Italia, Plaza San Martín, Plaza España, and Plaza Chile. They all looked so different and were designed in a way that represented each place. People actually took the time to make the parks here look nice and worth staying in.

Shortly after, Erika got a text from Maddy. So we met up!

She gave us a little tour of the city. She even took us by her house and to her university via bus. It’s crazy how big her campus is compared to where I’m going to be taking my classes. Although all the buildings for the different facultades are spread out, I think it could still be…three times the size of my film school? It’s in a very open area. It was nice and very different from Buenos Aires, where everything is so compact and close to each other.

Mendoza is very different from Buenos Aires. It’s definitely calmer, breathe-able and much cleaner. I didn’t have to look down every two seconds to check whether I was about to step on doggy poo or not. The city itself isn’t as crowded and the streets aren’t as heavily filled with cars. There are a lot more trees in Mendoza, too; the streets are lined with them. And you can hear running water! We walked over canals and streets are bordered with deep concrete ditches that had small streams of water running along them. It was definitely refreshing.

After a long day of walking, we were on the way back to the hostel when Erika wanted to buy a tomato and I remembered I needed to buy a converter for my laptop. She got her tomato... The guy I asked in the electronics shop completely spazzed and said stuff like I needed to bring in my laptop or a manual so he can check which one to give me…when there’s only one converter… So…I couldn’t re-charge my comp.

But anyway, I did what I could before my computer died. I uploaded pictures for uneventful July and wrote my blog for yesterday. While I was doing this the black cat at the hostel ran up to me and sat herself down on my lap and fell asleep. It was funny. Aww… I wish my cats did that. It was refreshing…to see a cat.

Just that made me happy.