After 1 long day of flying out of the US, back in, and then out again, I made it to Chile! With a little bit of trouble and a lot of broken Spanish, I found my hostel and spent about 2 days in Santiago. The hostel was great, it was very nice and full of interesting travelers, including a German family visiting their daughter who was working in the hostel, who semi-adopted me while I was there.
On Friday night I set out for my 20+ hour bus drive to Bariloche, Argentina! Finding the bus was an adventure in itself! I thought I gave myself enough time to find the bus station, but in the end I wound up running around the bus terminal, panic stricken, with only a minute left, going to all of the bus drivers and pointing at my ticket saying “Donde!?” I found it at the exact time it was supposed to leave, but of course, there was a line to put luggage away so we didn´t leave for another 15 minutes anyway. On the bus I sat next to an older Bolivian man who spoke no English. I thought “this man hates me,” but after a few tries at communiating, constantly looking in my English/Spanish dictionary, and a few laughs, we became friends. He even went out to smoke during a stop and brought me back some water, it was wonderful. Unfortunately, we parted ways before Osorno, Chile, but another kind older man from Argentina sat next to me and we, too tried to make conversation.
On the bus from Osorno behind me, I heard American accents speaking English! When we got off the bus at the first border crossing, I asked them where they were from and we quickly became friends. The 2 of them and myself, were all in the same boat: going to Bariloche with no hostel reservations. So once we got off the bus, we walked all around the city trying to find beds, and evenutally found one after about 2 hours. Even the smallest things become adventures when you´re in a foreign country.
Bariloche is gorgeous! It sits on a lake with mountains all around it and is absolutely breathtaking. This afternoon i met my host mom, Mariela. She is so wonderful and full of energy. There are 2 other students staying at the house, too, and we are not allowed to speak in English in the house; i already feel like my Spanish has improved. Until next time!