Night Drive to Bariloche
It was a long night in the truck. Next to me was Sue-Ann a fellow traveler from Australia. The both of us watched a movie on my notebook until we got sleepy. I actually had a good sleep since I can more or less sleep anytime, anywhere and in any position. Sue-Ann had more difficulties to find the right sleeping position and ended up leaning on me which was quite cozy.
In the morning we stopped at a service station where everyone could buy hot coffee and any type of snack they desired. In addition my cooking group served yoghurt and fruit as soon as the truck was moving again. It was quite a long drive to Bariloche and so we continued driving until the early afternoon. For lunch we stopped at a less scenic spot right next to the road. Mollie, Diann and I prepared a selection of tuna salad and egg salad which people could have with their sandwich. The eggs were kind of suitable since it’s Easter Friday and there aren’t many other opportunities how we can celebrate Easter while being on an overland truck.
We arrived in Bariloche at 2pm and checked into our lovely Alaska Hostel which is situated 7.5 km out of town. The funny thing about Bariloche is that the town is very long and whenever you give directions you use the number of kilometers the place is away from the center of the town, e.g. the supermarket is at kilometer 8.5 or you can rent a bicycle at kilometer 19. You also have street signs which tell you exactly at which kilometer you are.
Staying in a hostel is always an experience since all hostels are different and reflect the enthusiasm the owners have put into it. The Alaska Hostel is owned by a young Argentinian couple who was very hospitable. After we arrived they provided us with maps of the region, information about the activities we can do during the next 2.5 days and showed us the special features of their hostel such as living room type of area with a TV and a movie selection. Another feature of the hostel was its large kitchen and instead of eating out in a restaurant I decided to cook my own dinner. I went to the next supermarket and bought ingredients to prepare a pasta dish. Staying in a hostel also requires participation such as washing your own dishes or putting the bed linen on and off your bed. You are also required to share a dorm style of room, furnished with bunk beds, with a number of other people. In this case I was sharing a room with eight other women. Most people wouldn’t like to share a room with people they are not related with since it takes a piece of their privacy away. This is true but on the other side you meet so many fascinating people which make me really enjoying it.
After dinner I took time to make some bookings for my future travel. I booked a flight from Beijing to Seoul returning to Xi’an for 332 EUR (432 USD). I also looked very hard to find the perfect ticket for my planned trips to Africa and South America. After trying different flight combinations and airlines I found the perfect one on the British Airways website. It’s one ticket containing nine flights: Duesseldorf to London to Nairobi, Victoria Falls to Johannesburg to London to Madrid to Lima, Panama City to Madrid to London to Duesseldorf. The total price of the ticket is 1,875 EUR (2,438 USD) which I find a very good deal for a ticket covering my travels in two continents. The main secret for finding such a cheap ticket is you try connecting over different cities. In my case I didn’t just try to connect over Frankfurt, the major German airport, but also via London, Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid etc. including the use of different airlines serving these airports. You also want to try different websites such as flight brokers or directly the website of the airline you want to fly with. While I was able to book the mentioned ticket directly on the British Airline website I wasn’t offered this ticket on flight broker websites.
The only ticket which I haven’t purchased so far is the one from Cartagena to Mexico City. The cheapest suitable ticket I could find for this connection was around 650 EUR (845 USD) and since the flight isn’t before November I hope with time I will find a cheaper one.