Monday January 31-
All of the students got up around 7 this morning to arrive at the Spanish School early for placement interviews. No one complained (there has been very little complaining whatsoever on this trip), which impressed me, and the group at the far homestay were even more impressive, because they need to take a bus each way, and they were super on-time.
The students did their interviews, were split into three classes (max four people per class), and then went off for there first lessons. And I…got la fiebre again.
I’m pretty sure that I caught something last week—a sort of acute bronchitis that’s been passing around the group—and this week I caught something new. I won’t bore or disgust you with the symptoms, but they’re different from last week’s fiebre. This is an all or nothing fiebre. Either I’m laid out in bed with the grim reaper over me, or I’m walking around fine.
Needless to say, I spent the rest of the day in or around the bed. And at night I got really loopy—a changed level of consciousness, as the EMT would say. My fever never really gets about 101, so I’m not super concerned, but it’s still strange.
Thanks to la fiebre, no new pictures today. Here’s one that Julie took from the bus ride en route to Bariloche.
Guess what hour 18 of a 22-hour bus ride feels like? Yup, you guessed it. Just like all the others.
The students slept soundly in the wee hours.
After arriving, Julie and I tried to buy next weekend’s bus tickets to Santiago, only to be told that we needed to pay in cash. Cash. Really? We’re going to pay more than a thousand dollars in Argentine pesos when I can take out maybe $250 at a time with $10 in ATM fees? Try getting a POS system, Tas Choapa (that’s the bus provider we wanted to use). Julie and I decided to patch together a bus trip from two other companies that accept credit cards, perhaps with a stopover day in Valdavia.
To stretch our legs, we decided to walk into Bariloche instead of taking a bus or taxi. Poor Claire came down with the fever bug during the night, but walked the 4km nonetheless. What troopers they are.
Bariloche is great for epic background shots.
Ingmar was pumped.
We grabbed lunch at a restaurant, dropped the students off at their homestay family houses, and then crashed at our hostel.
Tomorrow: Spanish classes begin bright and early at 8:15am!
Our first epic 22-hour bus journey! How exciting.
This morning we packed and cleaned up our apartments. A representative from the rental agency checked us out and discovered three towels missing in total from two apartments. Where could those towels have possibly gone?? Our students didn’t have them, and we didn’t go walking down the streets of B.A. in them. And when we checked in, no one counted these towels.
Alas, none of this logic worked on the rental lady. US$15 charged. Just another one of those little financial hits that are a part of this kind of trip.
We walked to Retiro bus station and waited for our chariot.
As promised, our double-decker bus was hella posh. The students enjoyed the view
and the fully-reclining seats
while Julie enjoyed the meal service
Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the outside of the bus!
We slept as well as you could sleep on a bus. Which for me, wasn’t that well, especially with residual illness.