ISEP student Jason S. is a part of ISEP Voices Spring 2016. He is a digital video production major from Ball State University, and is currently studying abroad at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso in Chile.
You’ve just finished the last step in planning your trip to trek the famous W Circuit of Torres del Paine National Park. You’ve booked your flights, reserved your hostels and camping spots and bought all of the groceries you will take on your trek with your group. You have one day left before departure and everyone is getting VERY excited. You are pulling out your hiking pack to begin gathering your things. Suddenly, the whole group receives a message with a link to a new article. This article states your airline has canceled all flights for two days only due to an employee strike. Your flight is one of these days.
You all panic. What will you do? Go to the office in the morning and make them put you on another airline. Not possible. Okay, the day after you were supposed to leave! They won’t open flights back up until a week following to be sure the strike is over. You’ve already received permission to miss class. Argentina, just weeks ago, has lifted their reciprocity fee for United States citizens.
Yes, by some instance of horrible luck, this did happen to twelve international students here at PUCV. With Torres del Paine National Park closing soon due to the coming winter, and the weather getting increasingly colder, we decided to give up our dreams of seeing those beautiful jagged mountains and hop on a cross-continent bus to Argentina for a few days. With only an hour or two of planning, we headed to the local bus station and hopped on an overnight bus to Mendoza. We spent one day in Argentina’s biggest wine region. We did a bicycle wine tour and hopped on another overnight to Buenos Aires, where we spent three days adventuring around the broad city’s different neighborhoods and taking in as much culture as we could before returning to Chile.
We were sure to mark everything Argentina is known for off of our list: steak, malbec wine, tango, dulce de leche (a caramel-like spread) and mate (a strong Argentine green tea).
When it comes to travel, anything can happen. We decided to try to make the most out of an unfortunate situation and were able to enjoy seeing and experiencing another country on a budget.
Until next time.
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