- 1 Who would have thought we would be attacked by wild dogs in Argentina!
- 2 What To Do in Mendoza
Who would have thought we would be attacked by wild dogs in Argentina!
Dealing with wild dogs had not been included in our top #101 rules of travelling in safety:
- no night time buses
- no arriving into bus stations after midnight
- no plans on how we were going to get to our accommodation
Mendoza, Argentina was beckoning us. We enjoy wine tasting and as we were in Santiago in Chile we decided to take off for a few days to Mendoza a little over 7 hours away by bus. The journey takes you through dusty valleys, barren hillsides and scraggy topped mountain ranges and the road can be quite dangerous. Not to mention the skills or the non-skills of your bus driver.
Construction works on the road that is known as Los Liberatados/Uspallata Pass prevented two directional flows of traffic at the same time. The road to Mendoza from Santiago was only accessible at night, and the return from Mendoza during the day. This road is notoriously known for delays at the best of times from the amount of traffic, landslides and bad weather which you can expect at the peak of the mountain. Delays at both Immigration Departments are a fact of life in this region which double the time it takes.
With the construction works and the delays, our 7-hour bus ride became a 9-hour bus ride and put our arrival time in Mendoza at 2 am. Mendoza Bus Station is large with many bays for the several companies that operate out of there. At night it is empty, scary and feels so huge.
We had printed a map from Chimbas Hostel where we were going to stay, which showed the location of the bus terminal to be a 5-10 minute walk away. But which way?
Our Biggest Mistake
Why hail a taxi when we could walk? We stared at the map, turned it around, turned it upside down and turned it around again. With no sense of direction, we headed towards a major road believing we were heading towards the Hostel.
The ground rumbled, snarling wild dogs hovered around us, dozens of eyes watched us. A quick count, there were at least 8 wild dogs. To be honest, we thought this was the end! Our daypacks shoved in front of us for protection whilst we shouted expletives in English back at them. As we moved gingerly back the way we had come, the wild dogs kept coming towards us. Just around the corner, we saw the welcoming POLICIA sign. The wild dogs seemed to sense the situation had changed and slinked back into the darkness leaving two relieved travellers banging on the door waking up whoever was inside.
Still shaking with fear or relief, we tried to communicate in our very limited Spanish and sign language that we needed help to find our way to Hostel Chimbas. Our sleepy policeman pointed us to the other end of the building with the universal word – Taxi! Gracias!
We walked nervously out into the darkness and encountered two travellers heading our way who could speak Spanish and English. Saving the night for us, they walked with us to the taxi rank and explained to the taxi driver where we wanted to go. As we jumped in, we heard laughter from the other drivers. Two minutes later we found out why when we arrived at our accommodation – Hostel Chimbas. The driver charged us the equivalent of 45 cents USD, but we tripled it, relieved to see the hostel door open to a very sleepy night reception guy welcoming us in. With keys in hand, he showed us to our room. We had spied a fridge in the kitchen full of beer but locked. Fortunately, he handed us the fridge keys on his way to bed and said we could sort it out in the morning. A few beers to calm the nerves and a vow to stick to our 101 rules of travelling we too headed off for some much-needed sleep.
Those wild dogs taught us a very good lesson. Never arrive at a bus station at night with no plans on how to get out of there!
Having learnt our lesson we really enjoyed and would recommend a visit to Mendoza.
What To Do in Mendoza
If you enjoy horse riding we can recommend a sunset ride to the Andes.
Mendoza is famous for its wines especially Malbec. Taking a wine tour in Mendoza is a great way to visit 2 wineries and learn about their process of making wine. Click here for more information.
Other Tour Options:
Where to Stay in Mendoza
We stayed at the Hostel Chimbas. Hostel Chimbas is very popular, good value, with a swimming pool and good wifi and as our story tells close to the Bus Station (as long as you know where you are heading).
For other accommodation options:
Before you head to Mendoza you may want to check out some of our recommended travel guides to assist you in planning your visit there:
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