Written by Jacqueline Newell
After a crippling stomach ache and fever, a waterfall hike and an authentic asado, I made it to Carnaval last weekend in San Luis. I had my first experience traveling by bus in South America on a four hour bus between Mendoza’s city center and San Luis. On that bus, we witnessed a diaper change, watched movies in Spanish and managed to get extra soda from the conductor giving out snacks by offering him some of our lunch.
The referente (mentor) of the Fulbrighter, named Milton, in San Luis took us on a hike to a waterfall. After about an hour and a half of hiking, we came out of the brush with cuts on our legs and smiles on our faces. Milton jumped into the lake at the base of the waterfall and stayed in the freezing water for nearly a half hour! The rest of us jumped in and then, just as quickly, scrambled out. Blue toes and fingers were the indicator that it was time to get dressed and getting lunch.
I would blog about my Saturday during this trip but, unfortunately, it was spent with a fever and shakes in the hostel. Thank goodness the Fulbright Commission hires such wonderful and caring people because they brought me meds, water and an absurd amount of white bread. Someday, I will repay them… I just hope they don’t get sick while visiting me!
Sunday was my day to rally. We went to Milton’s house where he prepared our first Argentine asado. Meat on meat on meat! We had an amazing lunch filled with wine and mate and followed by popsicles and hammocks. After quick naps for everyone, we boarded the bus and headed to Carnaval. The parade from Rio de Janeiro came to little San Luis and threw us a wild party, followed by a 1 AM concert. To sum up the entire event in a few words, “glitter and bums on a race car track.” Allow the video below to explain.