I had major back surgery in June 2012, to remove pieces of a spinal disc which had ruptured, sending pieces of itself into places they definitely should not have been and which caused me unspeakable agony. After the operation I spent a long time lying down, then gradually relearned how to walk with a left foot paralysed by nerve damage. For weeks, my world was my flat and its immediate surroundings, and the hospital.
But slowly I recovered. The foot began to regain some limited mobility and my horizons expanded again. When my friends Amy and Martha mentioned that they were thinking about heading over the Andes to Mendoza for a weekend, I didn't need much persuading to join them for the journey.
I was a bit worried about what an 8 hour bus journey might do to my fragile back but all was fine. It was a great journey up into the mountains to the Paso Los Libertadores and then down the other side into Mendoza. And I liked the city a lot. It was way warmer than it had been in Santiago, and there were plenty of restaurants and bars to hang around in. We explored in an extremely laid back way, with frequent stops at cafes to drink coffee in the warm sunshine.