vinoIf you like wine, have your driver stop on the way from the airport to Portillo so you can buy a supply; it will cost you about 4 times as much at Portillo. I can't remember the name of the gas station/quick-stop place that our driver stopped at but it's a major gas company right on the way.
By the way, I found it interesting that Tyler said that he found nothing but friendly people in South America and then advised you not to tell them that you're Canadian. Tyler also said that you usually don't have to tip in Argentina. Yeah, right; try getting away with that in either Argentina or Chile. If they get out of your way they expect a tip for it and, if you don't offer one, they'll ask you for one and, if they're not satisfied with it, they'll let you know that too.
Don't be put off by the fact that they let street vendors selling trinkets come into the cafes to ply their wares. They're really street beggars and I always gave them something because I figured that, if they really had any other choices in life, they wouldn't be beggars. I always gave something to the ones sitting up against a wall on the sidewalk with a tin cup too.
At the airport, when you come out of the luggage claim area, one of the "airport pirates" will descend on you like an eagle after a fish. He'll put your luggage on a cart and push it wherever you would push it and demand a tip. Also, when you go to the airport on your way back, the carts that are provided free by the airport will be chained up by the "pirates" so that you can't use one without leaving your luggage at the curb while you go in to get a cart. One more thing, if you meet any friendly people down there (there are some), one of the first things that they will tell you is, "carry your wallet in your front pocket".
Good luck getting off that "va et vient" lift at Portillo! I told Philepe that, instead of that incomprehensible description in the "manual" in the rooms, they should get together a group of skiers that know how to do it, make a home movie with a video cam and show it in the cinema.