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Falling for you, Iguazu Falls.

15 Feb

Boarding the bus bound for Montevideo, we’re like sugar-loaded children on their way home from the Royal Show. All chittering and chirping, high from too many rides and too much fun on the ranch, reciting extravagant, exaggerated stories of aversions overcome, our united decibels inducing a stern and perilous look from the lady in front so familiar I decided she must be a mother with 3 children.

The skyscraper landscape looms near and we take our place in the bumper nudging traffic before heaving our dusty backpacks, still faintly smelling of cowpat soup, into our hostel for the night – Escuela de Rock. This joint is cool – if you like that punky, backstreet, let-me-play-air-guitar-before-sleeping-on-a-flea-ridden-mattress-in-the-garden, sort of place. Normally a lover of rock music, this time its earth-shattering loudness is too much, too soon after the tranquility of our ranch experience (not to mention the warm beer). By the time the owner began to regale us with announcements of top electronic dance parties for the evening, I feel like a cherry on the top of melting ice-cream, slowly sliding of the fleeting perch of perfection to bop around in a sea of cold reality. Looking forward to moving on to the Iguazu Falls, we refuel on a cheap dinner, and even cheaper wine, before crawling into bed.

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Colonial beginnings…

28 Jan

Salta to Buenos Aires is 20 hours on a bus.  Usually dreaded, this time we enthusiastically bound up the stairs and sink into our leather seats (faux no doubt, but comfy so who cares), flipping the switch to swing out flat. Roaring along in the setting afternoon sun, I note the typically freezing air conditioner seems to be non-existent. About an hour after take-off we pull into a bus mechanic. Hmm, signs aren’t good, but we soon smile again when, after a bit of a tinker, we chug away. Dinner is lasagne, too bad for me, but I eagerly await the drinks tray arrival as my pre-trip planning told me el vino tinto is available. As he shows me the expanse of coke and lemonade, I turn back to Fidel’s autobiography (see birthday presents referenced in Mendoza post), cursing the fake promises made to lure tourists. Then, in a blink and you’ll miss it moment, I spot the bus attendant carrying a suspiciously un-fizzy dark liquid to a fellow passenger.

‘Tu tienes vino tinto..?’, I tentatively say.

‘Si, si’.

Success. Sniffed out faster than the banana dog at Perth airport.

And of course, Oliver Twist makes an appearance… ‘please sir, can I ‘ave sum more?’.

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Salta – high altitude wineries, only the experienced need apply.

22 Jan

After last night’s star gazing we’re up at first light, a great time was had in San Pedro but we’re dog-tired and it seems it’s going to be a long day…. trundling in thirty minutes late in a cloud of dust, the whole day bus to Salta is bursting at the seams …

It takes half an hour just to load us and the last 15 people on board before setting off and then stopping not 5 minutes later. Kelly and I exchange bemused looks as we’re marched off to stand for 2 hours in the blistering sun to get through the border crossing.

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Merry Chimbas from Mendoza

30 Dec

Heading over the Andes from Santiago the road climbs to over 3500m, looking back down the Chilean valley the tangled tarmac resembles a pile of spaghetti. Perspective is altered by the enormous peaks still towering over us, the highest stands at nearly 7000m, their great size fooling our brains into thinking we could almost reach out and touch them.

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Things you shouldn’t call a baby clothing store…

15 Dec

5 things I learnt in Buenos Aires

27 Nov
  1. Pack. Lightly. Unless you gift your clothes to the cleaners often.
  2. Always carry tissues – toilet paper is scarce.
  3. My natural instinct is to go in the completely wrong direction.  Every.  Single.  Time.
  4. If you have to ask, you should do it. (ie. do I need a clean shirt, should I wear thongs in the shower?).
  5. Check the seat is attached before sitting down. This being learnt first-hand after a fair few bumps on the head from flying off toilet seats and a choice bruise after falling through a plastic chair. Ah, just another day in the life.

x kel

Using our skill sets in Buenos Aires

27 Nov

As outlined in the ‘About Us’ section of this blog, trip planning is meant to be my forte, MC navigation.  However, after a series of interesting events during our stay in BA, not quite sure I’d be awarded an A+  so far.

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Buenos Aires: we came, we saw, we walked.

27 Nov

BA is a really enormous city and as such the areas are quite distinctive.  The main ones are:

Microcenter (where we stayed the first three nights) – this is typical of any heart of a city – busy, jam-packed and a bit grubby.

San Telmo & La Boca – south of the centre, hippie areas with lots of character. They’re known for their antique stores, tango and big weekend markets. Some parts of La Boca are dangerous though.

Retiro, Recoleta & Palermo – north of the centre and are home to the upscale museums, shops and eateries.  We stayed in Palermo the last 2 nights and enjoyed the clean leafy streets.  It’s the Claremont of Perth.

We walked everywhere and a bunch of the sights we visited are listed below.  It made me smile every day because the sun is shining and it’s HOT (above 30C each day).  Plus the Jacaranda trees all over the city are blooming and shower the streets with their flowers.

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