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I Love Getting Lost Overseas! This is a journal to document my trip overseas with my best friend! South America and Canada here we come :-)

Week 1 - Out of Australia into Argentina!

AUSTRALIA | Wednesday, 26 August 2009 | Views [496] | Comments [1]

Hola!!!

We are one week into our amazing trip - and it´s been such a crazy week with lots of weird, funny, eye-opening experiences.  I am writing from Puerto Iguazu which is on the Brazilian and Argentian border.  But to take it back to the start, we arrived in Buenos Aires last Monday (I actually already dont´know what day it is today!) and being so excited about all the movies we could watch, we didn´t sleep at all on the flight over. It was a good flight though, we had a spare seat between us, and apart from a creepy flight attendant who tried to add us on his Facebook, it was a smooth trip. Arriving in BA was fantastic, we were instantly recharged, but within the first 30 minutes, we realised that we actually know NO spanish. Why this didn´t occur to me before is beyond me!

Not being able to communicate or understand even simple phrases was a bit of a rude shock for us - we fixed it by booking in some crash Spanish revision courses at our hostel.  Our hostel! Milhouse Hostel - the old one, not the new one, seems to be the premier party hostel in BA for Irish and english backpackers.  A party on every night, tours to nightclubs at 130am (we tried to go to one, but slept through the pick up), people walking in the door in all hours, 24 hour security at the front door... party party party.  We tried to ease ourselves in dorm living by booking a double for the first 3 nights. 

The first night was basically Gen-Lindy style insane partying, lots of funny incidents, Lindy flying down the stairs headfirst, drunken running about thinking we´d lost the key to our passports locker (I also discovered that in my drunken stupour, I had decided that the safest place for my AMEX card was under my pillow - I know Michelle, idiot!), drunken taxi rides with me yelling ´Safe´ in Spanish (attempting to communicate that I would like to make sure he´s a safe and nice taxi driver) but actually yelling ´Help´... anyway, that night ended with us in bed at about 10am on Tuesday morning, and then sleeping until about 3am the next morning... a pattern which continued for the next 3-4 nights (the waking up at 3am bit, not the 10am bit).  Jet lag is such a pain!

We stayed in very central BA, which isn´t actually that nice, I think coming from Sydney, we expected BA to be a bit prettier to be honest. It was a culture shock, the dirty streets, the grafitti everywhere etc.  But where we stayed was a great starting point for sight seeing around the city, and we actually grew to really like our hostel (albeit after a terrible night in a shared dorm - my first by the way - which included a really smelly girl who made Lindy gag all night with her wretched fumes, 4 other male and female roommates coming in and out at all hours as they partied all night, vibrating walls from the party downstairs and Lindy waking up to a man perched on the edge of her bed watching her sleep eek).

In BA we went to Recoleta, which is this amazing homage to the wealthy dead... it´s so eerie and creepy and beautiful all at once. We saw Eva Perron´s burial site-shrine, it was somewhat understated compared to the rest! Seeing childrens coffins is such an awful experience!  We went shopping along Av Florida, so many shops!  We went to a football match to watch Boca Juniors play at the Boca Juniors stadium. It was a sea of yellow and blue and the crowd sang so passionately during the entire match, it was incredible. Not so incredible was the the ground after the match that was soaked in wee (I am absolutely sure that only men would do this! Gross!)... our shoes were soaked, and it stank... But that wasn´t the worst that could have happened, one of the boys was separated from our tour group and ended up having to make his own way home, we found out yesterday from someone in his hostel that he arrived beaten, bloody and robbed. Boca Juniors stadium is in a very unsavoury area...

We also saw a tango show, which was marvellous, except that it started at 1030pm by which time Lindy and I were exhausted and we - I kid you not - fell asleep at the table while the performers danced. We have a whole new respect for Channy´s inability to eat and drink and stay awake... we had absolutely no control over our ability to stay awake that evening. The tango is such a strange dance to me... I´m accustomed to men leading and women following, but this doesn´t seem to be leading and following so much as men throwing their women around the dance floor, moving their feet around, entwining legs... it´s so fantastic and different - I had never experienced it quite like in Argentina!

Perhaps the highlight for me was the San Telmo craft and antiques market on Sunday... can you imagine street after street of markets selling intricate crafts, food, jewellry, everything you can imagine. Lindy and I both bought cute travel bags and shopped around all the boutique shops....meandering... it was wonderful. We stopped for a great coffee at one of the cafes in Plaza Dorrego and listened to some beautiful buskers - they played that beautiful song in Captain Corelli´s Mandolin where Nicholas Cage serenades Penelope Cruz - it was such a gorgeous moment. I think this is when I first really realised that I was on holidays. Surrounded by locals, tourists, on a gorgeous day, markets as far as the eye could see, music, coffee... then Lindy looked down and realised she had stepped in dog poo.

Travelling with Bangy has been wonderful, we are very easy travel companions, letting the other do whatever the other wants, so easy going and respectful of eachother´s space! 

After San Telmo markets, we took an overnight Super Cama from BA to Puerto Iguazu (which means Big Water).  We´re here to see the Iguazu falls, which was today´s activity.  It was really the most amazing spectacular thing you could ever see, so ferocious, powerful, unforgiving as well as serene and perfect.  The falls are so high that you can´t see the bottom of the waterfall for all the spray that the crashing water creates.  It´s such a humbling experience - nature at it´s most powerful.  We took a great boat ride to the foot of the falls and were completely soaked in the process. But looking up to see the tonnes of water thrashing down makes you feel so tiny!  We are seeing the falls from the Brazilian side tomorrow after we hopefully get our Brazilian visas in the morning.

We are staying as possible one of the most amazing Hostels. Having been to two, I am now an expert! The HostelInn used to be a casino, so the facilities are quite luxurious, there is a gorgeous pool, a gorgeous open games area and dining area.  We have even braved a dorm again, which wasn´t that bad an experience last night!

Wé´ve met some fantastic people, a teacher from Missouri based in South Korea, two girls who are motorbiking around South America and countless backpackers with stories to tell.

Our itinerary has been so loose from the start, it´s starting to firm up a little more, now that we are talking to more people. I am most looking forward to Columbia at the moment, I´m hoping to do a diving course and spend time on the sandy stretches of the Carribean.

Our next stop is Rio, then a few hours South of Rio is Paraty and Ilha <Grande which we hope to visit... we fly to Bogota Columbia on the 8th of September. 

Till next time,

Love

Gen xoxoxo

Comments

1

Fantastic! We want more.... Pleeease.
Love and xoxoxox->!
Mama & papa

  cb Sep 3, 2009 7:27 PM

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