The journey so far...
Here goes my first official post of what started out as an idea on the pub and has now become a reality. Bear with me as this post may seem a wee bit long. I hope to mix it up with text and pictures and you may even see audio. For those on twitter you can also keep track from there.
So far we've been on: 3 flights totalling 18 and a half hours 2 bus journeys of 35 to 37 hours 3 taxis Experienced temperatures up to 36 degree Celsius Walked...a lot
1 pack of 18.5 kilos and a day pack that feels heavier, a broken zip and issues with email
Sparky, my other travelling companion, at the start of the journey. he's as excited about us....
We are almost a week into our travels and I have to say after 11 years of living the life of a soft southerner it's going to take time to get into the swing of travelling again...but after standing on top of the thundering waters of Puerto Iguazu, and flying into Ushuaia where every walk provides you with vistas that are incomparable, mountain tops still covered in snow touching the clouds surrounding Beagle channel [I wonder what the crew of the Beagle thought when they saw those Chilean mountains], I think i'll settle right in fairly soon.
Anyway, enough romanticising. We are in Ushaia and tomorrow we start our trip to Antaractica. I've been jumping around on my poor feet with excitement. Poor because of the extra weight I am carrying, through kit and weight put on over Christmas and the food on the plane. [I had to turn away food on our flight between Madrid and Buenos Aries]. I get ahead of myself, we actually started the journey in London and almost 17 hours later touched down in a hot and humid city. Buenos Aries still has the wide avenues and sky scrapers, a city of many personalities. Never more highlighted than in the Retiro (the bus station) where our journey really began. The Retiro is surrounded by slums, with people searching the bins for anything of value, and also brings the more afluent who prefer road to air when travelling. We were told by tourist information that this wasn't a 'nice' area. I'm guessing they never saw Kings Cross (the one in London) in it's hey day. We had our first beer, Quillmes Cristal at the bus stop. There will no doubt be more of these. 😉 For those who are interested my travelling companion, who I shall refer to as 'The Man', for some reason brought the kitchen sink. Odd, as when we usually go away he manages to pack everything into a day pack. I'm the one with checked baggage and a day pack that taxi drivers and hotel bell hops wince at when they try to lift it. Silly them. I do warn them. Anyway, I digress again...you can leave it all in left luggage. These wonderful lockers at the side of the station. Don't worry, everything was there when we returned. Our bus took us to Puerto Iguazu (should you wish to read about bus journeys that is another post). 'The Man' thought it would be a good idea to walk from the station carrying our packs. Remember, between my pack and day pack I'm carrying 30 kilos, and boy did I feel it up that hill in the heat of the day. 30 minutes later we arrived. I was of course a puddle by then. We stayed at 'The Secret Garden', run by John Fernandez. A fascinating man from Rajasthan, who has lived in Argentina for 45 years, used to be a photo journalist as well as other things. There is at least one divorce in there and a recent health scare, but a wonderful host who gave us advice, lifts, and a cocktail hour with canapés. It felt like the old days.
So, why did we come all this way when our trip was meant to start in Ushuaia, some 4000 km away. Well I've always wanted to see the falls at Iguazu, and they did not disappoint, though the heat and the crowds were oppressive. Here are a couple of shots, as words just won't convey their beauty or sheer scale. [Others will follow, once the Wifi is up to it].
Back to Buenos Aries and a day spent wandering Palermo and Canitas - think Soho and Shoreditch with a bit of Chelsea thrown in for the latter. I like Buenos Aries but I'll never love it and I don't know why. Though this time it did give me guidance as to whether to go to Salta - they've got a great beer. So, we're caught up now, and we're in Ushuaia at B&B des la artes with another convivial host, Marco. Drinking beer, Quillmes Cristal...again, and waiting for the countdown to our boat... For those who are wondering how the Spanish is going, well it's coming along. I'm speaking it as much as possible and other than the incident in the bus stop (embarassing) its going ok. Vocab is flooding back and I'm listening to my tapes. Fingers crossed for Bolivia.
Until the next time. :-)