Archive for the ‘South America’ Category

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Day One Hundred and Fifty Two: Hello London!

June 20, 2012

Weather: 17oC, sunny, alive
Money: $40
Current country: England
Current city: London baby!

So the plane arrived today at 6:30am London time, 2:30am body clock time. It was an interesting time with not much sleep but I was surprisingly awake.

Coming through customs we had a bit of a hassle. We are staying with Julie from our Central tour but as she was collecting us from the airport, we didn’t have her address to put on the immigration form. So we tried to tell the dudes that, but we needed the address. I also didn’t have Julie’s phone number, so it was a bit of a stress trying to work out what to do! In the end, Jodie Pop, who will never read this, saved the day by googling her address, which turned out to be a randoms address. But that was good enough! Phew!

So since arriving in London, we’ve spent 1.5 hours on the train, 2 hours sleeping, 3 hours watching ‘City of God’ about Rio (because we miss South America?) a few hours talking and some more eating! Good day in London.

Love it!

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Day One Hundred and Fifty One: Bye America del Sul!

June 20, 2012

Weather: 14oC
Money: $25

Today we left poor little Lisa in South America and left for London. Our flight was 13 hours and it left at 1pm. I slept for a total of 11 minutes and made friends with a guy who didn’t speak English.

On the flight I watched four movies:
1. We Bought a Zoo
2. This Means War
3. 21 Jump Street
4. The Vow

We Bought a Zoo is a very cute movie that you should watch and enjoy. Unless you are Julie, then you won’t enjoy it.

That’s about all I have to say about that!

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Day One Hundred and Fifty: Steak

June 18, 2012

Weather: 12oC, cold and a tiny bit drizzley
Money: $60
Days ‘market’ should have been a subheading on this blog: 36
Nights left in South America: 1

I am proud to share that today we went to the markets. It’s revolutionary, I know. There is one near our house and today it was amazing, compared to yesterday’s smelly antiques. I bought some bit and pieces and a cute Mafalda cushion cover. Mafalda is a cartoon girl who seems to be everywhere and Hope loves her a bit. There is also a model Mafalda a few blocks from our house, so we stopped there for some photos with her.

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After the markets, we caught the train to find another market which didn’t exist in the end. So we went to a mall and walked around Lisa’s favourite store, Carrefour. No purchases were made here!

For dinner tonight, we went to Parilla de la Plata which is just around the corner from our place. It was amazing. Big steak.

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Tomorrow we leave here for England. I’m keen for English speaking but also a bit sad to leave South America. But not too sad. One day I would like to explore Argentina more – maybe when I can speak Spanish!

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Day One Hundred and Forty Nine: Pelican

June 17, 2012

Weather: 14oC, cold but sunny
Money: $42.50
Times ‘market’ has been a subheading on my blog: 28

Today we went on search of markets. On the weekend in Buenos Aires, there are heaps of markets and we knew of three good ones. So, we spent $1.20 (less than 30 cents Australian) and caught a bus to Recoleta. The markets were pretty cool but maybe a little expensive. We wandered around for a while and then bused to another market close to our house in San Telmo. This one was mostly antiques and pretty stinky.

Tonight we got another steak. It was good. Mine was just steak and a good old pile of zanahoria. Our new friends, Nav and Simmy, came with us again. They are the Canadians from yesterday, remember? Anyway. It was good.

I don’t have much else to say. Except I’m going to London in dos dias. Jealous?

This is from yesterday! X

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Day One Hundred and Forty Eight: Tango!

June 16, 2012

Weather: 15oC, drizzley
Money: $95
Days left in Latin America: 3 😦

We and a fun day meeting new friends and exploring BA some more. The hostel puts on free tours every few days, so today we did a historical walking tour. It started with a documentary and then a presentation about Argentina’s history which was really interesting. We then walked around and looked at different sites and points of interest. This photo is of the first building in Buenos Aires, built by the Jesuits as a training place for the native Indians.

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This square below is where marches of protest have been held every Thursday for more than thirty years. Thousands of young people (seen as the rebels) were captured and taken to concentration camps during a time of history (I need to research this a bit more!), but basically, the march started because the mothers wanted their children released. It has continued for freedom and rights and now also because these mothers want information on the children of their children!

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The tour was really interesting and good. After it ended, we caught the bus to La Boca which is the colorful area seen on all the postcards! It’s cute and fun. We even got a free (somewhat annoying) tango show during lunch!

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Tonight, we spent $47 going to see a live tango show. It was really good. I enjoyed it a lot. The show started at 10:15 which is pretty late, but people here eat dinner at 11ish and it was a dinner performance. We chose not to eat because it saved us $100. It was good though. We also made friends with two Canadian girls who came with us and out for dinner. They are nice.

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Tomorrow we will go to the market at Palermo. I like markets!

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Day One Hundred and Forty Seven: City Tour and Recoleta

June 15, 2012

Weather: 16oC
Money: $53
Steak count: 1 (uh oh)

Today started with a delicious breakfast that included more than white bread and caramel spread which was wonderful. I knew I was justified in my good opinion of Argentina! We also had a nice encounter with some people we met in the Pantanal a month ago. They were doing a Tucan too, but in the opposite direction to us. It’s funny how that happens. So many places to go and a lot of places to stay and we end up in the same place at the same time. Amazing.

Anyway. We did one of those hop on hop off bus tours. It cost 90 Pasos (20ish AUD) and the loop took about three hours. It included heaps of historical sites and buildings, of which I’ve now forgotten the meaning.

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We got off at the Recoleta which is both a suburb and a cemetery. A few people recommended we visit the cemetery and I must say, it was pretty impressive. It is also the home to Evita, which caused a need to do some research into who Evita even was. History lesson: Eva Peron (nicknamed Evita by Argentians who loved her) was the wife of president Juan Peron from 1948. She became well known through acting and singing before marrying Peron, and then did a lot of work in all sorts of areas which benefitted Argentina. Short summary. She’s the one who inspired “Don’t Cry for me Argentina” which is apparently about her realisation of a lack of joy in fame and fortune and therefore desire to do good stuff for Argentina. Thanks Wikipedia.

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So, we got back on the bus and got off at the central strip where there is a monument that’s the same as the Washington monument in DC, but this one is for the commemoration of the foundation of the city. Here we also investigated going to a Tango show. Maybe tomorrow.

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Also, alas, I didn’t eat steak today. We had lunch at 5pm and so decided just to get some snacks from the supermarket. I know. What a waste. Oh well.

Now, bed after a few hours of card games! X

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Day One Hundred and Forty Six: Buenos Aires and a Piece of Steak

June 14, 2012

Weather: 20oC
Money: $105
Current country: Argentina
Current city: Buenos Aires
Steak count: 1

Today we parted ways with our new friend Uruguay and met his neighbour, Argentina. We had a few options for getting from Montevideo to Buenos Aires. One was a 10 hour bus, one was a three hour boat (costing about $85 AUD) and the last one (aside from a swim across the Rio de La Plata) was a two and a half hour bus to Colonia and then a one hour boat (costing $66 AUD). The shorter boat trip won in the end because one of our party gets sea sick.

So we arrived in Buenos Aires around six and our bond was instantly forged. I already had a good feeling about Argentina, and I hope this will continue, but so far everything is looking UP for this country!

We got dinner at a Lonely Planet recommended restaurant a few blocks from our hostel. It was a huge, fat, juicy piece of steak that cost about $12 (no sides included). It was so good.

I decided that seeing as I had heard amazing things about the meat in Argentina, I would eat steak everyday. Maybe I should extend that to steak for every meal. I could do that too. Gee it’s good.

Tomorrow will be sunny and we will do a city tour. It will be fun.

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Day One Hundred and Forty Five: Montevideo

June 13, 2012

Weather: 17oC, sunny
Money: $55
Current city: Montevideo
Current country: Uruguay
Hours on a bus: 2

This morning we caught a delicious bus from Punta del Este to Montevideo. I sat next to a lady and then had another lady crush me with her reclining seat. Thanks.

The walk from the bus station to our hostel took a long time with heavy bags. But, our hostel is very friendly and we are eagerly anticipating something good for breakfast!

Montevideo is cute and I would like to explore here more. It’s got a nice coast line and a fun historic area full of old buildings.

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We all like it here a lot. Apparently is a small version of Buenos Aires which is tomorrow’s destination, so hopefully the rest of our South American experience will be delightful!

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Day One Hundred and Forty Four: Punta del Este

June 12, 2012

Weather: 15oC, sunny but cold in the shade
Money: $49
Beaches visited: 7

Today was a day of perfection in Uruguay. It felt like a nice winter day in Tassie when the sun is out, but you still need a jumper on. Good kind of day. We got up and wandered through the town and to the beach. The first thing we came across was Punta’s legendary tourist attraction, a big hand.

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We carried on into town and checked out various souvenir and other other shops and had lunch.

Punta del Este is a quiet town with a population of 7000 people at the moment, but the population swells to over 150,000 in the summer. So, it’s a bit like a ghost town. But so cute and beautiful, especially when the sun is shining!

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Sunset on the beach was beautiful. So was Hope’s inspirational dance.

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The empty nature of the town made it difficult to find a place for dinner so we ended up cooking again. And, it was delicious.

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Day One Hundred and Forty Three: Uruguay!

June 11, 2012

Weather: 15oC
Money: $65
Current country: Uruguay
Current city: Punta del Este
Exchange rate: 1USD = 18.31 Uruguayan Pasos

Today we said thanks to Brazil for all the fun times and boarded the plane to Uruguay. While I totally loved Brazil, I wasn’t too sad to leave there. Even though it sounds stupid, it’s so good to be back in Spanish speaking lands.

The Sao Paulo airport is a long way from where we were staying and we were told to expect about $120 Reais ($60AUD) which is more than we want to pay. So after some investigating, we found that we could catch three trains to a station called Tatuape, and then catch a bus for only 4R. So, we did all that and it worked perfectly and we got the the airport having only spent 7R. Win.

The plane and customs were all super easy and we made it to Punta del Este with no hassle (on a pretty big plane with 17 passengers). We cooked dinner tonight in the hostel: vegetarian spaghetti (side story – we tried to get mince but didn’t know the word, so Hope pointed at the pasta sauce and said ‘carne’ (the word for meat), the girl looked puzzled, so I did some scrunching gestures with my hands and pointed at the meat case… Apparently that’s not good enough??!!), and got into bed at 9pm. It’s wonderful. This hostel is clean and friendly and we have our own bathroom!

Uruguay is looking mighty good so far! We will explore the nearby beaches tomorrow and maybe go for a swim! The forecast is for 17oC and sunny. Doable I think!

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