I'm sure you'll be pleased to hear after the lengthy last blog that I don't have much to report today! Basically it's been back to the reality of buses and bumming around on the gringo trail. Strange that even travelling can become somewhat routine; not that I'm complaining - I'd clearly rather not be back in cold, wet London, fighting the crowds of Christmas shoppers but its not always easy to find meaning in sightseeing when you've just had an experience like the jungle. But anyways! Here's a little roundup of what I've been doing since I last wrote...
After well and truly recovering by the pool in Santa Cruz, the girls and I, plus new recruit Paula, said a fond farewell to Bolivia and headed to the comparative civilisation of Argentina. Our first stop was the city of Salta, just six hours across the border but a world away in terms of lifestyle and culture - 5 times our bus was stopped by border control and 5 times we had to get off for all our belongings to be searched, presumably for smuggled items - a telling contrast between these neighbouring countries since in Bolivia it was not uncommon for PEOPLE to be smuggled behind the seats on buses! Not much to say about this city, mainly because we spent most of the time adjusting to the excruciating price increase and the ridiculously difficult-to-understand Argentine accent! We did however eat our first of many meat feasts, washed down with the first of many bottles of local wine...
Next stop was Cordoba, a university city slap bang in the middle of Argentina where we embraced our inner tourists with a visit to Che Guevara's family home and even a trip to a contemporary art gallery (it's been a while since I've done any 'culture'). Argentina is far more European than the rest of South America and so for the first time we realised Christmas is well and truly approaching, even if it is a little odd to be confronted by the jovial figure of Santa Claus in 35 degree heat!
You now find me in the pretty city of Rosario, where we hired bikes and cycled along the riverfront in the glorious sunshine yesterday for a good three hours, until the weather turned and we had to cycle back in the sheeting rain - for those of you who are aware of my legendary cycling skills, just picture me fighting the howling wind whilst trying to maintain a vaguely straight direction! Pleased to report only one minor incident with a wall however, and clearly it was the wall that was in the wrong place.
So this is my last stop on the road to Buenos Aires, before I fly to meet the delectable Ruth Garette in Santiago for our Christmas holiday! Needless to say the next three weeks are going to be pretty full on, as I'm sure they will be for you all back in Blightly so this might be my last blog for a little while. I'm intensely looking forward to sharing some festive spirit in the sun, but there are some definite things I will miss about being at home this time of year so I am going to write my Christmas list below...
Dom, Henry, Rebecca, Mark, Kristel and Andrew - please drink mulled wine and eat mince pies whilst listening to crap carols and making paper snowflakes
Kiran & Tom - where are you? Christmas Skype por favor
Sarah Richards - eat cake
Lady B and DDB/rapier girlies - don't drink too much at the staff party but do sneak off for lunchtime beers whenever possible
Nikki - mucho vino and girl talk - updates please!
Liz - enjoy your first Christmas with baby Archie, many congratulations
Sally & Gav - mine's a cider
Alix Percy - ditto
Ruth Garette - bring it on!
And not forgetting the Hicks clan - try not to kill each other yeah?!
Feliz Navidad and muchos besos to you all! Xxx