48 hours later...
Trip Start Oct 05, 2012
64Trip End Apr 01, 2013
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So, having run out of time, all I can do now is summarise the highlights (OK, mostly lowlights but all good character building stuff and all that...):
Waking up at 0130am and being told to change buses in some random Bolivian town...and then realising I'd been robbed of my lovely alpaca socks and wooly headband after I'd left in the bus half asleep and in a real hurry
Finding myself in a border town with only 50 Argentinian pesos (£6.25) and 2 bank machines which wouldn't dispense money. Only one bus company would accept my credit card, and this required 6 long hours of waiting until their one and only bus to Buenos Aires departed... Yep, no choice and it really was a long wait.
Learning the hard way that you just shouldn't 'forget' to replace your emergency stash of US$...you never know when you just may need them...
Seeing how far I could make my pesos last during the 27 hour journey from La Quiaca-Buenos Aires. 1 x bottle of fruit juice; 1 x packet of Halls menthol-eucalyptus sweets; 3 x WC trips (including paper). Yes, I was hungry...
Losing my hearing in one ear as we descended from an altitude of 3400m to almost sea level.It was fine as long as I wasn't spoken to, but to be fair anyone who tried just assumed I couldn't understand them...
...which wasn't too far from the truth. 3 months of Spanish learning and I am now in a Spanish-speaking country where I don't understand most of what is said to me. Back to square no 1, and I guess now time to learn 'Argentino'...
Finally arriving at Retiro Bus Station, only to try 3 more bank machines and find again no cash being dispensed. I was beginning to think there really was a nationwide cash shortage, and desperately wondering how on earth I was going to get to the hostel in an unknown city with only 5 pesos in my pocket when I found the last ATM in the station. And yes, it had money in it... No need to resort to selling myself...phew...
And that's really all. Now, off to pack and tomorrow off to the end of the world - Ushuaia!!