We only had a brief stay in the Lake District, but managed to fit in a day-hike around Villa La Angostura and a 1/2 day adventure of "canopy".
Canopy involves zipping from treetop to treetop (5 different treetop platforms) on what Aussies call a "Flying Fox". What a buzz! You can control the speed, but that involves dragging your gloved hand on the cable to create friction - and it isn't so effective. Of course I wanted to go FAST, so each time I had great difficulty braking at the last minute and felt like i was going to smack into the tree at top speed and slide down like in a Looney-Toons cartoon!
Such an adrenaline rush! Sharyn wasn't so sure, but ended up admitting to having had a great time too. The finale was rappelling down from the last tree.
So after 2 months away from the big city (and 2 days for Sharyn!) we flew into Buenos Aires. I DO love this city and with only 4 more weeks to go, I'm already feeling sad to be leaving! We stayed in Palermo, which is a trendy area full of cool bars, top restaurants and local designers shops. It was great to spend time in this part of the city to enjoy the highlife for a little before returning to my student lifestyle.
Sharyn's influence rubbed off on me a bit and I lost my fear of shopping for a while. I bought some artwork and presents which will be added to the montón
of books I have been accumulating. I've been going crazy with books as they are so cheap, but I'm going to struggle packing it all! The local "tabloid" here reflects the local people's appreciation of culture - they are always producing very well priced publications: I have bought Hemmingway's "Adiós a las Armas
"; a four volume "Historia de la Fotografia de Argentina
" and a SIX volume "Diccionario de la Arcitectura de Argentina
". (So you all now can speak Spanish, hey?!). In the subway kioscos they sell mass produced books on topics such as politics, history and theology. No wonder I love this city and it's people!
One night Sharyn and I managed to stay up past 11pm and so ventured out to one of the local tango halls, called Milongas
. We arrived just as they were finishing up the lessons, but Sharyn insisted that we could just jump in and give it a go. Well, although I like to dance (my own freestyle normally!) I DO like to know what I'm doing. So after an abortive 15 second attempt I stood my ground and refused to get back up on the dancefloor. After 2 glasses of wine Sharyn's confidence was soaring and she was trying all the tricks in the book to get someone to ask her to dance (the subtle body language and eyecontact required is quite an art apparently).
In the end she just outright asked this French guy sitting near us. He had been dancing 7 years and upon discovering that she hadn't had a lesson in her life, HE tried every trick in the book to decline her request.... But the tenacious New York confindence won thru and soon she was wizzing around the floor with the best of them! I think the tango rhythms must have sobered her up somewhat, as on her return to the table she was very keen for a hasty exit having realised her TRUE tango abilites didn't quite match her expectations!
I moved into a new apartment last week in the heart of the old tango district (San Telmo). It is WONDERFUL. I'm living with a Colombian girl (Lina who studies Plastics Design), a local girl (Paula who studies theatre direction) and a German guy (Michael who is a Spanish teacher). It is a great environment to study - clean, tranquil, and inspiring. Last night I phoned home and spoke English for the first time in a week! That is a real breakthrough for me. I've only got 3 weeks left now and my time is VERY full with 2 hours of Spanish class a day and having started my postgrad again (doing 2 units - Theories of Development
; and Planning for Community Development).
As 50% of my household spend most of their time being artistic I have felt the influence and having my 5 peso copy of photoshop I've been getting into it! So here is my first creation - entitled 360 degrees on the Subte.
Tonight will be interesting - I'm off to a public meeting with none other than Bush's nemisis in Latin America - Hugo Chavez, the (to use a Keating phrase) recalcitrent President of Venezuela! Evo Morales (President of Bolivia and also the president of that country´s cocaine growers association! He descibes himself as Bush's worst nightmare) is rumoured to be also appearing, so it could be a very interesting evening.... stay tuned...
Well the snow must have cleared from the runways at JKF, because Sharyn finally arrived in Bariloche! I must have been cRazy because I hired a car and we spent a day driving around the lakes and mountains.