Trip Start Feb 14, 2007
Trip End Jul 2007

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Monday, February 26, 2007

i had planned to begin a travel blog before leaving (having been advised that it would be better and more interesting to begin before my travels had started, with th
preparations.) however, like many of the things i had planned to do before going away, i never actually got around to it... so now nearly two weeks later i am finally commencing...

we arrived in argentina in the morning of february 15th after a 14 hour flight (luckily i managed to commandeer the seat next to Gabbie from a man who i think didnt really understand what we were asking...) and we were taken to our really lovely flat (home until the 22nd march) by Ignacio, who (along with the rest of his family) has been incredibly kind to us. the flat is vaarrry nice, only issue with it is that the sink is tiny, but we are very ingenious and practical travellers and solving a problem like this is no problem for us so we now wash up the dishes in the bath tub. it does help to make sure the shower is off before attempting to do the washing up as gabbie found out - she is now cleaner than most of the plates.

we have been exploring Buenos Aires and so far i really like it! we have seen the grave of Eva Peron and then we went to the evita museum to try and find out who she actually was... still a little bit confused over the details of her life...

we spent a day in the parks of BA, sun bathing like all the stray cats and then we rented bikes that were really old fashioned and a bit broken (like most of the cars out here) and attempted to dodge the pedestrians that kept getting in to our way. this was especially dangerous because the brakes on our bikes were not working.

this weekend we went to stay at the Humanao winery - really beautiful and peaceful! Nestor Ramires (72 year old part founder of the finka who was our guide and who looked after us) had originally presumed that we were visiting the winery from England as perspective wine buyers or smelliers. so he got very confused when we started asking things like 'what type of grape is that?' and 'is there much difference in taste between that malbec and the sauvignon?'. and then he was even more confused when at lunch we said we were fine with soda water. wine buyers who dont drink wine? it was only after calling Francini (owner of vineyard and a farm the size of kent) that he realised that we were not in fact professionals. he then told Francini the next day that we had bought the entire farm.

the bus which we had to take to Molinos (nearest... settlement? to the vineyard) was quite an adventure. i had been sadly misled by the quality of bus from Buenos Aires to Salta which had 'semi-cama' reclining seats, they gave us sandwiches like a plane, toilet on board (disgusting but still there). however, the molinos bus was not quite like that...
i am suprised it was still functioning. 900, 000 miles on the meter i think, made a funny noise when it drove... we had to drive up the mountains and the bus tipped ever so slightly around the corners and it felt very dangerous. i think i pulled a muscle in my arm by clinging onto the seat in front of me. the bus was full of locals, and of cardboard box packages that were being passed in and out of the window quite regularly. when we reached the top of the mountain face we drove for literally hours throught the cafayate valley, which is basically a desert. lots of dust and cacti, a few goats and wild donkeys. not a lot else. but the locals kept disembarking in to the middle of nowhere and we couldnt understand where on earth they were going? Occasional someone would get on from nowhere as well! the return journey was a little less traumatic and also, thankfully, a little shorter (only 5 hours instead of 7) although we did have to share the bus with a small flock of hornets. i killed them when the bus stopped - i think all the natives were thinking i was such a westerner that couldn't cope with a few bugs. one woman even laughed at me.

so now we are back in Salta, where ever other woman is pregnant and those who arent have babies (definately a catholic country) and children, well one child, pee into the oncoming traffic from the pavement, and they seem to all love popcorn.

tonight we are getting the (clean) bus back to Buenos Aires bringing our total time on buses this week to 52.5 hours i think. lots of journeying!!

i am very excited about getting back to our flat and washing my dusty hair.
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