It's funny how you spend your time while travelling around the world. Since you don't have to work, you spend most of the day exploring. Admiring a spectacular mountain in Chile, walking around a famous city in Nicaragua, spending 50 hours on a Marco Polo bus in Argentina, eating a ceviche or calafate berry ice cream, snapping a photo, looking lost on a street corner in Boa Vista, talking to a stranger in Asuncion, idling on a park bench in Antigua, dipping your toes in the Pacific Ocean, sampling delicious chocolate in Bariloche, diving with sharks in Honduras, looking at the girls..., everywhere, getting your clean clothes from the laundry, waking up late, taking a guided tour in Costa Rica, waking up early, hiking a steep volcano in Guatemala, snapping another photo, crossing a border, talking to a curious kid in Ciudad Bolivar, watching a street performer in Cartagena, searching for a non-existent hotel, running away from a hawker, taking a dodgy flight in Venezuela, getting stuck in Panama, drinking a bucket of water, searching for a non-existent restaurant, getting a nice sunburn, strolling around a useless museum in Xela, freezing your ass off in Patagonia and so on. And then the evening comes, and what can you do? You don't have your friends and family around. Typically you don't have a TV at the place you stay. You don't have your bike, car, golf clubs, stereo, computer, DVD, bookcase or gym membership (as if that's usually a big problem for me)
. You are also missing the lawn mower, bill payments, the dirty dishes, your quarterly dentist visits, syklubben (the knitting club), "dine myke ugress hansker", taking out the trash, cleaning the toilet, changing the bed sheets, your stamp collection, tuning the piano, daily Mother-in-Law visits, trainspotting weekends, scraping ice from the car window, moving the fridge, painting the garage door, "trimme hekken" and throwing rocks at the annoying neighbor. So instead you end up doing some Internet, going to a restaurant, spending too much money, chatting to some people in the hostel, playing cards, planning your next days travel, running away from a street dog, taking a taxi, reading a book, idling at the plaza, watching another street performer, taking your third shower for the day, looking at the girls, being run over by a car, watching a movie and so on. Most often however, you end up in a bar for a beer or two. Not that I have been drinking that much on this trip. Several days can pass between every time I touch the stuff. But then I may also have two or three big nights out in a row. Depends on where you are I guess, and the people you meet. For example, in places like Panama City, Cartagena or Rio it's unavoidable not waking up with a hangover that hangs around for a fortnight.
Guys, that's it from Bariloche. I'm going to bed now, my head hurts.
It's Sunday evening in Bariloche, a tourist mecca in the Argentine Lake District on the shores of Lago Nahuel Huapi. My sore head is pounding and my stomach churning after yesterday's monstrous pub crawl. If you have ever been to Bariloche, you may recognize names like Wilkenny, The Map Room, South Bar, Cubico and Rocket. Well, that's where I spent the evening sipping the odd beverage. It got pretty late actually, but how can you avoid it in Argentina, where people go to dinner at midnight, the pub at 2AM, and then hit the disco around 4AM, dancing to sunrise and beyond. And now I am paying for it by having the katzenjammer of the century. I just managed to drag my ass to the cinema, watching the Million Dollar Baby. It's a decent movie considering my hangover, and then Hillary Swank is a great actress in my opinion. Well, in fact I think I deserved a party yesterday. Eight of the last nine days has been pure hiking, mostly trips from five to eight hours of walking. So I definitively needed a scenery change