Beer and máte are not a good idea…

Well the last few days have been a little (very) different to my first two days.

Firstly from friday till sunday i was staying with my aunty and my cousins, two of which are my age give or take 1 1/2 years, and the little one is 12.  So it has been a little more interesting.  Dont get me wrong about my great aunt, she is lovely but it is nice to be with people that are not 60 years your senior all the time.  

But on to the activities of the last 3 days.  On friday Pati the aunty that picked me up from the airport took Iris (great aunt), her mother in law, her and I to a place called Tigre, the word “tigre” might sound familiar to those of you that like Zoolander!  But anyway, Tigre is a little town that is on the edge of the river plate delta and has lots of little islands and markets and stuff. it is very touristy but, it is citizens of Buenos Aires touristy.  In that people that live in Buenos Aires visit there on the weekend as a family day out. 

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But anyways, in Tigre we bought some little things like a bombilla for máte etc.  Some of you that read this will know that i have a very sweet tooth and that nothing is ever TOO rich in sweetness for me. I found something that was too sweet there! It is call super dulce de leche which was a flavour of icecreme that that sell here which was amazing! Dulce de leche is a type of caramel that is made from condensed milk by heating it for an extended perior of time.  It is the number 1 thing that Australia lacks in terms of really nice foods! We also had choripan and then went home back to pati’s house.  I finally got to meet 2 more of my cousins, Rodi and Facu, Rodi is 22 and Facu is 12. 

Later on friday night we went to another aunties house as it was her husbands birthday and there all the rest of the cousins were, except Rodi because it was his best friends birthday also that night, but anyway onto the thing that i have liked the most about Argentina so far. 

Family.  At the birthday everysingle person that i met is greeted with a kiss on the cheek and then who you are =P  That is male or famale, and that is how it is.  Then with all the cousins they are cousins, but also all the cousins girlfriends that are also cousins.  For example Agostina and Belu which are Nico and Santi’s girlfriends get called prima by all the cousins,  I think it is a really nice way that people get accepted into the family.  Because you can get accepted in that you are known to be important in the family, but to get title of being a true family member from the rest is different.  And so you know being a cousin is almost like being a brother or sister.  But yes that night some beer was drunk, and some máte which is like a herbal thing that is drunk over here.  But if you drink both together inside your gut it bloats you like you would not believe!  Got up the next morning and looked 3 to 4 months prego!  But anyway, that night was my first night as an Argentinian and we got home at 6am with the sun.

On the saturday after not sleeping once getting home we left the house around 1 1/2 hours later because Facu had a rugby match and presentation again out near Tigre, but it was pretty hot and during the presentation on awards after not sleeping for 28 hours i had a sleep under a tree for about an hour.    We came home from rugby had a swim, got in contact with Eddy,  and at around 9 he came over to pick me up and we went out to eat Malineza and talk till around 11:30pm at which time we split a taxi back to my place and then he went home.  It was so nice to see an old face for the first time in 2 years =D  next day after being dead santi and i both slept in till around 12 and i also had a nap again of about 2 hours a little bit later. 

Rodi finished his uni assignment around 4:30 so from there we went into el centro of Buenos Aires and we were able to get a tour of La Casa Rosara (parlament) walk inside the catherdial, and finally get some pictures infront of the Obelisk which is pretty cool.  from there we went home again via el subte (subway) and a bus and went out to another birthday for some of Pati and families best friends were again it was a lot of answering questions about australia, but because it was younger people asking it was more driving and car based discussions which was a lot nicer =D

from there we left kinda early (so at 1:15 am) and i got dropped off back at Iris’s house and here i am now.  I think i will be going out again with Rodi a little later because he wants to show me some more places in Buenos Aires that are meant to be really nice and sometime during this week i think we will be getting the ferry over to Uraguay to Colonia.

Posting again in a few more days, but that is my adventure up to this point.

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The longest day of my life

The 17th of November will be the longest day of my life for a very long time, if not for the rest of my life.  And the reason for that is that i was awake till 3am of that night, slept about 3 1/2 hours and then was awake the entire night (local time) getting 3 more hours of sleep on the plane and arriving the same day that i left at 3pm.  If i had ended my day and called it quits and slept the rest day it would still have been a 38 hour calender day, with 6 hours of break, but instead i was awake till 8pm, extending the day to 43 hours with a 6 hour break making it be 37 hours pretty much being awake!

But now to the fun none complaining bit =D  Having arrived in Buenos Aires it was a totally different experience to sydney and Australia in general.  The Airport that i got to was old, it almost looked like a soviet style building.  But the most amazing thing was that any thing was allowed to drive on the road, and when i say anything I MEAN ANYTHING!!! I had not even got 50 meters our of the airport and a car that had 2 big holes where the headlights should be drives past and i start to get an idea of what to expect. 

As i drove down the Freeway with my aunty and cousin i notice that almost all the cars on the road have some type of battle scar to show that they deserve to be driven in Buenos Aires the capital of Italy in South America.  This is what i imagine Italian cities to be like and i will let you know when i head there later in the trip, but any how that was the first thing that really surprised me.

The other thing that was shocking is how expensive Australia is! just to put this into perspective to get a ticket on the underground train system or “subte” is $1.2 peso.  that converted in AU$ is about 30cents.  And that is not for just 1 stop, that is the top ticket that takes you from one side to the other!

But yeah it seems like a nice place to be, the main roads are are very dirty with lots of dust and diesel fumes from the trucks, but if you walk one block in, it is all one way streets with trees and its very pretty.

Will keep you all posted and i will make a post every few days which will be a photo post with subtitles of what everything is

Take care and feel free to post comments!

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2nd thoughts and a resolution

Hey,

Just few quick updates on how everything is going.  Last week i had a major freak out about the trip being so close.   I was trying to do study for my up coming exams and after not being able to concentrate on anything including the trip i really started to get a little stressed and nervous about it, which is very rare for me as some of you would know.   To the extent that for about 5 min i was really considering if i should even go!
I think it was just a case of my dreams for so long being so close to finally happening and i didnt know how to react.

Other things that have been going on is that i have now converted most of my money into the currencies that i will be using for most of different parts of the trip.   As well in getting into contact with family members in various locations to organise stuff.  My faithful sidekick on this trip has been looking at and organising our places to sleep and travel costs for our little expedition to those ruins in peru, not sure if you have heard of them. Machu Pichu? anyone heard of them? yeah we are going there!!!

Also mum bought me a new camera which will be my other faithful companion on the trip helping me to document all that is going on, infact the camera helped me document my car crossing the 3rd major milestone in its life. It’s 300,000th Kilometer, it happened today on the freeway at approx 13:11.

And final thing before i go, I will be getting my backpack fitted today thanks to Mr Andrew, so that will be all ready. therefore i just have to start putting things aside to pack.

So now i am off, to spend a day reading and relaxing before my final exam tonight at 6pm.

hope to make at least 2 more posts before i leave next wednesday.  kind of strange to think that in 8 days time i will be doing my check in at the airport…

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The competition of manhood.

This is a post that i started back in July and never got around to finishing so here goes!

Back in July i went to play tenpin bowling with the crew from house of praise.  And my i say it got pretty heated!  The lead was constantly changing and it was staring to become very annoying that Elise Waldrop was going well! How could I, a MAN lose to a a woman!  Anyway, so there we were having a good game, a made a few crappy bowls and Elise got a lead of approx 20 pins, cant really remember the exact amount as once again it was about 3 months ago when this happened.  But then the MAN RESURGENCE began and i got 2 strikes in a row followed by a spare to convert a deficit of 20 into a lead of 15, as Elise had a shocker.  All while this was happening MR Steve Waldrop was also dreading that he could lose to his sister and was pushing to get stay in front as well.

By the end of the night adding the total scores of both games i came out the victor but it was only a difference of about 10 pins which is pretty close.  That night made me realise how competitive men are over anything! and i believe that being competitive is one of the things really makes us who we are.

Take for example calling shotgun, i have seen some people get so fired up about calling shotgun.  And all that they get from it is that they get the front seat.  Playing cricket in the nets and you get a ball smashed, you try to spin that ball so much, or bowl faster than you ever have to make the batsmen look crap. Or worse still when a better bowler is there and you are going bowl for bowl. You HAVE to be the one that gets the wicket first, just to show that you are better than you seem.

Has anyone ever heard guys talk about driving and the moments they have had while driving and managed to “Correct” and get pats on the back for being suck wicked drivers? Yeah pretty much it’s “yeah my balls are so massive and i drive like such a man that i lost it going around a corner but i managed to fix my stupidity. Because i’m a man”.  But the worst thing is that if a guy never has any stories of where the car has slipped away from them, “the boys” will most likely say that he drives like a girl.

But my personally favourite way that guys compete is facial hair.  See girls will never understand this until they are about 80 and can join into the competition, but being able to grow a better moe, or a better beard than the guy next to you makes you such a mad dawg!  It is the ultimate converstation topic between guys that are just starting to be able to grow some hair, and the guys that already can.  There is comparing of growth patterns, age that the bum fluff began, when the shaving starting to “encourage growth” and many different areas.  Last year when i had my moe for a few months it started because during my end of of school holidays i grew a goatie, and when uni started i got lazy and let the moe grow.  One day i asked Tom my BIL (brother in law) if i should shave 1: Moe, 2: goatie or 3: both.  Tom replied with goatie and leave the moe and there i was 2 months later styling a very mexican looking set of whiskers.

So pretty much. Don’t blame men for being competitive, it is what makes us what we are.  And anyway who would want a guy that doesn’t mind if he loses to his friends sister in a game of bowling!

On a quick note, Steve Waldrop is the ultimate man, as he will be having a prebucks party.  For the people that don’t know what that is, in the same spirit of “predrinks” before going out for a messy night in terrigal, a prebucks party is the way to become even more man!

Quick update on my Travels.  Not sure if i mentioned in past posts but i got my injections done a few months ago, so from now on the trip is a reality! i have felt the physical pain, and if i didn’t wake with that it really means that i am awake and doing this thing.

Will be posting some more soon.  Let me know of your thoughts on this whole being a man thing.

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So pretty much ready to disappear

Been hectic lazy with this blogging thing! I have 3 drafts with ideas for posts to finish writing and nothing has been done to any of them for about 3 months.

Ok so pretty much where I am up to right now is

All flights are booked.  I have changed my Australia to Argentina flight to the 17th of November once I found out when I finished all my exams (i had one after my original leave date, but I was already going to fail so that has been dropped).  That gives me an extra 5 days in total, so I might spend a 2 more days in Argentina, and then 3 more in Santiago before i go to peru. also it will give me a chance to find bus times for the way back and book the bus over to Cuzco.

Oh yeah I am going to Peru with nick skinner, he will be flying into Santiago on the 30th of november, and then getting a bus north to Peru.  I on the other hand will be flying up on the 3rd of december and meeting him there.  We plan to spend about 2 days in Lima and then getting a bus to Cuzco, then from there the bus to Machu Pichu.  In total 3-4 days to do the Machu Pichu part of the trip.  Then we will be returning to Lima and spending 2-3 days in Lima before getting buses back south and stopping along the way seeing family in the north of chile, arriving back in Santiago by the 24th of december at the latest.

Once Xmas and new years is up I am pretty sure I will be heading south into the lakes region of chile which is awesome!!!

nothing more to report from that part of the trip.

I have been in contact with my uncle in Canada and we should be meeting up around the beginning of february to fly to Montreal =D, (Petrov if you read this i will send you a picture at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve)

Then i will get a bus from Montreal to New York spending a week there before flying out to Iceland and europe after.

Mum found travel insureance that was hectic cheaper than all that I had found before so now I am totally covered for everything which is great news!!

I am off again and will promise to write more often, especially while I am over keeping people up to date with where I am and what I am doing =D

Comment if you have any suggestions about things to see or places to go in any part of the trip.   Or just want to comment and tell me what you think =D

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Stuff you Thailand!

Hey,
Been a Really long time since last post, have 2 drafts sitting there but have never got around to finishing them…

This is just a quick update on the state of the travels.  From when i bought the airfares to right now I have realised that going to Thailand for 7 days while really losing 9 days in Europe was not the best choice so that will be changing today in around 3 hours time when i rebook some tickets. I figure that getting over to europe is much more expensive than going to Thailand, therefore make the most of the time that I will be there.  When i get the funds to travel south-east Asia I will be able to see better and have more time which will make it a much nicer time =)

Also yesterday i got a call from my Canadian uncle and have close to concrete dates for travel to Canada which should be around the 2nd of feb mark.  Also got a ballpark figure for how much a Canadiens hockey match will cost so very pleased with that!  From Montreal a bus seems the most economical way to get to  New York, while I have found some hostels that are not heaps expensive so staying for 1 week should not be a problem before flying to Iceland.

In Still searching what would be the best solution to the lack of time between when I land in Argentina and Christmas.  I will be spending Christmas in Chile with family.  That is not going to change.  But I also want to go to Peru and see the north of chile.  Post Christmas and new years I will be going to the south of chile for a while, so at the moment the best solution looks like:
Land in Argentina, stay 1ish week,

bus to Santiago, stay 3 days,

fly to Lima stay 1 week and then come back down Via land to Santiago to get back a little before Christmas.  Still need to find prices for if it is Viable…

I will endeavor to keep updates and thoughts coming more often than has been the case for the last few week.

Let me end with a joke “If Einstien became an engineer his name would become Fünfstien”  (Sidenote: Ein means one, Fünf means 5, Stien means 1L of beer)

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Flying the World cup in a red backpack

Hey again, been a long time since my last post!

Here is a travel update. I have fully paid all of my major airfares that i am getting though the travel agent who has been heaps helpful.  Today i went to the post office to pick up my very pretty red travel backpack =D It’s a 65L bag, which is pretty big, but it is also pretty compact so i hope it will not be much of an issue to carry around.

As well as having all airfares complete and a new bag sitting next to my bed waiting to be fitted. I also have a chilean passport and national ID card currently being processed and expected to arrive in australia for me in around 2 1/2 months =)

The Plan at the moment for the destinations i will be going to is looking something like this: Argentina, Chile (who made it to the final 16 =D ), Peru. Canada, New York City(not USA because only really going to see NY). Iceland, England, France, Spain, Morocco, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Fly back to UK. Thailand for a few days before arriving home! Yup that will be 5 continents if i manage to get morocco in there. Woot!

Now onto the World cup, that little sporting event held every few years, you might have heard of it.  Well my friend Nick and I heard about this little sporting event being held in south africa this year and thought it would be fun to make some predictions about how the out come of the tournament would be way back in april.  As of right now we have approximately 21 out of 28 games correct during the knockout stages with italy and france being the two major differences to our predictions, giving us a total of 5 missed opportunities, potentially meaning we could be on 26/28.  In the semi finals we have 3 out of 4 correct with Uruguay being the only one not predicted as france was expected to fill that final position.

So there we go. nothing contoverial in this post. was going to have a go at apple about the iPhone 4 and the bad reception it has been having with left handed users, as well as the great answer from mr Jobs on how to fix the solution, but i figure i will let this one slip under the radar just like the phone will slip past the signal towers.

So fairwell till next time which should not be very far away

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