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February 21st 2008
Published: February 22nd 2008
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Hello hello hello!!!! I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and great holidays!!!! I have had a very long holiday here in Argentina. I have been on holidays for 2 months - it’s crazy!!! Yet so great! I will be returning to face the working world in a week though! I have been here in Santa Rosa, La Pampa for Christmas and New Years which has been great. Everybody here welcomed me with open arms, Kevin’s parents in particular have been fantastic!!! Christmas was a crazy time for me, I arrived and to be honest was feeling a little freaked out about the whole situation! But everyone has been great. Of course during the family gatherings when everyone was talking loudly and at the same time it was a little difficult for me to keep up being that at the moment I am still translating what I hear in my head. But, it has been ok. I concentrate really hard during the family gatherings because I am always afraid that someone will ask me something and I will be like - what??? Like the kid in class who has no idea what the hell is going on and then the teacher asks a question and they are blank so then they have the whole class staring at them!!!! Fortunately I have only had a few of these moments!!!! And, I think that my Spanish is better than ever now!!!
Christmas here in Argentina was great pretty similar to Oz except that we had a Christmas dinner with all of the family on the 24th and then at mid-night everyone exchanged gifts. Then the 25th was like our boxing day, everyone gets together and eats the left-over’s from the night before.
We had an ‘asado’ which is a special kind of BBQ that they have in Argentina. Where they cook all parts of the animal - intestine, everything!!! It’s a very common way to cook here - it’s quite tasty to but I only want the meat pls!!! I have tried the intestine, and the blood sausages but really only out of courtesy - I’m just not into eating the bits!!! But, here they chow down on it all!!!
They do however have a few different things - things that are unique to Argentina. I actually can’t believe that after 6 months this is
My new dress!!!My new dress!!!My new dress!!!

Lets just say that I think I got too much sun this day!!!
the first time that I am telling you about them!!!! Crazy!!! Well the first thing that comes to mind is “matte” it is the national drink. It is made with an herb called ‘Yerba’. The concept is similar to tea yet so very different. Basically they have a cup - which is called a ‘gord’- it is wooden - carved out of some type of tree. Then it has a straw, which is made out of metal, which you use to drink the ‘matte’. So, first the ‘yerba’ is placed in the gord with the straw. There is an art to this apparently. If you don’t put it in just right the flavour will not be the same! (Apparently but mostly I just shove it in the gord- ha-haa that is why I am not Argentine)Then, you pour hot water over it - but not boiling - just hot. Then you drink it, it only takes about 10sec to drink it, then you pass it back to the person who made it and they fill it with water again and it gets passed on to the next person. It is a communal drink shared around a group. They take it

This is Kevin´s parents dog Millie - so cute!!!
everywhere!!! To the beach, the park, work, EVERYWHERE!!!! I admit the first time I tried it, it was disgusting - tasted like dishwashing liquid!!! But, over time I have grown a love for this strange, communal drink. I have it with sugar though - it’s so much better!!! There is a story that in the past Americans have thought that ‘matte’ was some kind of drug - like a bong and that they have tried to smoke it!!! Hahaha I’d like to see that!
Then there is the ‘Alfa’ this is also a national thing!!! It is a type of cookie. They have two layers of cookie and then traditionally it has a layer of ‘dulce de leche’ (milk caramel) between the layers of cookie and then it is covered with chocolate!!! This is my favourite Argentine food!!!! Obvio - of course! The other thing that I indulge in here always is ICE CREAM!!! They have really really good ice -cream here!!! You can find an ice cream store every 2 block or so and its fresh made ice cream. All the flavours you want!!!! Ummmmmmmmm - Ice cream! I had Chocolate mouse and Strawberry ice cream today!!!
So, mostly
Millie & SashieMillie & SashieMillie & Sashie

The two of the dogs together!
I have just been hanging around in Santa Rosa. Kevin’s Aunty rented a house with a pool for summer. So, we spent a lot of time there lying in the sun and swimming in the pool. Has been great to wake up at 11am and know that I don’t really have to do anything! It has been a really nice holiday! Sleeping, eating, lying in the sun - what more could a girl want! I went to Cordoba with Kevin and his parents for a bit over a week. Cordoba is in the Sierras - it’s another part of Argentina. I had a great time there although we wanted to do so much we were constantly exhausted!!! (oh the price you pay to travel!) We visited some private beaches - which are actually not beaches they are rivers that have banks of sand! They were amazing because of the location - you look out from the river and there is mountain range surrounding you everywhere! The one place that I really wanted to go and see was the National Park of Condors - you hike out 3hrs and come to a gorge which is the breeding ground for the birds.
Take me home!!!Take me home!!!Take me home!!!

Well, I´ve been watching a little too much Hereos I think! I thought I´d try my hand at teliporting back to Oz!! - Thing is it didn´t work!
Unfortunately we had bad luck with the weather!!!! The first day we planned to go was really overcast and horrible out side so we didn’t go. The second day was a little better so we went on the 2 hr bus trip but when we got up there you couldn’t see 5 meters in front of yourself so of course if we tried to make the hike we were definitely going to get lost and then probably bitten by and snake and then eaten by a Puma! So, we continued on in the bus to the next town - Mina Clavero which really had nothing!!!! So, he had lunch walked around and decided to head back. We booked a bus ticket but wouldn’t you know it somehow before our bus arrived, it caught on fire! So we waited about 3 1/2hrs to get on a bus so that was a really good day to the national park!!!! Hahah We took a day trip to Alta Gracia another town nearby and we had quite and interesting day! We went and visited an Estancia - which was a church and a lodging many many years ago. Was quite amazing to see the furniture of those days! Kevin decided that he wanted to feel the bed in one of the rooms and of course and alarm started sounding!!!!! Was quite embarrassing as everybody rushed towards us to tell us not to touch anything! Then when we started walking to catch the bus in the afternoon it started to pour with rain - and I mean pour!!!! We took shelter under a bus shelter type thing and waited for the rain to ease. At this stage we knew that we had missed the bus we wanted and we had 2 hrs to wait for the next. We needed to get to the bus terminal to catch it. So, we waited and waited and waited. But the rain kept on pouring!!! So, when we had just half an hour till the bus we started to walk in the pouring rain!!! But we got to the river that we needed to cross by bridge and the whole thing was under water!!!! SHIT!!! So, it took us a bit of time to get information on how else we could get across to the terminal. We had to go the long way round and at this stage we only had 15mins till the next bus so we were running, running, running!!! As we came to the bottom of a hill a lady was yelling something out to me - I looked behind me and I could see my bag with my passport and all of my money on the ground, further behind me was my camera, and then just bits and pieces spread across the ground!!!! The zips on my bag had opened as we were running down the hill and everything that I had (important things) were spread across the ground!!! I was so lucky that, that lady was standing outside her house in that moment and that she told me! I just can’t believe how close I came to losing everything in one moment! Although my camera is in the shop - it was immersed in water so I’m really not sure if they can fix it - was bad timing because I didn’t have a camera for Mendoza the next place that I visited. I have had several problems with my camera - I think God is trying to tell me to buy a new one! I lost it on News Years Eve as well
Kevin & GonzoKevin & GonzoKevin & Gonzo

At his Birthday!
and then found it 2 weeks later!!!! Now this! Well, it could have been a lot worse! Except I am short a lot of photos because of these instances!!! Well, after Cordoba Kevin and his family went home and I went to Mendoza. The land of Argentine wine! I stayed in a hostel there and had a really good time. A group of us from the hostel went out and hired really doggy, cheap bikes and did a self tour bike ride to the wineries!!! It was a lot of fun. My bike didn’t have gears so I felt like I was riding in 5th gear the whole time! I tasted some really nice wines and the views were amazing! We also visited a chocolate factory which as you can imagine was very very yummy!!!!! They had all kinds of home-made chocolate, and chocolate liquors!!!! And, they let us taste heaps of stuff for free!!!! Mendoza is a really pretty city filled with wide streets and parks. I went out to the base of the Andes for the day. The views are amazing!!!! There is a camping tour you can do out there. I would like to go back one
Chesse or Bananas????Chesse or Bananas????Chesse or Bananas????

The yellow this are some strange cheese - it´s gross it´s sits out at 30degrees all the time - it´s just not right!!! And, of course I thought they were bananas!!!
day to this!!!! The Andes to me look very similar to the mountains in New Zealand except they are much bigger! The scenery is also similar to that of New Zealand with beautiful blue lakes among the mountains - that are a run off of the glaciers!!! All in all it’s a really beautiful place to visit! I went on the canopy there which was great. I went out there with a guy from Holland called Oliver. We meet in the hostel. We were really lucky because it was just us in the group who did the tour so we got to go upside down on the canopy!!!! - Which I actually have some photos of as we bought the CD!!!
I had a bit of an interesting time getting back to Santa Rosa though!!!! I don’t know why but I thought my bus was for 10.15pm. I had just taken a shower and had everything ready to go when Kevin msg my phone to check what time I left. So, I started to read my ticket and was thinking - 20.15 ummmmmmmmmm 20.15 - isn’t that 8pm - oh sh*t, f**k!!!! It was 8.10pm when I was reading this!!!
Gazing at the view!Gazing at the view!Gazing at the view!

On our way to Carlos Paz!!
I went rushing to reception asking them to call me a cab, and if they could ring the bus company! I grabbed my things and don’t know how but managed to get a cab in 1 min!!! I did also manage to get every red light though! I arrived at the bus terminal 5mins late. I arrived at the wrong end of the terminal and had to run from gate 42 to gate 12!!! I arrived and there was a bus there but it wasn’t mine!! But the bus driver read my ticket and pointed to a bus that was across the road at the traffic lights - ‘but I believe that is your bus’ he said. Please please can you stop it please please - I repeated over and over again - panting severely at the same time. They either felt sorry for me or they wanted to get rid of me - because one man went to call on his radio and the other went over to the bus!!! I can’t believe that they stopped it for me!!! It was pretty funny as I got on the bus though - everybody, everybody was staring at me!!!! It was
Kevin´s Parents!!Kevin´s Parents!!Kevin´s Parents!!

Marcelo & Annie when we were down at the river in Carloz Paz, Cordoba.
uncomfortable but I didn’t really care!!! I was on the bus!!!!! So of course now I’m sure I will be completely paranoid about reading the time of my bus!!! Well, I will be back in Buenos Aires in a week. I am searching for work at the moment. I am quite excited to get back there. I’m moving into a different place - a shared apartment so that is exciting. Heaps more space and I’m sharing with only 3 other people not 25!!!! The best part is that it is only 1 block away from where I was!!!!! Well if you have managed to read all the way to the end congratulations!!! I’m sure that I have rambled quite a lot in this blog! The problem of course is that I wait to long between updates!!! Hope you are all well miss you heaps!!! Hugs and Kisses!!!!

Additional photos below
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And again with the teliporting!!!And again with the teliporting!!!
And again with the teliporting!!!

I really have to stop watching Hereos!!!!
Goniung up!!!Goniung up!!!
Goniung up!!!

Kevin and I are going up the chair lift to get a view of Carloz Paz.

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