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Published: December 2nd 2007
Vogue, a la girls on tour!
Hola Amigos and greetings from a sunny and funny South America!
´Siento haber tardado tanto en escribir´. (For those non bilingual friends of ours - ´we are sorry it has taken us so long to write´) Even if the sightseeing has been put on hold for a bit, at least we are learning something, right???
We landed in Santiago,Chile on the 30th October and are becoming increasingly sad that our trip of a lifetime is drawing to a close...only 3 weeks left! This really is the Final Frontier.
After our long flight from New Zealand, we checked into a fab hostel called Andes, dropped the bags and went straight out for dinner. A lovely local restaurant was recommended to us and, knowing us, the flashpackers that we are, we made a beeline to it. Unfortunately the only menu that they had was in Spanish... doh...thank god though, our waiter kindly explained everything to us in English. We think he may have been slightly out of breath afterwards! A delicious combination of local dishes and a few glasses of vino later and we headed straight for our beds. The following day was not so productive due to serious
Welcome to the land of The Pisco Sour!! Sore heads!!
jetlag, but, looking out our window at the people on the streets all dressed up we knew that there was fun guaranteed. It was "Halloween Night" after all! After donning our heels and putting on the slap we hit the town. Dinner was disappointing but what lay ahead more than made up for it! We found what looked like a little random bar and little did we know then but we ended up Salsa dancing the night away with the locals to a live band and finishing up in a gay bar until the wee hours of the morning!
Unfortunatley there wasn´t much to see in Santiago so the following day, carrying our sore heads, we packed up and headed for a lovely little spot North of Santiago called Valpariso. We booked accommodation en-route, just to make it easier on ourselves when we got there. How wrong we were! We have stayed in some rough places over the past few months but seriously, you wouldn´t have let your pet rat stay here for the fear it would catch something! Thank god they didnt bother answering the door to us, but from the entrance we had seen enough! You have
Laura practicing her Spanish with a loada locals... fluent at 6am in the morning!
never seen 3 hungover Irish girls with backpacks that weighed approx 50 stone run so fast! (Ok, that may be a slight exhaggeration!) So, off we went again on our merry way hunting for somewhere to rest our weary bones. We werent long outside before we hailed a taxi, luck was with us. Our taxi driver George didn´t fail us, after a few sort conversations with his wife on his mobile in english (cause he literally didn´t have a word) we landed outside a little B&B up in the most secnic part of the city. It was just stunning, all hilly and cobblestoned streets. Chilean people so far had been really nice and this little B&B wasn´t going to let the side down. We were shown to our room and soon after we were called into the dining room for an "orientation". Our "orientation" turned into a classroom lesson! Yes, this host should have been a teacher, he definatley got the wrong calling. A map of Valpariso was put in front of us, along with a pink highlighter to indicate streets, a green highlighter to indicate points of interest, and a trusty black pen to indicate our route! Street by
Yep... there´s the ring again!
street we were given a history lesson and directions to the best walking tours of the city, the restaurants we should go to, where we should stop for coffee... at least an hour later we scarpered back to our rooms in fits of giggles. Some of his stories of the area were hillarious, especially the one about the "Happy Hill"... lets just say it involved a combination of women of the night and a certain part of the male anatomy!!! A few early nights, lovely beaches, hilly walking tours, a day trip to Vina Del Mar and cosy dinners in quirky little restaurants later and we were off to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Ahh!!! Buenos Aires, what can we say.... the place was craaaaaaazy! We checked into a Hostel that had been recommended to us called Millhouse. After our time there we can safely say that it should be renamed Mad House, it was just mental, we think that half of Ireland had emigrated to this place. We stayed in Mad House from Sunday to Friday and by God we are glad to say that we survived. Don´t worry we still managed to see some of the huge city.... albeit
Vina del Mar, Chile
Our first photo of the Final Frontier! A really cool looking building but not a clue what it is! How bad?
sight seeing by night in the back of taxi! (Maybe even a little worse for wear!!!!) Only joking, we did some day trips too! We went on a hostel organised walking tour to Recoletta, the most exclusive neighbourhood in BA, where we saw Eva Peron´s grave, the pink house ´don´t cry for me Argentina´and lots of beautiful architecture and museums. We also went to a soccer match at the River Plate stadium, River Plave v Inter, that was an experience! Lets just say that we are glad that the seats in Croker are firmly tied down! One night, just to do something different, we signed oursleves up for a Tango lesson and show... it was fantastic, what a performance!! Fi had no choice but to show us what she was made of, after she was taken up to dance by one of the performers. Shopping got a look in too, we couldn´t help it... everything was so cheap! After our mad 5 days in B.A we were happy to move on and get back into sightseeing mode and so flew to Iguazu Falls.
Our two day tour of Iguazu consisted of a day viewing the Falls from the Argentinan
Asscenscor, the old skool type esculators that bring you up the hills in the village! We are thinking one on the Old and Captains Hills are calling!
side and then a half day viewing it from the Brazilian side. Both sides were spectactular but as 80% of the falls are actually situated on the Argentian side, you get the best panoramic view of them from the Brazillian side. If anybody is coming in this direction in the near future we most definatley recommend a visit to Iguazu, the pictures say it all! Leaving Igauzu we travelled by´Super Cama´ bus back to B.A in order to catch our flight to Cordoba. Lets just say that CIE have a lot to learn, this overnight bus trip was brilliant, it was like flying first class! Reclining seats, waiter service, a 2 course dinner, breakfast, plasma screens, champange, whiskey etc... what more could a flashpacker ask for?
Destination Cordoba was were we have spent the hightlight of South America so far, this place was out of this world! Los Potreros was top notch there was nothing else we could have possibly asked for in an Estancia. Our days consisted of: 8.30am full breakfast (anything you want!!), a 3 hour morning ride out to the nearby mountains, back for lunch and vino at 1.30pm followed by a little ´siesta´ in one
Laura has her eyes on a new Motor, and what a beautiful one it is!
of the hammocks that lived just outside our bedroom doors. Afternoon tea was served at approx 4pm after which we headed back out for another 1.5 hours of horse riding. Each evening we finished off the day with drinks and canopes at 7.30 followed by dinner a 8.00pm. One of the best days there was spent learning and playing Polo - this was the business and we took to it ´like ducks to water´ hehehe. We were also treated to an afternoon eyeing up the gauchos while they demonstated their skills in cattle lasooing, herding, branding and several speedy gonzales gaucho games on horseback... not to be outdone of course, we challenged them to a contest with us girlies! Obviously we kicked some Gaucho ass and enjoyed it too!!! hehe! We were definatley sad to go and would have stayed if we didn´t have catch a flight the next day to see our good friend Freddy in Venezuela.
Venezuela...what can we say.... we where spoiled rotten! We are so grateful to Freddy, his sisters Maria and Therese, their Parents, their friends and of course little Ponchito!. We had the most fun-filled relaxing 2 weeks ever, it was so good
Fi showing off the beautiful cobblelocked streets of Conception Hill...what a fab little place!
to be back in a homely environment. We saw everything that there was to see in Venezuela, everything from the capital (Caracas), Barquisimeto (where Freddy lives), Coro, Tucacas, Dessert plains, tropical beaches (where we ate oysters, lobsters, prawns and lots of other fresh fish caught that day) never mind the best of what the night life had to offer us! Linno even tasted a little bit of gambling one of the nights in a Casino in Tucacas...with someone else´s dinero of course! (I owe you!)
Well folks, if that doesnt satisfy your hunger for info and photos from our trip we dont know what will! Next destination is Cuzco Peru where we will be trekking for 4 days up the Inca Trail followed by a brief visit to Bolivia before heading to Rio de Jainero for a fun filled 10 days of sun shopping and pruning before we return to the old country for some much needed catching up with you all! Only 3 weeks left guys, can you believe it!?
Hope you are all keeping well, keep up the comments on the blog, the are great!
See you soon folks, we cant wait to see you all!
Our attempt at an arty photo! Hmmmm
xxx Girls on Tour xxx
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