Salta, Argentina

South America wants me dead!

Ha ha ha now where do I start. Bolivia had done so much to impress, now I get my first taste of Argentina. She is a beautiful place, visually stunning and I don´t just mean the ladies. They don´t eat steak here, they eat whole cows. You don´t get to request how you want your steak cooked because they don´t give a damn and they know best but, I suspect its because the slab of meat you order will be so big that somewhere between the edges and the middle you will get a bit of steak cooked just the way you like it! Firstly, I’m a bit bitter. As I write this, 95% of the group are riding bikes around a little wine town called Cayafate getting absolutely tipsy on local red wine. I´m not a massive fan of wine but I do like biking and drinking. Unfortunately my body has decided to let go a little (to put it politely), so much so that I went to visit the doctor on Tuesday who said that I was perfectly fine. I´ll put this in to perspective, I´ve hardly eaten in the past four days, those of you that know me know that I don´t just ignore food! Anyhow today I´ve decided to rest and do very little other than pop open my emergency antibiotics and pop them like candy as instructed by the sheet of paper. I havn´t felt right since Peru and its beginning to piss me off as I normally travel very well but hopefully the next few days will see me right again as we head towards Chile.

Secondly as you may have read on Facebook and quite possibly the news, Argentinians hate the British. Now I don´t mean hate as in I say I´m from England and they have a laugh or get into a big debate about the Falklands, nooooooooo no no, far worse. They force out an evil smile and then say nothing. I mean nothing. I swear the first time it happened to me if I hadn´t have been in a taxi full of people than the driver would have beaten me to death. So unfortunately I´m claiming to be Australian although as pointed out by my brother in law, why not kiwi? So I’ll alternate for a change. I hate denouncing my nationality, but seriously they don´t like us. Then again maybe it´s just me! The impression I have so far of the place is that they don´t really like anyone! Just off the top of my head I think the best way to sum them up is that they are the France of South America. It´s an awesome place, the food is awesome, individually most of the time the people are nice but as a nation……..!

Other then a few wine tours and regular visits to the toilets we had chance to go zip lining. We did a total of nine zip lines. The highest was 120m above the valley and the longest was 500m. It was fantastic fun and wierdly wasn´t the least bit scary. I think it was because when you start moving your feet are on the ground and before you know it you are flying through the air and heading towards a rock at the other end and so you are continually looking at the guy for the instruction to slow down, hoping that he hasn’t read your nationality from the ‘sign your life away’ form. Incidentally you slow down by grabbing the steel zip line, you wear thick leather gloves but it takes some getting use to. The afternoon was bloody good fun though and another thing I can tick off the list. We head into Chile next week where we will be climbing an active volcano and I think hike and ice climb a glacier which should be awesome. We will be crossing to and from Chile and Argentina over the next few weeks until we get to Ushuaia at the bottom of the continent in a few weeks. Bring on Chile and let loose my Englishness once again. Oh, forgot to mention the pool the size of Wales. It was a swimming pool, not the size of Wales but it was bloody huge and rammed with people the day we arrived which made setting up camp a bit difficult however, we had the pool to ourselves in the morning. Setting up camp by the side of a public swimming pool is certainly one of the stranger places I’ve camped.

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