Monday, November 27, 2006

un pequeño descanso

hello there.
i wish i could write that with my time off something exciting has happened such as: living in jungle with my very own tarzan, meeting an argentinian prince that is a polo champion, being kidnapped by guerillas or even helping orphaned children; but alas no i've merely been a little too lazy to write! sorry. so here is what i've done since i left Potosi....
Ursula and i met again in southern Bolivia, hired some horses and followed in the final footsteps of Butch cassidy and the sundance kid. We had a great time but in retrospect in probably wasn't our best idea to tell our guide that we had loads of experience horse back riding and that we wanted super 'buenos' horses! we both wore the skin from our inner legs and mine were even bruised. The following days' bus journey to Mendoza, Argentina (36 hours of travelling in one go!) was therefore rather more uncomfortable than it could have been.
Argentina is a world away from Bolivia- its almost european, tree lined city streets, pavement cafes, chic clothes shops, real coffee, beautiful people.... on arriving one of the other guests in the hostel pointed out that it was easy to tell we were no longer in Bolivia for some of the above reasons and that all the people seemed to now have teeth! (this wouldn't have been so funny if it wasn't true). Mendoza is the wine capital of Argentina with many vineyards just outside the city limits. Ursula and I hired bicycles and set off on a tour of those nearest- the wine was tasty and the tours interesting but i have to say we only made it to half of those on our list because of our tardy riding (and excessive wine guzzling).
The next day we headed for the thermal baths a couple hours from mendoza toward chile in the mountains- the water (oddly) was cold but the sun was hot hot hot and consequently we both looked like lobsters on retuning to the hostel that evening. I burnt my chest so, that i was unable to wear a bra for the following week (oops- lesson learnt, use sunscreen a little earlier in the day)
Here in Argentina, there is much more of a mixture of nationalities: saturday night Ursula went disco dancing with the isrealis in our hostel, sunday Ursula left for the airport and her long journey home and i moved into to a room with 3 austrailians, monday i walked around a beautiful lake with an irish and an american, monday night i went out with some spanish to celebrate the birthday of a french man, monday i had a date with said french man and tuesday i left Mendoza for the small town of Malague and found that I was the only English speaker in the little hostel.
The last week i've spent here in Malague and, more or less its been a good week for my spanish, (as thats what i've had to talk all week) and has confirmed that all spanish people seem to be lovely and lots and lots of fun. I've been on a couple of excursions to some strange places, a huge salty lake filled with flamingoes, rivers seemingly appearing from nowhere- bubbling up through the ground, huge black and red mountains with no vegetation but tiny tufts of bright yellow grass, a park containing 800 volcanoes and i've also learnt that almost every other nationality knows the words to their own national anthem. I know only the name of ours- am i alone here and was i the only English to miss that class at school?


Blogger Declan Coyle said...

Kate, I'm a little jealous reading about your onward adventures. Wish I was back there now, if not for the travelling, but to see you go braless for 3 days.. Stay safe.

9:31 PM  
Anonymous T'Ann said...

You were the only one to miss that lesson, Katie .... I don't believe that you seriously don't know the words to even one verse !!

3:16 PM  

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