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Madge's Travel Page

Welcome to Madge's Travel Page. Here is where I will be keeping a record of my travels for all of you to read. Please feel free to leave a comment for me. If I have time in between discovering new places and meeting new people I will reply to them!

Diary Entries

Saturday, 17 February 2007

Location: Argentina

G´day all,

Well I left Ushuaia about a week ago and headed to Buenos Aires. BA is a beautiful city, very large with gorgeous old European looking buildings. Although it is a rather large city the centre can be walked around on foot and it is also a relatively safe city too. My flight out of Ushuaia was delayed (most inconvenient) so I didn´t arrive in BA until late that night. Next day I pretty much had a look around the city centre and well, had a shop. Argentina is known for its beautiful leather goods so handbags and shoes were the theme of the day.

Next day I took a tour of the city but on a bicycle. The tour took us through the more affluent areas of BA known as Recoletta and La Polema (I think spelling is wrong). Recoletta is beautiful - even its cemetary is gorgeous. It looks like a miniture European city. The cemetary hosts Evita Perron´s grave also.

After this I headed to Mendoza. This is Argentina´s chief wine area but is also the city closest to South America´s highest peak Aconcagua. Needless to say I arranged myself a 3 day trek in the Aconcagua region. Trekking with me were an Italian lady and 3 spanish guys plus our guide. Conversations within our group required some amount of sign language due to my very basic spanish but alot of fun was had by all.

After returning from Aconcagua for the loveliest shower next day I flew back to BA and onto Iguazu. That brings me to today. Iguazu falls are spectacular. Not the largest falls in the world but I believe they may be the most falls in one place. You will see kind of what I mean from the pics I guess. Other than the falls we also saw some very cute little racoons today.

Tomorrow I am back to BA and from there I am thinking about a little beach time in Uraguay which is pretty close to BA. Very much looking forward to coming home only one more week to go!
Cheers for now M xx

Tuesday, 06 February 2007

Location: Antarctica

WOW WOW and WOW Antarctica is amazing and everyone must go there at least once in their lives. Now before I crap on too much a big congrats to Janine and Matt on their engagement.

OK so where do I start? Well we got some very lucky good weather. The Drake´s passage was actually the Drake lake. I think on the scale of 1 to 10 being good to terrible we managed a 3 on the way down to Antarctica. Basically the crossing took 2 days and we saw the odd sea bird or possible whale whilst crossing the drake but nothing that could really be confirmed. However at the end of day 2 we had our first landing in the South Shetland Islands and oh my god I never expected anything like this.

As we approach land there is this aweful smell. This was guarno which is penguin poo. It stinks. But we soon forgot all about that. We landed only to be welcomed by hundreds of penguins - babies and adults. They are the most beautiful creatures. The babies have no fear of humans so if you sit down for a while they come and sit on you. We didn´t only see penguins on this landing however we also saw fur seals and elephant seals plus skurs. Again you get close to these creatures - to within about 5m of them. If my trip south had ended here I would have received more than I could have ever imagined and would have left very happy.

Next day we had another landing in fact we made about 3 landings per day, this time on the way to the landing we managed to convince our zodiac driver to follow the humpback whale in the bay. He did and we got very close to it and lucky for me I must have clicked my camera at just the right time and I got a lucky shot. After that we made the landing to again be surrounded by penguins which I could watch all day. They are the most amazing creatures - just gorgeous.

Next day we started with a zodiac cruise through an iceberg filled bay. The bergs were awesome - some of them larger than our ship. We also saw black ice which occurs basically when there is no air trapped inside the berg and means the ice is completely clear. Ice that has air trapped in it generally appears whiter in appearance. The less air trapped the deeper the blue of the berg when the light hits it generally. Later that day we cruised into Deception Island which is an active volcano. It hasn´t blown its stack for many years but it was very cool sailing into the caldera of a volcano. We went for a walk into the last area where any activity had occurred also.

Later that day we had another landing to climb a peak called Spiggots peak. An amazing walk through 100s of nesting penguins. Unfortunately the weather turned on us so we didn´t make it all the way to the top but we did experience glacier travel and had to all rope up together which was great fun. This was our first landing on true Antarctica the continent. Very exciting.

The next day I have to say was a major highlight. A few of us managed to do a cross country ski on the continent. We skied an area that is unlikely to have been skied before and the feeling of being in true wilderness was quite fantastic. It was a long day and needless to say I was very tired afterwards.

After this we crossed the Lemaire Channel which is arguably one of the most scenic parts of Antarctica and landed at Peterman island. Again more penguins and other birds plus a research station. Later that day we landed at another working research station called Vernadsky. This was a Ukranian station and they kindly gave us a tour. Which we finished with a tour of their bar and all enjoyed shots of vodka. After this we returned to the ship to complete the polar plunge. Yes for some crazy reason the ship encouraged most of us to take a dip in antarctic waters and yes I did it too. You don´t get in for long - I think the water temp is about 1.5 degrees. I don´t have any pics of me doing it but I do have a certificate to prove my stupidity. I think the tour company will send me a pic hopefully. Finally this day ended with yet another cross country ski to an amazing sunset only to camp on the island. Needless to say I was pretty exhausted.

The next day was our last in Antarctica and so we capped it all off with an ice climb. Still pretty tired from the day before we only climbed for an hour or so but still it was fantastic and something completely different. After this we started to head north again to cross the Drake for the next 2 days.

Again we were completely fortunate and received a fairly calm drake. Maybe this time it was slightly rougher but on the scale probably a 4.

All in all this has been the absolute highlight of my trip to date. It will be very hard to top this. The staff and other passengers were fantastic and many new friends were made. The food was fabulous and the ship was warm and small enough that it could manouver into small bays which larger ships can not do. If you have ever thought about going to Antarctica get saving and just do it. If you haven´t ever thought about going there get saving and just do it.

Off to Buenos Aires tomorrow - looking forward to some warmer weather. Take care Cheers M xx

Friday, 26 January 2007

Location: Chalten and Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina

Hola All

Firstly HAPPY BIRTHDAY JANINE - wish I could be there for the festivities but if I can´t be there in person I´ll be there in spirit - have an awesome one.

Happy Australia Day to everyone also.

Am currently in Ushuaia which is at the bottom of South America and they call it Fin Del Mundo or end of the earth. Frankly I agree Ushuaia the town is a bit ordinary and is the end of the earth. But it is a gate way to many beautiful places such as Tierra Del Fuego and of course Antarctica. Later today I get onto the boat to head there which is quite exciting but I hope the weather and seas are calm. I have heard many disturbing stories of sea sickness and considering I couldn´t keep last night´s king crab down I don´t really feel like more throwing up. Don´t worry though I feel much better today.

So for the last week we were firstly in a place called Chalten which is the climbers´mecca of South America I believe. Chalten was a gorgeous little town which surprisingly had fabulous cuisine. It now rates as the town with South America´s best food. Day one in Chalten and we went for a small 22km hike. Man I was pretty shattered after that one as it included a side trip up a rather large hill to get a better view of the beautiful Cerro Fitzroy. All worth it though.

Not to be outdone I decided to climb another large hill the next day called Diablo. This one however made the day before seem somewhat smaller. Wow what a grind after 3 hours Jerry (the guide) and I finally reached the top. At this point I was very glad that the next day we had a rest day as we were leaving Chalten to catch the plane down to Ushuaia.

Flying into Ushuaia is beautiful. The town is completely surrounded by peaks and the sea. I was quite excited that I was going to enter into another Bariloche or something equally gorgeous but driving into town, well lets just say the town is much prettier from the sky. We had one evening in Ush and the next day set off for Tierra Del Fuego.

This time our camping group was a little bigger and consisted of me, Pearl, Merle, Elana, Tom, Denise, Jerry and Ricardo. Day one we walked up one valley and camped at the end of it. Nice and fairly gentle walking. After the prior few days I was now feeling pretty strong too which was great. Day two we headed up a hill of shale. We couldn´t go all the way to the top as the weather was a bit nasty - very windy. But we still had a great day. Day 3 we moved camps and crossed over to the next valley which had a couple of beautiful glacial lakes and was a really pretty place to camp. Finally day 4 we attempted a climb to see the glacier but again the weather prevented us and we were only about another 100m til we reached it too. But never mind better than having an epic. After this we had to hike back out in order to reach our lift back to Ush.

During all this camping trip poor Ricardo´s boots were not in good shape - the soles had come off. Jerry had brought some new boots for him from Australia but unfortunately they were the wrong size so he started trekking in his broken shoes. At least Denise had some old sneakers which were to be thrown out anyway so we gave those to Ricardo but he had to cut the toe out of the shoe as they were slightly small. Better than nothing anyway.

All in all a great time was had by all. My Patagonia tour is now over but the next adventure begins later today. 12 days of Antarctica and Beagle Channel - can´t wait it should be amazing but please cross your fingers for me for nice weather particularly for the southern ocean crossings!

Take care all and cheers for now
M xx

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Location: Chile

Hello all,

Well the last week has been spent on the Chilean side of Patagonia in Puerta Natales and the Torres Del Paine National Park. From Puerta Natales we caught a boat up the river to an amazing glacier which for the life of me I can´t remember the name. It was a pretty rainy and windy day so the weather wasn´t so great but the glacier was pretty amazing. We even got a zodiac boat to within 20 metres of the glacier which was awesome.

The next day we left for the Torres Del Paine National Park for a 5 day camping trekking trip. Day one and I awake to nausea and god awful diarrea the weather was ok but I was feeling pretty crappy. Lucky for me we only had to walk about 10km that day and it was fairly easy walking.

Day 2 and the weather turned a bit nasty - rain and strong winds. We didn´t have to go far and at least I was feeling much better with the nausea gone, diarrea was still a problem but a managable one. We did however have to do a river crossing this day. Generally river crossings I have done in the past mean you jump from rock to rock and only if you lose your balance will your boots maybe get wet. Well we all learnt something that day. The river was a glacier river ie about 1 degree celcius, it was about 1 metre deep (basically the water came up to my butt) and it was fast flowing. Anyway standing in the exposed weather it was decided to cross the river so we did. There is a special technique used to do this called the New Zealand method. Basically all parties link arms holding onto a big stick and cross together with the strongest person taking the brunt of the current. Well I am still here so it works. The bummer side is that you end up with completely wet boots and pants and it is cold and raining so not the most lovely experience. Anyway we got to our camp, lit a fire and eventually dried off. The part of the park we were in was true wilderness we did not see another person and there were no trails - bushwacking all the way.

Next day we bushwacked some more to a place called condor ledge where we saw many condors and also got a great view of the grey glacier and lake along with part of the back side of Paine Grande. Fabulous view and a great hike.

Day 4 we headed back to camp #1 ie we crossed the river again. All that drying boots only to get wet again. At least this time the weather was sunny and warm. We got back to camp dumped out stuff and went on another little hike. This time to see a fossil of what they believe is a dolphin of some sort. The fossil must be a million years old or something and was pretty cool. After that we walked back through some canyons which looked something more like they should belong in NT Australia. Fascinating landscape Patagonia. We got back to camp, had dinner and then watched probably the most amazing sunset I have ever seen. The sky was dark grey but sunlight was shining on the mountain. Sunset occurred at about 11pm I think. All in all a fine ending to a great trek/camping trip. We walked out the next day and returned to Puerta Natales.

Today we left PN and arrived back into Argentina to El Calafate. Tomorrow we go to see the Moreno glacier - should be great.

M xx

Tuesday, 09 January 2007

Location: Argentina

G´day all,

Well I started the tour this week. From Buenos Aires we flew to a place called Bariloche. Wow what a gorgeous town - I want to come back to ski here - Ladies I think we may need to put it on the agenda??? It looks just like a little Swiss ski village - Surrounded by a lovely lake and beautiful mountains. The day we arrived we just had a walk around town and chilled out. The next day we headed off on a day hike to climb up Cerro Lopez (I think that is its name).

Wow what an amazing day we got too. Not a breath of wind and sun, sun, sun. Absolutely picture postcard perfect. I will let the photos tell the story of how pretty it was. Basically the hike was a big climb - there were no flat sections and the only down occurred on the way down. Most of the group hiked up to a hut about 3/4 of the way up to the top but the young guide and I went all the way to the top. I think overall we climbed over 1000m in height in the distance of about 8km so it was relatively steep - but most particularly at the top section. We had to walk/climb over both rock and snow. There were a couple of times where I thought I am not sure how we will get down but there were no problems and it was a fantastic hike.

Next day we left Bariloche to do a day´s worth of lake crossings. We crossed 3 lakes, caught 4 buses so it was a long travel day. The lakes were beautiful and ended with a fabulous view of an amazing volcano that is perfectly shaped. We also crossed the border into Chile.

Today we caught a flight to Puerta Natales and we are now at 51 degrees latitude or longitude - whichever one means degrees south of the equator. It is pretty south so it is cold - I have pulled out the down jacket - glad I lugged it all this way now. Looking forward to tomorrow - we do another cruise I think to see some glaciers this time - should be awesome. After that we start a 4 day trek through Torres Del Paine National Park. Will update again soon.

Love to all
M x


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Recent Messages

From Shifty (Jane)
Hey Madge,
Not sure I can do 1st March as have another dinner on that I have already cancelled once! In any regard we will find some time - what about Wed 28th March or over the weekend (Bronny is keen for a surf on Sunday 4th). Anyway will give you a call on Tuesday when you are back home!! Have a safe flight home :-))
Jane xx
Response: Surf on Sunday sounds great but I think Bill and I will be away with PK that weekend. Went for a cool surf in Pinamar Argentina today and hopefully will go again tomorrow. No worries about March 1st - I might be able to do Feb 28th - just need to work out if I am heading up to mums that day but will chat when I get home. Can´t wait to catch up with you all. Until then take care M xx
From Jye Sutton
Yellow!

You're trip is amazing! i hope im going to have that much fun!

I arrive in Uraguay next friday the 2nd of March... does this mean we will miss each other by a few days! DAM! If you're going to be there let me know and we can catch up as i will only be beginning my trip!!! let me know all they you find helpful to know about Uraguay coz i'll be arriving there all along on my big trip by myself. :-)

See ya!

Jye
Response: G´day Jye
Yeah unfortunately we will miss one another as I leave South America on Feb 25th. In the end I didn´t go to Uraguay but instead spent a bit more time in BA and am now in Pinamar in Argentina so don´t have any tips on Uraguay. Mate you will love it though the whole of Sth America is amazing and beautiful and the people are fab. Have an awesome time. Will you have a blog or anything on which to see your pics and hear your stories etc? Bummer we didn´t get to catch up but enjoy and travel safe. Catch you later Madge
From Jane (Shifty)
Hey Madge, your description of Antartica sounds incredible. I have started saving!!! When are you back - it must be close now....can't wait to catch up!
Talk soon
Jane xx
Response: G´day mate - I am back on Feb 27th so hope you, Ness, Janine and Lou might be free Thursday March 1st evening for girlie catch up. Can´t wait to get home and see everyone. Hope all is well and see you soon. M xx
From Lou
OH MY GOD Madge - Antartica looked amazing. What an incredible journey ! Can't wait to hear all about it.
Well, as you have heard, wedding bells are in the air still with Janine and Matt. Very exciting. Life plodding along. I am off to Koh Samui in a couple of weeks for 10 days. Biggest action for me will be deciding what cocktail to order. Need a holiday though. Take care and chat soon. xx
Response: G´day how are you? When do you leave for KS? Hope we can catch up before you head off. I will be home on Feb 27th. Are you guys all free Thursday 1st March evening? It is time for some girlie catch up time and a bon voyage for you. Hope to see you and other ladies very soon but if not have an amazing time in KS. Mxx
From Margarita
Madge - These photos are incredible! I wish I had a handful half as good from Mendoza . . . Speaking of which, meeting you at Hostel Independencia was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the trip. Feel like I've found an Australian older sister. Can't wait to hear (or read) all about your Mendozan hike, Iguazu, etc. Missing you in Buenos Aires,
Margarita
Response: Hello there. I will be back in BA tomorrow if you want to catch up. I will give you a call when I get there. Cheers for now M.
From Nadia
Hi Margie,
happy valentines day. Hope its not too lonely without my bro'!
When are you back at home?
Your pics look amazing, i'll have to start saving!
love
Nadia
Response: Hello how are you and Trevor? Yes valentines was a bit lonely without Bill. I can´t wait to get home to see him, Bullseye and everyone else. I should be home on Feb 27th.
Hope you guys had a nice valentines day and that the weather is starting to improve over there. When do you think you will come to Australia? We would love to see you guys there.
Went to Iguazu falls today which was pretty amazing. Got very wet though! Hope all is well at your end and speak to you soon. M xx
From Vic
hi marg,

in one of my subjects in school in on Antarctica. nan told mum who told me that you had some good photos so i am having a look. your trip MUST be good if you are taking so many photos.
from Vic
Response: Hello Tor,
Yes I have loads of photos and some short films which I will have to show you when I get back. It is a truely amazing place. The penguins are the best they are so beautiful and they walk funny. The babies chase their mother or father around for food all the time.
So how is Queensland and your new school? Are you enjoying it? What is the new place like? I tried to see if I could fly home a little earlier today but could not so I think I might have to go to the Galapogos Islands which is like a tropical wildlife sanctuary. At the moment I am in Buenos Aires but leave on Saturday for Mendoza which is the wine region of Argentina and back close to the mountains again. Hope all is well. Leave me another message if you get the chance. Love M xx
From William
Hi Marg,

See you at Wednesday 7th february at 8pm in the Portal del Sur hostal, Hipolito Irigoyen 855, Buenos Aires? Then we can take a dinner together before I"ll go to Colombia. William
Response: Willem - Sorry I did not make it to catch up with you in BA. My flight out of Ushuaia was delayed and so I only arrived around middnight on 7th Feb. Hope you have an awesome time in Columbia. It was cool to meet you and if you eveer come to Oz let me know and you are welcome to come stay with Bill and I. Cheers Marg. Excellent you legend - will see you there. Is there a space for me to stay there? Look forward to catching up with you tomorrow night. Cheers Marg x
From Matt O'Connor
G'Day Madge & Billy,

Trip sounds as though it is kicking arse. Just a quick one...what is your postal address? We would like to send yo uan invite to our Oz reception on 14/7/07 at North Steyne Surf Club.

Stay warm, he he he.

catchya

Matt
x
Response: G´day
Have just returned from Antarctica which was amazing. The most phenominal place I have ever seen. Address is 36 Tebbutt St Leichhardt NSW 2040. Hope all is well at your end and say g´day to Coz. Madge xx
From Janine
Hey Madgey

Thanks so much for the birthday wishes... I feel very honoured to be mentioned in your diary!

Had a really great time but you were sorely missed. Will have to have a birthday / engagement drink on your return. Was great to see the gang and no surprises that Bill and Harro closed the party (again!). and I absolutely LOVED the gift! Thank you.

Oh... and we'll have to extend those drinks when you're back .... in my quest not to be left up on the shelf at 40, am also sporting a lovely ring on my left finger!

Speak soon and travel safe, Madgey. Loving the updates - but just making my feet itchier!

Take care
Neen
Response: Hey congratulations that is awesome news. I am so happy for you both. Absolutely a huge celebration is in order. Glad you had a great birthday - I was thinking of you all and wished I could have been there. Just got off the boat from Antarctica today - I am completely gobsmacked. It was absolutely amazing. I want a penguin they are so goregous. Will post some pics today. Hope all is well at home and say hello to Matt. M xx
From Jane Schaeffer
Hey Madge,

Wonderful to read about your latest adventures. My fingers are crossed for a peacful crossing to Antartica! I can imaging rough seas would not be that much fun...but probably worth it when you arrive there! Great to chat to you on Oz day - we were on the boat so lots of fun / big day had by all. Was also good to catch up with Billy to hear all about the first part of your trip and Ness & I finally extracted the engagement proposal story! Have just organised with Bill and friends to book on the Kayak course (beginners) on 25th Feb - so will be all ready for a kayak when you return! Am also doing another tri on Feb 11th but this time a shorter distance one. Other news - did you hear that Brian and Michelle had a baby boy a week ago - Joshua. They both sound very excited. Well take lots of photos for me - needless to say I am sure you will - so exciting that you are probably right now in Antartica!!
Stay safe and look forward to a surf at Freshie when you return (I am not as motivated to surf without you!!) Take Care. Lots of love Jane xx
Response: G´day Shifty
Wow that is cool about Brian and Michelle - please send my best wishes to them. Also cool that you are doing the kayak course - if I am home by then I might come and join you.
Antarctica was truly amazing and I think you should put it down as your next holiday destination mate. We went cross country skiing and ice climbing there - can you believe it!! The penguins are absolutely gorgeous too - I wanted to bring one home. Will post some pics later today.
Good luck with the tri and speak to you soon. M xx
From Coz
Hey Madge
Great reading up on your adventures, and absolutely LOVE the photos! You've either got an amazing talent, a really bling camera, or both! Do you do weddings?! Glad to hear you're having an awesome time, and hope to catch up soon. Will we see you in Oz late Feb?
Coz x
Response: G´day Coz,
Glad you like the pics - my camera is alright but really it is the scenary that is amazing - I think any camera would get at least a nice picture. Also glad you guys will be in Oz in late Feb - would love to catch up. Am off to Antarctica today so pretty excited. Hope all the plans for your wedding are coming along - I may need to get a few tips from you too. Anyway until late Feb take care and say hello to Matt for me. Love to you both. Madge x
From Mum
Hi Love, Am back from Melb. had a great time Beth and Jenny send their love and congratulations, 1/4 finals on now Roddick/Federer .Hingis/Clisters on now so will let you know in the morning. Bill is fine expecting you to call today 24/1/07 Irene is up with me as Ruth gone back to England, we are having an Aust.party with the dog ladies and neighbours. Ian and Dave are sick but hopefully getting better numonia(cant spell it need dad) or something along those lines, they are settled in to their rented digs and hopefully get the net and can contact you before you go Antartic. Love you and take care Mum, Greg and Cassiexxxx
Response: Hi mum
All is well and am excited about Antarctica later today. Glad you had a good time at the tennis - I was thinking of you enjoying yourself. Gee I hope Dave and Ian get better soon and I look forward to hearing about their new place. Will update site again after Antarctica so about 2 weeks from now. Take care Love Marg x
From Ange McDonald
Hey Madge
Sounds like you are having an awesome time! Reading your diary makes us feel like we are there with you - it all looks so beautiful!
The weather and surf has improved here in Sydney - I am sure you are looking forward to a surf at Freshie! Dazza has been getting a few in!
Take care
Ange
Response: G´day Ange
You read my mind - I can´t wait to get home to have a surf at Freshie. Although I am still having an awesome time here I do long for my mates and the warm weather and surg of home. Hope all is well at your end
M xx
From Barbara
Dear Madge, the godmother has just found out re the engagement. I am so excited for you and Bill. Congratulations love the godmother xxx :-)
Response: Thanks Barb it is very exciting. Are you in Melbourne for the tennis now or about to head there?

Am currently in a place called El Calafate and saw the most fabulous glacier today called Moreno Glacier. Will post photos v soon. Hope all is well back at home and say g´day to everyone for me.

Madge x
From Tace
Hi Margie,

Gosh i have just read your latest update and your having a fab time! I'm so happy for you and Bill and i can't wait to hear all your stories and of course wedding preparations!!! When i was in South africa i checked out a few honey moon suites at the game parks i went to and i think you'll be very happy!!!
Everything is the same here at work - we all miss you!
Take care xxx
Response: G´day Tace

How was SA? I will look forward to seeing your pics when I get back. Am in a place called El Calafate now and tomorrow we go to see a glacier called Moreno Glacier I think. After that we do some more day walks and hopefully a couple of climbs but all will be weather dependant. No doubt work is getting busy for you guys now - I hope it is not too crazy but have to admit I haven´t thought about it really. Too much to see and do over here. I do miss home though and would love to go to the beach for a surf in warm water. The water in Chile is exactly as the country is named.
Well don´t work too hard and take care.
Cheers Margie x
From Sue
Hi Margie & Bill
Congrats on your engagement and so pleased youre having a great holiday - but looking forward to you coming back so i have someone fun to surf with!!
xxxx
Response: G´day Sue

How goes? When are you coming over here? You would absolutely love it. The mountains are amazing and would blow your mind. Just finished a 5 day camping trip in the Torres Del Paine national park. Wow so beautiful. Am off to see another glacier tomorrow and hopefully to climb some peaks later in the week. Nothing serious but hopefully all have awesome views. Hope all is well at home and I look forward to a surf in warm water when I get home. xx
From Bill
Gidday Hon,

When are you comming home? The house is to big for me alone... Hope you enjoy Torres DP, there's suppose to be awesome rock climbing & moutaneering about. I'm sure it will keep you busy. I had a good surf at D/Y last weekend, you gotta love 'stralian water mate.

Love,
B.
Response: Hello my lovely,

Am missing you loads but having a great time. Got taken out for lunch today by some of the other folks on the tour - very nice. Currently in a town called El Calafate. Off to see the Moreno Glacier tomorrow. Wish you were here. By the way how is your mum? M xxx
From Jye Sutton
HOLA!

Como estas?

It's Jye from Spanish Class! Sounds like you are having an awesome time! Half of the original class is currently doing the intensive summer classes! Its full on! 4 nights a week, with homework every night!!! I leave for South America (Uruguay) in 7wks and reading your page is making me more excited to go!!!

How are you finding the language?

Glad you are having an Awesome time!

See ya!

Jye
Response: G´day Jye
Bloody hell you guys will speak much better spanish than me. South America is awesome hurry up you will love it. Down in Patagonia region now and most places speak english so the spanish is not so important. Say g´day to everyone for me and I hope you have lots of time to travel around - it is a big place with loads to see and the people are fabulous. Take care Margie
From Bullseye
Ribba Roo Mum
Congratulations to you & Bill, im very happy for you both!!, Hope your having a great time, im well & having heaps of fun, even had a bath on my birthday on the 7th!, Miss you both heaps,
Take Care,
Love, Bullseye
Response: Boo

Thank you for your message it was lovely to hear from you. Very happy birthday to you but sorry you had to have a bath but I bet you smell lovely now. I think of you everyday and miss you loads. Glad you are having a good time at Papas. Be a good boy and work hard at Papa´s work - no sleeping on the job.
Mum xx
From Louise
Madge - finally I get to your website - this is fantastic, what a great idea !!
And congratulations re engagement - awesome news. Well it seems like you had a fabulous way to end the year and and an even more fabulous way to start the year. We have been beaching it here in Sydney although the weather has been crap. Miss the chick surfing tho. Take care honey and looking forward to the next instalment. Miss you action women - Love Lou xx
Response: G´day Lou
Thanks for the message mate. Have now started the tour and most folks on it are really lovely - a bit older but very nice people. Now in Patagonia region and go on some lake crossing or something tomorrow - hopefully to see some glaciers. Then after that a bit of trekking and camping at Torres Del Paine. Looking forward to it. Weather here is cold - furthest south I have ever been - I think it is 51 degrees latitude or longitude whichever means south. Missing surfing at home and hanging out with all you guys. Love Madgie x
From MUM
Hi Love, your photos are great and it is so good to be able to keep up with your travels. It is also very glad to have Bill home, I suppose he has filled you in on his trip home (a nightmare) hope yours is much better. All is well at my end,Rhonda and family settled in on Gold coast and I think Ian is doing some work up there already, they move to their rented place next week some time so that will be the start of their new life and yours will be changing also. Greg and I had a good time together over the holidays but he is back at work now and I am home for 1 week then the tennis. Hope you are fine, love you Mum
Response: Hi mum
Yeah what a disaster poor Bill had. I hope he gets some good news from Qantas or one world. He should probably try calling the travel agent and asking why they did not advise about the transit visa requirements too. Am now in Patagonia region in a place called Puerta Natales. The town itself is not so special but it is close to the Torres Del Paine national park which is supposed to be beautiful. Tomorrow we go on a boat cruise thing or something hopefully to see glaciers then after that we are trekking for 4 days which should be fantastic. Did Rhonda and family move to Gold Coast or Brisbane??? Glad to hear they are settling in ok wherever they are. Glad you and Greg had a nice holiday and have a fab time at the tennis. Will try to update more soon.
Marg xx
From Janine
Wow!

Loving the updates and pics (even if they are making me extremely jealous).

I want to be in that hot spring right now!

Take care and travel safe.
Neen
Response: G´day how is it going? All good here in Bariloche but am missing Bill. Have started my tour and the people seem nice but I feel like a bit of a tourist rather than a traveller. Tomorrow should be an awesome day hopefully - we climb up a nearby peak and will hopefully have weather just like today - warm and clear. Scenary here is amazing - will post some photos soon. Take care for now M xx
From Jane
Hey Madge and Billy,

Happy New Year! Hope you had an enjoyable evening in Santiago! Not sure if you got my return text message after your big news but if not a big CONGRATS from me on your engagement! I have just read your travel diaries and viewed the photos and all looks amazing so wish I was there! All going well at home - Christmas and New Year have been quite relaxing and a good break. Keep updating the site as we all love hearing about your travels & Take Care. Love Janexx
Response: G´day mate,
Hey happy birthday for Dec too. We were thinking of you while we were in London with PK but didn´t have a mobile to text you on. Glad to hear all is well over there. I did get your text when we were in Capetown but thanks anyway for the extra message. Am now in Patagonia region which is very beautiful - a bit like Switzerland actually. Off to hike up a big hill tomorrow which should be great. Take care and will update again soon. xx
From Phyll & Gordie
Hi Madge & Bill,
What fantastic news!! Sorry the congrats are a bit late but it took me a while to work this thing out.
We are loving the photos, and yes, we are certainly saving for S.A. 2008. Hope your trip continues to be fantastic.
Love ya, Phyll and Gordie xx
Response: Thank you. Bolivia has been great but today is our last day here. Lake Titicaca was gorgeous and the salt plains were utterly amazing. I will put photos up soon. Glad you are saving for SA - it wouldn´t be the same with out you both there. Hope all is well at home. Happy new year.
Madge and Bill xx