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Monday, 16 March 2009

Location: Buenos Aires (Part two), Argentina


The next day I was pretty tired and hungover but got up relatively early and went to see what everyone was doing and we wanted to go to the football so I went with Logan, Ben, Louisa, Pete, James, Jordan, Imogen and Sandra for a walk to the markets and on to Boca.

We went to the Cathedral to check it out (not as good as Cathedrals in England or Paris so I wasn’t that interested plus there was a service going (as it was Sunday) so we couldn’t talk or anything and then we went back to the Pink Palace and went inside for a look around and there was a free tour starting so we joined it even though hardly any of us know any Spanish so we got to see more of it and take some pics so that was ok.

After that we wandered to where the markets were which I was looking forward to as I wanted to look for jewellery and I was hoping to find some cool things or even just some vintage stuff! Well I am a bit picky about jewellery and refused to buy anything that wasn’t silver for a start and everything that was “vintage” actually wasn’t – it was all very plasticky so I was a bit disappointed, I did however keep noticing a really beautiful salmon pink stone but I couldn’t find anything I liked enough to actually buy at the time. There was so much other cool stuff but I had rings in my head so I didn’t really care about that much else – lots of leather stuff and some touristy things that you can find anywhere.

We spent quite a few hours at the markets – it is a massive long road and then we thought we should try and find the stadium to get tickets to the football (oh, I forgot to mention that the hotel had told us that it was completely sold out but to try on the door just incase). Imogen and Sandra were going to a Tango show that evening so they stayed at the markets.

I managed to find one thing that I wanted to buy but it wasn’t actually for me – it was a present for my mum (don’t worry I have told her – I had to make sure she wanted it otherwise I would have kept it for myself! Lol) it’s a really nice turquoise necklace in the style that she loves .

After wandering round for ages we finally came across the stadium and then had to walk around the whole thing and then for about another 5 mins trying to find out where to buy tickets and thankfully we managed to get some for only 30 pesos (much better then the 70 the hotel would have charged us!!!!!!) so we were all really excited about that and decided to find somewhere in Boca to go for a drink and some food.

Boca is a really awesome bohemian area, I guess a bit like Notting hill, Portobello Road and Covent Garden rolled into one. But then it is a really poor area of BA so the surrounding areas were really poor but it didn’t seem that bad, all the houses are really brightly painted and it seemed like such a “happy” area (we later found out how dangerous it could be around there but thankfully we saw nothing and had no problems, and felt safe walking around!) we found a bar in the middle of it all and I went for a wander as had walked past a jewellery stall that had lots of that beautiful pink stone that I had seen earlier so I went back to that and found a ring that I really liked and it was only £7 so I decided to get it. The stall owner made all the jewellery so it makes it more special, and it was silver and a really pretty setting!! I found out that the stone is the Argentinean National Stone so that explains why it was everywhere!!

There was a football shop across the way from us and I really wanted an Argentina vest top so I went got one of them. In hindsight I would have brought a Boca Juniors one aswell (the football team that we were supporting) or an actual football shirt from there as I have wanted one pretty much every day since we went to the match.

Anyway, so we had a few beers and some food, I actually just got olives as me and Logan had had street food earlier in the day so I wasn’t very hungry. And then by the time we had finished other people had come along to get tickets aswell but we weren’t in the same stand as them – they were in the stand opposite us. Pete had left earlier to go and tell other people that we could get tickets so to hurry up and get down here. And then Lou and Ben went back aswell to get changed. I had thought we would be out all day so I was dressed for that, although was in a short skirt so I made sure I stuck with the others – stupidly forgot about South American men when I was getting dressed but as I was surrounded by blokes I was fine.

Me, Logan and Jordan went to find some cheap beer from somewhere, they didn’t sell anything reasonably priced in the supermarkets so we ended up walking further into Boca and found a Kiosko and they sold us some beer at about 8 pesos for a litre which was the best we found so we got one each and then walked back and sat by the water, a couple of random English guys came up to us so we were chatting to them for a bit and then a few of our lot came over so we went to find the others who we got tickets with.

Lou had found out that the section we were in was supposed to be the most dangerous of all the sections so we were a bit freaked about that. Some of the stories we had heard weren’t actually that nice such as the people on the top stands will urinate on other people below them so we were a bit worried (I was anyway) but still really excited. The match was the equivalent of Liverpool/Everton or Man U/Man City, just a local derby but it gets really heated. (sorry if I am wrong – I don’t know that much about football so not sure I have my facts straight)

So we managed to find Gate 12 only to find that we couldn’t get in from that side so had to find another way and we were going to miss the beginning of the match as we had to walk around for about 15 more minutes to get to the gate and then there was a massive queue to get in!

For the first half we were right at the top so it was quite hard to see but I just stood on tiptoes leaning on Logan so I was ok for a bit!! And then me, Logan, Ben, Pete and James decided to try and get to the bottom when it was half time and everyone was stood up and moving around!! We managed to get to the bottom and honestly were in the best stand we could have been – we were surrounded by die hard Boca fans and the atmosphere was amazing – now I have been to a few good football matches – Everton V West Ham and Man U V Liverpool last year – but nothing compared to this match – it was amazing – and we won (yes we are all now Boca fans) 3-0 which was amazing!! (Sorry about how many times I have said amazing but it was!!!).

The next day I had quite a chilled day, spent about 3 hours skyping my mum and then went for a wander with Dom in the afternoon and brought even more Havaianas (I now have about 6 pairs!!!) and then we came back to the hotel to get ready for what was supposed to be a lovely meal for the 4 of us (me, Logan, Dom and Owen) but turned into a meal with 9 of us that was a bit ruined.

I ordered veal thinking it would either be a steak or Milanese style and when it came out I was sooo disappointed, it was like a square slab of the toughest meat I had ever come across and it was about half a centimetre thick with the same thickness of pure fat – so needless to say as someone who doesn’t eat fat I couldn’t eat it – and as I don’t speak Spanish – I didn’t even think about swapping it for an amazing steak (much like the one Logan had – note to self – always order what he eats as his was awesome!!) and I had serious food envy as one of the girls had an amazing Teriyaki beef noodle dish so I didn’t have a very good night (as we all know how much I love my food and I had been looking forward to having a lovely evening!) and I was a bit disappointed to say the least but on the plus I did have 2 very very delicious glasses of red wine so that made it better!!

All in all BA is definitely one of my favourite cities and I think everyone needs to go there – Claire – when we go to the Carnival in a few years time – we are going to BA either before or after Rio – I cant decide which would be better – maybe after as Rio is so hectic we will need a holiday after it!!!

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Location: Buenos Aires (Part one), Argentina


We had two nights of uneventful free camping from Puerto Iguacu to Buenos Aires and then we had the chance to go to Uruguay pretty cheaply from the town where we stopped for lunch on the way to BA.

Some of us decided it was definitely worth it to do that as there was a boat trip but it was about 5 times as much to do that then just take a 25 peso cab ride (which is about a fiver) over there for a wander round. We were mainly doing it for the passport stamps anyway. What we forgot is that it was siesta time so nothing was open so we just wandered up the main street and then went to a restaurant for a drink – which took so long to get served in so I decided against getting a drink as we wouldn’t have time to drink it. I am really gutted though (Gill you’ll appreciate this one) as when we were on our way back we drove past none other then Urban Outfitters and…. It was open – I was sooooo gutted I hadn’t carried on wandering – its one of my favourite shops and I was so in the mood to shop – I couldn’t believe it – I haven’t seen any decent shops over here!!

Anyway, we got the cabs back and carried on driving – it was pretty uneventful, I slept most of the time and when I woke up just as we were driving into BA I looked out the window and saw some slums, it was quite horrendous, all these weird shack things all piled on top of each other – I am thinking if you have seen Slumdog Millionaire then you might understand. Apparently they are nothing to what we are going to see in Bolivia though!!

Owen came on board and talked us through things to do while we were driving to the hotel. There is a street in the middle of BA called 9Th July Avenue and it is the widest road through a city, a 16 lane highway – there was a Cleopatra needle in the middle of it aswell and only about 5 min walk from our hotel so it was always easy to find our way back.

We got to the hotel and decided who to share with and I was sharing with Dominique and we managed to get the best room of the hotel just by not rushing to put our names down so we got one with a balcony which was pretty sweet so that turned into the party room of the hotel. Me and Logan went to get the eski (cool box) from the truck and I borrowed Jordan’s speakers for my computer so we could keep drinks cool and have music aswell!!

Most people decided to do the city tour but I didn’t fancy doing that so I went for a picnic with Logan, Dom and Owen which was really nice, sitting in the sun with cheese, salami and crackers and Pina Colada (which we had discovered the day before by deciding that we fancied a drink and found some ready mixed Pina Colada which was only £3 for a litre bottle) so it was a really nice afternoon. After a few hours we headed back to the hotel to get ready to go out for a group dinner and we invited everyone to our room for drinks before hand.

We went to a restaurant about a 15 minute walk from the hotel and I had my first Argentinean steak in Argentina – it was ok but nothing on the steak I had in KM5 when I was in Ibiza with the girls last year (I am still determined to find one better then that!!) and then we fancied going out afterwards but everything had such massive queues and I wanted to go back to the hotel to get Logan as he hadn’t come out for dinner so some of us went back while others decided to queue or find other places. Me, Logan and one of the other girls – Jaski went out for a wander but I was wearing flip flops so we wouldn’t have been able to get in anywhere anyway as apparently you cant wear flip flops in the clubs of BA so after a couple of hours of wandering and chatting we went for a drink in a cafe and Jaski had some awesome pancakes – chocolate, banana and chocolate ice cream – they were sooo yum!!

On the Saturday I spent the day with Logan wandering around, we went to the Pink Palace where the president of Argentina lives (I guess it is a bit like 10 Downing Street but much much bigger!!) and wandered up the river to find somewhere to go for coffee, and then wandered back down and decided to go for a Burger King as neither of us have had one for ages (yes I know I had 2 the week before I left but that’s not the point!!) it was a really nice day and BA is such a lovely city, It is definitely up there with my favourites!!

That night I went out for drinks and dancing with most of my truck and most of Swampy so that was pretty awesome as I hadn’t seen any of them for a while, we went to a really nice bar called Sugar, I wasn’t actually going to stay out that late and was going to go home after Sugar but decided at the last minute to go to a club with everyone – I am so easily persuaded, and it was so worth it – it was just a cheese night so it was brilliant – and I went and requested Cheryl Lynn’s Got to be Real and I was literally writing it down when it came on – I almost cried with happiness – it reminds me of awesome nights out so much and I knew that everyone was out for Michele’s birthday that night so I was really glad as it made me feel like I was with everyone and I had a dance for her birthday!! Both places charged to get in but then you could redeem it on drinks which was pretty cool although I wrong choiced in the first bar as I got a Jack and coke – I hadn’t had a Jack Daniels since England so I got one of them and it was more then the entrance so I still paid another 2 pesos for it but still it was only about £4.50 so not that bad considering I was in a capital city. And in the next one I just got a bud and some Agua! I swear England should do that – you think – man I am paying just to get in a bar but then depending on what you drink you can milk it quite a lot!!

I ended up leaving at around 5 with Danny, Imogen and Sandra as I was so tired by then but me and Danny were pretty hungry so we ended up jumping out at Burger King (yes I know – again – how bad is that!! I would have preferred McDonalds but we couldn’t see one – clearly we weren’t looking properly) so we queued in there for absolutely ages so were about another hour – so much for being tired! And then when we got a cab back we drove past a McDonalds literally across the street!!

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Recent Messages

From Daddy
Of course when I said Maek I really meant Mark. Stupid keyboard....LOL
Pop xxx
Response: LOL - i gathered!! i finally got hold of him on facebook yest so he is going to give you a massive hug from me - im gutted i cant be there - i really want to see you (and go to the wedding) but mainly just see you!!! love you and miss you loads!! oh i have internet here so i will try and be on skype - email me a good time in the next two days and i will try and get online to call you xxxxx
From Dad
I've just looked at the death road pics. If I had know you were going on that you wouls have heard me shouting NO all the way from Cy. I am seeing Maek at month end, he's coming down for a mate's wedding, so will catch up with him then.
Take care and hope the dosh situation goes OK.
Love always
Dad xxx
Response: yeh if i had looked at pictures before hand then i wouldnt have done it either!!!

tell him i say hello - havent heard from him at all since being away!

was lovely speaking to you earlier

love you xxxx
From Clarissa
Catch up!!!!!!!
Response: Sorry about that - i am totally rubbish!! i am still only on BA which was 2 months ago!!! i shall really try and update if not will be in June in Australia!!!! xxx
wow Erin, once again a great blog, I really wanna go see all this one day, maybe in a few years. Yes, Niagra is amazing but the Devils throat must be breath taking. Am so jealous. Counting down the days till I see you.

Stay safe and take care
From Dad
A very Happy Cyprus Easter. Coo, 2 easters in a year. Old JC must be getting tired of up and down the cross. Ho Ho.
Hope all is well with you and you're still having a great time. Sorry I missed you the other night. Speak or chat online soon.
See ya
Love always as ever
Dad xxx
Response: Hey

it was awesome speaking to you yesterday¬!!! shame the connection was crap but it wont always be!

i do always get your messages but dont always have time to look on here and sometimes no time to even reply to emails which is why im crap at the moment!!!

join facebook!!!

From Lauren
Oh Erin, I fricking miss you!!! I love reading your blogs, it all sounds bloody amazing.

I had some of that goats cheese and caramelised onion pasta the other day, but the truth is, it was presst rubbish without my Erin :-(

Miss you and love you....thinking of you loads x x x x x x x x x
Response: i am glad it wasnt as good!!! lol!! no cheese is as good out here without you to be honest!! although apparently all we will have in Peru is goats cheese which im looking forward to and i had some AWESOME soft cheese the other day - it was sooo good - really tasty - not quite as soft as brie - a bit like chedder but soft - hard to describe!! not the same without you!!

i miss you too!! come and see me in Oz sometime!! or see you in June next year

From Dad
Those rapids'll do it every time. Very jealous actually. I hate with a passion anything that involves mechanical theme rides but would LOVE to go rapids rafting. How sill is that with my bad back and knees???LOL... So so glad you're OK and still missing yer. Happy English Easter and don't eat all the choccie eggs.
Love always
Dad xxxx
Response: Lol- i could have gone rafting again today but decided against it - i might try it again in New Zealand when i go there!

its really fun unless your capsizing!!! lol!!

From Craig Morrow
Hey you, really good being able to keep up with what your doing, sounds like your making the most of it.
Hope the rest of the trip is as enjoyable as the first part..

Miss ya missy

Love ya loads

Response: Hey dude!!

I am still loving it - half way through now - cant believe it!

i think it will keep getting better - hope so anyway!!

miss you too!!!

From Dad
How is it all going?? Absolutely p**sing down here and it's April. Cannot believe it. Still, gonna get warm soon. Miss ya loads as always. Love always
From Shazia
Wanna be a sweetheart and bring me some havianas over to oz when you come please????? LOL, we will need them at some point, haha, great blog as always xxxx
Response: I have brought soooo many - got 6 pairs over here!! let me know what you want (on hotmail) and if i come across them again then i'll get you some - i cant guarentee though as havent seen any since BA but we are heading to Santiago in a few days so hopefully can get some there!! xxx
From julie frith
glad your having such a great time, wish I could do you coping with out all the creature comforts
Response: It is pretty cold where i am now - seriously going to try and get on top of this blog - i am so behind!! the things i miss most is are Beans on Toast and My bed - oh and baths!!! but its still so much better then England!! im so glad you are keepiing up to date - i really appreciate it!! xx
From Sass
More wonderful stuff, keep it up we'll all want to join you . Hugs'n'stuff.xxxxxxxxxxx
Response: Lol - you should definately try and do some of south america - it is so awesome!! in Torres Del Paine at the moment - the most stunning place i've ever been to (so far) miss you too xxxx
From SuperDoug!
Alright BoozeHound!?!

Sounds amazing already! Me and Grandma are missing you loads!! ;)

keep enjoying!! x
Response: haha - my mum said it seemed to be all about drinking but it does get much better - much more to see and do so havent really drunk since Buenos Aires (which i havent written about yet!!)

It is amazing - i love it over here - you should holiday in south america sometime - there is so much to see nand do!!

miss you too SuperDoug - i hope you are fulfilling your duties to a super standard!!

From Dad
Phew ! I'm getting tired just reading it all !!! With you all the way though!!!
Miss yer voice !!!!
Love always
Dad xxx
Response: I know it is sooo long but will be worth it for me and the memories!! im so glad we got to chat today even just on msn - get that webcam working!! love you xxx
From Craig Morrow
Miss ya missy... But great chatting earlier

Keep safe and stay in touch

Your the best

Love ya man

Response: yeh im so glad you were online!! keep me posted with stuff and let me know your ok!! xx
From julie frith
Hi Erin
Great blog glad your having a great time keep safe love julie
Response: Hopefully soon I shall have time to update it again!!! how are you and everything at work?? xx
From Dad
Hope all is going well. Still jealous but only cos it's peeing down here. Not on is it !!!!! Are you camping out yet ????
Dad xxx
Response: Hey
It is really awesome - I am in Buenos Aires at the moment - I love it here!! got a massive drive day on tuesday so I am hoping to write up the last three weeks of my blog!!
I'm loving camping - am pretty awesome at doing the tent all on my own!!! hotels are still much better though!!
love you xxxx
From Clarissa

Have just caught up with the latest installments and glad to see you've been having a ball.
Was great to chat last week and looking forward to bumping into you again soon. I redid MSN but it's still playing up so don't think I'll be able to voice chat anytime soon :-(
I might try downloading Yahoo Msgr instead as that's the one I used to use before - maybe that will work better...???
Anyways little princess - have fun and hopefully we'll speak again soon
Love you
Response: I'm worried I wont get much internet for the next minth as we are going down south but hopefully i'll speak to you soon!!! love you and miss you xxx
From Lauren
Street cheese. Wow. I want some so much, it's not even funny x x x
Response: its awesome man!! i wish there was some in Buenos Aires!!
miss you xxxx
From Els
Hey girl!
You sound like you're having a whale of a time! Enjoy it as much as you can and savour every moment and experience - tastes, smells & sounds. That way you will be able to relive it again and again when you're back.
Stay safe.
Response: Hello love,
I am having a great time, we have all got pretty settled now and its really cool - have seen so many amazing things!! how is everything with you?? xx
From Caroline
Response: LOL xx
From Sass
Wow, I am living this with you,thanks for all the exciting things you are doing, the places you describe, just everything. Lul, keep it up, just love you to bits Sass
Response: I have so much more to update but havent had time to write it yet!! check out my pics im slowly but surely putting them on facebook!

From Shazia
Good and interesting blog, will be reading more later...god am so jealous, your so lucky! Glad your having fun, sounds amazing. Miss ya xxxx
Response: Cant wait to see you in June though!! so glad your coming to Mel to meet me!! thanks for taking the time to read - bet its boring for everyone else!! love you xx
From Aky
Hey sweetie, Sounds like you're having an awesome time, missing you loads! reading this makes it all so real!! Wow can't believe ur there, Any talent? lol!! xx
Response: Hey dude
i havent been online for ages - there isnt that much internet or time - i am having an awesome time though!! I~ve been so rubbish at keeping in touch!! i have so much news - i am going to email you girls with stuff!!

From Theaks
Missin ya loads. And still a bit jealous, but looking forward to hearing more about what you've been up to! Really want to go out dancing and now I've lost my dance buddy :0( Take care you! Oh and I put a message for you on FB but it's in code! xxx
I miss you too - i wish you were here to come out dancing! i've managed to quite alot - was worried there would be no dancing or only brazillian music but we've been out a few times - last night the bar played nothing but Rhianna - you would have loved it!! ooh, i shall check facebook now!! i shall be back in june next year for a month so we shall go out for a massive dance then!! miss you xx