Gone South 120 - Virginie, Marie & Arnaud

We've gone south for 120 days & invite you to join us (if only from a distance) on our trip through Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia & Peru. The initial idea of doing it by car was temporarily abandoned due to lack of funds to rent a car. This obviously doesn’t rule out the purchase of a car somewhere along the road. Should you want to see what we're seeing, doing and enjoying, come back here & drop us a line! We'll try to keep this blog updated with photos & comments. Enjoy it!

Name:
Location: Brussels, Belgium

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Carretera Austral 3!





Carretera Austral 2!





Carretera Austral!





Saturday, February 25, 2006

Back in Argentina - not yet in civilisation

Hello everyone!

We've managed to drive the Carretera Austral and come out alive and well! Besides a burst tire, and getting stuck in the mud and a ditch it was a smooooth experience. Hahaha, not really, it was probably the roughest part of the trip so far - living off cans of palmitos which we didn't manage to open, plenty of chips and the standard bistec con pure - but it gave us the chance to see the most splendid views of my entire life (which is by now a quarter of a century so that must mean something!). We walked on glaciars, saw emerald lakes, witnessed amazing sunsets and sunrises, climbed mountains, bathed in fancy smanchy spa's, connected with the locals and all became proficient rally drivers! But I'm happy to be back in Argentina now!

We're now in Puerto Deseado and have already spotted our first penguin...although very small and a tad lonely, it was nice to see him/her in its home rather than in a zoo in Europe. Tomorrow we're hopefully seeing more of them as well as sea lions. And if lucky, when we get to Puerto Madryn in a few days, we will be there on time to watch the Orcas attack the baby seals (something that strangely enough seems to get Arnaud and Marie very excited.....). Well, lets be honest, I'm a little bit excited about it too. But I do think I'll have a hard time stopping myself from trying to save them!

We unfortunately have the worst connection yet today so I hope we manage to put up some pictures. I will keep this entry short so that I can take care of that, cos the pictures we have taken during the last week are absolutely breath-taking!

Hope to hear from you all soon,
Kisses,
Vigi

PS: Cris: I hope we'll see each other when you're here, but I doubt that we'll be retuning to Chile. It's damn expensive! Come join us in Bolivia or Peru in stead! I'm sure we'll sort something out...
Mikboooool! I don't know why we can't seem to get hold of each other! It sucks that I lost my phone in Chile but I'm not giivng up! I miss you so much!
Everyone else: I'm sorry for being so bad with keeping in touch....although I do think that a week on the carretera austral sort of justifies it.



From the Pacific to the Atlantic... on paved roads!

Hi!

Today we drove from the Pacific to the Atlantic and arrived in a little sea town called Puerto Deseado. The scenery here couldn´t be more different from the Patagonian Andes we spent the last week driving thru. After driving for hours thru vast expanses of dry scrub land and absolute nothingness we arrived at this town surrounded by gentle brown hills and the atlantic ocean, whereas this morning we were still surrounded by lush green valleys, high mountains and blue and green lakes.

I have to say that I´m quite relieved to have finally left the Carretera Austral behind us... For the past week we´ve been driving on dirt roads of variable quality... I nearly drove the car into the woods after a truck forced me off the road and we´ve had a flat tyre... All this whilst averaging speeds of 40 km´s an hour!

The Carretera has been an amazing experience and as you will see in the pictures, the whole area is of an incredible beauty... However, we went there looking for loneliness and isolation and that´s what we got and more than enough of it! Days of eating steak since there was nothing else, taking cold showers in the morning and all the inconveniences of isolation does get to you! We´re still not out of it though...

I will leave it at this, since the pictures will tell their own story... I just want to add that to do the Carretera Austral by car (or by bike for the nutcases) is an amazing experience on its own and should be done when you have a lot of time on your hands... and money!! We had to rush it and could not afford the isolation... And rushing on dirt roads is nerve wrecking!

Dom: Merci pour ton message! C'est cool de savoir qu'au bureau on sait plus au moins où je suis et j'éspère que de temps en temps ça change les idées...
David: I refuse to put on any pictures of suffering travellers or tell any stories of our misfortunes... Two reasons: 1.We do not suffer or have misfortunes. 2.Both of you were supposed to come and join us... We have the car for another week, so tell us where to pick you up! Vous nous manquez!

PS: Will try uploading pictures again but our connections are not getting any better.

Ciao,
Arnaud

Chile was good - but boy am I glad to be back in Argentina!

Hello all,

I feel like it's been absolutely ages since I last posted an entry on our blog - but here I am, back in semi-civilization with a really bad internet connection ready to tell you as much as I can about the last 11 days or so in Chile...

Where to start - 11 days was quite a while ago.

We rented a car in Bariloche (Argentina) to experience some road trip through one of the most famed road trip regions, the Chilean lake district and Carretera Austral. Kai joined us from here for the first few days as he had never been to Chile before and was up for part of the adventure.
First stop Puerto Octay at the northern tip of lake (I can't remember and don't have a map handy sorry), a tiny little place with nothing much to say about it. Then down to Ensanada on lake Llanquihue back dropped by the awsome Osorno Volcano - absolutely spectacular. This is also a very small place, but with a little more to offer. We stayed in lovely Hospedage Ensanada and went for a great rafting excursion on Rio Petrahue (my first time and I'm well into doing it again - such a pitty it's such an expensive activity). From Ensanada we also visited Ralun Fjörd, Cochamo and Puerto Varas. Further down we arrived in Puerto Mont which is a horrible harbour city, but a necessary stop to buy a ferry ticket for the three of us to somehow continue our trip by reaching the Carretera Austral and dropping Kai off who had to head back to Barriloche to make sure he got back to Sao Paolo in time for his flight home - tomorrow (sorry Kai) - it was great having you on board!

The only boat ticket still available was one from Quellón (on Chiloé Island) to Chaiten (back on Chilean mainland). A 5 hour crossing from a drab little city (although offering a spectacular sunrise which Arnaud managed to capture) with nothing much to see, to Chaitén, another tiny city, basicly surviving on the fact that people stop to fill up their petrol tanks and food supplies (which is exactly what we did) before heading dow the dirt roads for approximtely 900km south. We where told to prepare for the long journey down from here as there was very little further down the Carretera - which is pretty correct.

Unfortunately we where very unlucky with the weather - our first 4 days where in the rain and clouds. We could only imagine from our Footprints guide what was surrounding us as there was no clearing for us to see any of it. Puyuhuapi was our first real stop. The city in which we celebrated Virginie's 25th birthday (in the rain). We did muster up the courage to do something with the day though (in part thanks to the 2 Canadians, Amy and Niels, we met at the hospadege we stayed in (Casa Ludwig - nice place - horrid people running it though) who joined us on our wet walk up to the Ventisquero Quelat which we very luckily saw through a brief opening in the clouds. Very beautiful indeed and well worth the effort of getting there. Back down in Puyuhuapi we met two Chilean brothers, Cristobal and Francisco, doing the Carretera south as well, but on dirt bikes (way cool in my opinion) and ended up sharing Vigi's birthday evening celebrations with them too. I know Vigi and Arnaud have both written about this eveing, so I won't repeat that as well (I know that up till now I have already done a lot of repeating).

From Puyuhuapi we continued driving - along very tough roads which finaly lead us to a slightly larger town, Coihaique, still in the rain. Nothing to do here, so we headed on as quickly as possible to Cerro Castillo a tiny place in an apparently beauthiful setting offering great hikes and cave paintings. The hikes were out of the question as we were still in the clouds, so we headed to the caves. Oh wow - not. There where like 15 hand prints which in my opinion could have been very recently painted by a class of school kids (which is actually what I believe) :o), but what the heck it was something to do.

Heading on for yet another day in the car along bumpy roads with only the back seat passenger listening to some good music on one of the i-Pods as the cd player was a definite impossibility and of course there are no radio stations here. During these rainy days with very little on display outside, the back seat had really become a preferred seat!

Arriving in Puerto Tranquilo on Lake General Carrera was a relief. The area has a micro-climate with some 300 days of sunshine according to out guide - so the small portions of blue sky overhead where already a very thankful sight. We luckily found a cosy cabaña for 2 nights so cooked in for once (simple pasta with cheese and ham, but oh so good and a great change from what had until then been bifsteak and puré for 3 consecutive days) and got to do some laundry. Of the activities on offer around Lago Tranquilo, our first choice was to explore the Glaciar Exploradores on which we ended up doing a tough 5 hour walk across very rocky surfaces to finaly reach the first part of a spectacular glacier geared up with spikes and all. I had a fantstic time which the pictures will vouch for. It would have been great to be able to go further, but you have no idea of distances until you try to attain them and realise you're way out of your league. I asked our great guide Yves (from Belgium actually) how long it would get to walk to where I pointed out (which looked like a hour or so further to me), but got the sad answer that it was still very far and necessitaded a good few hours and hard trecking more.

Back at our cabaña, Vigi and I cooking our pasta meal, Arnaud found it necessary to go out and buy some salt as a meal without salt just wouldn't go down. When back from his 5 minute shopping trip he came in with the good news that our tyre had burst - just fab and just what we needed of course. But this kind of event adds to the adventure - which is what we asked for anyway hey... We luckily had a real tyre as spare, so Arnaud took care of changing it the following morning, we checked the pressure and continued on our way out of Chile which we'd actually all had enough of. I haven't actually expressed enough about how Chile feels, but can summarise it quite easily by saying that most people are unfortunatley unfriendly, the lodging facilities along the way are dingy and dirty with hardly any hot water (I didn't wash once and once washed just the three f's in the bathroom sink in freezing cold water), no laundry facilities, there's no way of connecting in any form to the outside world and it bloody darn too f****** expensive (sorry).

So my title to this entry let you guess that I'm very glad to be back in Argentina. We crossed the border yesterday eveing in Chile Chico, spent the night in a dirty little place in Los Antiguos (border city on the Argentinian side), but although it may be silly since we were only 2km from the Chilean border, it felt so much better! Argentina you're the best, I'm so glad to be back.

Now we're in Puerto Deseado all the way on the other side, back at the Atlantic. We crossed the whole country today, driving about 600km on paved, lovely paved roads, to yet another tiny city. We've come here to see the marine life (second best place in Argentina after Puerto Madryn apparantly) which we'll go out and get tomorrow. Then we'll be off to see the Bosques Petroficados slightly down south (don't worry Mommy - you're always with me on this trip so you'll be thought of a lot there too - I know you'd love to see these) and then up north to Puerto Madryn before heading back west across Argentinian savanah to drop the car off where it belongs in Bariloche next Monday.

Wow - what an entry! Hope I didn't bore too many of you.

Now some dedicated hello's:

Céline et Nina - merci tellement d'avoir regardé et commenté sur notre blog. Ca me fait très fort plaisir de lire que tu nous suit - même si ce n'est qu'un petit peux. Je vous embrasse toute les deux très fort!

Emily - sorry I really cannot help with your last renting apartments question. I've been very out of touch with the cities here as you may have just read and don't really get much access to that kind of info. If I stumble upon it I will of course let you know!

Patrik (Hej do) - thanks a mil for the Magic Numbers songs I have on my i-Pod thanks to you. They're great company to have on this trip. Please say hi to everyone in your eye sight from me and get them to check this blog - it's fab isn't it. Hard to look at from work I can understand, but still not woth missing out on either.

Helena - Hej Sweety, just wanted to let you know that you're still thought of lots and lots while I'm here. I hope you're doing good and plese don't get too fit before I return - I don't want to have too much catching up to do :o) Please say hi to Vasiliki from me. Big kram lovely.

Mommy and Tan: I love you so much! You're both very present in my heart and mind on this trip. I look forward to talking to you again soon - hopefully tomorrow - this place has phones - yeay! xx

Ben et Edith: J'éspère que vous vous instalez bien dans votre nouvelle appartement - je pense bien fort à vous dans vos boîtes et suis impatiente de venir vous voir "just down the road" quand on rentre. Gros bisous.

Travel Service - j'éspère que vous lirez ce petit message, car je ne sais pas si vous me suivez? Je pense souvent à vous et éspère avoir de vos nouvelles avant que je ne rentre. Gros bisous à vous tous!

SA - get your act together. I really hope you're following this blog and since you're all very capable internet useres please do drop me a line on this site. I think of you all and would love to hear your comments.

Take care all - hasta pronto!
Kisses, bisous, pus and besos to all!
Marie

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Rainy, expensive and f****** slow Chile! (sorry, just took me 45 mins to upload this)

People!

We have indeed reached the end of the world and it’s the first part of our trip that is (according to me, although I’m quite sure the other two will agree) not treating us all that well. The carretera austral has been a very wet experience, though breath-taking when we get the half hour clearings in the evening.My birth-day was excellent though and definitely unique. Got woken up with a happy birthday song from the room next door (Arnaud and Marie!), then I got new Moroccan shoes as my others had been super-glued together and were slowly but surely dying on me. This was followed by a very long and wet walk, rewarded with amazing views of the glacier when we reached the top. Nothing beat the party though!
We met lovely Canadians and two Chilean brothers who are traveling the Carretera by dirt-bikes. Finally other siblings who get along as well as Arnaud and I. Had a lovely dinner in the only restuarant in town, lots of wine and Pisco sour and ended the night in splendour in the local fishermen’s party where we danced the night away. I’m sure very few people have the luck to say that they celebrated their 25th birthday with so much style in Puyuhuapi on the carretera austral!

We’re once again in a hurry and since more than half of my budget is already gone, I will leave it at this. If we go on at the same pace, I’m afraid I’ll be back in less than a month....time to get to Bolivia where you can live for a tenth of Chile.

Thanks everyone for thinking of me on the 19th!

Love,Vigi
Kai! We miss you! The hat came in really handy (and so did the pisco!). Hope you managed to leave Puerto Mont!David: It’s not only shining suns and chirping birds! It’s been pouring down for four days! I hope you’re happy :)

The end of the world... with internet!

Hi everybody!

Virginie's BD managed to wake some of you up! Thanks for all the messages... We are now in Coyaique on the Carretera Austral... Since we started the Carretera it has been raining none stop and we´re well upset... This is supposed to be the most amazing stretch of road on the whole trip (if not in the world) and we´ve only been offered a few glimpses through the layers of grey clouds and mist... Those glimpses were beyond beautifull though!

In Chaiten I didn´t manage to upload the latest pictures and I will not even bother attempting it today... So you´ll have to wait!

I´ll just leave you with a few annecdotes from the last couple of weeks...

On one of the pictures below you can see Virginie, Kai and I are standing on top of the Cerro Otto near Bariloche... Since we had spent the day at the lake we were late for the cable car to the top and managed to get a taxi to drive us up there before sunset... We asked him if he would wait to bring us down (walking the 10 km´s was no option since the sun would be gone half an hour later and Kai´s knee was not up to the job)... To cut the story short, the driver left and we were the last people on top of the mountain... Bit of a problem. It was amazing to be up there with some of the most spectacular views ever and not one sound except for the wind... Still a problem though. Then some sounds attracted our attention and we walked towards the cable car... Three men were working on it and after exaggerating Kai´s injury we got them to start the cable car up and send us down with one lonely little cabin... and yet some more amazing views...

Since then we have been driving south, first through the Chilean lake district with white capped volcanoes and some of the most marvelous lakes! Staying in Ensenada at the foot of Volcano Osorno we had the hotel with what I will assure you was the most amazing room with a view ever! We drove up the volcano (my first serious rally experience) and then rafted down it´s slopes on a very wet rafting trip... Some great rapids though!

We left Kai in Puerto Montt (horrendous little city) and Marie drove us all the way to Quellon (even drabbier than Puerto Montt) to catch the ferry the next morning... The poverty down here is very different from what we´ve encountered up north... People live in the middle of nowhere in tiny cabins and have horses as their method of transport... The most amazing sunrise accompanied us onto the boat to Chaiten... The next day by car on the Carretera Austral... no more paved roads, no more people and then... Puyuhuapi!!! It was Virginie´s BD and we managed to find the most isolated place on the planet! Roughly 300 people live in Puyuhuapi and yet we met 2 Canadians and 2 Chileans to spend an amazing night drinking Pisco Sour on the "pier" accompanied by Canadian harmonica music played by Niels and then gatecrash a local fishermen´s party in the Fishermen´s Council! Crazy night! I´m sure Vigi will tell you all about it!

We´ve seen, through the clouds, some spectacular views and trekked up to the local Ventisquero in a spectacular setting! The Puyuhuapi terms on the lakeside would have been unbelievable (what a setting!) were it not for two German families (4 children) turning this most serene place into your big city waterpark... Were it not for the girls, I would have ended the trip in a Chilean jail for homicide!

Keeping my fingers crossed for the clouds to lift and finally really experience the Carretera Austral... the end of the world!

Love,
Arnaud

Friday, February 17, 2006

Heading towards the end of the world.....






Hi!

We have reached the start of the Carretera Austral which begins in the world's butthole (Chaiten)... We have no time to write now (Virginie's entry dissapeared) since putting pictures on takes hours. We'll fill you in on the stories within a few days when civilisation returns and Vigi has turned 25 (19/2)!

For now we'll leave you with pictures of our departure from BA, Bariloche, the Chilean lake district, some volcanoes and the start of what is our Patagonian road trip... We're having the time of our lives!

Big hugs,

Virginie, Marie and Arnaud


Check the link!!! http://photobucket.com/albums/e175/gonesouth120/

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The missing pictures...





The missing pictures...





Buenos - I love you.

Link to all the latest pictures: http://photobucket.com/albums/e175/gonesouth120/
Scroll down to find those from Colonia de Sacramento (sorry they're late).

... last day in Buenos and now that I know a little more about the city and can say I've experienced it a bit - I'm confident to say I LOVE IT. What a city!
At first it felt a bit daunting - some of the first sights we got to see was an impressive high rise skyline from the boat, the immense 9 or so lane, jam packed, 9 de Julio avenue, and the famous Florida shopping street over crowded to say the least. Thank goodness we did not have to drive here. Hearing from Arnaud and Virginie's parents, following their trip to Argentina last Dec, about the unique way in which the locals drive in this city, we should have been prepared. However, there is no way of being prepared for this. Am I glad we din't have a car. Being a passenger in a taxi was by far thrilling enough for me!

Non-the-less, I would like to express that unlike the many travellers we've met, I will not compare Montevideo and Buenos. For me Montevideo still deserves all the applause we gave it - although I do admit, if I where asked to chose in which one to live, I would probably say Buenos Aires. The city really has a lot to offer. Great people, great architecture, great areas (La Boca, San Telmo, Palermo, Recoleta, Puerto Madero and of course the busy, busy centre.

The images (which will be shared via the link) which I will remember most are - an amazing football game cheering amoungs stressed out locals (the game we saw was very important to them for some sort of qualifying reason), the tango dancing in la Boca (as well as my first try at it), the abstract tango dancer bridge in Puerto Madero, the Recoleta cementary and the wonderful atmosphere!

Tonight we're off to Bariloche. Time to get away from the beaches (though I'm going to miss them) and the city (I need some quiet - this city is beyond loud) and onto real expanses of nature. Keep following, I'll be in touch soon.

Big hugs, Marie

A recap of our first month in SA....


Hola,

We´re spending our last day in BA and will be taking a 20 hours long busride southbound to Bariloche tonight... We´ve all absolutely loved Buenos Aires with its crazy traffic, enormous boulevards, beautifull architecture, sensuous tango and tango dancers, limitless football passion and great steaks! I´m sure Virginie and Marie will be filling you in on this, as will the pictures.

I just realised we´ve been ¨going south¨for exactly one month now and will take this opportunity to go over our highlights of the trip so far...

Parati, BRA: the cutest little colonial town just south of Rio offering great boat trips to go snorkeling in the bluest of waters, great little streets and a mud beach for skincare purposes... A little expensive for Brazilian norms. Recommended accomodation: Pousada Atoba, slightly out of town but with very friendly owners, a great garden and pool... A little above budget.
Recommended trip: a thrilling bus ride to Trinidad and it´s amazing beaches.

Ilha do Mel, BRA: The perfect island, no streets, no cars, just sandy paths... A great surfing beach, dolphins, huts... Recommended: a boat trip to see the dolphins with a live band on board and a bunch of bonckers Brazilians! (When going to or back from Ilha do Mel, avoid the train! Not worth the money nor the time it takes.)

Iguazu Falls, BRA-ARG: Breath-taking beauty and splendour, waterfalls all around you... Take a little boat trip underneath the falls with the water crashing on you! Fantastic! Both ARG and BRA sides need to be visited... Try to stay the night in Puerto Iguazu (ARG) and not in Foz de Iguacu (BRA).

Montevideo, URU: A gorgeous city with a splendid location on the Rio de la Plata... Go shopping! Go for a swim with the 1.3 million habitants all together on Pocitos Beach! Go for a Parilla in the Mercado del Puerto (don´t take the proposed selection though, unless you want to guess what part of which animal you are eating)...
Recommended accomodation: Hostal Palacio in the Centro Viejo... A lovely old house with lovely owners and lovely prices.

Colonia, URU: The most perfect town-city... The sunsets! Go swimming in the Rio de la Plata on the beaches slightly outside town...

Buenos Aires, ARG!

We have now parted with Kai (who might show up in Bariloche) and will see Fiona again in Bariloche... It´s been great to meet so many people again (Uruguay was a little lonely). Hi to all of you!


A few words to some of our faithfull Bloggers:

Anthony and Geoffrey - Take a little time of work and come to SA... You will find everything you´ve ever dreamt of here! Thank you for your comments!
Bonnemami en Bonpapi - Het is zo tof dat jullie ons dag per dag (of toch bijna) kunnen volgen en dat wij dan ook nog berichtjes krijgen...! Een heel dikke kus !
Mami and Papi: Thank you so much for all your messages and enthousiasm... Wish you could be here... BA is amazing indeed!
Catherine and Tan: I will try to write as detailed a description as possible for you to follow us in that atlas... I wish you were here to see this continent for real with us (there´s still space for a photographer!)
Helena: Back in Brussels it will be my honour to swipe you off your feet! You provide the hat?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

BA Baby!

Finally Buenos Aires....the city I´ve dreamt to see for so long. It´s everything I hoped it would be....and more. What a feeling, what traffic, what people, what sensual dances and what great football games (despite being heavily spat on from above where the opponents were seated, but that´s what you get when you buy cheap tickets. It was definitely part of the charm.)

My key board is yet again completely out of order so I will keep this one short. Well, the real reason is that I´m absolutely fed up with computers. I´m definitely the worst one at keeping this blog going, so hats of to Arnaud and Marie who are still as keen as the first day on keeping you all up dated and excited.

Besides being an amazingly beautiful city, it has also been a lot of fun to meet loads of people. Every day had at least two appointments, which means that B.A. has involved a LOT of running and then waiting around....with many people not showing up (neither on the 5th at 5 nor on the 6th at 6 at the Obelisk!), or showing up late.... but it was all worth it. We also got the opportunity to experience Hostel life as outsiders as Fiona lived in one right next to our Hotel. Excellent meeting place, but oh so nice to go back to the cosy hotels when those drunken, under aged Europeans that Helena spoke about just start getting to you.

Im tired and the key board is really gettting to me. Read Arnaud and Marie´s posts...they tend to be a hell of a lot better.
And it seems it´s picture time again!

Kisses!
Vigi

Short message & a few pics from BA

At the Boca game - we're big supporters now (look Arnaud has the t-shirt). We won 4-0 woohoo


San Telmo market
Arnaud has really caught on to tango. Pictures of him and I taking our first improvised street lesson will follow soon...


Hello All,

This will again just be a quick message (sorry), just to let you all know that the photo's and updated entries will come shortly. The city life is much more hectic than the beach life.

We have had rdvs every single day since we arrived and are having a hard time combining visiting the city and meeting our appointments. We are loving Buenos and are really looking forward to telling you all about it as well as showing you the many pictures we've taken.

Please don't give up hope. We'll be back on track soon.

Big hugs, Marie

Monday, February 06, 2006

From Montevideo to BA

Hi,

As I said, Blogger is acting up and we are unable to upload pictures for the moment. So, in the mean time, I´ll try to remember what I wrote in the last entry...

Montevideo was the second biggest city we visited (after Curitiba, which has very little to offer) and had everything going for it... The architecture, though often delapidated, was an amazing mix between early 20th century buildings, art nouveau and deco and brilliant 1950´s ¨American diner architecture¨... 80% of the cars were either vintage beauties or killing machines that should have been taken of the road 20 years ago. The beaches were more crowded than in peak season Benidorm... and yet so nice to be on whilst overlooking the center of the capital. Trees line the streets everywhere and except for the port at night, Montevideo is safe.

Then came Colonia. Probably the most perfect little place I´ve come across. With its location across from Buenos Aires on the Rio de la Plata, it reminded me of Parati (Brazil), a little coastal town, but with wide avenues and great buildings befitting a city... The old center is made up of small cobblestone alleys with beautiful houses and the bay overlooking the river (which is more like an ocean, with the other side hidden far behind the horizon) is the most beautifull setting for the most dramatic sunsets... Swimming in the river was a pleasure!

Waking up at 3.00 am, we took the ferry from Colonia to Buenos Aires... offering us a beautiful sunrise and an impressive view of the BA skyline early in the morning. BA is amazing! We managed to meet up with Fiona the evening of our arrival (beyond knackered) and have been to San Telmo market and La Boca, where Marie and I had our first Tango lesson in front of the street public. Yesterday we went to a BOCA Juniors game! Amazing... Contrary to most foreigners here, we didn´t buy the 90 peso tickets at the hostel and instead bought 14 peso tickets and sat amongst the Boca supporters, jumping, dancing and singing! Great experience.

Whereas some people have mentioned our diminished enthousiam, I can assure all of you that we are having a blast! Meeting Fiona on the other side of the world and having her as our guide has been fantastic! We´ve all had our downs... Virginie has been missing her man and Marie her mom and sister... I, now and then, sulk about not having a car and the girls ganging up against me (sounds dramatic) ... But most of all, it´s not easy to use superlatives at all times... We´ve now reached BA and all three of us agree that we´ve seen enough beaches and cities... It´s time to head south and leave some of the comfort behind!

Besos,
Arnaud

Blog problems...

Hi,

Just a quick one to tell everyone that Blogger has been experiencing major problems and that following this, Virginie´s and my last posts have been deleted... We´ll try to put them back on the blog, if not we´ll just have to write a longer update!

Arnaud