Friday, 14 June 2013

10 things to do whilst waiting for your connecting flight at Sao Paulo Airport

1) Drink beer

2) Drink more beer

3) Eat salted peanuts after drinking beer

4) Try to get rid of your unspent Argentinean pesos that no one wants because Argentina is an economic basket case with a rubbish currency

5) Ponder why Duty Free shops the world over sell exactly the same things and only accept US dollars

6) Try all of the sampler aftershaves

7) Discover that Sao Paulo airport is much smaller than you would expect and takes less than 5 minutes to circuit

8) Surf the internet on the worlds slowest Wi-Fi

9) Update the blog

10) Run out of things to do!

Monday, 10 June 2013


Hello from Montevideo, Uruguay. Capital of the country and a very pleasant city on the banks of the Rio de la Plata, Montevideo has a much more laid back feeling to it than its bigger brother across the water, Buenos Aires. I have had a day and a bit to explore the city, which is enough considering it’s fairly small size. Today has been a very enjoyable day of sightseeing, taking in a few museums and art galleries and even a wine tasting thrown in this afternoon.

Our hotel is in the middle of the old town, a great base for exploring the nearby plazas, art deco buildings and seafront. Particularly impressive is Palacio Salvo, the first skyscraper in Uruguay (competed in 1928) and a wonderful example of art deco OTT. The wine tasting was also very enjoyable and I can recommend a good Uruguayan tannat, the red wine the country is most famous for producing. The wineries were much smaller than the ones we visited in Chile and Argentina, but it was great to meet some very passionate wine makers and of course sample lots of their fine wines.

Back to Argentina tomorrow and then I have three days in BA before I fly home. The South American odyssey is coming to an end!


Plaza de la Indepencia with PlacioSalvo in the background

Montevideo cathedral

Plaza Zabala

Central bank, modelled on the Bank of England by the look of it

Docks, Montevideo is a major commercial port in South America

Hard at work wine tasting

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Top 10 South Americans

Top 10 South Americans (in no particular order):

René Higuita (Colombia)
Crazy haired Colombian goalkeeper who tried to single handily dribble past the entire Cameroon team during Italia 90 and gave us the scorpion kick. His nickname was ‘El Loco’, the madman, says it all really!

Che Guevara (Argentina)
Rabble rousing, cigar smoking Argentinean who helped lead a socialist revolution in Cuba, got board, tried to do the same thing in Bolivian and was shot by the CIA. Please do not buy a T-shirt with that picture on it! (but nice tracksuit).

Hugo Chavez (Venezuela)
Recently deceased president and "Doctor Evil" dictator of Venezuela. He could sing, he could dance and deliver 4 hour speeches demonising the US at the drop of a hat. What more could you want in a leader!

 Blas de Lezo (Colombia)
One-eyed, one-armed & one-legged Colombian sailor famous for preventing the British from sacking Cartagena in 1741. Not very original, but his nickname was pegleg.

 Maradona (Argentina)
Cheating Argentinean footballer who is nuttier than a fruitcake, but in his pomp was the undisputed best footballer in the world. Almost single handily lead Argentina to World Cup victory in 1986.

Simon Bolivar (Venezuela)
General who was so good they named a country after him. Father of South American independence and former president of Colombia, Bolivia & Peru, all at the same time.

Rigoberto Urán (Colombia)
Colombian cyclist who just finished second in the 2013 Giro d’Italia and won silver at London 2012. He also happens to ride for Team Sky.

Gauchito Gil (Argentina)
South American Robin Hood and folk saint in Argentina. A former outlaw killed in 1878, on the anniversary of his death (8th Jan) celebrations are held honoring "Gauchito" Gil, where people dance, sing and make merry.

Pele (Brazil)
745 goals in 807 games. Beat that Lionel Messi! Without doubt the greatest footballer to ever play the game. Not to be confused with Gary Doherty, the “Ginger Pele”.  

Gisele Bundchen (Brazil)
Brazilian model, super WAG and quite possibly the worst actress in the history of the world (exhibit A: Taxi & The Devil Wears Prada). Stick to modelling underwear Gisele.  


Friday, 7 June 2013

By the beach in Uruguay

Hello from Punta del Diablo, Eastern Uruguay. A former small fishing village, Punta del Diablo is now a major backpacker destination, with miles of sandy beaches and hostels and holiday homes everywhere. With it being winter here the resort is very quiet, with very few tourists. We have two days here, which will be spent relaxing and walking on the beach. I did attempt some surfing today, but the waves were a bit too big for my liking and ability (big boys stuff!). The weather so far has been good, so fingers crossed for the next couple of days.

Prior to Punta del Diablo we spent a day in Punta del Este, probably the most exclusive and expensive resort in the whole of South America. Think high rise luxury apartments, million dollar yachts and more boutique shops than you can shake a stick at. Again it was very quite due to the time of year, but it was interesting to see another side of South America. How the other half live!

After some R&R by the sea it is off to Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay for some culture, good food and nightlife. Montevideo also marks the final new destination of my trip, so hopefully it will be a lively and interesting city.


Punta del Este

Monumento al Ahogado, Punta del Este

Punta del Diablo

Sunrise at Punta del Diablo

Rex my faithful companion. He followed me for about 2 hours on the beach.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Colonia del Sacramento

Hello from Colonia del Sacramento, Western Uruguay. Well what a nice little town. Founded in 1680, the seaside town of Colonia has at times been under both Portuguese and Spanish and contains an interesting mix of both colonial architectures. Cobbled streets, fancy restaurants and a number of interesting little museums. We have had a couple of days here, having caught the ferry over from Buenos Aires yesterday.

Uruguay has a more organised feel from Argentina and you can see why it is known as the Switzerland of South America. Tomorrow we are off to Punta del Este, which is one of the most exclusive beach resorts in the whole of South America. It will be interesting to see what it is like in the winter, but if the weather is an nice as it has been today, a dip in the sea may be called for.


Matriz Church

Mobile garden

Calle D-los Suspiros, the most famous cobbled street in Uruguay

100 year old former bullfighting ring closed in 1914 after only 2 years service

Former church with modern lighthouse attached

Colonia del Sacramento

Monday, 3 June 2013

Best pics from Bolivia

Below are a selection of my favourite photos from Bolivia, enjoy!

Dramatic sky over Lake Titcaca


Historic centre of La Paz

La Paz Cathedral

La Paz skyline

Taxi road block

Hills around Tupiza, real wild west country

World's strongest man final 2013

Extracting salt the hard way

Floating Bert

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Sunset over the salt flats

Checking to make sure the famous salt hotel is indeed made of salt!