Friday 28 December 2012

Looting, sunshine and too much red wine

24/12/12 Seasons Greetings from Argentina

We are now quite a long way South from Ushuaia, having spent the last 3 days or so driving. Nothing much to report apart from some very impressive cave art seen yesterday. It is called Cueva de las manos, or the cave of hands as there are hundreds of hand prints dating back 10,000. I will update some photos when I have a quicker internet connection.

We are spending Christmas at Los Alerces National Park in Northern Patagonia (it is named after the local huge trees). Christmas should therefore be quite relaxing and fingers crossed for sunshine rather than snow as we are camping in quite a remote area. Turkey is not on the menu, but I believe we will have a mouth watering selection of barbequed meals to enjoy and of course lots of lovely Argentinean red wine. As it is Christmas I have even bought some chocolate lacquer to enjoy.

I hope that everyone has a great Christmas back home.

Merry Christmas, Anthony

26/12/12 Christmas in the Sunshine

Well that was certainly an interesting way to spent Christmas day. No turkey, but we had a wonderful spread of beef & lamb to enjoy and even cranberry sauce all the way from Blighty. Thanks M&D for the card and Christmas socks, very nice and I now have a smart pair of socks to wear out on the town.

We also had secret Santa on the truck, which is always good fun. I got a huge Argentinean mug, which came in handy when the wine started to flow. Bit of a sore head come Boxing Day, but you have to let your hair down every once in a while. Luckily I have had all of Boxing Day to recover. Very relaxing day with lovely weather and nothing to do apart from enjoy the holiday spirit.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas back home, roll on New Year!


28/12/12 Bariloche

We are currently in Bariloche for a few days. The town in located in the middle of the Argentinean Lake District and is considered the adventure sport capital of Argentina. It is also the chocolate capital of the country, but I am not really sure why because all of the coco beans are imported? It is currently full with thousands upon thousands of Argentinean students letting their hair down, so can be a bit lively.

We also had a bit of looting the other day (not the students for once), but this is fairly common in this part of the world. When you see the mess the government and local states make of everything, good luck to the looters! It is also the only way to buy food without having to queue for a ridiculous length of time, so maybe the looters just got board of waiting?

A few of our group went white water rafting today, but the river they are going down is a bit tame for my liking (grade 3/4). We have the opportunity to go down a few grade 4/5 rivers, which is a bit more interesting (grade 5 is the max difficulty). Rather than any real extreme sports, I am planning a bit of cycling tomorrow with a 60 km route around the local mountains. I have had a good three weeks off the bike, so it will be interesting to see how the legs fair. If I do struggle up the hills it is because the hire mountain bike is so heavy and not lack of fitness!

I hope that everyone is enjoying the Christmas period and that it has finally stopped raining back home. As we are currently camping, luckily we have had unbroken sunshine for the past few days. It is however still very cold at night and first thing in the morning, which can be a bit of a shock to the system (shorts & t-shirt in the day to woolly hat & thermals in the tent).

Fingers crossed my phone should work in Chile, which is our destination in a few days time, so I should be able to catch up with everyone and say hello.


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