Monday, December 26, 2011

Getting here

Hola everyone, I've decided to try and do a blog for my time in South America. I was inspired by friend Glenn although I don't think mine will be half as funny (sorry all our mutual friends, he set a high bar). I will also not be eating frogs in blender or any kind of rodent. I don't care if there's a tv crew filming me or not. That said, Glenn are you sure it was for a documentary and not some show about tourists being dickheads and eating gross things for the amusement of locals??? I'll look out for you on tv while here.

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas day. Mine started by getting up at 5am. I was already hot and sweaty by the time I got to the airport, a sign of things to come I assumed. At least until I got to Auckland where it was just 19C Bro! WTF? It's meant to be summer. And my cardi was checked in so I was shivering for about 4 hours at the freezing airport. I kept having to go into the bathrooms and use the hand dryers to warm up.
There is a massive map of the world in Auckland airport and I was looking at how far south some of the places I'm going in Chile and Argentina are, and now I think its going to be much colder than the north end of NZ. In fact, I think it will be the southern hemisphere equivalent of an Aberdeen summer and my UK friends know what I think of that - shit! I only bought one jumper, but its for 3 days then back to the heat. Update: I flew over lots of snow capped mountains on the way up to Buenos Aires (the flight heads south in NZ towards Antarctica and then back up again when it gets to South America). Also Buenos Aires is not that warm so far, only 25C, and definitely not humid. It reminds of summer in Adelaide or Melbourne. Some French guy in the hostel said it was really cold here the other day (that definitely sounds like Melbourne.) He said he had a jumper on. I'm worried!

I got upgraded to Emirates business class between Brisbane and Auckland. Basically I got an email from Emirates the other day saying I have a bunch of points that are about to expire. I looked at what 20k points gets you and its not much, basically a $50 Westfield shopping voucher or business class upgrade between Brisbane and Auckland. Hmm, not really a tough choice. Ah to be rich and travel business class all the time!

So I am now in Buenos Aires. The Aerolineas flight was horrible. It was like flying Qantas domestic the whole way. No entertainment system, no footrest, very little room, and of course it was running about 2 hrs late. The veggie food was ok though so that's at least something. However, I do not recommend it for long haul flights. Wish I'd flown LAN or better still, Emirates (but sadly they don't fly here from Oz/NZ).

Bought myself a Portuguese phrase book in Brissy airport. My goal in the Spanish speaking countries is not to speak English with locals, even if I'm shit and they can't understand me. Monica, you'll be pleased to know I've been practicing rolling my Rs and I'm getting much better. Back to the Portuguese phrasebook, I will also try speaking it in Brazil but it will be harder since I know far less words. Still, there's nothing like setting yourself a challenge, because travelling by myself for 6 weeks clearly isn't enough. Update: I managed to only speak Spanish on the plane, buy a bus ticket from the airport to the hostel, and buy my first dinner (which was vegan in a regular restaurant). Unfortunately check in at the hostel was a little harder cos the guy gave me a map and had to explain stuff to me in English.

I'll assume India is winning the boxing day test already. Someone please keep me updated.

No photos with this one, since I don't go around taking photos at airports.

Adios amigos!