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Chris Upsdale - Lost in South America
19 Jan 2008

Buenos Dias Well I finally made it to a country where its Spanish speaking the currency exchange is better and the climate more constant.   but to pick up from last time, I spent Friday on the Beach, before heading to a club wed seen from the bus getting down there, it was on Copacabana beach front and huge, it was called Help and prhaps the name should have been an indication as to what we were letting our selves into.   We arrived and were expressed through to the front whilst queues of gorgeous looking girls waited, inside every girl was very friendly and talkative and when a 25 year old cute little thing wandered past with fake breasts rubbing her chin holding the hand of a 70 year old guy with a hobble..................... the truth suddenly dawned on us - and there was me thinking my latest flowery shirt was a hit!   At this point Jason knocks some Guys drink as we squeeze through to the bar and suddenly 3 American Pilots are surrounding us trying to give us a hard time, well, Jason falls into dumb Ozzie Bondi beach mode whilst I give it the best Cockney I can and soon we are all best buds and they are buying us rounds of drinks on their flight accounts.   They have picked/negotiated with some girls who do quite the most un-lady like of things and we decide once the free drinks seem to have stopped to make our excuses and leave. The next couple of days are spent on Ipanema Beach and on the Saturday night everyone from the hostel is invited to a party at the owners brothers Bar up in the hills of Sant Teresa - Here I learn a very real new lesson, Taxi drivers are a law unto themselves - our guy had no idea where he was going and just tried his best to follow the taxi in front, the front suspension was shot to pieces and we constantly drifted towards the pavement, traffic lights were meaningless to him and the car was so knackered he never got out of second gear! pulling up at the bar, Ive never jumped out so quick in all my life!   Good party though and we end up at Lapa (the nightclub district) till 5am.   Everyone thinks that me and Jason are brothers (were similar looking) so our story of being twins seperated at birth only to meet 34 years late in Latin Ameirca is blossoming. Monday sees me pack my bags and head for Uruguay, I have a hostel booked and a CHEAP ticket which stops at roughly every Airport it possibly can on the way, the normally 3 hour flight takes 7, on the plane I am clearly struggling with my immigration papers (they dont have them in English) and two gentlemen lean over and help, they are called Fernando and Arniosto and they have been to a monster truck racing event in Brasilia.   Fernandos brother is picking him up and offers to drive me to my hostal as its on the way and Fernando insists I call him tomorrow and hell take me out to a traditional Uruguyan restaurant for lunch - cool.   The trip to the hostal turns into a mini tour of Montevideo which is cool and once there I am feeling strangely ill  suddenly, and head to bed after a long day.    Next day I can barely move and feel as if Im dying, I consider Dengue Fever, Diptheria and Yellow Fever but after a quick diagnosis decide its Flu.    FLU, I fucking ask you, I didnt travel all this way to get something mundane like flu, but anyways!   Spend the day in bed and a childrens nurse from Leeds helps me with some food and water.   I almost certainly took far more than the recommended amount of paracetamols and by Wednesday morning I can move again, I feel like Ive got to do something so call Fernando and arrange to meet him for lunch.   Hes a Naval captain and we go to his base where I think I am going to get a really cool tour but he just wants to show me the Graf Spee Anchor (Naval battle here during WWII - google it)   we go to this cool little eatery with a BBQ behind the bar we sit at, we drink Medio y Medio (half champagne, half sweet wine concotion) and then the meal for two he has ordered us arrives.   Basically its a plate of meat - about 3 kilos of it, and there are 3 red pepper slices as a garnish on top and thats it - we tuck in and after a 8 ounce steak, beef rib and chorizo sausage I am sweating profusely, my hearts pounding and I feel dizzy so decide to stop.    Fernando laughs and carries on, hes ate the same, and then finishes off another beef rib, half a chicken, some intestines, kidneys - it was amazing to watch. These people love meat and they cant half eat it.   I do a tour of the city in the afternoon and then decide to get out of Montevideo so take a 3 hour bus ride down the coast to Colonial Del Sacramento where I can hop on a ferry to Argentina the next day!   Flu still bad so another early night. Tour Colonial with two austrians and then we all go to get the ferry to Buenos Aires(BA).  I get to the boarding gate and the guard explains I need a boat ticket to BA and not a bus ticket to Montevideo, Im flabbergasted I know my Spanish isnt fluent but theres not a chance I could end up with  this ticket when I ordered a  ticket to  Argentina.   Decide the ticket reps having a right old laugh with me so call him cock sucker whilst he re does my  ticket  "bye bye cock sucker" etc, he smiles and nods! BAs alright but I am still exhausted from flu so go to bed early again.   Spend the next day walking around Recolecta a posh suburb with Eva Perons grave and a load of museums to explore - BA truly is massive, 13 million people and the central through fare has 10 lanes in each direction.   Get to the central station that night and its bedlam, theres no real train system and so everyone travels by bus, thousands of people are travelling tonight for christmas and Im one of them.   2 hours late I luckily board my bus for Cordoba where I meet Zoe the next morning.   We spend the day travelling to Cosquin and the mountains just north of Cordoba and that evening I am set up on a blind date from the US who wants to go to a Tango show, sounds good and before Ive really thought about it, Ive agreed and then spend the interim time picturing some 300llb obnoxious woman drooling over her Chorizo at me whilst photographing anything that moves.   Turns out shes really nice and we have a great night till 6am drinking, dancing and chatting!   (Any chance of pulling was ruined when I nearly wet myself laughing as she ploughed her -flip flop wearing foot- through the biggest dog poo imagninable) Im meeting all Zoes parents and family today (theyre divorced) and we celebrate Christmas on the 24th here.   Christmas day will be spent at her mums chilling out round the pool Anyways - Have a very merry Christmas, drink eat and be merry etc and I will catch up with you  all in the new year when I will be back in Rio (somehow)

19 Jan 2008

:::Chris Upsdale - Lost in South America,,2
posted 19 January 2008


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