Ciarán & Elaine's Travelog

Friday, September 30, 2005

Pantanal Day 3

Tired, so tired.

Today we were up at 5am (ouch) to see the sunrise. Didn´t quite make it to see the very start, but it was nice all the same.

Walking through the jungle again but we didn't see quite as many animals. Saw an armadillo from a distance but it had gone back into its nest/hole by the time we caught up. While we were walking Carlos goes up to this big tree and starts slashing at its branches with his machete. He takes this fruit type thing out (palm / coconut seed) of the centre of it and then splits it in half. He tells us that one of the halves can be used for purifying water and the other half he turns upside down and it looks like a white Christmas tree. Pretty cool.

We also saw a wild boar, but he moved pretty fast when he saw us. Back to camp for brekkie and then Carlos helps up to make chains out of baby coconut seeds and the chain part is made of Aloe Vera plant.

In the afternoon, we got a 4x4 truck to the lodge. We saw loads of different animals and birds. We also was a Cappibarra (big rodent) that was hobbling across the road in front of us with half of its arse bitten off - nature can be tough.

We had just arrived at the lodge beside the Rio Negro when Carlos started shouting for all of us. We follow him and all of a sudden he picks up a snake with a bamboo stick. It was a baby Anaconda! Even though it was a baby it was still about 6 or 7 feet long. We both touched it and got our pictures taken with it and Carlos. I've never seen Elaine with a bigger smile!

We were then given bamboo rods and went waist deep into the Rio Negro to fish for piranha. Sooo much fun! I had 3 hooked but 1 got away and Elaine had 5 hooked but 2 of hers got away. What an amazing way to spend an afternoon, although I would say there's nothing quite like the panic that sets in when you drop a piece of your cow heart bait into the water beside you by accident!

Carlos then cleaned the piranha and they were cooked by the guides and served to us in the bar! Piranha is actually really nice, although seeing the teeth up that close and personal is kinda weird!

Had some dinner then and all of went back to the bar for some beer and cards. The Israeli couple, Adi & Elad, showed us how to play a new game called Yanif, which went on for hours but was great fun. Linda was the eventual winner.

There was a huge electrical storm while we were in the bar that night. The sky was literally lightening up every 2 seconds with another flash - quite a spectacle.

We went to bed in our dorm bunk beds. I was on the top bunk and when I got into bed Elaine screamed - a lizard had just run along the wall when I disturbed it! I don´t think Elaine slept too well that night...

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Pantanal Day 2

Today we were woken up at about 6am by what can only be described as the sound of loads of people belching very loudly. It turns out that the howler monkeys that live in the trees above our hammocks wake up every day at this time, so we're not too hopeful about getting many lie in's here!

Our guide, Carlos, comes in and makes sure we're all awake and after a bit of brekkie we're off walking into the jungle. On the way we see Cotimundi's (related to racoons), Tucans, Hawks, Vultures, Caiman's (alligators) and a host of other animals. Its extremely hot and when walking through the trees we're all just dripping sweat with the humidity.

After about 4 hours walking through plains and jungle we go back to the camp to have lunch at about 11am. Our guide tells us that its 33 degrees at 10am...pretty hot for our Irish skin!

We have bean stew for lunch (bean everything is pretty big in Brazil) and go for a rest in the hammocks to get out of the midday sun. Everyone's sleep is pretty restless because of the heat and we're all woken finally by Dom's loud fart, which even manages to wake him!

The afternoon was soo hot and we didn't start walking again until 3pm as Carlos told us it was too hot to be out in. After about 30 mins walking Elaine starts to feel physically sick with the heat and we all take a break in the shade.

After walking for a bit more we come across a lake with alligators in it where we could swim. Carlos calls some of us over and lets us touch the back of the alligators. Elaine got a good photo so I've got proof!

On the way back we stopped for 20 mins to watch the sunset which was really beautiful and then back to camp for dinner.

After dinner, when it was completely pitch black Carlos took us out to the lake beside the camp to look for alligators. He had a torch to find them as their eyes glow red under the light - not menacing at all!

All of a sudden Carlos was in a sprint into the water, plunged his hands in and took out a struggling baby alligator about 4 foot long. He brought it back to the path and we were all looking at it when he put it on the ground, upside down, held it tightly and started scratching and rubbing its belly. He told us all to be quiet. After about 5 minutes of doing this he let go and its legs just went limp and it was still. He'd put it to sleep! Carlos rocks!

Back to camp for a chat around the campfire and then off to bed. We tried to go to bed a little earlier at all light in the camp went out at 11 and it was really pitch black without them. I was off brushing my teeth when the lights went out and I hear Elaine screaming at the hammocks!

It turns out that a bat had made its way into our hammock hut and had been swooping around Elaine. She started screaming when the light went out! Not to worry though, it made its way out of the hut and that was the end of the drama for the night...

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Pantanal day 1

The first day of our Pantanal trip begins today. We`ve been hearing lots of stories about Puma`s getting into the campsite last week so we`re quite excited to get going.

We start off in a little mini bus which takes us 4 hours into the middle of nowhere. During this time there`s a bit of an argy bargy over seats between some German`s and an English couple and we decide straight away that that the English couple (Lin & Dom) are our kind of people.

After 4 hours on the mini bus we swap over to a 4x4 truck and get talking to Lin & Dom over a beer on the back of the truck. We meet our guide, Carlos, who is a really cool guy. Very "Indiana Jones meets Mick Dundee" . We say goodbye to civilisation and head off on another 4 hour drive up a (very) bumpy dirt track.

Along the way Carlos gets the driver to stop many times to show us alligators, cappibarra (huge rodents), tucan`s and a giant anteater which was really cool.

Eventually the sun sets and darkness falls. The sound of the jungle in the dark was amazing as all the animals ventured out. At one stage a firefly got caught inside Ciaran`s t-shirt which made his sleeve glow red and green - looked really cool. So there we are, literally hundreds of miles from any sort of civilisation, bumping along on the back of an open truck, swallowing flies when we realise that our driver seems to be going around in circles. It`s pitch black outside and we`re driving through jungle and it`s starting to feel just a little bit like everything`s not going to plan....

After about an hour or so of circling the driver makes a breakthrough (well what really happened is Carlos our guide had fallen asleep and the driver had gotten lost) and before we know it we`ve arrived at our camp.

The camp consists of three big mosquito net huts with about 20 hammocks lined up side by side in each. A dining hut. A shower and toilet block and campfire. There`s a light in the toilets and a light in the hammock hut but apart from that it`s black dark. Not to worry though cause clever people that we are, we bought two torches that morning.

Dinner is served and then we sit around the campfire until about 10.30 when we decide to hit the hammocks as we`ve to be up at 6am for a trek. Just as we`re brushing our teeth the lights get turned out and naturally when we try our torches neither of them are working. I suppose that`s what you get for paying about 50cent each....

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Campo Grande

We´re in Campo Grande at the moment, flew in this morning from Rio (thanks again for the happy pills Ellie!)

It´s a bit of a one horse town but that doesn´t matter as we´re only here to catch a tour to the Pantanal.

The Pantanal is the most densly populated wildlife area in the world. It´s a wetlands area about the size of wales and they estimate they´ve got about 35 million alligators!! eek!
We leave in the morning on a 4x4 tour for about 4 days.

Hoping to see an anaconda, we hear they´re common around these parts...

Monday, September 26, 2005

Favela Tour

Went on a tour of the biggest Favela (slum) in Rio today called Rochina. There are 220,000 people living in this Favela and there are approx another 250 Favela´s in Rio. They reckon that 20% of Rio´s population lives in these slums - quite an amazing figure...

The tour was fantastic. Got picked up at the hostel and were brought to the base of the mountain (all slums are built on mountain sides) where we had to change to motorbikes to get to the top. A little bit of a white knuckle ride!

Once we were at the top the guide led us down through the Favela and we got to see how people live. They´ve got everything normal - shops, bars, community centres etc it´s just that they´re not regular buildings. They´re buildings thrown on top of one another, built with whatever material they could find and because there is no space to buy land they buy each other´s roof and put their place on that...

The best place to live is at the top of the mountain as the further down you go the narrower the laneways get (they are only one person wide) and the less facilities they have ie clean running water...

All of the Favela´s are run by 3 drug barons who have up to 500 people in each Favela´s working for them. These people could be dealers, guards with guns or 8 year old kids paid to lookout for police and set off fireworks to warn the dealers if they see any.
It´s hard for the kids to turn down the ´job offer´as they can earn up to r$600 (250 euro) a month which is more than their parents can earn working a normal job.

Saying this, everyone we met and saw in the Favela were lovely and smiley but that´s because the company we were with donate 60% of the tour cost to the favela and have set up community centres and help to rebuild homes that have fallen apart...

It was such an eye opener and a complete culture shock from beautiful copacabana... probably the best thing we´ve done in Rio...

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Ipanema Hippie Fair

Visited Ipanema Hippie Fair and I bought a couple of nice chunky jewellery things. Really great day just chilling out at the fair and then a picnic on the beach.

Ended up in an irish bar for "one or two"....

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Bus tour of Rio

Spent the morning sitting by the beach drinking straight from a coconut that they cut open with a machete in front of you, listening to funny guys in a samba band.
In the afternoon we headed off on a tour of the city. Went up through the Tijuca national park to see the Christ the Redeemer statue. When we got there it was so cloudy that we could only get brief glimpses of it whenever the clouds blew over. The clouds also finished off any ideas of paragliding - not to worry we´ve still got New Zealand. We did see a monkey in the trees just below the statue though!

Had dinner in Garota de Ipanema which is where the Girl from Ipanema was composed. Dinner was delicious and we were lucky enough to see an impromptu capoeira performance (that´s the martial art that looks like dancing, remember the BBC ad). The guys were unbelievable sommersaulting through rings of fire and backflipping over eight foot high flaming rope..

Ended the night watching the sea come in on Ipanema beach...

Friday, September 23, 2005

Pao de Acuçar & the prostitute...

We got cable cars up the sugarloaf mountain this evening and watched the sunset and the city light up. It was fantastic to see although getting the cable cars was a bit scary for Elaine.

Went back to the hostel and got chatting to the others staying here. Decided that we would all go to Lapa which is an area of the city where they have a big outdoor street party every weekend. We headed off in a convoy of four taxi´s to a house party first and then on to lapa at about 1am.

It wasn´t like anything we´ve been to before. A complete outdoors samba carnival with bands playing in the street and guys with cases of beer on the side of the road. Everyone just dancing and having a great time.

Obviously cause it´s a street party there´s no toilets. I asked the guy´s whose party we were at what do people do and he pointed to some arches and told me to go there.
Elaine asked me to give her my money just in case - oh the irony that I should tell her that I was only going for a pee and nothing could possibly happen.

So off I went and found a wall full of other blokes relieving themselves and half way through I´m approached by a Tina Turner lookalike prostitute who started dancing up against me and grabbing at me. It´s more difficult than you´d think to push someone away and not splash all over yourself!
Elaine the guard dog had decided to follow me ´just in case´and isn´t impressed to see this. As she comes over to tell the yoke to get lost yer one pulls my money out of my pocket. Fair play to Elaine, she nearly wrestled her to the ground to get the cash but too late, some other opportunist saw what was happening and mugged the mugger!! He ran off like a light followed by Tina Turner screaming at him for her hard earned cash back.

Don´t get me wrong though, it was a brilliant night and we partied on till the early hours. They didn´t get much money at all but 3 out of our group of 20 got mugged that night, obviously they´re waiting for the tourists...

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Girls volleyball on the beach...

Spent the day wandering around Copacabana and down to Ipanema.
The beaches are huge but by the look of things the water seems polluted...

So far we love Rio. It´s so alive and seems to have everything you´d ever need right on your doorstep. The views are amazing and the place is buzzing the whole time. The city is built right beside the sea with jutting mountains all around. Tunnels are cut through the mountains for the cars to get around.

The people are really friendly and so image conscious. There seems to be tonnes of people with facelift - skin all stretched back and freaky looking.

Crime is quite bad though and after only being out of the hostel for two minutes we witnessed a double mugging of two separate women on the street. The good thing though is that as soon as they screamed every single person in the area started running after the kids that robbed them. A couple of seconds later they had their belongings back but the kids just ran off.

Spent the evening at Ipanema beach, having a couple of beers at one of the beach huts. It was the happiest moment of my life when the girls volley ball team started practicing right in front of us.... what a great way to spend an evening...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Rio here we come...

After two hours sleep it was time to get the ferry back to Brazil, poor aul Kate left with us and seeing as we had an hour or so to kill on the boat I thought it would be a perfect time to try out my eyebrow dying kit... poor poor Kate with the illuminous eyebrows, she may never speak to us again.
On the good side - at least I got to test my skill before ruining my own face.... (sorry Kate).

Arrived in Rio and everyone started staring at me again. Seriously I don´t think they even knew that people came with red hair and freckles. I feel like a freak show! Hope it doesn´t get as bad as Buenos Aires here with people stopping in their tracks to look at me...

Checked into our hostel in Copacabana and had an early night, one too many capirinha´s has finished us off...

ps. Wander and Fabrizio if you read this we´ve lost your e-mail addresses already so drop us a line.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Cobra... and the island of Fabrizio´s...

We´re woken this morning by the sound of our screaming landlady followed by much bashing and shouting. They had discovered a cobra sleeping in a laundry basket outside our room!!
What an exciting start to the day!

We would´ve liked to have gone kayaking today but they tell us it´s too windy so we just lazed about on another beach, swimming and taking it easy...

As it´s our last night on Ilha Grande we headed up into town and met up with the local guys for one too many caipirinha´s. Discovered our barman who we´ve been calling Freddy for a week is actually called Fabrizio and couldn´t figure out why we were calling him Freddy... we´re not too sure either but soon discover that Billy is also called Fabrizio. We reckon this must be the ´Paddy´of Brazil. Billy also tells us that at the grand old age of 26 he has 6 children to 4 different mothers and has 33 brothers and sisters - fertile family!

Ended the night lying out on the deck watching the stars until the sun started to come up....

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Quest for Lopes Mendes... day two...

Today, we decided on the smart option. We got the boat to what has now become known as Lopes Mendes II and went in search of the real Lopes Mendes!

It turned out it was only a 30 minute hike from where we were yesterday!

It was worth every bit of effort. Completely beautiful and unspoilt. The rainforest went right down to the white powdery sand which had the same texture as snow under our feet and the sea was fantastic - bluey green with huge waves, exactly how you would imagine one of the most beautiful beaches in the world to look...

We had a fantastic day, lying under palm trees and swimming in the warm water, getting knocked over by huge waves - complete heaven...

Back to the hostel where we stumbled across the biggest worm in the world! Seriously, this thing was at least 4 foot long (and no, it wasn´t a snake!).

Watched the sunset and chilled out in the hostel bar with the gang - a perfect day.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Quest for Lopes Mendes... day one...

We´ve heard that the most beautiful beach in Brazil is on the island so today we thought it would be a brilliant idea to head off into the jungle to find it.... maybe we should´ve brought a map...

After breakfast and a swim, myself, Elaine, Kate and Ralf set off on our trek through the jungle. Elaine was suitably hungover and the searing humidity and 2 hour uphill climb through the jungle lead to a lovely bout of puking for her!

Along the way (apart from Elaine´s breakfast), we saw a monkeys and squirrels and a procession of really big ants that were all carrying leaves about 10 times the size of them.

I also found the going a bit tough, especially on the way down the other side of the mountain because I had absolutely no grip in the red mud and spent about 2 hours sliding down the hill.

When we finally emerged from the jungle, we were pretty disappointed to see Lopes Mendes. it wasn´t the nicest beach on the island, let alone Brazil. We stopped off and bought ourselves a few drinks and the locals there told us that that beach wasn´t Lopes Mendes at all! We needed to trek up another mountain, back into the jungle.

After another climb up and slide down we saw another beach - nice but not amazing. By this stage it had started raining as it only possibly could in a rain forest - huge drops. It was after 3 ´clock and seeing as it starts getting dark over here at about 5.30 we decided to call off the quest and get the boat back to the town. Lucky we got there at that time because the last boat was leaving just as we reached it.

The boat ride back wass pretty rocky and the rain was pouring down - soaked again! We did see a flying fish though so that was good. At one stage Elaine and I had our goggles on trying to see out!

Took it easy that night - just a couple of Caipirinha´s!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Attack of the giant snails

Dragged our hungover heads out of bed and decided that a swim would be the best thing for us.
The two of us and Kate went for a walk along one of the trails and found a deserted beach and had a lovely swim in the warm water.

Spent the day chilling out (cause we´re so stressed..) and then headed into town with the gang and our two barmen, Freddy and Billy.

On the way we discovered that the island is covered in giant snails the size of my head. Okay maybe not as big as my head but they were still seriously huge - about 6 inches high x 6 inches long. We´ve never seen anything like it. Billy warned us not to touch them though because they´re poisonous.

Met up with Wanda and Fabrizio and all their friends and headed to the other nightclub Banana Blu. Such a good night, especially for Ciaran who has discovered that he LOVES the Brazilian drink Caiparinha and they´re so strong and cheap (just like him - teeheehee).

Friday, September 16, 2005

Ilha Grande

After 28 hours travel we eventually reached Ilha Grande - it was completely worth the effort.
We heard about a hostel called Aquario and checked in there. The lady manager of the place, Lineria, is completely nuts just goes around screaming and shouting in Portuguese at all the staff and guests but we don´t care cause we´re in paradise.

The hostel is built right on the sea with our room literally 3 foot from the water and they´ve built an enclosed sea water pool - not bad for EUR10 each (including breakfast)!!

The island is just like Jurassic Park (or so Ciaran keeps saying). Tropical rain forests run right down to beautiful beaches. We´re told that the most beautiful beach in Brazil is on the far side of the island so make a plan to go there.

We met a cool Aussie girl called Kate who seems to think exactly the way I think which is kinda freaky! Naturally we love each other!!

We headed to the town (village) for dinner and had a lovely waiter who just laughs all the time. He doesn´t speak english and we obviously don´t speak portuguese but we somehow manage to have a great laugh!

Back to the hostel bar (outdoors, hammocks, sound of the sea - you know what I mean) and had a few too many drinks with the rest of the people in the hostel and the barman, Freddy, who offered to take us out and show us the local nightclubs.

It was a great night in an outdoor nightclub with the rain pouring down (stupid tropical rainforest areas!). Met loads of the locals including our waiter from earlier, Wanda, and his friend Fabrizio.

Home to bed about 6am - great night....

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Travelling to Ilha Grande

We´ve heard lots of people talking about a beautiful tropical island south of Rio called Ilha Grande so we´ve decided that we may aswell head there for a few days lying on the beach...

We catch a cama bus to Rio (22 hours) followed by a futile dash in a taxi all around Rio trying to find somewhere that will cash travellers cheques. Onto another coach for 3 hours to Angra dos Reis then we hitched a ride on a supplies boat over to the island...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Iguassu Falls

We arrived in Puerto Iguassu at about 9am and found a hostel, dropped off our bags and headed straight to the Iguassu National Park.

The weather was fairly bad, it had been raining most of the night so we bought two very stylish yellow plastic raincoats (bags), little did we know that we were going to end the day completely soaked to the skin.

The national park is so big that it is spread over the border of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay but the trails are well laid out and its really well maintained with catwalks and trails and even a little train. They supply you with leaflets on the way in advising you what to do if you come across a Puma, snake or deadly spider!! By the way, if you ever do come across a puma you should look it in the eye, make yourself bigger and back away slowly....

The waterfalls have to be seen to be believed. There´s hundreds of falls throughout the park with two really massive ones both a few kilometres long and a couple of hundred feet drop.
We took a speed boat ride (they call it a ´nautical adventure´) it brings you right up beside one of the largest falls and the power of the falls causes the boat to be tossed from side to side - all very exciting! Then they race you across to another falls and suddenly spin around and reverse under one of the falls.
Oh yes we were saturated!! It would´ve been handy if they´d advised us to bring a change of clothes. And yes mam, I did have a life jacket on!

However the really most amazing one is Gargantua del Diablo (the devils throat). When people first came accross it they thought that it was the edge of the world and we can completely understand why. The sheer power and noise of the water is overwhelming but to see it is breathtaking... It was a really really fantastic experience. Once we find a proper internet cafe we should hopefully be able to post some photo´s.

Well as we mentioned, all our clothes and runners were completely soaked so that night Ciaran had to wrap his feet in plastic bags followed by socks followed by his wet runners becuase he doesn´t have any other shoes with him - Not very stylish but I made sure I got plenty of photo´s!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Goodbye to Buenos Aires

Last day in Buenos Aires so we got up early even though it was another late night last night and headed to La Boca with two Irish girls, Mairead and Maria that we met in the hostel.

La Boca is the roughest area in BA and we were warned to only stay on the two main tourist streets, not to bring cameras or wear watches and try to look poor - not a difficult thing for us to do!

It wasn´t nearly as bad as everyone was making out. We were expecting the Shankill Road on 12th July! Turns out that its a really colourful arty kind of place with tango dancers on the street and lots of artists selling their paintings on street stalls.

It was a good day but our first big bus trip loomed - 18 hours on a coach to the Iguassu Falls so we said goodbye and hit the road.

We stopped off that evening in a really small place in the middle of nowhere - Hicksville, Tennessee if you know what I mean! We got in to this place and we saw our very first South American prostitute! Baby´s got back. Baby also looked like she had a whole load of STD´s too!

The buses over here are out of this world. We were in this big double decker coach with fully reclinable seats and all the leg room you could ask for. When you get on, they give you a blanket and pillow, there´s movies on the whole time, you get breakfast, lunch and dinner and I even got a nightcap!

18 hours goes by a lot faster than you think it would...

Monday, September 12, 2005

Tango in the City of the Dead

Well, we spent the day walking all around Buenos Aires. It´s an absoloutely huge city, we had no idea how big it would be but luckily all the main things to see are in the centre and so is our hostel.

Much to Elaine´s delight we spent the afternoon walking around the city of the dead in Recoletta which is what they call this huge cemetery full of massive elaborate tombs of famous Argentinians. I thought it might be a laugh to hide and jump out at Elaine but seeing as she was already crapping herself I decided against it (and of making any references to Thriller!!).

Went to a Tango show with a gang from the hostel, which was great to see apart from the fact that we were sitting so far back we couldn´t see their feet. There was a really cool guy doing some sort of dance with his balls. That´s his special Argentinian dancing balls on string, kinda looked like martial arts stuff. There was a great atmosphere, they all seem to love the Tango here.

Back to the hostel for a party!!

Boca Boca Boca, Oi Oi Oi

Well, things are going pretty well over here. We've moved hostels to the Milhouse hotel which is in a more central place and near loads of pubs and restaurants.

The new hostel is really hopping and I'm really getting into this backpacker thing aswell! So far we've met Irish (of course), English, Canadian, Swedish, South African, Australian and Israeli people. We were suffering from jet lag the other night and were planning on having an early night, so we went out for dinner and and then came back here for 'just one beer'. Well one beer turned into about 10 beers for me and a bottle of Tia Maria for Elaine and not getting to bed until after 6! So, twas a good night!

The next day we went to a Boca Juniors match (which Elaine was just delighted at). She'd read a bit in the lonely planet about it and was a bit apprehensive as it advised not bringing any fancy camera's....or even any watches to the match as it could get a bit rough! Our guide told us that we'd be OK once we were in the grounds because it was only outside that people got shot! Holy crapsticks!

Once inside things were pretty good. The football over here is completely different - much slower and everybody trying their fancy flicks and tricks instead of just having a go or putting ing a cross - but its nice to watch all the same. The people in the stands were going absolutely mental and there was a samba band setting the beat with these huge drums. The whole stadium was just shaking and heaving because everyone was just jumping up and down the whole match and on one of the stands, everyone sang the exact same song for 90 minutes - change the record Argies!! We had a great time though and at one stage myself and Elaine had the people in our section chanting Boca Boca Boca, Oi Oi Oi! So we feel like we've made our contribution to Argentinian football!

Well, thats it for now. Don't forget to leave comments or send us emails!


Friday, September 09, 2005

Don't Cry for me Argentina...

Well we finally made it after 24 hours travelling. Time went quite quickly thanks to Ellie supplying us with plenty of 'happy pills'!!! However we're beginning to feel the agony of the dreaded jetlag...

Buenos Aires is a real 'cosmo' city, quite like Barcelona with lots of big buildings, restaurants, bars and shops. Today we even managed to see that balcony where Madonna sang that famous song...

We're moving to a different hostel tomorrow where they'll arrange party nights out, tours of the city and (oh the happiness) a Boca Juniors match - as you can imagine I can't wait!!

Don't feel too bad for us though, we're off now to dinner and a tango show and to drink some 50 cent cocktails!

Elaine x

Well, we're off...

Today's the big day that Elaine and I head off on our travels! We're leaving Dublin at 5 and then catching a flight from Heathrow at about 9 and landing in Buenos Aires a whopping 16 hours later.

If this looks a bit different, its because I don't speak Spanish and "Delete Blog" looks surprisingly like "Save"! Whoops! SO I didn't delete your comments on purpose....

Here's a picture of me on Tuesday night for a night out with the family and Elaine with her friends.