Well I'm back from a month jet setting around South America. The trip was amazing, but I will admit that as much as I love to travel, 4 weeks in one go is a bit much, so some part of me is happy to be back in Sydney with some sort of plan about where to be each morning.
I'm still in the process of putting together the resulting photo albums (and by that I mean I haven't even transferred the photos off my camera yet) so here's a quick rundown of each place I visited:
1) Buenos Aires - I actually went back to Buenos Aires for much longer at the end of my trip, so this 24 hour stint there just consisted of checking into the hotel, walking through a very dodgy area to get to a quasi-tourist attraction, and going out for an early dinner (that's around 10pm by Argentinean standards) so that I could get up in time for a morning flight the next day. More on BA later, though.
2) Iguazu Falls - It's either the biggest or highest or loudest waterfalls in the world, or something like that. In any case, it was cool, and didn't require more than 24 hours to see it. Perfect for my short attention span.
3) Rio de Janeiro - Pretty much everything you'd expect Rio to be...beautiful beaches, great restaurants and nightlife, and a certain probability of getting stabbed after dark. And of course we did the requisite hang gliding while there, which I can admit to hesitating at originally, but was one of the highlights of the whole trip.
4) Lima - We actually ended up flying through Sao Paolo and Santiago over 24 hours in order to get to Lima, but considering the detour also involved drinking for free with some cool Australians in the airport lounge in Santiago, it was probably worth it. Lima itself left much to be desired, but we were there less than 24 hours so I won't bitch too much.
5) The Amazon - Gross, as expected. That's all the nature I need for at least another 5 years, thanks.
6) Cuzco/Sacred Valley/Macchu Pichu - You may be surprised to know that I actually enjoy climbing around ancient ruins, even if a bar isn't part of the reconstruction plan. High altitude and low oxygen, on the other hand, sucks ass.
7) Lake Titicaca - I actually spent a night on an island in the middle of the lake with a local family that didn't have steady electricity or any form of running water. Please feel free to slap a few gold stars on my ass next time you see me.
8) La Paz - Creepiest city I've ever been to. I'm not sure how long it takes to get used to seeing dried llama fetuses hanging outside shops on the street, but I can assure you that I didn't reach that level of comfort in 4 days time.
9) Santiago - Considering we were only there for 2 full days, and after a big night out I only left the hotel on the second day to go to McDonald's for dinner, I'm not sure I'm in a position to say much about this city. Seemed clean, though?
10) Buenos Aires - I want to live here. Amazing food, nightlife that makes New York look a bit slack, and a low enough cost of living that I'm pretty sure even my salary and excessive spending would still put me on a path to home ownership.
And so I'm now back at work in Sydney, struggling with low motivation and jet lag, and officially poor for the next 2 months while I essentially transfer any salary payments directly to Mastercard. This means either a very quiet time over the next few weeks, or (more likely) an increase in trashy nights drinking in the apartments of friends. I know you're hoping for the latter, so I'll see what I can do. Assholes.