People I met

Part of the reason for my blogging is to have a record of the the places I visit and the people I meet, so forgive me for naming a few here, or skip it entirely!

strangers-are-just-friends-waiting-to-happen

Of course, my German mates, they were full of fun but were also great to talk with about Europe and it’s way of life. Heather, Stewart, Catherine, Fiona and Myles, parents and three adult children travelling together. They’re spread all over the place normally but have a family holiday each year. They’re hugely entertaining and just all round nice people.

Bob, the Tom Hanks look-alike, from New Jersey, whose wife agreed to him having an amazing holiday in South America and Antarctica for his 50th. In a weird coincidence there was John, also from New Jersey and also celebrating his 50th in South America and Antarctica with his wife’s approval; that was pretty amazing. Agnès, who was my second roomie, originally from France who is now an Aussie. Her luggage didn’t make it to Ushuaia so she had to quickly run around buying things before boarding the ship, I’m sure I wouldn’t have coped as well as she did, she’s a troooper!

Andrew and his dad Tony who had people in stitches most of the trip – when Andrew wasn’t suffering sea-sickness! Andrew lives in Alice Springs these days but is from England where his mum & dad still live. We were talking about the seasickness patches one night and Tony told us a story that had me crying with laughter. This old guy went to the doctor one day awfully embarrassed. Turns out this guy’s wife was using HRT patches, each night she’d slap one on her leg, thigh, where-ever. The trouble with this was the guy kept waking up in the morning with these patches stuck to himself! Tony’s punchline was along the lines of  ‘his boobies were growing’! Obviously it looses something in the rewriting but to hear Tony tell it in his broad norther accent was totally hilarious.

Life is only travelled once

I couldn’t forget Karen, who helped me with my sleeping bags when we camped, Staci & Fredrik, Giovanni and Costanza, Marco and Catarina on their honeymoon, the 4 bubbly girls sharing a room, Adam from Melbourne and his other 3 roomies, Mary and Bruce, Ariel, a 10 year old and the only child on the boat, travelling with his parents, the list just goes on…. The 4 Portuguese men, one of whom was my kayak partner, the older two were brothers and the younger were their sons, didn’t get to have much conversation with them because it seemed only one had much English and my  Portuguese is pretty much limited to hello and thank-you, although there were always smiles and a few words here and there. Michael Jackson and his Mum from America – I never did get round to asking if he’d changed his name by deed poll!

The number of young people on the boat surprised me, lots of couples in maybe late twenties or early thirties and probably 8 or more singles in their twenties. They were from all over the world but one recurring theme it seemed, especially with the younger travellers, was their wish to have visited all 7 continents – and some of them by the time they were 25, 30 or 40. That had never entered my head, I just became fascinated with Antarctica after visiting the Hobart Museum last year, but on reflection, I’ve now been to them also – mind you my age is vastly more than theirs!

As I’ve said before, the ship crew and expedition staff were amazing. I won’t quickly forget Marijke, my roomie, Louise who almost cried when I showed her the kayaking sketch featuring herself, Johnny who rescued me with a couple of packets of unmentionables I’ve become slightly addicted to again recently, (nothing worse than cigarettes), and all the others who made this trip so memorable.

Most of my travels have been totally independent so it this list seems a tad overboard to me, but I guess this is showing me organized tours do have their advantages. I also keep remembering something one of the young couples said to me, who’s names I never found out, even though I spoke with them heaps. They said – may we meet again – what a lovely farewell after such an adventure.

The people you meet shape your travels

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Antarctica, Mid-life travel, Solo female travel, Travel

Last day in BA

11th January.

Darn, it’s time to leave already! I had until 8pm though before my transfer from the hotel so could spend all day out and about again. I set out for the Museo Nacional de Belles Artes intending to spend a couple of hours there then go sketching in the Recoleta Cemetery afterwards. Well, that plan went astray, before I knew it, it was one o’clock, I was famished and had only just finished looking around the ground floor. I found a nice restaurant not far away for lunch then returned for another couple of hours. I’m blaming the heat for the awful angles on todays pics……….

By then it was too hot to sketch in the cemetery, actually too hot to be outside, so I took a quick look inside the cloisters of the church next door, browsed shops and tried Starbucks for the very first time, before settling at an outdoor bar in the shade for a last quick sketch.

Good thing I headed back to the hotel a little earlier than planned as Diego arrived not long later for my transfer to the airport. Wow, it was so crowded inside and out. The traffic wardens were blowing their whistles non-stop! The driving continued to amaze me, so many drivers don’t seem to take any notice of lane markings or use their indicators – although Diego wasn’t in this category. Yet the traffic seems to flow just fine! I can’t imagine what would happen in Australia if you drove in the middle of two lanes – there would be lots of road rage!

At the airport I ordered a glass of wine with my baguette and thought it was expensive; not sure if they didn’t sell by the glass, but I got a half bottle!! Bit more than I bargained for, but why leave any when I’d paid for it, hehehe.

So, that’s the end of another adventure, I’ve had a wonderful few weeks. Already planning my next one to Chicago for the Urban Sketchers symposium and a couple of weeks in either northern US or Canada in July/August. Hopefully that will keep the wanderlust at bay for a while.

2 Comments

Filed under Argentina, Mid-life travel, Solo female travel, Travel

La Boca and a Tango Show

10th January.

Off to La Boca this morning to visit Museo Benito Quinquela Martin, PROA, and of course to wander around La Boca again. Absolutely love the Benito Martin museum situated in his apartment building, with every room in bright colours and massive outdoor terraces featuring his sculptures. His artwork was wonderful too and I dragged myself away to PROA more from hunger than anything else!

PROA had some really fascinating installations and a great cafe but didn’t grab me in the same way.

La Boca was crowded after lunch as you’d expect, I found a canvas I loved but at US$185, not being sure if it would fit in my bag, and then another $100 or so for framing when I got home, I decided against it and bought a couple of photographic prints instead. Typically am kicking myself now for being so tight, although I’ve framed the prints and all up they cost about a tenth of what the painting would have. Bought a few more presents for those at home and enjoyed a wine at one of the sidewalk cafes before heading back to the hotel to get ready to go out to dinner and a tango show.

I keep telling myself not to go to these touristy show places! But travelling alone it was probably the only way I was going to see tango this time, so I succumbed and joined the other tourists for a sit down dinner and show. Dinner was actually okay and the dancing was great, just the atmosphere of a hundred odd people at big long tables in what you know is a nightly performance puts me off. Anyhoo I’ve seen it now…

Tomorrow is the last day of my holiday, it’s come around so quickly, wishing I could stay longer.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Argentina, Mid-life travel, Solo female travel, Travel

Wandering in San Telmo

9th January.

After a slow start, and a sketch in the courtyard,  I went first to Museo de Arte Moderno which wasn’t far away and then wandered around San Telmo. Visited the old San Telmo markets, a big old building with lots of little stalls inside. I found a tiny little miniature camera that I wanted to buy but didn’t have enough pesos and the owner didn’t have enough change for my $US so put that on my list to go back for another day. I had a couple of slices of the Buenos Aires version of pizza in the afternoon, lots and lots of cheese, which the driver from last night had warned me about. He’s of Italian heritage and seemed a little condescending about their pizzas, lol. Footsore and hot but happy I bought some nibbles and wine from a shop near the hotel and relaxed by the pool and in one of the courtyards well into the evening. I have bigger plans for tomorrow, hopefully I’ll get an earlier start!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Argentina, Mid-life travel, Solo female travel, Travel