United Kingdom, Argentina · 11 Days · 18 Moments · January 2017

Emma's tour through Buenos Aires, Autonomo...

7 February 2017

Just leaving now. Getting a taxi to Salta airport

6 February 2017

Well we've not been doing much these last couple of days. Chillin at the Finca, walking the dogs, listening to the bird song and reading.

5 February 2017

I've decided not to go horse riding tomorrow. (Yes I know this is a dog). Going out for 3/4 hours on my own with a gaucho I don't know and Pete won't get on a horse. Perhaps we should start up the go with Emma riding tomorrow campaign but I guess it's only really me who cares. Besides they all look like their made for little people not a 5ft10 westerner with considerable curves.

4 February 2017

We started off from west of Salta and travelled down the 68 to Cafayete (an area of wineries (bodegas) producing mainly Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. The route was straightforward, weaving its way through flat grasslands to begin with and then through mountains. We stopped to see a sort of natural amphitheater but it's not worth going to see on its own. The rock formations are spectacular: swirls, strata and sandstone. It makes you wonder how they've stayed there. Some are covered in greenery and others bare rock. The road wends it's way through the scenery, and alongside the river. We stopped for lunch in Cafayate at the Bad Brothers bodega. We had a pleasant lunch in an air conditioned courtyard. Then we walked around the town and the main square. On the drive home we passed lots of interesting villages. In one place, it being a Saturday afternoon, there were hundreds lining the street playing what looked like bingo. We came home to the finca and had a cold G&T.

3 February 2017

We have been at the hotel all day. Pool this morning, reading and resting. Lunch. Then walk this afternoon near to the finca. Saw the horses, mud houses and took the hotels dog for a walk (or did he take us?) Thd bird life is prolific and there is a constant sound of singing. The kitchen is always busy with ladies making pastries or other delicacies. I've had chance to read and think which is so brilliant because usually I can't get the space. A huge green garden with tulip trees, purple flower bushes and cactus enables me to feel peaceful. This is the best way to relax. (Although Pete will tell you that we're here with all the oldies.)

2 February 2017

We went today into Salta by taxi. The taxi was beaten up, crucifix hanging from the mirror and us sitting in the back. The views were what I expected from a developing country: dealerships, kennels and street vendors. We were driven into the centre where it went from roughed up concrete concessions to a pristine square. There were dancers, a voodoo man and the sound of drums. We stopped upside the basilica and walked round. Huge palm trees and tulip trees infested the green (which we were not allowed to sit on). We changed our money at a street lender and walked on down the street until we found somewhere for lunch. A cafe with salad bar, murals and caipirinha: although I couldn't drink still. Then we left, walked round the street some more and then got a taxi back to our place.
We have a beautiful room with a little writing desk.

1 February 2017

Our swimming pool. Small but perfectly formed. After a thunderstorm last night.
We find ourselves in tropical, lush green views. Insects buzz all day and night, trepidation at what it "outside" but in our inner sanctum all is well. Night storms, dogs scratching to get in. Cacophony of bird song , toco toucans landing like prehistoric birds in the tops of massive trees. A view of the pre Andean mountains, Jungle clad and impenetrable. I've never been anywhere so soothing. It's like the wilderness has been tamed. Outside the Finca lie three Labradors, lazy and fat. Beaten up by a life outside yet still with the cupboard love of home fed dogs. The food is sweet pastries in the morning and a home cooked meal at night. A room full of old wood, shutters and animal rugs. Leading on to a balcony overlooking the tropical garden. Horses gently wander in and out of the shade. It's hot, about 30c. Nothing to do yet a feeling that we should, having come all this way. Later we'll stroll down to the river, smell the flowers and the earth. It's tranquil here. Paradise found.

31 January 2017

Well there's good news and bad this morning. Good is that our room is rustic, the views of the jungle clad pre-Andean mountain range is amazing and Petes been down to breakfast. I on the other hand, have either travellers tummy or worse. Please god let it be over!

30 January 2017

It took a long time to get here but it's worth it. The drive here from the airport brought us past unsealed roads, roadside stalls and stray dogs. Then we went down this long unsealed road with high vegetation on either side. Eventually we made it to our finca. It's beautiful; white, beams, traditional furniture. Our room has a balcony overlooking the pre-Andes, a kingside bed. We just had a steak with wine. Appetite a bit upside didn't. It's not easy eating and drinking when your lagged. Going to turn the light off now as pete has already fallen asleep.
Waiting for our flight to Salta. Bit pissed after a margarita and a wine. The travelling sensation not helping the nausea. Petes talking about swinging with some dreadlocked hick. I'm sweating, again. Just want this bloody plane to take off!
Waiting at Jorge Newberry airport for an interval flight to Salta. This is the view from the airport window of the Atlantic. We are so hot: Pete keeps standing under air vents looking British and I'm actually sweating (I never sweat). It seems very Spanish here. Really wish I could speak Spanish because unlike Spain no one speaks English. So far alcohol is two beers. Need more although everyone else drinking fizzy pop.
Finally made it to the domestic flight airport, Jorges Newberry. It turned out that they did have our bags! I asked the ground staff if they were in London still and he said that it was just because we were checking out instead of a transfer, so our bags were in a different place! I could have kissed him... So then we get a taxi from the main airport to the little internal one. They are quite different! It's absolutely boiling outside and I have trousers and a shirt on, along with my short riding boots and flight socks.. We've just had a strong coffee and a horrible sweet cake thing. Petes gone to see if there's anywhere else to eat/drink as the sun is well over the yard arm. (especially as it's in a different place in the sky). Only a few more hours and we get our flight to Salta. Some pretty built police out here!Nearly all Spanish but some Italians and Welsh. Not many milky white British although I just saw some hipsters and felt attached to them for the first time ever.
The flight from LHR to Buenos Aires has been good and bad. Good; the nice Argentinian in the seat next to me. I think a black Muslim but it doesn't matter to me! He helped me fill out my immigration card. Also got a fair amount of sleep for a red eye. Bad; having a panic attack in the middle of the flight. Everything had gone dark, crazy turbulence, over the wing, guy behind acting like a monkey on the seat, really hot and the nice bloke at the end made me feel like I couldn't get out. Oh dear. Never mind at least it was a panic attack for a reason. Now to tackle Buenos Aires and travel across the city to the internal flight. Oh shit things got a lot worse! They haven't put our bags on our flight. Now we have to talk to ground staff here.

28 January 2017

This is me, the day before we leave. Not packed, not washed. It's 11.30am and I haven't even had breakfast. Pete has gone shooting, mum is on her way and c has had a crisis of conscience and is tidying up her room. This is me in procrastination mode; stuck, a mix of anxiety and excitement and thinking about things that are totally irrelevant to the fact we are going to ARGENTINA tomorrow! I need to get a grip.