Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

San Ignacio Mini - the trouble with doors and pizzas

From Posadas we made the relatively short hop over to San Ignacio Mini.  There is a town called San Ignacio nearby, but the aptly named small community of San Ignacio Mini is where the jesuit ruins are.  It is a tiny place, probably about twenty blocks by twenty, with the ruins in its centre. Of course the bus drops you a little distance away, so it is as well that my back had finally improved enough for me to don the rucksack.

It was incredibly hot when we arrived, so we took the walk slowly. We arrived at the hostel during the siesta time, with no one there, so we were let in by a couple of other guests, before Nic followed the directions to the local shop to find someone.  The host, Yrma was very friendly and the place was quite nice, but there was an odd set up with our door.

For some reason, although you could bolt it from inside, there was no lock on the door to the room.  That was fine when you were in the room, but not when you went out.   The solution was that you had to come and go by another door direct to the garden.  However this was a double door, with one side being the stable style of two half doors top and bottom, and it was padlocked from outside.  So to get out, you had to open the top doors using a handle, lean over and unlock the lower door, but then you had to close the two top doors with the handle, wriggle out through the narrow opening of the single lower door, and then padlock that up.  It was quite a palaver, especially as one of the upper windows was rather loose on its one hinge, and you had to battle to make sure it was in the right place and didn't fall off completely!

On our second evening here, we went to a pizza place that was recommended.  I like pizza, but as  I don't eat any tomato, I have to ask for it without the tomato sauce base.  Nic and I decided to share a large pizza, which at 62 pesos was only 2 pesos more than a small one - never have understood why they do that.  I was very clear that there should be no tomato, no tomato sauce etc, and the waitress definitely understood me.

When it arrived, though, it had tomato sauce on the base.  We called her over and said we asked for without tomato and she said agreed, implying that it was.  So I showed her the sauce and she said 'but it's only a little bit'.  Having established that I couldn't eat this and she couldn't provide a replacement with absolutely no tomato, we agreed that Nic would eat half, and would have one thing else. We also said, before we went ahead, that we would only be prepared to pay for half of the pizza.

This all seemed OK until we went to pay and they charged us for the lot. After some while arguing in Spanish, during which at some point the owner seemed to hand us his keys as if to suggest we were bankrupting him, he asked us where we were from.  When we said England he initially made some comments about being English at heart, and then said 'well pay what you want to, like you do what you want to in the world'.

So we paid for my meal and half of the pizza, but still left a generous tip, because in fact it isn't a large amount of money and we don't want them to lose out. If it had looked like it would genuinely have been a problem for him, we wouldn't have even argued, but he seemed like he was just trying it on.

It was all done with reasonably good nature, but it was actually the first time we had seen any kind of negative opinion about the fact that we were English.  Shame really.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Paraguay from Argentina
From Encarnacion we needed to cross the border back into Argentina.  Our destination of Posadas was only just across the river, so we needed to pick up a local bus to make the trip. We had read warnings to take off all our bags at the border points at either side of the bridge, because the buses don't wait, so we wondered if this was going to be a troublesome crossing despite its short distance.

We got to the bus station and were just considering where to get the tickets when I spotted the bus we needed.  We were able to buy our tickets on board, so got straight on.  After a bit of a detour around Encarnacion, we breezed through the Paraguay exit.  The bus didn't wait at the Argentine end, but it was a simple entry, with friendly guys wanting, as ever, to talk about English football.  We didn't have to wait long for the next bus and were soon driving through Posadas.

Getting from the border crossing to the bus terminal was a lengthy journey, especially as we realised we were only going to have to come back again after we'd bought our onward tickets.  But we made it to our hostel eventually.

Posadas is quite a nice little town, but doesn't really have much in the way of attractions.  The main square is large and very leafy, with a nice fountain.  It seems determined that people should know what the square is called though, as we counted at least three signs up, all in differing styles.  It is called 9 de Julio.

There was a small artisanal market, but the most interesting thing there was a huge sculpture of a mate drinker.

With not much to do here, Nic figured it was time for us to see our first non-aeroplane film of the year.  So we went to see Los Avengadores, or The Avengers, in 3D.

We weren't brave enough to try the Spanish version, opting instead for the English with subtitles. This was quite a popular showing, and we did notice as we went in that there was a least one group of deaf people there; I guess it is quite convenient for them that so many films are shown that way here.

Monday, May 28, 2012


The problem with having a nice hotel, especially when you generally go to bed as late as we do, is that it is hard to drag yourself out in the morning.  We did at least force ourselves up in time for breakfast on the first day, but then we went back to the room, supposedly just to get ready to go out, and we're there for another few hours.

On my birthday we didn't even get down to breakfast.   And even when we did make it out, we got side tracked by the little black kitten and the parrot that we made friends with at the hotel.  So sadly, we didn't make it to the nearby Jesuit ruins.

But we did get around the town.  Not that there was anything that much to see here, and again, everywhere closes during the day for long siestas. We did see the karumbes, the little yellow horsedrawn carts that used to be the taxis in the city, but now are just a tourist thing.  And we tried out the pizza place on the square named after them.  That was OK, but we preferred the cafe next door, where we whiled away a few hours having quiche, cake, beer and hot drinks, and we're astounded when the bill came to only £10.

While we were there there was something going on with some local schools.  Groups of kids were out stopping traffic and leafleting people.  One group was doing the traditiomal drumming to get peoples' attention, which worked quite well.  We couldn't work out what it was for, but it was interesting to watch. Like a number of the places we have been to, there seems to be a trend for younger people to just drive around the town.  Here though, they seem to do it with very loud music blaring out of their cars and pickups.  Later on we also saw one of the leafleting groups going around in two pickups.  The first was decked out with huge speakers, and they were all in the back of the second, dancing.

Judging by the quality of the cars and the buildings here, Encarnacion is a somewhat better off city than Asuncion, and although we saw some rather more ramshackle homes, we didn't see any evidence of very poor or homeless people.  Of course they may just have been kept out of sight elsewhere.

Sadly it seemed that we may have left Encarnacion a day early for the action, as we noticed as we were on the bus going out that groups seemed to be preparing for some kind of procession or something.  Oh well.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

En route to Encarnacion

Our other destination in Paraguay was Encarnacion. The bus journey there gave us an interesting view of the countryside.  The red earth of the area was very evident, and now, so was the sight of animals living side by side with the people, much as we had seen in Bolivia.  This is clearly a poorer country again, but still they make the effort to keep their towns nice.  Most places we passed had a little plaza area that was nicely paved out and planted up.
Towards the end of the journey, we passed through a small place called Coronel Bogado, which is renowned in Paraguay as having the best chipa, which is a cheesy bread that is prevalent throughout the country.  We figured we had to try it, so we bought some from one of the vendors.  They were quite nice, and yes, probably the best ones we tasted.

They have an efficient process for selling food and drink to bus passengers in South America.  You don't get off the bus, they come to you.  Whenever you stop in a town, the vendors will get in and walk through the bus with their goods.  If the stop is only very brief, they stay on to the next stop, get off there and get another bus back again.

We had a nice hotel booked in Encarnacion as it was my birthday over these few days, and that is our agreed treat for birthdays.  The room even had a hair dryer, so I broke out the hairspray and some make up for a change.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Asuncion, a tower of beer and a broken bed

On our first evening, we decided to try out a bar close to our hostel, which we had read brewed its own beer.  It is called the Britannia Pub and was clearly very popular.  We found a seat and as they strangely didn't have their own beer(?) we decided we couldn't resist trying their Torres de Cerveza, or tower of beer. This was three litres of beer in a cylindrical container with a tap so that you poured your own beers at the table.  With the bargain of half price food, we only spent £8 in total.

We didn't actually get to bed that night until about 3am, so we were looking forward to a good sleep and a nice lie in the next day.  We were slightly concerned when we spotted that the bed on Nic's side had a rather dodgy looking nailed in bit of wood supporting the base board.  It was looking quite precarious, but there was nothing we could do tonight, so we went to bed, taking care to move only very slowly and gently.  It seemed to be OK so we relaxed and went to sleep.

Until around 7am that is, when the bit of wood obviously gave way and Nic's side of the bed went crashing to the floor.  We extricated ourselves from the wreckage, established that there were no broken bones, and then had a bit of a laugh.  However it did mean that we weren't going back to sleep, so we got up and waited for the owners to appear at breakfast. We told them what had happened and they were excellent.

They initially said they would fix it, but the jolt had affected my back again, so I was loathe to get back in a bed that wasn't definitely secure.  They understood this and replaced the bed entirely for us within just a few hours.  They also didn't charge us for that night. We were very impressed with how quickly and apologetically they dealt with it.  It also meant that we could catch up on some sleep before we went back into town and tried out the nice restaurant that we had seen.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Asuncion, and finally doing some sightseeing again

Having dragged ourselves kicking and screaming from the lovely hotel in Asuncion, we arrived at our hostel and settled in there. It was actually quite a nice hostel, with a lovely courtyard garden and the odd hummingbird visitor.

This time though we did make it out into the city, and with my back feeling quite a lot better, we wandered around the main squares, albeit in search of football again.

Nic wanted to watch the Liverpool -v- Chelsea league match, but the only place that we could find it on was a taxi rank in the street, and we couldn't stand there for the whole match so he had to do without.

Plaza Uruguay is a huge square with the old railway station in it.  Paraguay was the first place in South America to get trains, so the railways here were quite a big deal, but now there are very few in use.

We were a little disappointed that we weren't able to get the tourist train, which apparently is something out of the fifties, with actors doing sketches along the way.

We had read that in Asuncion we would find people keeping their animals in the streets.  We didn't see any evidence of that, and in fact it took us a while to realise it, but there weren't even any stray dogs around, which is a first for South America. But there is certainly a poorer side to Asuncion.  We spotted this before we even reached the square when we saw an obviously homeless woman squat down with her toilet paper at the side of the road.

Plaza Uruguay itself is somewhat down at heel, with some of the poor of the city living on one side of the square.  They do seem to be making some efforts to work on the square itself, but I have no idea whether they will do anything to house the people living there.

But we did spot one really quite simple thing that they could do in Asuncion to make the city seem more cared for and look better - learn to paint within the lines.  As we walked around, we saw the kerbs were painted white, which can look quite nice if done neatly.  But this looked like they had just walked along sloshing the paint out of the tin.  It was a complete mess, with paint splatters across the path, and made the place look slapdash.

A rather more impressive square was the Plaza Los Heroes, with it's very fancy bank building, and mausoleum for some of Paraguay's bigwigs.  The latter is an impressive building, and at night the dome is lit up in changing colours.  Nearby were the many market stalks selling the various souvenirs including the ñanduti, which is their intricate lacework.

I also like the buses, which like some other cities are old style and brightly coloured.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hotels and Alcohol in Asuncion

From Resistencia we took the bus over into Paraguay.  The border crossing was quick and painless, except for the slightly worrying moment when they didn't give us or passports back.  We soon realised that no one was getting them back though. For some reason they give them all back to the bus driver, who then handed them back out.
In our quest to have a more relaxed pace, we had booked five nights in Asuncion, but it was split between two places.  Out first two nights were in an inexpensive hotel, a little out of the main area of town.  It was lovely.  The hotel was small, but the kind of place you might expect to see in a Mediterranean resort.  It had a garden courtyard, the ensuite rooms were huge, with great air conditioning, and the breakfast was a big buffet with bread, eggs, meats cheeses and lots of fresh fruit, which is quite a novelty.  And best of all, no mould or cockroaches!

It also had a good buffet dinner for £4.50, which we decided that was too good to pass up, so other than a quick drinks run to the supermarket for Nic, we didn't even bother to leave the place for the days we were there. We did however spend some time chatting with a couple who live in Newcastle, but have taken a year out to do a round the world trip, with three months in South America.  It was interesting to hear their plans, and we passed on a few tips about places to stay in some of their planned destinations.

But that brings me back to the trip to the supermarket.  Nic and the other guy went out just to buy some beer.  Nic came back with three litres of Brahma beer, a 75cl bottle of cachaca (a spirit made from sugar), a litre of Bacardi Gold rum and a litre and a half each of coke and sprite.  All for less than £13.  As someone commented at the time, with prices like that it would be rude to leave it in the shops!

So we didn't see anything of Asuncion in our first two days, but we did have a lovely respite from mould and cockroaches, and the rest did my back some good as it was a lot less painful by the time we left the hotel.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Our next stop was Resistencia.  Again, this was a convenient stopping place in the bus journeys, but we had chosen it because the guidebook referred to the city having very many sculptures.  Sadly, with my back still an issue, we didn't see as many of them as we might have done. It is also the birthplace of Ernesto Guevara, more commonly known as 'Che'.  Aparently the reason he was called this is that in this area they use the word 'che' a lot, a bit like people might say 'right' in conversation.  The habit was unusual to those from other parts of South America, and so they referred to him by it.

As Resistencia is not really a backpacker place, there are no hostels, so we were again in a cheap hotel.  After our experience in Carmelo, we were a bit worried about this, but when we got there it seemed OK.  It was very basic, with small rooms a bit like cells, and a shower that was just over the top of the tiny bathroom, so when you used it everything got wet, but it seemed clean and mould free.

We had booked a room with air conditioning, and the woman at the desk was surprised that we wanted it because it wasn't summer anymore so not so hot.  We explained that to us it was still hot, which she seemed to understand better when we said we were from England; our weather is clearly legendary!

After settling in and checking emails etc, we took a wander around the town.  It seemed to get dark very early here so we didn't go far before we found somewhere for a drink and a snack.  The place had some live music going, so we stopped there for an early dinner too.

When we got back to the hotel, we discovered the problem; cockroaches.  We ended up having to play hunt and kill the cockroaches every evening when we got back.  Lovely!  We made quite a good team, with me as the hunter and Nic killing them. The cockroach count varied over the three nights we were there.  We got about twelve on one of the first two nights, but had obviously either been effective as exterminators or had just scared them elsewhere, as the number reduced to about six on the last evening.

One up side to the hotel room was that it did have a little TV, so Nic could watch Liverpool play Chelsea in the FA Cup final.  Unfortunately Liverpool lost, but at least he got to see it. Our short time in Resistencia was really just more wandering around not too far afield, still having difficulties in finding anywhere open during the daytime.  We did look at some of the sculptures, but sadly most weren't very interesting to us.  Nic was in charge of photo taking, and he doesn't tend to do too much of that, so again, not many photos from here.  Normal photo service will be resumed soon.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


From Rosario we took the bus to Parana.  It isn't particularly a destination in itself, but it is a convenient stopping point on the route we were taking through to Paraguay.  We had planned a couple of stops on the way to avoid having to take the longer bus journeys.  We also figured that it is good to see a few 'normal' towns along the way.
At the hostel they helpfully swapped our second floor room for a first floor one to help with my back, which was nice of them.  We rested a while, and then set off to find somewhere to get a late lunch.  I still couldn't walk too far, so we wandered around one of the main squares, finding a couple of places that were closed and the ubiquitous MacDonalds.

The square itself was quite nice, with a few nice buildings and couple of good sculptures, one of which was a tree trunk that had been carved into a male and a female body.

Then we tried the other big square, thinking that must be where the food is, only to find a closed bar and a garage cafe. Not quite that desperate yet, we had a brief rest on a bench in the square, and then circled round to a place from the guide book that we thought would be open.  It wasn't.

 Getting hungry by now we went back to the main square to try a place that we'd seen that seemed to be open and have some food, albeit rather limited.  Failing that we might have to break our own rule and use the MacDonalds!

When we got back to the main square, the MacDonalds was in fact shut - probably for the best, but one of the other places had opened.  Nic was very relieved as he was now claiming to be famished, and I was very relieved as my back was in some pain, and I had no wish to be walking around for any longer.

The next day, while I tried to get myself mobile enough to move, Nic went back to a square that we had passed the day before.  He had instructions from me to get pictures of the little shrine and the fireman's monument, which I wanted a closer look at, and he also found a strange and unexplained little house.

We spared my back and took a cab down to the waterfront with the intention of having lunch there.  Of course once again, everywhere was closed.  We walked around for a while, avoiding the 'Malvinas' memorial where various military types were gathering for a ceremony to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the sinking of the Belgrano, as we figured we may not be especially welcome at that.

Eventually, we found a place that was open and had what was by now a very late lunch overlooking the river front. Again, not a whole lot of sightseeing done, but we covered the main squares and the waterfront, and there wasn't actually much else to see.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Rigid in Rosario

So having got to our replacement hotel it was already pretty late and we just had time to find a pizza place for dinner before everywhere closed up. Unfortunately the next I woke up the next morning with considerable back pain.  This is something that I get occasionally and I have considered myself lucky that so far on this trip, given all the lengthy truck and bus journeys, some camping and a few dodgy beds, I had only had one minor episode of back pain in Bogota.

Unfortunately, whilst I wasn't entirely immobile, this wasn't minor either.  I could just about hobble around the room to get to the bathroom etc and after some back exercises and a few painkillers I could walk a short distance as long as I took it slowly.  It would still spasm quite painfully though, and sightseeing wasn't really an option if I was to to be able to carry my rucksack in a few days.

So we didn't see much of Rosario and there are no photos.  We got a cab downtown each day and found places where I could reasonably comfortably sit and we could do some internet stuff.  I managed to catch up with some overdue blogs - I do keep falling behind at the moment, so will try to do better - and we got quite a bit of accommodation booked for the rest of our time in South America, so it was useful in that way, but it would have been nice to see a bit more of the city. On the morning we left my back was a bit better but still not better, so it was just as well it was only one block to the bus station.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

More gauchos, but no room at the inn

We had a very civilised afternoon bus to our next destination, so we had time to have lunch before we left.  We found a great little 'boliche' which is a bar that serves food.  It is an old place and though well kept has not been modernized, so still has the old traditional counters and shelves with displays of various of the goods that they would once have sold alongside the beers.

It is also the hangout for the gauchos.  While we were there, many of those who work on local estancias came in for their lunch and a drink.  The food was good too. We concluded that even though there is not much to see here, San Antonio de Areco is a place that we could happily have stayed longer, and is a great place to eat and drink.

Our bus was an hour late arriving, so we arrived in Rosario somewhat later than expected and jumped in a cab for the fair distance to our hostel.  We arrived only to be told that they did not have our booking and as it was the bank holiday weekend, there was no room available.  They were able to find us spaces in a large dorm, but we weren't keen, so we asked them to keep looking. We did at least have a little kitten to keep us amused while we waited; it took quite a liking to playing on and around our rucksacks.

Eventually they found us a place right back near the bus station, which was a hotel room for only slightly more than the dorms would have cost.  They gave us some cab money and off we went.  In fact the place was quite nice, even if Nic did think that they might rent rooms by the hour.  And that was before we spotted the lights that glowed out from underneath the bed. As it turned out, the mistake probably worked to our advantage as the next day I awoke with a back problem.   I could move around, just, but it was very painful and I really needed to rest it fully.  Having a proper,l ensuite hotel room, rather than a hostel room with shared bathroom was so much better.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

San Antonio de Areco

After our first evening in San Antonio de Areco, we had already seen that this really is a proper gaucho town.  It is the town where in 1926 writer Ricardo Guiraldes wrote his famous book called Don Segundo Sombra, about a gaucho of the same name, their culture and way of life.  The author was also credited with helping to introduce the argentine tango to Europe.

We saw many of the men wearing the traditional gaucho trousers, neckerchieves and hats.  And people do wear the same type of belts as they sell in the artisan shops - although these days most of them seem to have a mobile attached to it.

After spending some time playing fetch with the hostel dog, we wandered out into town to buy out next bus tickets and have a look around.  In a lot of the places that we have been recently, the architecture has been quite old. Here, some of it was similar, but there were also a number of properties that had the spanish villa style, and looked as if they could have been out of the set of a Zorro film.

It did amuse us though to see one old building, that looked abandoned, with a little vehicle outside that appeared to have been driven, presumably accidentally, into a ditch, so was half into the ground.  It still had a load of wood on top, as if noone could be bothered to move them by hand.

Near to the bus station, we spotted a bust of an old gaucho called Victorino Nogueira, with a frieze of gauchos herding cattle.  Victorino was a friend of Don Segundo Sombra.  I don't know why he has the statue rather than the key character, but I guess they had their reason.

We followed a sign to an old bridge that seemed to be considered important in the town.  It was called the Gabino Tapia Bridge and was built by the wealthy Tapia family back in 1700.  It wasn't a very exciting looking bridge, and these days it didn't seem to serve a great deal of purpose, but I guess it was a big deal back then.

The park at the edge of the old town is large and has plently of areas where people can presumably come to have their own asados. This a big white amphitheatre, a nice vertical sun dial and a huge old tree.  It looked a nice place to pass the time in the summer, though for many people here it was probably already getting a bit cold for all this outdoors stuff.

The main square was quite pleasant, and we looked around a variety of shops and studios for traditional leather and silver work.  You could certainly buy everything you needed to kit yourself out like a proper gaucho, including some rather mean looking knives.  I decided to buy a ring instead.

We stopped for lunch in the place that had been recommended to us as good for meats.  We weren't disappointed.  It was a bit quiet, but nice enough inside, and the menu included things like wild boar and rabbit, which is relatively unusual in a country where beef is very definitely the mainstay.  The rabbit empanadas were good and so was everything else.  Definitely a place to go if you want a meat fix.

On the way out, we chatted briefly to an older couple who were also leaving. They initially thought we were German, which happens quite a lot around this area. They had been to the UK a few times and like it by much, so we pleased to talk for a while.

We mentioned that we had seen in the local newspaper that the town had just had a visit from Christina Kirchner and asked if that had caused some excitement. However they, like some others that we met, we're decidedly unimpressed by Christina; apparently she does nothing to support the agricultural workers in Argentina, which obviously does not go down well in a town that is defined by its estancias.

After booking a table back at last night's place for around 10:30pm, and an afternoon of leisurely exploring the town, often followed by one or more dogs - at one point we had three of them escorting us around - we made our way to the local cerveceria to try out the local beers. It was a nice little place, that in fact had beers from all around the world as well as its 'Old Town' local brew.

We tried the various different types of old town and they were pretty good. So we stopped for a bite to eat and some more beers before we eventually got to talking to another customer who we figured was also from the UK.  It turned out that Mark was staying at our hostel and was had been working in BsAs for a number of months, and was just getting around to doing the tourist bit before going back to the UK. We swapped some BsAs stories and told him that where we were heading in case he wanted to join us, which he later did.

When we arrived at Tokio Viejo, we were shown to our table with great flourish. We got the impression that they were genuinely pleased to have us back there which was nice. We were somewhat amused though by the reservation label on our table. Instead of the Nic's name, which we had given them and they had written down, it said 'extrañeros' which simply means foreigners.
The music tonight was folk music, so the dancing was also the more traditional style such as the Chacarera that we had seen before, the Cueca and the Zamba, which is the rather more flirtatious love story dance chacarera. These are more like barn dancing or reels, and often involve a lot of finger clicking, intricate foot stomping by the men, and waving of hankies - white for the men, blue for the ladies.

It is interesting to see how varied the couples' dance style is despite doing basically the same moves, especially between different generations.  It was great to watch, and thankfully tonight no one tried to get us to join in, which given how complex some of the moves are, was just as well.

Wait for it........

Now I don't want you to get too excited, and it really would not be advisable to hold your breath, but it looks like Nic might actually, finally, be going to do his first posting on the blog. I know that he would have you think that he has been far too busy with other important things like budgets and bus tickets, but really, eleven months is long enough. And even now he'll be messing up my timeline with a blog that relates to something back in January. But still, wait for it.....

Friday, May 18, 2012

Up the Delta and onwards to San Antonio

From Carmelo we took the Deltacat along the Parana river to Tigre.  Just about everything in South America is huge, and the delta is no exception.   The muddy brown river is very wide, and in the full glare of the sun we both started to feel very sleepy on the crossing. We just about managed to open our eyes long enough to appreciate the wide expanse of water with its reed beds, and to note the little secluded houses built on stilts at the edge of the river.

As we pulled into Tigre, I was enthusiastic to see roller coasters and other rides but Nic, who doesn't like such things at all, assured me that we didn't have time to stop and sample them.  In fairness he was telling the truth, but I think he would have tried that anyway even had we had hours to spare.  So it was straight off the boat, through customs back into Argentina, and onto the bus to Buenos Aires. The bus was slow to arrive in the city so we jumped in a cab to Retiro bus terminal, quickly bought our tickets and rushed to the right bay for our scheduled departure, just about making it on time.

And then waited an hour for the bus because it was late.  When it did arrive, we were caught up in protests blockading the roads, so we got to San Antonio de Areco in the dark and a few hours later than expected. We found our hostel, having to interrupt the owner's family dinner in the process, but they were very welcoming and suggested a some places where we might go for a meal.  We considered a few but were won over by a place called Tokio Viejo on the corner of the main square that was already busy and gearing up for some live music.  We got the last table in the place and settled down to good food and a couple of guys playing tangos.

One of the great things about places like this is that all the locals get up and dance.  The dance floor was less crowded than the milonga that we had been to, but still busy at times and we were impressed as the couples managed to dance around each other.

With a bit more space available, there was a bit more of the leg flicking going on too; it amuses me to see Nic flinch almost every time they do it, as he worries that a slight miscalculation of the woman's part could leave her partner in some pain.  I get the feeling he would never be comfortable participating in that particular move himself.

Towards the end of the evening, we got chatting to a few of the people on the table next to us.  People here always seem to be very interested in our travels and we were quizzed at length.  In a mix of our Spanish and Areceli and Martin's  English, we managed to paint a good enough picture that Areceli asked if she could come with us.

She was also the first Argentine person to bring up the subject of the Falklands with us.  She laughed as she simply said that Las Malvinas are Argentine, and was clearly expecting me to say no.  There was no question that this was not an issue for her and she was simply having a laugh.  We agreed to disagree!

As the evening and the dancing continued, they started playing a few other dances as well as the tango, and that is when one of the other couples decided we should join in.  Before we had time to try to get out of it, he had dragged me up onto the floor, and she had caught Nic and we were all 'dancing'.

Thankfully everyone there realised we wouldn't have the faintest idea what we were doing, and they all seemed to be quite happy with our efforts to follow our leads. We were the last group to leave at around 2am, and three different people offered us a lift back to our hostel.  Not that we needed a lift as it as it was only a short walk.  Overall it was a great evening, made all the better for getting some proper interaction with a few of the local people.