lørdag 27. mars 2010


Hola a todos,
AK speaking! :)

We've been on the road lately, and therefore we now have a lot to tell you!

We've spent some days in Uruguay, passed through Colonia and Montevideo
and ended up in Cabo Polonio which is a peninsula with great beaches, no electricity,
and rarely running water. Thanks to helpful advice from the tourist-information lady at the bus-station in Montevideo we left believing that we'd be able to pay with credit cards at the
restaurants in Cabo Polonio...we were not. Thanks lady. The same lady told us that there were no restaurants close to the bus-station...as we got out we saw more than 3 in the closest street.

Cabo Polonio is about 5 hours from Montevideo along the coast towards the east and in order to get there you have to (after the 5h. busride) take a 4x4 truck to get to the town because you will be driving over sand mountains and beaches. Lovely.
I have never seen so many stars on the sky.

We knew we had to pick up the keys to the 24m2 house we were renting (for 4 people) from a guy called Leo in a blue house close to the lighthouse. However, when we got to Cabo Polonio..it was dark and we had no idea where the blue house was. Neither did we know which house we had rented. This could have gotten tricky, but thanks to a very helpful man who came with the same truck we did (who walked us to Leo's blue house, and then to the house we rented with a flashlight) everything was ok.

During our stay we got to see sea lions (both alive and dead), a huge number of stray dogs,
some cute puppies, got to shower outside in water from the well, and finally managed to scrape together enough money to eat at on of the restaurants (we chose to do so in the dark, as then we would not notice that it was quite dirty). Oh yes...and some of us might have gotten a bit sunburned as well.

From there we went back to BsAs, but just for 1 night, and then we got on a bus to Cordoba.
Cordoba seems like a much smaller city (of course) than BsAs, and also it looks a lot cheaper (of course). It also has an awesome "Museum of memory" for the Dirty War (la guerra sucia)
which I recommend to anyone passing through the city.

The people of Cordoba are also very helpful (whenever you pull up a map 5 people come running to help you figure out where to go) and a special thanks should go out to the 2 old men who stopped me and Kjersti from walking on the "bad side" of the river ("you can't walk there with a purse!").

Ida & Simon stayed in Cordoba and explored the area around, while Kjersti & me took a bus to Salta. At the busstation we met a guy from the Netherlands, Thys, and decided to rent a car and drive from Salta to La Poma through the spectacular scenery with lots of mountains, colors, and kind of crappy roads. We found a very small restaurant there (the town is TINY) and I got to read children's stories to the chef's incredibly cute daugther. From there we went to Catchi where we spent 1 night, and then to Cafayate a lot further south where we took a guided walk to Rio Colorado, a beautiful waterfall where we took a swim. Luckily we opted for going there with a guide, although the Lonely Planet book mentioned nothing of this need, because we suddenly found ourself climbing up 10meters on rocks with a rise of almost 90degrees.

We drove back to Salta for a night, and then up past Jujuy and to Purmamarca, where I might have gone sligthly berserk buying souvenirs. This is also where you'll find the mountains with 7 colors (very pretty!) not to mention countless police controls as it is relatively close to the boarder of Bolivia. We drove back to Salta and spent the last night there, and checked out the Inca Museum and the view over Salta before we said goodbye to Thys and got on a plane back to BsAs.

Salta and the area around definitely has a different feel to it than BsAs, obviously the cities are smaller, but the people also look different, supposedly because of a lot of immigration from Bolivia. And most people are extremely helpful whenever you pull up a map here too.

Today it's Saturday, yesterday we got back from our adventure, and this morning at 6.30 I picked up (read: ambushed) Alejandro at the airport in BsAs, and now we will spend 2 weeks exploring BsAs and enjoying the Easter vacations.

Happy Easter!!!!!!!! :)

lørdag 13. mars 2010

Important Buenos Aires tips!

A word of advice:

If you HAVE to take a taxi in Buenos Aires alone (try to avoid it if you can)
make sure you WRITE DOWN the name of the taxi company (because you
should take a RadioTaxi - that means, a taxi connected to a radio central...they're
easier to track if something should happen, and more accountable because they are
representing a taxi company, and they're not just random independent taxi drivers)
AND also write down the 3 digit number that you will see displayed on the back of each
taxi (and usually also on the side of the taxi) - that way you will be able to
trace the taxi-driver if something should happen.

This is what a taxi that's NOT connected to a radio central looks like

(now you're thinking: wow, that has to be an old picture, because the car is so old!
well...you're wrong..there are a surprising high number of cars driving around here
that haven't been seen in Norway since the 70s).

This is what a radio taxi looks like:

It's a bit hard to see from this picture, but the relevant information here
is the name of the taxi company on the back-door "City Taxi" and the
3 digit number above the front wheel (in this case 387).
So, remember that if you are ever taking a taxi alone in Buenos Aires.
A good idea can also be to send a text to a friend where you write this information
that way, someone else will know that you are in that specific taxi at that
specific time.

Because, sad as it is...things happen.
A friend of ours was just robbed by the taxi-driver (yes, a radio taxi)
on her way home from a tango-show we'd all been too.
All of the sudden, the Buenos Aires that has seemed so safe for so long
doesn't seem as safe anymore.

Note to self: stop taking taxis alone.
and remember your old paranoid-self:
everyone is out to get you, trust no one.
(ok, choose a few people and trust them ;))

mandag 8. mars 2010

Last week

Wow, it's Monday again!

Since we've last spoke we've learned how to make balloon animals (well..a dog) and swords!
I've already added it to my CV. It's quite impressive, don't you think??

These ones are made of the balloon-talented Kjersti! The card in the corner is an example of a very cute card and love declaration one of the kids made to their mum (one of the activities at the birthday parties in March, in addition to facepaint, is to make cards).

A question that might pop up in your head is: WHY have you learned to make balloon animals and swords. Well, it's all in the name of coordinating birthday parties for the kids in the slums. I am happy to rapport that they are now all getting balloon figures at birthday parties.

Every Thursday "Madres de plaza Mayo" (mai-plass mødrene) march in remembrance of their children who strangely disappeared in the Dirty War, and their disapperances are still unaccounted for by the government, which the mothers are trying to show their disapproval of.
The ladies walking in the front line were really old, and they were all wearing scarfs on their heads, and carrying pictures of their loved ones who had gone missing. Looking at them really made me sad, and at the same time impressed, because they STILL march every Thursday at 15.30 so many years after.

On Friday we went to La Viruta, a place to learn/dance tango. We felt quite confident from last time so we had previously decided to go directly to the "intermediate" section. However, as it all started we found ourselfes in the "beginner" section again, not sure why. Luckily, Ida & I were both swept off to the intermediate class by two friends who had tangoed for 2 years (what were THEY doing in the beginners class??). My dancepartner told me "forget everything they just told you, and follow me" - my immediate reaction "OMG, this is a jerk"..however, he turned out quite normal, and quite the tango dancer too.

Saturday was spent in Tigre, where we were last weekend too, enjoying the fresh air and the sun. Sunday we checked out a new park: Parque Norte, that has A LOT of pools, cafeteria, music, water-aerobics etc. A great place to have fun in the sun.

mandag 1. mars 2010


I am officially one year older.

Today was my birthday, and it has been a really nice day!
I was woken up by breakfast on the bed, with champagne and candy
+ 2 gifts from abroad that had been delivered on the door while I was sleeping.
Pancakes with bacon for breakfast (and champagne) followed by a trip to the park
with a gossip magazine, before volunteering teaching English at a soup kitchen,
blowing out candles and eating delicious brownies
and going out for drinks after. NOW I'm 24.

It's been a while since we've blogged, but that doesn't mean we haven't kept busy.
Thursday we went to the movies with a friend and saw Precious. A good, and tragic, happy, horrible, and good movie.
The maid has finally shown up! Since none of us has ever had a maid before we were unsure what to do, so we gave her cake and soda and left so she could clean in peace on Friday.
We've gotten to know Palermo Soho and Palermo Viejo (cool neighbourhoods in BsAs) better (while she was cleaning...and/or eating cake and drinking soda and reading our magazines).
We've discovered that there is a Mate bar (mate is a kind of tea that it appears EVERYBODY in Argentina and sorrounding countries drink) right next door.
We've had choripan (a typical sausage with lots of spices)

with chimichurry (a typical sause/salsa) and now feel more argentine because of it.

We've been to Tigre, which is 1h. outside BsAs..with train it's exactly 4,40ArgPesos/6,60NOK go and come back. It's a nice small city with lots of rivers with boats, and FRESH air, perfect for a Saturday outing. Tigre should be called Buenos Aires instead of Buenos Aires being called Buenos Aires...you know what I mean, don't you?
There were lots of cool markets, and I was really tempted to buy a carneval costume, but it was a wee bit expensive

...so instead I bought an adidas jacket. It will serve for the same purpose as the carneval costume I thought.

We also went to the Mate museum in Tigre, and learned a lot about the history of mate,
and how to prepare it. We now all have our own mate cup with a special straw (called bombilla).
You have to fill the mate cup 3/4 full with the tea leaves, the tilt the cup so that the leaves will distribute at an upwards angle of 45 degrees to one side. Then you add hot water (75degrees) into the side of the cup where the leaves are lowest, till half of the leaves are covered. Then you drink. Then you add more water. And apperantly you continue that way twelve times, and then you change the placement of the bombilla till the other side (where the leaves are highest) and start sipping again.

We all felt that with this we would be able to make it at home and like it (last time I tried it was a failure)...but it just wasn't the same at home as at the museum! Disappointing. But we anyway have lots of new knowledge about Mate, and therefore feel even more argentine.

We also checked out a new restaurant in BsAs on Sunday, known for it's scandinavian cooking, design, atmosphere etc. It's called Olsen (however, it's actually written Ølsen in the restaurant). We were very curious about what to expect, and what we found was a hell of a lot of wood.
The fasade was of wood, the chairs (not very surprising perhaps), the decorations...the pillows had knitted patterns on them, there was an oven with wood in it, the waiters were not very nice...ergo: it felt like home! ahhh...Norway <3
The food did actually taste scandinavian though..whatever that means. Think white sauce, fish, jam on meat etc.

And that brings us to today, Monday, my birthday.
I hope YOU've had a good 1st of March too.
Tomorrow I'm gonna eat brunost (arrived from Norway) for breakfast. Yey.