take a load off

After nearly 20 days of backpacking with Drew, it was time to change things up a bit and take a load off with two of my favorite girls, the Sinha sisters. So Drew and I said our goodbyes in Lima--dont worry, I left him in the hands of the drunk Irish we had met in Cusco--and I made my way to Rio for some fun in the sun. Unfortunately, I arrived in BA (where I had a 3 hr layover) to find that my flight to Rio had been CANCELLED! No, not delayed...cancelled! Imagine my delight at 6.30 AM, sin cafe! No worries though, they quickly re-booked me on the next available flight...which was leaving at 3.30 PM! Needless to say, I am now quite familiar with the international terminals at the BA airport, which means that i can sit back and relax tomorrow as I wait for my flight home...no need to explore again!

Luckily I did arrive in Rio safely though, and, after waiting for an hour for my luggage to plop out on the conveyer belt, I made my way to our hotel in Ipanema...9 hours later than planned! The next two days were filled with good food, caipairinhas, sugarloaf mountain, Jesu Cristo, and some good ole fashioned fun in the sun! Just imagine tanya and i singing "copa, copacabana" every where we went and sylvana close behind snapping photos and you get the idea...

From Rio we caught a plane down to Iguazu Falls, which honestly (again) cannot be adequately summed up in a mere blog entry...where we not only had an HJO (Haley Joel Osmond) sighting, we also managed to take in the beauty of the natural falls AND some of the natural habitat...we even witnessed a coatí scare, as the furry little creature made his way up on the bridge we were on, leaving one woman screeching and the three of us briskly walking to the other end of the bridge, shoving sandwhiches BACK into tanyas suitcase purse. While there, we also got up close and personal with the falls in a speed boat (which was luckily speedy enough to meet tans' need for speed!)...it took us right up under the falls, where i laughed and laughed, tan danced, and sylvana squnited her eyes and turned away...and they were powerful too...SO powerful that mr. spurlock (a man sitting in the front of our boat) ended up next to me in the back! After that adventure, we really needed to take a load off, Ameeerica style, so we got a cold beer, chips, and ice cream...and then continued on our way through the park. The next day we woke up and went horseback riding through the rainforest with our 14 year-old guide, Julio (Sylvana was expecially excited that this was his name, especially when we rode by the indigenous school house...just imagine hearing "me and julio down by the school yard" being sung over and over in the rainforest and i think you can get the picture)...

No ladies and gentlemen, the trip doesnt end there...from Iguazu, we made our way down to BA for a few days. in retrospect, i can tell you that my decision to take the overnight, 18-hr bus ride, was no where near worth it. nope. there was not enough wine in the world (and we didnt have a cork screw)...luckily we basically had our own apartment, a BOX of snacks, and movies...but still. In the end we made it and had a great time though...and we became best friends with a group of local artesans who we just couldnt get enough of, apparently. The trip culminated in a (not so) tango show...which ended up being a murga show (a typical uruguayan dance which is NOTHING like tango)...luckily there was enough wine for this one :)

And so now we too have separated, and I am back in La Plata for one last night...in just 24 hours I'll be boarding my flight for Atlanta and then continuing on to Roanoke. The past 5 months have absolutely flown by, and while theyve been challenging, Ive loved every second. Argentina's an amazing country, still searching for its meaning and its place in this world, evolving every day...I think thats why I like it so much. It's kind of like all of us, just trying to learn from its past and discover its future.

Thanks to everyone for all of your support, prayers, and love throughout this chapter of my life...te mando un abrazo grande y nos vemos pronto!

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