On the hunt for the perfect day/backpack!

 

Yesterday I shared with you a post about my new backpack for my upcoming trip. Today I wanted to cover my daypack choice. I have laboured over this like it is my job. I currently have a very trusty and loved Blackwolf 25L Tempo pack which goes with me everywhere. I also have a gorgeous Manfrotto Windsor camera/laptop bag which I love.

Now is also a great time to make it clear that I love bags. Not handbags, but bags, backpacks, travel bags, camera bags. Bags. Totally nuts for them. My Husband would light up like a Christmas tree if I told him he could give most of them away (he cannot, by the way).

However, I need another in-between daypack. Something which is easy to grab and go and is weather-resistant and secure, without needing to pull out the backpack-raincoat.

A new company, Livingstone Brand based in Calgary, Alberta (think Bannf, Lake Louise and Watertons) have recently confirmed that their new bags will soon become available on the market and have offered several bloggers the opportunity to purchase one with a discount to share our findings of the bag and its ability. I have been in contact with Livingstone Brand and have found out that they have a dedicated focus on ‘giving back’ to the National Parks across the globe. With the launch of their back pack they have in turn  launched the Packs for Parks Campaign.

Through this campaign a portion of all sales of each and every backpack, will be dedicated to your favourite National Park. I had to know more about this and honestly, I am blown away by such a unique and dedicated idea.

So in addition to my heart exploding with all of the good-feels (who doesn’t love National Parks?!), it was important to know that the bag was in-fact functional.

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The Livingstone Alberta Pack (25L) is the perfect daypack sixe. It comes in at less than half a pound and only 7 inches long – for those of us playing along in Australia it weighs less than 300grams and under 18cm long when reduced.

It is durable, made with both tear/water-resistant nylon, YKK zippers and is for all weather conditions. The zipper lining is also water resistant. It comes with breathable mesh straps, to relieve any shoulder/back stress and stays at a comfortable temperature.

Aside from this, this amazing daypack comes with a lifetime warranty against all manufacture defects.

I hope to get this bag by mid-late August 2018 and will trial it hopefully before we head off on our next adventure and if possible, will take it along with us as we head off on our five week adventure!

I’ve ordered the above bag and am beyond excited to get a hold of it and test it out, watch this space!

Is there a day pack you swear-by? Does it give you the warm and fuzzy feeling to purchase items that have a cause behind them?

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post. I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

 

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Dear Captain Planet Generation…we are failing

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Captain Planet….if you grew up in the 90’s you would remember him and the Planeteers (Kwame, Wheeler, Linka, Gi & Ma-Ti anybody?). These guys were the reason six year old me understood environmental disasters & devastating destruction long before I ever learnt it in school! We were the generation they were after, they were talking to us – we were going to be the ones to turn it all around.

Except…Did you know that since 1993, we have lost an area of ‘unspoilt’ places twice the size of Alaska? Or that humans have destroyed a tenth of Earth’s remaining wilderness in the last 25 years?

With ecosystems being lost there is no ability to reverse the damage and although there is still approximately 30m sq. km of wilderness across the globe, that only equates to 23% of the world’s land mass. In saying that a large portion of this is Australia’s deserts and western woodlands.

For those of us in Australia, our environmental movement really hit its peak in the eighties and the Australian Labor Party began capitalising on national conservation and soil conservation.

We are incredibly fortunate in that Australia has over 6000 Landcare and Coastcare groups nationwide. We are respectful of climate change, sustainability, animal protection and of course environmental care as a whole.

As we continue to experience the effects of the damage we have caused to our beautiful planet, a sustainable economy is more important than ever. We need to live within our means and try to use natural assets rather than depleting them and work to bring pollution to a level that our environment can actually handle, rather than damage it beyond repair.

Sadly, Australia is surprisingly one of the lease sustainable countries in the world. The AEGN confirmed that we as a nation have an ecological footprint which is 2.8 times the work average & our carbon emissions are four times the world average.

So how do we, as Generation Y try to give back to the environment which is home? How do we respect and care for all of the beautiful places which has given us land, rain, clean water, incredible ecosystems, animals, fresh air and healthy oceans (AEGN, 2018)?

Our oceans have the highest marine biodiversity in the world and our native plants and animals are found only here, in Australia. Along without carbon footprint and carbon emissions we have the highest rate of animal extinction and our extreme and dangerous weather events are increasing each year. Whilst there is natural attrition, we humans are responsible for almost all of the damage.

The AEGN is working hard to provide marine sanctuaries, to stop large-scale land clearing, to set up wind and solar farms and provide education around climate change, to protect biodiversity and restore land and to advocate for the proper use and protection of our fresh water supplies. We rely on grants and groups to get this done. So how can you help? Well, have a look at the following tips which I either follow or will begin following and see how you go. I would also love to hear what you do, let’s be the generation Captain Planet thought we would be and step up to the challenge of protecting Earth for the next generation.

  • Walk & bike to local destinations, rather than taking your car
  • Use a refillable water bottle and avoid buying/using plastic water bottles. Did you know that there are 370 million bottles going to waste every year & that these will take over 400 years to break down (ProAcqua, 2014). Australia’s use of bottled water generates 60,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year!
  • Dry your clothes using a clothes-horse or clothesline instead of using your dryer (these bad boys are one of the biggest energy-sucking appliances in your home).
  • Use a keep-cup for your coffee (it is estimated that Australians use 1 billion disposable coffee cups each year. That’s 2.7 million paper cups thrown out every day! (University of Melbourne, 2018).
  • Use reusable bags when you do your groceries (Greenpeace found that Australians use over 9.7 billion single-use plastic bags annually) (Greenpeace, 2017).
  • Use cold water for your washing machine
  • Unplug your electronics at night to stop them using electricity
  • Use digital documents and avoid print-outs
  • RECYCLE, recycle, recycle (the average Australian produces 1.5 tonnes of waste per year and much of this is avoidable!) (Greenpeace, 2014).
  • Buy products with the Energy Rating which is high, this is a mandatory scheme for most appliances and the higher the star-rating the better the appliance (Australian Government, 2013).
  • Adopt a water conservation strategy (fix your taps, use a water-saving shower head, keep your tap water in a bottle in the fridge, use your washing machine when you have a full load and on cold, install a water tank, don’t overwater your lawn etc.,) (Nature Australia, 2018).

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post. I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow OURSEQld on Instagram click here – Our SE Qld

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

A Celebration of Women – International Women’s Day

 

Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), and it is celebrated on 8 March every year commemorating the movement for women’s rights. First observed on 28 February in New York the year 1909, it was confirmed at the 1910 International Women’s Conference that 8 March would become an ‘International Women’s Day’.

Each year there is a different UN theme, this year it is The Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives. IWD is an official holiday in several parts of the world, including Afghanistan, Armenia, Cambodia, China, Russia and Turkmenistan. Countries such as Croatia, Romania, Bosnia and Chile celebrate the day, although it is not a public holiday.

team-motivation-teamwork-together-53958.jpegThis years campaign is heavily focussed on #PressforProgress – on global activism for equality for women – heavily fuelled by movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp (amongst others). The world is aiming for gender parity and shockingly, the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings suggest that gender parity is over 200 years away!

#PressforProgress is a call for us all to motivate and unite each other, our friends and colleagues, our communities to act, think and be gender inclusive For more – read here.

There is no denying that the last year has been tumultuous in terms of the struggle for women’s rights. You only need to observe the inauguration of Donald Trump, the fallout of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the rise of #MeToo & #TimesUp campaigns to understand the significance of this years IWD.

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A little snapshot of the IWD which I have found really interesting is below:

  • In 1010, Clara Zetkin became the first person to table to idea of an International Women’s Day
  • Later in 1910, 100 women from 17 different countries gathered to formally establish IWD and in 1011 when this occurred, more than a million people rallied in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland for women’s voting rights
  • It was officially declared by the UN in 1975.

So why do we need to keep celebrating it now? Surely women’s rights have improved? Could this really be as prevalent as it was 108 years ago? The answer is yes. We continuously need to mark this event because although huge progress has been made, much more needs to be done.

pexels-photo-567633.jpegThe income of female workers worldwide is predicted to continue lagging behind males for another 70 years and it has also been suggested that the gender pay gap will not fully close until 2186.

One in three girls in the developing world is married off before her 18th birthday and more than 140 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of female genital mutilation. Two thirds of the 774 million illiterate people in the world are female and only 7.8% countries in the world have a female head of government.

For me, being a feminist means respect and an aim for equality – at the core of it it is the struggle to end oppression. I am fortunate enough to live where I do, be in an equal and loving relationship and hold both a Degree and a well-paying job. In 10 countries, women are legally bound to obey their husbands and only 76 countries have legislation that directly targets domestic violence; with just 57 of them including sexual abuse.

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This year I have donated to the UN Women National Commission of Australia – Link is here.

  • $48 you can help provide food for a woman living in a shelter for a month.
  • $98 can deliver a young woman’s leadership program.
  • $156 can ensure women have access to legal services.
  • $456 can provide financial and literacy and business training for three women to create sustainable enterprises.
  • $873 can support a safe hour to protect women from domestic violence.

IMG_8750This International Women’s Day, let’s continue to empower each other and work together to ensure women are safe from violence and have choice and opportunity.

Happy International Women’s Day!What do you wish you could change for women in today’s world? I would like to see everyone in this world have access to mental health care.

Some of the beautiful ladies in my life, at my Hen’s Night ❤❤❤.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see!

Please note, I am not paid any sponsorships at all, I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

x C x

A love for travel <3

One of the most amazing things to occur after you have been planning and saving for a trip after many months/years is when you arrive at your destination. You are no longer glued to that photo somebody else took and which you downloaded or screen-shotted many moons ago. You are there. Finally.

And you know what? Nothing is more beautiful than that moment. I say this a lot, but honestly the most breathtaking moment I have ever had whilst travelling was when I was in South America and I saw Machu Picchu. Anyone who knows me, will vouch for the fact that I am rarely without words, but Peru…Peru silenced me. I had planned the trip for almost two years with my girlfriend Jemma and to finally be there was just amazing.

The first time I knew I wanted to explore the world, I was not quite six years old. I had the most vivid dream. I was exploring waterfalls and caves with my Dad, I think we were in Africa or Asia (or whatever combination my brain had concocted at such a young age). When I was telling Dad about our adventure and he told me I had just been dreaming, I actually thought he was having me on. How could I have dreamt something so detailed? Also, how was I going to deal with the disappointment that I had not been there?

I became obsessed. I WAS going to travel the world. One day. When I was six we went on our first overseas family holiday, to Bali. I have really lovely memories of this trip. Catching the plane with my family, coming across people who neither spoke English or Anindilyakwa, as was spoken on Groote Eylandt where we lived. It was one of the most exciting weeks of my little life – so many beautiful things to see and smell and taste, people to meet. Amazing!

I came home with braids in my heart, a hundred new stories to tell the kids at school and a burning desire to travel. Being a mining brat, I had the ability to see a fair bit of the top end and east coast of Australia, because we typically moved every two years for Dad’s job. I used to pour over and harbour any travel articles I could get a hold of and I wished for a subscription to the National Geographic magazine for years and years.

Then puberty happened. High school. Jobs. Wagging School to go to the beach. Parties. The usual. Sure enough, by the time I was 17 I had planned my next big adventure, I was going to live in London and work in a pub, like nearly every third or fourth Aussie at the time. I went to uni instead.

Then I dreamed of teaching English in Japan, which then changed to working in a ski field in Canada, then back to possibly landing a job in the UK. Then I changed jobs, changed degrees and decided to travel on leave instead.

I must have planned three or four big trips which never came to fruition. I always had friends with the best of intentions, but when it came down to the crunch, they just were not willing to part with ever spare dollar to save it for a holiday. My friends didn’t want to wear the same clothes all year, miss out on parties and dye their own hair. Which was completely fine, my dreams didn’t need to be my friends dreams!

Eventually at 23 I decided to bite the bullet and just go away on my own. I had my sights set on South America. My Mum gave me a firm and resounding “NO” to her 23 year old daughter running off overseas on her own. So instead, at the pleading of Mum/Friends/Employer, I booked myself onto an arranged Contiki tour instead.

This would turn out to be one of the best decisions I ever made, I met some amazing people, experienced the high of travel I had been seeking and knew that every sacrifice I had made in the past was worth it :).

I am pretty sure I would have had Dad over my shoulder (who had since passed), carrying me along my journey – remembering the five year old who animatedly “remembered” an international adventure all those years ago xx

When did you know you had fallen in love with travel?

x C x

Our 2018 European Adventure

Hello everyone!

First of all, a massive thank you to you all for your continued support and interest in my page. This page was started many years ago, as a form of a travel diary. A place to share my past adventures and connect with other like-minded bloggers.

In October of last year, I decided to start a separate instagram page Courtney Gaye Travels. This was my little space to share photographs and moments from my past travels. I am really pleased with the way it has gone. I have connected with some amazing people, found some incredible accounts and have had the amazing opportunity to find this incredible community of people with whom I have been able to seek inspiration from.

IMG_9206At the moment my page mostly shares older posts and photographs, however I am hoping this will continue to develop and to grow. I love sharing and connecting with others.

I am a proud Brisbane girl, I have lived here for over half my life and I cannot see myself living anywhere else. I was married on my beloved Brisbane River in 2016, work in the Brisbane CBD and try to spend as much time as possible exploring all that this beautiful city has to offer.

My Husband and I met when we were both away for a weekend, we took our first overseas trip together in 2014 and became engaged in New York City. We spent the first six months of our relationship findings pictures of places we wanted to explore and sending them to each other, slowly but surely building our bucket list.

This year we will be ticking off quite a few of these bucket list destinations, during our European adventure. I have decided that I would really like to share these adventures with everyone.

I hope to hear from you on this platform, or through instagram and even via email. I have a facebook page as well, if that is more to your liking. Either way, I am here to connect with people and I am so excited to see your journeys and learn from each and every one of you.

Thank you for your follow, see you out there :).

Courtney Gaye

x

Our next adventure…

Happy Thursday! Not quite Friday, but thankfully not Monday either!

G and I don’t have our next trip until September next year. It’s going to take some meticulous planning, sacrifice and saving, saving, SAVING!

Since we have quite a wait until our next journey, I started an @instagram page, just for my travel photos. It’s been so wonderful to relive some of my travels. 

I’ve been posting about Peru and Argentina and next I will be able to post about Brazil. 

I am hoping that given the number of photos I would like to share, if I pace myself – then maybe it will keep me occupied until our next adventure!

If you have an IG account and want to take a look – my name is @the_novaturient_redhead. I would love to see you over there and follow your pages as well!

Anyways, I’m on my commute to work now. We need to fund our lifestyles somehow, don’t we?

Happy Thursday!

X

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil – February 2014

Day 1 – I couldn’t believe the end of our adventure was here. We arrived to Rio quite early. A cleaner in the airport came up to me to ask me if the food had been ok. I said yes, then she asked why my friend has said it was not ok. I had not idea what she was talking about, she pointed at one of the guys from our tour who was eating. It turns out he had said to her “this is the sh*t!”. It took a little bit of explaining to let her know it was a compliment and really highlighted what a stupid saying it is ha-ha.

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We went to Rio’s old cathedral, visited the historical buildings around the city and then visited the Lapa district and other areas. After the orientation we checked into our hotel and then went out drinking. We were staying in a pretty good area, I think. The hotel we were in was super dingey but we were all together and safe – which is what matters!

Day 2 – Today was the day! The day we finally set our eyes on something we had been dreaming of, the Christ the Redeemer statue on top of the Corcovado. The statue is huge and the view is astronomical – it has soooo many tourists though. To the point where you would be physically pushed so someone else could stand where you were for a picture!

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After Christ the Redeemer we headed to Sugarloaf Mountain for the 1300ft climb up to the summit. Again – the views were amazing, so beautiful and camera really just does not do it justice.

We then had free time so we walked around town and hunted down THE havaianas store, big fans of “havi’s” here in Australia / N.Z and I had lost my beloved golden ones year before when they broke. I think we each left with maybe 6 or 7 pairs? I got x2 pairs for me and the rest were gifts – including a little teeny tiny pair for my newborn Niece :).

We did also find ourselves a beach bar and got our drink on, visited the markets and watched the sunset whilst eating McDonald’s (cheap, near our hotel and easy to order). Some people chose to do the favela tours, but it was not really for me – as Jemma aptly worded it ‘poverty tourism’ – so we used the money the tour would have cost and gave it to our tour guide to pass along to a charity in Rio De Janeiro instead. It might just be me, but taking selfie’s with homeless children for your Facebook profile picture to get likes and then walking off doesn’t make you charitable. It makes you kind of a huge jerk.

Jemma went out to the football and I stayed in and ate an impromptu snack plate and watched movies – I was exhausted and needed some ‘me’ time. Also, in South America – Club Social biscuits – oh my god, amazing. I want some now and it’s been years! That afternoon of reading, texting, looking through my photos and at one point napping – was amazing.

I was missing home, missing fresh food, missing my home and missing speaking English. You never want to sound as though you are not appreciating your holiday but I think there comes a time where you are just exhausted and that’s a really long time to spend with people.

Day 3 – It had arrived! Our last day in Rio – not really knowing what to do. We hung around with our travel buddies, ate Mexican food, drank margaritas, went to the beach again. Found out the biggest guys on our tour had been robbed by a kid with a knife – so, we were a little hesitant about going out that night.

Our amazing tour guide from Peru had arrived at our hotel as she was running the Carnivàle festival. So that was pretty cool that we were able to see her but also being able to experience the vibe and excitement of the upcoming Carnivàle.

Day 4 – This was it! South America was over, it was time to head back to L.A before our holiday was officially over. We were in two-minds about this. Yes, we were ready to be home but no, we weren’t really ready to have our adventure end.

When we headed to the airport to fly back to the States, we were lucky enough to be having similar timed departing flights with a couple of our travel buddies. One by one it was our turn to leave though, so there were quite a few tears!

The flight was HORRENDOUS. We had the back, back row – which as you know – the seats don’t decline. That and a 5″ nothing guy sat in front of me and immediately declined his seat into me. Also, I am not sure I have seen planes as filthy as American Airlines – just grubby, dirty, slimy. Absolutely revolting. At one point I had several pills ready to knock myself out for the 10 hour flight, as I went to take them – we hit turbulence and they all went down the side into the grotty abyss. Not pills.

2014-03-01 21.55.20I was super uncomfortable and incredibly annoyed about old-mate in front of me. I am sorry but you’re teeny tiny, the seat next to you is free – you don’t need your seat ALL the way back. When he jumped up and went to the toilet I moved his seat forward 2 inches and then locked my legs in behind his seat.

He ended up working it out and stood up, turned and looked at me and said something in not-Spanish and not-English, I’m assuming “please let me continue to squash you into oblivion because I’m an ar$ehole”. Anyways, it didn’t happen. I didn’t move. Jemma went between being super sympathetic to being worried we would be detained haha, so I couldn’t go super crazy.

Then…..Miami – the gorgeous Florida coastline at 6am in the morning. Our South American journey, was over. Thank you South America, you were amazing!

x

Iguazu Falls, Argentina & Brazil

21 & 22 February, 2013 – Iguazu Falls – Brazil & Argentina

Ah the tropics, a nice warm heat, light clothes – maybe a splash of suncream and generally enjoyable, right? NO. Not in the middle of February, in Iguassu Falls! I honestly felt like my body had been placed in an oven, surrounded by steam cleaners. I lived in the Northern Territory as a kid, so familiar with humidity, but this was next level heat. Quite frankly, we had no right being there at that time of the year!

 

Our bus was slightly delayed as one of our tour members had decided it wasn’t really necessary to obtain a Brazilian Visa before her trip (like the rest of us had). To be honest it seems like an innocent mistake but it really isn’t when this same person really needed babysitting the entire trip.

We took our little bus from the Argentinian side – back over the border to visit from the Brazilian side. The falls were amazing – absolutely magnificent in their power. Cute birds and lizards – everything was lovely. The 40-odd degrees and 90% humidity was on the other hand, not so great.

I think it’s crazy that waterfalls can span across two different countries, then again I live in Australia – which you know, has ocean all around it – so it is hard for me to appreciate countries can join each other. I think we spent four or five hours there – there was an eatery but again, too hot. What we wanted was booze – but we were flat out of luck so we must have had 2 litres of water each.

We went back to our cute little hotel, the Hotel del Ray, had some room drinks – FaceTimed our loved ones (first WiFi availability in a couple of days!) and headed out for what was, a unique evening at the Rafain Churrascaria Show. It was what I think was meant to be a tropical/cultural dinner and a show. It certainly gave us plenty of laughs!

2014-02-22 13.46.52Day two of the falls was spent from the Argentinian side and I found to be much more enjoyable! We had all of these different bush-walks to do, rode in these open-roofed trucks out to catch our boat ride out to the falls. Which was fantastic! In such heat, the delicious relief of the waterfalls was amazing :). We got totally soaked which was like having a nice cooling jacket on.

Fun facts about these waterfalls are made up of more than 275 falls, with the most scenic one being the Devil’s tThroat, which has 14 separate falls and drops from a heigh of approximately 350 feet. The rainforest has over 2,000 species of plants and there is a rainbow (which I have a picture of above) which is formed by the waterfalls refraction of light against the mist of the thundering waters.

We were absolutely wrecked by the end of the day, with the bush walks and the heat. We did end up going out that night, to a night-club but it was in the middle of the week and I don’t remember too many people being there. I think a month of drinking and partying had definitely caught up to us and I felt like my permanent smell was suncream.

Iguazu Falls were done! It was time to catch our plane and head up to Rio De Janeiro, the final stop on our incredible Contiki Journey!

That night as we were all drinking on the rooftop of our little hotel, I received a text from home to say my little Niece had arrived, with a gorgeous mop of red hair on her head! Celebratory drinks with the entire crew helped to make up for the home-sickness I had.

x

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina – February 18, 2014

 

Oh my goodness – let’s pretend I have not taken three years to continue my adventure stories! Okay – so our time in Peru was wrapping up, I was really sad, we were really sad to leave – it had been such an amazing couple of weeks and Peru was such a gorgeous country.

Our flight from Lima was relatively early and we needed to travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina. As this was part of our Contiki booking – those of us who were travelling beyond Peru were all booked onto the same flight, though our seats were randomly assigned.

 

I was sat in the middle seat of the middle row – with Jemma I think a row behind me and Claire a row across. This tiny little chick sat next to me and I breathed a sigh of relief thinking I would not be squashed or have my personal space invaded.

Wrong. You know those news articles of flying nightmares and feet on seats? WELL –

this chick took off her Birkenstocks and lifted her right leg (I was on her left) up over her knee and played with her foot and toes for 5 hours – her foot was near my face. Also, now I may as well mention I have a bit of a foot issue. It was horrendous. Funny now but then I was absolutely #triggered and so annoyed.

Anyways, when we landed in Buenos Aires – we were met with a much bigger Contiki bus and a new tour-guide. It was sad that we no longer had Monica with us, but we were ready for the new adventure. We had also said goodbye to some really amazing tour-mates so it was bitter-sweet.

When we got to our hotel – we were blown away, considering we had slept in a jungle room without walls and other really budget/basic places – we were not expecting a giant hotel room!

Our first (and quite frankly most important stop) was to find hotel supplies, as in snacks and booze. Especially after our 6-ish hours travel time. We found a shop and then found a booze shop and, well – it took us a while to work out the conversation price but what we did buy cost us $17 Australian dollars, and yes – that is a bottle of vodka included (bad vodka but vodka all the same). We were nearing the end of our holiday so any saved $ was a good thing!

What I do remember about Buenos Aires is that we were completely out of our depths language wise, we had only just gotten a handle of Spanish so we kind of just, gave up – because in Argentina they speak soooo quickly. We ate and drank whatever we could pronounce. We did find a very strange restaurant near the hotel and I think it was meant to be Italian but I cannot be certain.

We did a tour of the city on one of our days – my favourite part was going through the gorgeous cemetery – Le Recoleta. It was absolutely beautiful! The Le Recoleta Cemetery is located in the Recoleta neighbourhood and has graves of Eva Peron, m

any presidents, Noble Prize winners and the granddaughter of Napoleon. It is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world and it is easy to see why.

We had an absolute blast doing tango lessons and then went to dinner and a tango show. Again, completely out of our depth language wise but had a pretty good time.

The highlight for me in Buenos Aires though was when we went to The Argentine Experience. Hands down, the funnest night for me. Drinking wine, choosing your steak, making empanadas’ and then the delicious dessert. It was like one big dinner party and was relaxing and fun and I think I nearly had an out of body experience when we got to make and eat our alfajor de maicena treats (corn starch biscuit, dulce de leche and grated coconut). Plus red wine and you had three very happy and content Australian girls.

We also got to wear adorable aprons and chef hats and make empanadas’ for each other. Jemma did make hers to look like my head and then stabbed it with a steak knife though…to much red wine, or too much me? 🙂

We only had 2 or 3 nights in Buenos Aires and I don’t seem to have too many pictures, I think after going snap-crazy in Peru I was a bit over carting my camera everywhere. What I do know is the morning we were meant to fly from Buenos Aires up to Brazil (for the border Iguazu Falls), we: A) missed our alarm, B) missed the phone calls from reception to get on the bus and C) missed the bus to the airport.

We woke up in an absolute MAD panic – we had never missed a fight – even that disastrous first night in L.A we still made the flight. We packed like maniacs, called a taxi and prayed we would make our flight (which was leaving in 60 minutes). We also found out one of the other girls had left their passport in their safe, so thankfully we were running late. We got out taxi, absolutely freaking out and then the taxi stalled on the motorway every 40 seconds and the taxi driver was screaming at the car in Spanish. We only just made it and I mean just made it. The girl who had left her passport behind barely even acknowledged us and actually made some sarcastic remark to us about having almost missed the flight (not sure she realised she almost missed it as well?).

Buenos Aires was beautiful, but it was time for the next part of our adventure!