The Best of South America: Fishy’s Favourites

So we’re back at home base. Settled in to little old Adelaide, South Australia, as if nothing ever happened. And judging by the state of affairs that we have come back to, nothing has.

Adelaide, consistency is both your blessing and your curse.

‘So what did you like best?’ – an understandable question, but one that I’ve had to repeat the answer of about 38 times now. So to shut you guys up, I thought I’d throw down what I felt were the very best bits of South America through this funky guy’s junky eyes.

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The Amazon for Western Idiots

Ask yourself: What should I see in South America? If you are a normal person who is home to a normal brain, the first words to pass through your lips should be ‘The Amazon’.

We’ve been in South America 10 months. We’ve seen plenty of stuff – enough, it seems, to think it deserved its own URL. But somehow, somehow, we haven’t managed to check out the Amazon.

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That Won’t Stop The Roast – Our Festive Season in Bolivia and Chile

We had an eventful and adventurous Christmas and New Years spent with wonderful friends in some pretty incredible places. I’m going to let the pictures do most of the talking with this one…
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A Miner Detour to Potosi

I like small dark spaces. Sometimes I get told I look like a hot mole so I suppose I’m just playing to script. When I was a kid I used to crawl head first down the end of a sleeping bag and try to do a tumble turn at the end to get back out. Kids are idiots, I was no exception. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU REFUSE TO BUY A NINTENDO MUM.

This did however put me in good stead when we arrived in the Bolivian city of Potosi, a town of about 130,000 that is where it is because there’s a big-arse hill next-door. This big-arse hill is choc full of silver and zinc, which have what economists call ‘value’. People dig the stuff out of the hill in order to make money, and these people are referred to as ‘hill-diggy-sorts’ or ‘miners’.

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You’ll Think It’s Strange When I Try To Explain – Argentina

We have just arrived to Bolivia after 6 awesome weeks in Argentina. For the last fortnight we treated ourselves to an AirBnB apartment in Buenos Aires, in which we mostly didn’t set foot outside and generally just enjoyed having a kitchen, bathroom, AND bedroom to ourselves after 8 months of not. We loved BA when we were there for four days with Peckers so it was a no-brainer to go back. Especially because our friends Mary and Kosta were flying in – we weren’t supposed to be seeing them until Christmas, but we thought we’d surprise them.

What I want to share with you is not so much about what we did in Buenos Aires, but rather the strange quirks of Argentina that, after 6 weeks, we still don’t really understand.

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The Plentiful Pluses of Overnight Buses

Overnight buses are a way of life for the South American backpacker. Not only do you spend bugger-all money getting to a place, you also save cash on a night’s accommodation.

That may sound like the most tight-arse thing in the world, but it’s moments like this where you have to remember that the bloke who owns Jim’s Mowing asks for a doggy bag for soup and still buys toilet paper and glad wrap in pallet-sized catering packs to save 2c per metre. I saw it on Today Tonight so you know it’s a watertight fact. He seems like the sort of bloke who you’d run into at a party and immediately regret running into at a party.

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Family Reunion – Fish’s Brother Joins Us!

Today is the first day I’ve been alone in 8 months. Eight months. And perhaps it’s not a great idea because I ate a chocolate brownie for lunch and have drunk so much coffee that I’m bouncing off the walls like a pinball.

So why have I been left unsupervised? Well, Fish’s brother, Peckers, has been hanging out with us for the last couple of weeks and Fish has just popped out for a couple of days to escort him to his next destination (Uyuni, Bolivia). I was so damn over long-haul bus trips that I politely declined joining them and opted to stay in the quaint northern Argentinian town of Salta instead.

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The Shit Hiker’s Guide To The W Trek

Patagonia. It’s a word that firms the groins of any outdoor adventurers that hear it. Endless wilderness that is just waiting to be penetrated.

The hiking hub of Patagonia is the majestic and terrifyingly named Torres del Paine [pie-neh] National Park. With the literal translation being Towers of Paine, we were expecting a far bigger metal band presence, but maybe those types just look different in North Face gear.

I love walking. I walk from my car to the supermarket. I walk from my car to the beach. I sometimes walk from my car to friends’ houses. Can’t get enough. So when we heard about the W Trek, a trek so majestic they named it after a letter of the ALPHABET, I was one keen bean.

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Oh My God I Can’t Believe It – Winning the MamaMia Women’s Network Writing Competition

If you’ve had a conversation with me you’ve more likely than not heard me say ‘I read this article on Mama Mia…’. It’s got to the point that if I start a sentence with ‘I was reading an article…’, some of my friends will finish it with ‘on Mama Mia?’. The answer is always ‘yes’.  MamaMia is my go-to website for news, current affairs, The Bachelor recaps, everything. If you’re not familiar with it, do yourself a favour.

When they announced that they were holding a writing competition there was no way I wasn’t going to enter it. The prize included $1000, lots of books, and the opportunity to be mentored by Mama Mia’s senior editorial staff. $1000 goes a long way when you’re unemployed and trying to explore another continent, but it was mostly the chance to connect with the MM team that got me super excited. It kinda felt like Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory announcing that they’d open to the public.

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Sickness on the Road: A How-To Guide

Sicknesses are like dreams, in that everyone wants to tell you about theirs, but you as the listener feel like you’re getting your ears slowly and boringly punched. The ins-and-outs of a body breaking down are interesting in the same way that desert succulents or proper lathe technique are. Not really.

Let me tell you about mine.

I recently got laid up for a week or so with a bacterial infection, bed-bound and sweating bullets. We were at the top of Argentina at the time, trying to move South, but little Fishy’s rig was saying ‘woah there sailor’.

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