Life is strange. People are funny. The Welsh are strange but not funny. It’s been a funny two weeks here. I am now heading to Rio for my last week. It’s been a week of meeting people, meaning drinking. It’s been a strange but very funny time.
I left u in Mendoza, a European style city with beautiful people. It’s a major wine growing area. I knew the Argies were famous for whine but I didn’t know they made this stuff. And good stuff it is. I’d never drunk four bottles before in one evening but at the hostel we managed it. with Alistair, a British guy who is riding around the world for the Guinness book of record (roundtheworldbybike.com), a kiwi called Rupert (parents threw him a hospital pass there with that name), Gary who was returning from two years in the Antarctic, a few class South Africans and a few Israelis, we managed to get very drunk for four days and eat huge steaks. They really are huge and cheap. Guy, one of the Israelis always had a few funny stories. Talking about having sex with a Buenos Aires woman, he told us “she was 33 but old. After having sex twice, she wanted to go to sleep. Sleep? I couldn’t believe it.”
I’d failed twice to get up by 1pm for the bus to Santiago, Chile but when I finally managed it, the bloody road was closed by snow. So I headed south east to the east coast of Argentina to Patagonia in search of penguins and Welsh people. On the east coast are alleged to be huge communities of Welshies. I am always curious about how much of the old culture is retained in these places so I was going to investigate. The “Welsh” village of Gaiman was my stop. The Welsh headed down here about 100years ago by boat, bringing herds of sheep. Must have been an interesting journey. I looked for signs of Welshness especially falsehoods, what the Welsh call “whoopsshewasaladdddyyyyboyyy.” the place didn’t look Welsh. No Tom Jones, no miners but then I passed a knife back to the restaurant staff and he dropped it. Conclusive evidence, this place was as welsh as Tom Jones´s jockstrap.
I looked at the monuments and murals which were meant to be of working men, but frankly looked like a bunch of naked guys giving each other hand jobs. (see foto link) Later in a “traditional Welsh tea house” we were “entertained” by some “traditional Welsh music.” it is remarkable how Celt rhymes with belt as that is all u wanted to do to them. The place was generally pretty ugly. Slagheap usually refers to the women in Wales but here it was all the view offered. I kept hearing this loudspeaker which was so unclear (as they all are) that it could have been welsh. I followed the sound and it turned out to be a rodeo. Quite common in South Wales? I asked a few testing questions, “how much is it to enter, David?, what is it, Dafydd?” they didn’t seem to understand the end of my sentences. The show consisted of numerous riders trying to hang onto bucking horses. It included one gringo who fell off immediately. The finale was a Brazilian legend who horse went nuts and threw him off and then landed n him for a good measure. I did see the odd red head but Ryan Giggs knew more about Wales than these people. I then headed back via the dinosaur museum and went to bed early in preparation for penguins.
I woke up early. I was as excited as Monkey Mountain in Japan. I met a local who told me he was called Martin Jones. I knew a Martin Jones so I was pleased to meet him. But then I saw this shirt and it said Giorgio Armani. Lying bastard. Should have noticed the big black moustache earlier. Martin Jones or Giorgio Armani. U decide. I enquired about penguins to the hostel owner. He told me they wouldn’t be back for another few week. It was such a shame, he was a nice man. I buried him under a tree. May he rest in peace.
So I headed north to the beautiful people of Buenos Aires. The women in Patagonia aren’t the same level as BA and the men look like an older karate kid. Ralph Macchio, 43 this year. Respect. Buenos Aires is just like a nice European city. But the people are special. I hooked up with three Irish guys and was told I was just like an Irishman. We went to Argentina v France rugby and then a Boca Juniors football game. That was crazy. Part of the stadium caught fire, the crowd were throwing everything, spoons, punches, babies. I got hit by a spoon and a punch to the back of the head but luckily saw the baby coming and managed to boot it to the next stand. The Irish guys were legends and came out with some classic phrases including introducing themselves to a beautiful woman and then telling her, he’ll just “finish this drink and then we’ll go to bed.”
After five days though including 4x4pm the next day finishes, I had to get out and headed north to the famous Iguaçu Falls which I will look at tomorrow. Then its Paraguay and then Rio where I am catching up with one of the Irish. That will be my final week. I am looking forward to Paraguay. I don’t feel I a doing the hard yards here in Argentina. It’s a country I should visit when I am older and no longer want to spend time in difficult countries like Colombia or Paraguay.
But remember everyone, don’t stop moving to that funky, funky beat,
Ps I wanted to post the fotos with but haven’t had the opportunity. I will cos they are stunning, really special.