Brazil #2: Bahia

Well. Well well welly well. I am writing this on the train from Manchester Airport to Newcastle, meaning I am almost home after nine months abroad. Mixed emotions are the order of the day- while it’s nice to see familiar things like Pounds and Pence, cars driving on the left hand side of the road, and of course Greggs, it’s pretty depressing to think it’s all over. What is going to get me out of bed in the morning? Grey skies? Daytime TV? Housework? It’s not a very encouraging prospect.

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Paraguay and Brazil

Following our day at the Iguazu Falls, we left Argentina and headed to the imaginatively named Ciudad del Este (City of the East) just across the border in Paraguay. Since the journey also took us briefly took us through Brazil en route, we were in three different countries in less than an hour. And as South America only has twelve countries, I can now twist reality ever so slightly and say that I saw a quarter of the continent in the same afternoon!

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After an at times difficult few weeks in Chile, Argentina proved a much more worthwhile country to visit. Though it is one of the world’s biggest countries with plenty to see and do, the chilly southern hemisphere winter rendered the southern half of the country off limits, and thus we decided to limit our exploration to its two biggest attractions: the city of Buenos Aires, home to some twelve million people, and the spectacular Iguazu Falls. Here’s what we got up to.

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When people think of Latin America, I bet many of them will conjure up images of shanty towns, poverty, police corruption, crime and chaos. And yet, while the continent does have its fair share of problems, it’s not always that way. Chile is an example of how Latin America could be if it got its act together: wealthy, democratic, developed, stable and safe, arguably with more in common with Europe than South America.

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Bolivia #2: The Tropical Lowlands

Greetings from Coroico, a little village perched in the hills not far from the Bolivian capital La Paz. It’s pleasant enough, but since the sign by the road into town reading “Welcome to Paradise” rather overhyped the place I can’t help but feel rather disappointed. Also, a bird shat on my shoulder earlier, and yes, such things influence my judgement of a town.

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Peru and Bolivia

Hello from Copacabana, a little town on the shores of Lake Titicaca just over two and a half miles above sea level (for all you lucky people who don’t have to deal with imperial measurements, that’s 3.8 kilometres). It occurred to me earlier today that given the town’s altitude, I must currently be at a higher altitude than the overwhelming majority of people on earth (and no, airplane passengers don’t count), which is a rather strange thought.

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Welcome to the Dancing Nanter

Hello. I am The Dancing Nanter. But you can call me Greg.

So, why have I decided to write a blog? Well, in about an hour’s time I’m setting off on a long trip across South America, which- if all goes according to plan- will encompass six different countries, jungles, mountains, deserts and cities, and involve a hell of a lot of time sat on buses.

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