With the impending arrival of Mummy and Daddy Gringo, I’ve been planning a couple of excursions. Until now, my travelling around Argentina and South America has involved very little planning, but on this occasion I’m making an exception and booking stuff up in advance – I want these few days to be a trip to remember for the right reasons, rather than knocking on hotel doors at 9 in the evening.
I’m looking forward to these trips (one to Iguazu, the other to Puerto Madryn) for two reasons. Firstly my parents have never been to South America, and I really want them to see a little bit of what I’ve experienced over the last couple of years and secondly, it means getting back on the road, if only for a short while.
But it has also reminded me of what a bloody enormous country Argentina is, and how my attitude to travel has changed. Buenos Aires to Puerto Madryn is 1442km (896 miles – just under the distance between London and Barcelona) and we’re going by coach. A couple of people have suggested I look at flights but to be honest I wouldn’t consider it. It may be cheaper (although unlikely) but I just don’t enjoy flying anymore. As soon as it stops being about the time, there really is no reason to fly. I could play the green card, according to this carbon footprint calculator, the bus journey accounts for 1/10th of the CO2 emissions the flight does. However, for me it’s more about the journey. There’s no more complicated reason than I enjoy it.
It sounds boring, sitting on a bus for 18 hours but I simply enjoy watching the world go by. Argentina is just full of scenery, and in Patagonia there is little else, miles and miles of nothing. It’s a great way to relax, switch off and let your mind go wherever little roads of its own it wants to go down. Now that I know I’m going to be doing it again, it makes realise how much I miss it.