Our excitement at seeing the sunset over the beach on our arrival at the Nadi Travellers Beach Resort was only eclipsed by the revelation that there were baked beans on the breakfast menu. Lazing on the beach for the last few days has left Victoria one step closer to achieving her ambition of becoming the female Louis (refer to Rio blogs) and has already left me looking like a used Tampon. Fiji is so laid-back, it's like the Lime House on Prozac. Flip flops, palm trees, flowery shirts and blazing sunshine would indicate that South America is now far behind us, but the big continent never stopped challenging us - even right at the very end...
Our first attempt to get into to Santiago from Mendoza last week was stopped by a truck driver's strike in the Andes. Much like us, they probably didn't want to go to Chile or had just got bored of looking at Page 3 and decided to wind up tourists instead. The repeat journey a few days later was possible but turned into a suicide run across the mountains. At one point we were moved from the front of the bus by police; Victoria was suspicious that they were trying to steal the mashed egg sandwiches but they were actually just getting us away from the bus in front, which threatened to slip back down the icy road into us. Shortly after that we were driven past another bus that had slipped off the mountainside, leaving it looking like the 1A after the Saturday night journey through Whitehawk.
We arrived safely in Santiago, but again had no idea what we were doing there. Following Alex the German from the bus we were led to a decent city centre hostel and fortunately avoided invading Poland on the way. The Chilean capital was largely uneventful and has probably the most boring airport this side of Tabatinga; not even a dog licking its bits to entertain us. Victoria was elated to arrive for our changover in Auckland to wait for our Air Pacific flight to Nadi, especially when the girl behind the Burger King counter pointed out that New Zealand and Fiji are part of the Commonwealth. That not only means English speaking countries, the Queen on the money, but also baked beans on toast for breakfast, proper tea and not having to ask the Harlem Globetrotters for help to find our way around town.
Miles travelled (excluding tours): 9,476 (4 flights, 15 bus journeys, 1 boat, 1 train, not much walking).
Hours Travelled: 230+
Hospitalisations and medical attention: Victoria 3, Tom 1.
Number times Victoria banged her head, which probably required medical attention: 3 (including 2 major ones in the Lime House, Buenos Aires, which we would only leave if a limb was lost).
TV interviews undertaken in Bolivia: 1
Number of traffic lights in Cordoba: Over 7,000 (amazing)
Favourite sites: Maracana Stadium, Amazon, Machu Picchu, Purple sofa at the Lime House, Cerro Catedral, German Hospitals.
Least favourite sites: Louis in his speedos and Chile.
Things we didn't buy (due to budget constraints): A purple sofa, Louis' Magic Cream, A small Amazonian child.
We're off to the beach to scare people with my curiously burned body.
Victoria and Tom xxx