Day 2 Second morning watching the sun rise from an airplane.

Yesterday we arrived in Buenos Aires in the morning. I had a spectacular view of the sunrise on the plane. It was like the sunrises in the Dominican Republic, where the sun just pops up. Not sure I will see that this morning as we are starting to head more to the right.

Yesterday, after we landed. It had been a 9 ish hour flight. I never even checked how long it was from Dallas. We stopped at an airport restaurant and had water, coffee and a beer. Got some money from the ATM which I always do and we negotiated a taxi to the hotel. The room was almost ready, but not quite. After dropping our luggage off, we took a taxi to one of my bucket list items, the Recolate Cemetery where Eva Peron was buried. I have been a big fan of the great operetta, Evita. I can’t imagine how many times I have seen it and/or listened to the music. Most recently sang, “Don’t Cry for me Argentina,” at a dinner with my investment group. I wasn’t the only one that knew all the words at that dinner and I am pretty sure that my travel companion and brother knows all the words too.

The cemetery was huge with many mausoleums built for families. Many were two stories and very ornate, with marble, metal and wood carvings

The room was ready if we wanted to have a double bed, so we waited and they comped us a beer. Took a little nap and then walked around looking for a spot to eat. We had been recommended a place just across the street but it looked like a Denny’s. No chains restaurants for us. Finding nothing and not having internet, we went back to the hotel. Found a spot and started to walk but ended up in a cab. Now that it was later there were more places open. Most people go out after 8 for dinner.

After the cemetery we taxied to the location of Evita famous speech/song the Casa Rosada. It was closed so we only have a picture of where she stood on the balcony. Next stop was supposed to be a colorful street with markets. It was siesta time so there wasn’t much open. We stopped at a local restaurant and had a beer and empanada and then it was time for our siesta.

Casa Rosada

Peter overheard someone at the hotel exchanging money for a much better rate than we got in the airport. He looked up on the internet that several countries including Argentina have black market exchanges rates at nearly double what we were getting at the ATM. We excused more money.

We ate at Los Chanchitos Parilla. It was a very typical local restaurant. There were very few people when we arrived but it filled up very quickly. I had looked up a few words for meat ahead of time, but the menu was in Spanish that was not what I learned. Our waiter was not very patient with us. We ordered wine and water, and then navigated some meat. Most options were supposed to be shared. Peter had a ribeye and I had tenderloin. The wine was great, Argentinian, of course. It was fun to people watch and see what they ordered and the waiter finally warmed up to us. We bought another bottle to take with us and took some meat home too. The waiter wanted us to take the fat of the meat home too. As we started to walk back, we heard some live music. We couldn’t get in with the wine so we taxied back to the hotel and slept until our 3 am wake up.

We had asked one of our taxi drivers to take us to the airport at 3:30am and he actually showed up and the hotel had a little to go breakfast and coffee for us. At the airport it just took a few min to be sure we were in the right place. Now on the 3 hour flight to Ushuaia

Last day!

What a last day! We awoke early to go to the Floating Market. When we walked out of the hotel, the entrance was flooded. Maybe rain, maybe a leak. The other entrance was fine.

We stood outside waiting for a taxi. It was about 5:30 am. Several people came up to us including one aggressive lady, I liked her but Julie was becoming a native quickly. People are so pushy here. Seriously they just barge in ignoring that you might actually be in line before them. We had to show a couple people the way. So Julie grabbed a taxi and the guy spoke some English! He gave us a price to drive us to the floating market and he knew someone that would take us on a boat. Too good to be true? It was a short drive to the market, the city was waking up. We stopped in a parking lot then walked gingerly through trash and puddles and sure enough there was a boat! He helped us into the boat, especially me since my knee was so swollen. We had mentioned that we wanted coffee and Pho and maybe see the noodle making shop! He did exactly that! We saw people on the Mekong River selling their wares from smaller boats. We saw lots of tourists on bigger boats. Our skipper spoke a little English but he took us to a floating dock that sold stuff and then Pho and coffee. So fun and so delicious. Then he went to the Noodle factory where we saw noodles made and we even got to try out the process.

The time and cost and the trip lasted exactly what he quoted so we asked if he would like to drive us to Ho Chi Minh City, about a 3.5 hour drive. We had tried a private company but they didn’t call back until we had already left. He said yes so we went to the hotel and packed up and off to HCMC.

Once we arrived at our hotel it was time to find a rabies shot. Let the fun begin! I found a private English speaking hospital and yes they had the rabies vaccine. It was about 2.5 km away. We asked if we could walk but the hotel said no and that we should take a taxi. So we arrive at the hospital. The person that I talked to said go to ground floor then they said the third floor. Ground floor was check in area so we went up to first floor. They told us to go to third floor to infectious disease area. We did and there were some very sick people lying in beds, some two per bed, it looked like an African clinic. So nurses station told me to go pay. Cashier said, no vaccine at the hospital. I explained that I just called 30 minutes before and they said they had the vaccine. After a long time waiting she gave me a different address, not that I could read her writing. She sent me to customer service. Talked with two young girls and then their supervisor. She wanted me to fill out a complaint form. I just wanted a vaccine. She wrote down the same address as the last person. I asked her to call and see if they had the vaccine. She called and yes, they have it. Next taxi drops us off at the right address for the Louis Pasteur clinic but the entrance is on the other side of the building next to trash like this.


Two guards are at the clinic and they tell us that no one is working today. He even goes into the building to check. They give me a third clinic! And show us where we are. And where the hospital is. It is close to where we were trying to eat the first night. We taxi again. We ask nurses on several floors and they finally send us to a different building. Check in there and they keep my passport for sooo long. It’s dirty and people are sick

They want my birthdate, my height, my weight, telephone number, name of the hotel that I am staying at. Dr comes over asks what I want. Says ok, then pay for that conversation with him and the shot. Two and a half hours!!

Next cab to the area that we wanted to eat at. It was good. Back to the hotel, pack and organize and realize there is a sky bar so we have a drink there and then on to the airport. We didn’t have the same flight back, but we met up before my flight. Hers was delayed. We met in Tokyo. She was able to get on her flight but mine was delayed 5 hours and then cancelled altogether. And you can’t get out of the airport because of covid. After many phone calls and waiting, several of us were escorted through security and through quarantine procedures which were crazily over staffed. We had to walk from one end of the airport to the other . QR codes, show passport, show boarding pas. My knee was really hurting and the monkey bite oozing. Then a bus took us from Hanada Airport to Narita. No food in the airports! My original flight was delayed until Monday night so I am happy to only be delayed 2.5 hours.

Airport hotel tiny
Dinner sat night

Arrived at Narita I’ve an hour later by bus.I had a couple hours to spare. Looked for food. Not much to choose from. McDonalds was the choice. Just woke up from my nap on the flight. Another fantastic trip in the books. Wow a little different than others. Looking forward to normalcy. More pics to follow

Kids cleaning up trash!
Beach front

Wonderful Seafood dinner last night

We hesitated to do the buffet but it was pretty good, prawns, scallops, clams, roast beef, lotus salad, grapefruit and shrimp salad snails

Live music
It’s Womans Day today in Vietnam

Great dinner with best buddies, several lemongrass martinis

Art in the hotel
The view from our balcony in the morning

Drinking coffee on the Veranda, feeling that reality is coming soon. we will ferry to the mainland get a taxi to the Mekong Delta, overnight and get a taxi to Ho chi mahn City. We have hotels booked but not transportation yet. The last hotel is just to shower and organize our flight is around 11pm

Phu Quoc

Breakfast yesterday. Most places we stay at have Buffett breakfasts. They have all the usual stuff be we tend to get the Pho. Each place is different. Todays was a fish base, thin vermicelli rice noodles. We also try the new things.

Motor biking was exhilarating! It just works. Very few accidents. Lots of beeping. You must concentrate on the road under you, on traffic on all sides. We biked to the south part of the island and got lost a few times.

Pineapple cut for Sally
Yesterdays pool
Yesterdays pool
What is this?
Lard to catch fish
Stairs to nowhere
Swing in the water
Boats at the harbor
Trying to find the fish sauce factory
Beautiful lobster
Not the fish factory

We biked from 11am til 5 pm

Welcome drink and ice cold towel

Next hotel. Even better hotel. Less kids nicer staff

In Phu Quoc

Taxi from hotel to Hanoi airport. Same deal with getting the tickets back and forth and then pay for the luggage. We were there early so booked the nights hotel and worked out ideas for the rest of the trip with a cold beer. Nice beachfront hotel. Just a few minutes from the airport . Hung out at the beach. Then taxi to Irish Pub that disappointed us.

Papaya salad with soft shell crab
Winner for dinner was duck!

Bought a box of red wine. Had some in the room. Tomorrow we change hotels and hope for no rain.

More more pics

Home stay bedroom

We had a choice of a homestay or actually in someone’s house. Homestay is a separate room, cleaner but you still share the bathroom. The floor was clean not sure about the sheets. They didn’t stink. We slept well but that could have been exhaustion too.

Julie and Ching returned from another couple hours of trekking and the preparation for dinner. We made spring rolls and Panko fried chicken, buffalo and veggies, and some other stuff. So much food and of course everyone was in the tiny , sweltering kitchen, even the dog and cat.

Dog in the trash
Chong’s cute baby “V”
Spring rolls
Rice wine
Front yard
Side yard

Time for bed. I wasn’t sure if I could trek the next day. Uneventful day until the rooster started crowing right outside our room.

Morning view
Peaceful movement for Julie

Pancakes with bananas and honey

Work out room
Our hostess Ma
The mirror
Julie and Ching heading off for another 2-3 hour trek.
The view
Back to Sa Pa