I am counting down the days until I start my holiday next week and can take a much anticipated three weeks out of my life to recharge and feel the exhileration and sense of freedom that traveling to another country gives me. I cant wait to don my alter ego as that Backpacking Cougar and wander aimlessly over South America in search of adventure. I am pretty excited that I will be sharing this intrepid journey with one of my soul sisters, and so the anticipation is growing as our Waitangi day departure draws near. Watch out Argentina, you are about to be enjoyed by a pair of travelling cougars, eager to make the most of every moment they have away from their real lives clocking up a few memorable experiences and weaving their way into tales that will no doubt become folklore!
She is a tad older than me (proving that age is no barrier to a firm friendship), but is as fit as a trout. I do worry about keeping up with her as she is the pin up girl for the energiser bunny award ! She is nocturnal, or an owl as some might say. I am a lark and unless there is something really special happening to command my attention, I would sooner be in the scratcher when the sun goes down after a busy day than prowling around all bloody night. If anything tests our long-standing relationship in a strange country I fear it will be this. I have been warned by fellow travelers and some South American contacts that the restaurants don’t open for dinner until nine in the evening and the place doesnt really come alive until then for the day. Drinking , eating, chatting and dancing goes well into the night as a matter of daily course and it is the norm. I am not sure how that will work for me? My only saving grace to a lifestyle like that will be that they shut down during the day and long siestas are encouraged. That will suit me. I am the queen of the powernap in the afternoon and will have to be having them regularly to keep up with the senior cougar I expect.
After a week of record temperatures in godzone, I am thinking what the hell was I thinking wanting to travel to a country that often has a mean temp of around 38 degrees at this time of the year? The youth hostels I normally would take slumber in on my trips away, have been replaced with the odd swanky hotel which will surely have good air-conditioning for those hot nights we will be forced to endure. A luxury which will take the edge off my frazzled personality as I simmer away wishing I didn’t have such a high body mass. The irony will be if my fellow cougar is out roaming all night and we are travelling in a pack then the expense and comfort of the aircon will be wasted!
Traveling with others can often make or break friendships and this will be no different except I know that we will return a pair of bean eating , tango dancing legends, - in our minds anyway. We are cut from the same cloth and will have a blast trying to lure handsome Gauchos into our web and getting into as much trouble as we can without getting arrested. I am looking forward to sharing my travels with her and with anyone else who is interested in the mad ramblings of a backpacking pair of cougars so watch this space……