Learn to count to 90

I’m here, I’ve landed, safe as houses. But there’s one detail of my trip I didn’t mention to mam and the boys yesterday when we facetimed during my stopover in Heathrow. I very nearly wasn’t allowed on the plane.

I woke up fizzy like pop. Excitement Jones. However, the old Welsh proverb Canu cyn brecwast, llefain cyn swper (Sing before breakfast, crying by dinner) comes to mind. Granted, I was a little emotional thanks to the lovely messages I got particularly from Spanish friends who aren’t afraid of PDA, but a bag of nerves I was not. All cock-the-walk in Barajas airport, swaggering up to the check-in desk like I own the place only for the lady to bring me down a peg or pump, telling me she might not be able to let me board the flight.

To me, three months sounded perfect when planning this trip. One month would be too rushed; too touristy. Six months in a place with my track record means it’s highly likely I won’t leave the place. Three months it was to be. Back in Llandovery for Christmas.

Visas had been an afterthought, but a quick Google search months ago and a quick digit count and I stressed no more.

Brilliant, I thought.

Daft, I am.

4 times 7. 7 times 3. No? No. No way José. To enter Argentina you need proof of return travel. They give you 90 days without a visa. Hands up to the clown who booked to come back 91 days later. I had forty fits right there ad then. She definitely wasn’t joking (I asked). A matter of hours meant that I was going to have to explain this complete flop to all my well-wishers and where the heck do I go now… home?

Anyway, as I’m writing this from a flat in Palermo, Buenos Aires, with bags under my eyes from a long, turbulent flight, emotionally ruined from it all very nearly going horribly tits up, you can guess that all ended well (there’s a solution mam, paid becs) ! I’ve soldiered on today, thanking my lucky stars that I’m this end and enjoying every minute. Off out for dinner at 11pm (that’s how it’s done here).. and we’ll all be raising a glass to lax Argentinian border control!!

Moral of the story is possibly not to think you can just turn up to a country like Billy Bigtime here. Either that, or learn to count to 90.

P.S. First impression of Buenos Aires is brilliant. 12 hours in and the best bits so far are the buses, the bags of milk and a big bookshop (and the alliteration) I’ll write more when I’ve seen more..

ciao for now

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