7/6 Monday: We booked a later bus back to Mendoza so that we could have a nice lazy morning – pretty much all we did was meet Moroni for lunch, and the chorrillana we ate was very tasty. The trip back to Mendoza felt quite long since the weather wasn’t as nice as for the trip to Santiago, but at least we got back half an hour early.

8/6 Tuesday: Christophe and Maria Paz given us a present to give to their friends who live in Mendoza (as well as one for us, it was awesome) so we organised to meet up with them for a drink. I was excited because I managed to have another successful all-Spanish telephone call (the first was a restaurant booking), and it just got better. Mauricio and Sabrina don’t speak English, so our whole time was spent speaking in Spanish, and we all communicated really well. We ended up spending the evening at their place drinking wine, eating asado and talking until three in the morning – fantastic.

9/6 Wednesday: With the football World Cup about to start, Ange and I decided to get into the spirit by watching a pre-World Cup friendly game between Chile and New Zealand. It seemed appropriate since we’d just been in Chile. However, the game started at 8.30am, and since we’d hit the sack at about 4am we were understandably groggy. The game was great – NZ got to the 68th minute before conceding a goal. We’d planned to go wine-tasting later in the day, but I never quite woke up so it didn’t happen. We had an excellent asado at home in the hostel, and Gustavo joined us – it was good to catch up with him again.

10/6 Thursday: Mauricio and Sabrina picked us up early to drive us out to the mountains, and we had an excellent if cold day. The views were incredible and we got to play in the snow a bit. We had Mexican food for dinner before hopping on our final overnight bus, back to Buenos Aires.

11/6 Friday: It was one of those long trips where you wake up at 11 and still have a bit more trip to go – so we arrived in Buenos Aires pretty late in the day. Luckily, not too late to watch two World Cup games.

12/6 Saturday: Craig’s birthday was one of the worst we’ve had in terms of weather, so we postponed our sightseeing until tomorrow. Instead, we watched a fair bit of World Cup football and had a really nice dinner at the Japanese/Peruvian place. It was nice to be able to afford to eat as much sushi as we liked, unlike when we lived in Malta and had four pieces each to celebrate Craig’s birthday.

13/6 Sunday: The weather was a lot better than yesterday, so we finally managed to have a tourist day. We got up early to watch the end of the Slovenia-Algeria game, then headed out to La Boca to see the crazy houses and tango demonstrations. We stopped in at the San Telmo markets and also visited El Ateneo, which is the most beautiful bookshop in the world, housed in an old theatre. I managed not to buy anything, which has to be a good thing because I now have about seven books to carry around. We finished the day with some last-minute souvenir shopping for Ange, who is going home tonight. It’s really sad to say goodbye to her — but it’s the start of a new era for us all.

We’re going to be in New York for the TBEX 2010 conference and would love to meet up with anyone who’s around. We’ve arranged a casual meet-up for the Tuesday night – more details here.

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