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After a bit of a bumpy flight back, we arrived back into to London Heathrow early on the Monday morning.  It was a reminder of what we had left behind when we left the UK - huge queues at immigration, unfriendly glum faces of the staff and absolute chaos at the baggage claim!  Still, in some ways it was nice to be back.  It can be a bit tiring always living out of a backpack and working-out where to go next, getting a hostel / hotel sorted, transport sorted and trying to decopher what's on a menu - that's just for starters!

We had the most amazing time - the one common denominator among all the countries that we went to was that we met some lovely and helpful people.  Not just tour guides, but people like the friendly taxi driver in Buenos Aires, who singlehandedly made it  his mission to ensure we got our bus when the streets were gridlocked (anyone else and we would have missed our bus, our reservation at the hostel and it was just a couple of days before Christmas), the woman in Pisco, Peru when we were working in the blazing heat that came-out of her shop (one of the only buildings on that huge long street that wasn't destroyed) that gave us Inca Cola and wouldn't accept payment for it and the friendly Vietnamese stranger that saw us stuck trying to cross the road in Saigon downtown on our first day there that led us across.  It sounds like a cliche, but we had many encounters that were almost straight out of  the book "The Kindness of Strangers".

We saw amazing scenery, amazing wildlife and amazing cultures and looking back at the photos if feels strange to think that we were in these obscure parts of the world at times.  The clear blue skies of Patagonia, the beautiful deserted coastline of New Zealand and the amazing temples of Bangkok were unforgettable - but it is impossible to single-out any one particular place that we favoured more than anywhere else.  The variety and diversity was amazing - even within single countries - in Argentina the humid jungle of the north in Misiones, the colonial cutlure mixing with Andean culture in Salta, the huge and cool city of Buenos Aires, the lakes and countryside around Bariloche, the rich array of wildlife on Peninuslar Valdes and the "end of the world"  feel (as in "geographically", rather than "armageddon"!) of El Chalten and the amazing glaciers around El Calafete.

Seven months away felt like the right amount of time to be away, although we would be keen to see more of some of the countries that we visited - particularly Peru and Jeremy is hugely keen on going to New Zealand again - 2 months didn't seem to be anywhere near enough! 

We hope you have enjoyed reading our blog and the pictures.  We hope to add more of our photos over the coming weeks!

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13,772 km (8,558 miles) traveled
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photo by: sweettangerine