Hasta La Vista!

This will be my last post before I take off for the hot, muggy climate of Buenos Aires. I just checked the forecast and next week’s weather is sunny with high’s in the low 30’s. Good thing I’m bringing shorts and sandals! Before I go, I want to thank everyone for their support since I announced my grand idea for this trip. With only a few short months of planning, I think I’ve put together an experience that I will never forget. I have so much anticipation to get going, I haven’t been able to get more than 4-5 hours of sleep a night all week. My bag has been pretty much packed since Tuesday, just sitting on the floor waiting to be picked up.

A couple of things before I go. Firstly, I’d like everyone to join me in a prayer for the Canadian Dollar to stay above $0.90 to the US Dollar while I am away. In the last two weeks, the dollar has dropped from $0.97 to $0.93 and the further that number drops, the more expensive the trip becomes. For some reason, I have absolutely terrible luck with this. The last time I left the country, on our Caribbean cruise, the dollar tanked not two weeks before we booked and paid for the trip, and then stayed low right through the actual trip, only to climb back above $0.90 within 2 months of our return.

Next, if anyone out there has an iPhone or iPod Touch, I want to highly recommend a mapping/GPS application called GaiaGPS. I bought another piece of software they had, GaiaMaps, the other day and was having some trouble with it. I emailed the creators, and within hours, all my problems had been solved. There seems to be a great team behind this product and it shows. What is GaiaGPS you might be wondering? As the name intones, its a fully featured GPS application for the iPhone, replacing the native application that comes with the device. However, as I have an iPod Touch (with no GPS unit), the real utility in this application for me is its ability to download maps for anywhere in the world to the device, so that I can consult them offline. Google Maps, which comes standard on the iPod, is great but you need an internet connection to use it – not much use on the go. With GaiaGPS, I now have a high resolution map of Buenos Aires in my pocket and I’m working on downloading maps for a number of the other places I’m visiting before I leave. On top of having access to the map, I can also bookmark coordinates on the map, so if I forget what corner my hostel is on, pop out the iPod, couple of clicks and boom. Yes, I know, paper maps exist, but folding them is a pain, and nothing screams come rob me, I’m a lost tourist like standing on a street corner looking befuddled staring at a big paper map. So to Andrew and the GaiaGPS team, thanks for all your wonderful support yesterday!

Thanks everyone, wish me luck, and I’ll post an update soon from sunny Buenos Aires!

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