Recipe for how to make a complete arse of yourself and ruin New Years Eve.

Step 1 – Ingredient, stupidity
Down three (3) tequila shots in a row, in a tall glass, with the alcoholic lust of the father figure from the British TV series ‘Shameless’. The bartender should not need to measure out these shots with a shot glass.

Step 2 – Ingredient, Shame
Pass out cold at the bar. For an extra shameful experience, make sure it’s a public display, in front of a large crowd, to locals and foreigners alike.

Step 3 – Ingredient, extra shame with a healthy dose of guilt
Have the bar tender carry you out of the bar, the doctor in the crowd slap you and check your eyes which have long since rolled back to the safety and comfort of the back of your head somewhere, and 3 friends struggle to carry your dead weight home to the camp site. Totally inconveniencing and disturbing everyone else’s celebrations. (sorry!)

Step 4 – Ingredient, comedy and visual impact
Ensure before dramatically exiting the bar that you throw up on someone. Someone who’s dancing badly.

Step 5 – Ingredients, surprise, shock, anger, guilt, all of the above, and acceptance
Wake up 14 hours later in a tent, on a steaming hot afternoon, with NO RECOLLECTION of what happened after having the tequila shots, feeling well rested and having the only clue to something gone horribly wrong being the expression of fear and worry on Gemma’s face.

T, to Gemma with a look that went from blissfully ignorant to shocked horror – ‘WHAAAT?!’ Then starts laughing at how ridiculous it was ‘ well, at least I don’t remember any of it.’ thanks God for tiny favour.

New Years Eve 2010/2011
I was super excited about spending New Years eve in Salta, Argentina. It was going to be an interesting one seeing as I’ve never been camping before a NYE night out (or any night out) and had to get ready in a tent. The mood at the site was jovial. I’d had 3 glasses of Vodka Fanta, a large bowl of pasta, and after a few hours at around 11pm we headed into Salta town. It was my first time in Salta city and I was amazed that the streets were empty and quiet. Very ‘un’ NYE like. We walked for 40 minutes to the tourist bar street, deciding spontaneously on the lucky bar.

Between 4 of us, we order a bottle of white wine as the NYE drink, which made it just in time for the count down. I had 2 glasses of wine.

I remember having the tequila shots with friends – In my defense, this is what I normally do, I am a shot girl. On nights out it’s no surprise to find me having shots with some friend or another, then dancing drunkenly and chatting until 7am in the morning. My liver had been in this situation many times over!

Gemma – ‘I was talking to you at the bar and you were fine, having a normal conversation with me, and then I went to the bathroom and literally in 10 minutes you had passed out.’

Gemma 2 – ‘I saw this guy next to you at the bar, and you had passed out, and he had his arm around you. I told him to get away from you!’

Theories – A few people believe my drink was spiked. Others think I have the alcohol tolerance of a 16-year-old school girl.

Either way, I was Gods joke on NYE, an embarrassing, passed out cold, vomiting spectacle. Not how I envisioned myself at 30. On the up side, I found total humiliation left me with no awkward feelings when greeting the group the next afternoon and taking their ridicule.

T to Gemma, smiling warily – ‘When the humiliation is this bad there’s no emotions really… Nope, It doesn’t get any better than this!’

Massive lesson – When you start appreciating and thinking more about your future or past, life somehow finds a way to make you present. In its own sick way…

Tiny dancer – Salar de Uyuni

Turmoil was bubbling as the Bolivian president threatened to increase the price of petrol by 70%(!) Some streets in Lapaz were already blocked off and we were informed that protests could get real ugly – so we got out of Lapaz quick smart and headed for the Salt Flats of Uyuni – the largest salt flats in the world at 10,582 square kilometers.

The salt flats were amazing an ran for as far as the eye could see, providing an excellent background for some creative photography that manipulated objects from tiny to large and visa versa. I got to get down with the Lonely Planet South America guide-book, kick a giant Fanta bottle, and have a teeny tiny Amanda do dancers pose on the palm of my hand!! Every little girls dream turned adult fantasy! (adult fantasy, not porn.)

You were given the creative freedom to design a scene with whatever props available, and even though these pictures could have been easily produced on the computer back home, it was the manual 4 hour effort to make the positioning just right that made the experience fun and memorable.

Unfortunately, creating an image of a tiny me swallowing a giant imodium pill, an image that represented an important part of my time in South America so far, proved to be too difficult an illusion to create in the salt flats of Uyuni.

I will need to pay tribute to my traveling ‘life jacket’ in some other way…