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…

Death Road, the most dangerous road in the world – Gone in 60 seconds!

When I was 7, I was cycling around my suburban neighborhood, in Hornsby through to Wahroonga, in Sydney, Australia, with my brother and school-friend charlotte.

As I was cycling down a hilly road, my tyre rode between where the bitchumen met the grass path, which instantly gave me a case of the death wobbles. I crashed, and my bike and I scraped down the rest of the steep road on the right side of my face.

I remember lying there, like road kill, as the cars swerved to avoid me without stopping to check out if this kid lying on the side of the road with blood running down her face, arms and leg was ok – arseholes.

A horrible day with the only plus side being that I was excused from having to participate in the mandatory school swimming carnival (swimming meet) that night. A bike accident was the lessor of 2 evils as far as I was concerned..

Now, I’m not a ‘get right back on the bicycle’ person. In fact, I heartlessly threw away my bicycle after this incident.

Back to the Present.
22 years later, it was stupidly ambitious of me to think that the first time I ‘get back on the bicycle’ would be to cycle down the worlds most dangerous road in La paz Bolivia, called Death Road.

Death road is 72kms of dangerously high mountainous gravel, crumbling dirt road that has waterfalls going through some parts, starts out in freezing cold, blinding fog, and eventually turns into tropics. It’s estimated that 200 to 300 travelers die on this road yearly.

Before even reaching Death Road, there was a couple of Kms of new road that we were able to warm up on.

Within 60 seconds of this new windy road, highly strung and acutely aware of any traffic, I got the death wobbles purely out of being shit-scared and having no confidence. And when your first reaction before a crash is to lift your feet off the peddles and shut your eyes, you know you’re in trouble.

I knew if I continued, I would end up killing myself – The first time I ride a bike after a traumatic experience, and 22 years, should be in a fenced park with a nice flat, smooth bike path, cycling next to 2 year olds on their tricycles. WHAT WAS I THINKING! So before even making it to Death Road, I quit! And opted instead for the embarrassing support van ride down the most dangerous road in the world, reserved for losers, which turned out to be just as scary.

Lesson – Sometimes its best NOT to hop back on the bicycle. And when you’re in a position of shame surrounded by fit hiking types, the answer is always vodka.