"... and we'll take a bottle of the sauvignon blanc."

"Perfect!" The waiter at the hotel in Buenos Aires seemed ecstatic with our dinner order. Clearly, we had not only picked the absolutely best choice on the menu, but we had combined the starter, main dish and wine choice in such a way that not even the chef himself could have imagined such a fantastic combination.

We left the table with full bellies and even fuller egos. Why, all restaurants should be hiring us for their set menu design!

As we moved south to Patagonia, we discovered that not only was our dish selection second to none, but in fact all the choices we made for our trips and outings were equally 'perfect!'. Evidently, we were experts at this travel business from beginning to end! I began to be concerned that returning home might come as an unpleasant shock to the system, especially when faced with the referee report on my next paper.

At the start of our second week, we left the Argentinian side of Patagonia to cross into Chile. This was a slightly strange process since the border control posts for Argentina and Chile were separated by several kilometres. If the roaming guanacos were tempted to pick-pocket passports, you could end up trapped in a no-man's land in a cross between the TV show 'Surviver' and the movie 'The Terminal'.

Having beaten off the thieving wildlife to successfully make it to the other side, we were met by the organiser for the transport to our new hotel. She caught up with our group in the border-stop cafe just as I was using the restrooms.

"Where is Elizabeth?" she asked, having ascertained that three out of the four people she was expecting were in front of her.

"She's just using the toilet."

"Ah, perfect!"

You know ... that's maybe taking it a bit too far.