Sometimes it's nice to hear a destination which you've always had on your bucketlist get a bit of a bad-mouthing. A dose of realism puts things in perspective and dims the potential disappointment of leaving an item unticked on the list should your number suddenly come up.

I was disappointed to miss out on a trip to Buenos Aires last year. Tango, red wine, steak, cool old buildings, late nights and red wine - the city sounded like the kind of place I would really enjoy. My desire to get there was boosted by tales from travellers who followed the All Blacks there last year.

But recent dinner guests offered another perspective.

Their experience a couple of years ago was less "tango, red wine and steak" and a whole lot more, "dreary suburban high rises and dirty hotels". Making matters worse, my mates were on the ferry to Montevideo in neighbouring Uruguay when their passports got nicked. This meant a day trip across the river turned into a passportless jaunt across international borders. (I'm no monarchist, but was heartened to hear that New Zealand's connection to Ye Olde Empire proved fruitful. My friends - one on a Kiwi passport and the other a Brit - were welcomed into and taken care of by the British consulate in Uruguay.)


But their tale hasn't dampened my desire to get to Buenos Aires. If anything, I like the idea of having a great time there and regaling them with the stories of what they missed out on.