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Here is and update.

Today was probably not a good news day to start researching Argentina. There were riots in Buenos Aires and other cities today over corruption in a court case and several cruise lines just cancelled stopping in Argentina because of maltreatment after stopping at the Falkland Islands. I will keep researching Argentina but so far it has not grabbed me.

I am adding Costa Rica to my list of places to research, the costs look reasonable especially in the shoulder season and there is a lot of variety there so we could do a week each in several different settings.

I'm looking into the prices in Australia and while it is clearly higher than the US I suspect that they might not really be as high as Scandinavia. One of my standbys for judging this is the "Big Mac Index" and Australia does not look too bad but the US dollar has weakened some more since it was updated .
Here is the detail and see how high the Scandinavian countries are.

At the bottom of this web page Frommers list some typical prices in Sydney, and I would assume that they would often be less in smaller cities.

here is a similar link for Norway.'s+norway+what+things+cost&source=bl&ots=1UnABM3-ue&sig=lWD3n5CL_nYfba2seGM05gKoOGU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=vqrLUOOkE4_QqwGL3ICwBA&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=frommer's%20norway%20what%20things%20cost&f=false

Out of curiosity I looked at this grocery store in Australia and you can see the prices for home delivery after entering postal code 2000, which I pretty much picked at random.

There was not a clear price pattern, some things seemed high but many types of food were reasonably priced so if you were flexible in your food choices and didn't mind kangaroo burgers at A$10.89 per KB :) (Lean ground beef was A$12.00 per KG, about US$5.75 per pound. )

Soda and Beer were VERY expensive but table wine in 2 liter boxes was not very expensive.

I also spot checked hotel prices and they were not inexpensive but not dramatically higher than in the US.
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