It is as if a tornado ripped up a city in Switzerland and dumped it in Argentina. Everything from the architecture and Saint Bernards to the chocolate is present. The city is intricately built between a mountain range and lake as you will see below. There were a wide range of activities and excursions which could have been done but with only 2 full days available here, had to pick and choose from all the options (views from Mt. Otto and entering into the Guinness World Record books being some of them). I will briefly mention some of the other options just so you know what Bariloche has to offer at the end of this post but for now, on to Bariloche! Read more
El Calafate. A quaint little town. Streets paved with bricks. Log cabin styled restaurants and shops. But to be honest, there is not all that much to do here… In my mind, the only reason El Calafate exists is because of the Perito Moreno glacier which is the main attraction here. I’m currently writing this from El Chalten which is basically the same. What gives El Chalten its fame however is Mt. Fitz Roy. This mention of El Chalten and Mt. Fitz Roy will be the last unfortunately. Only had a day here and spent it trying to find a decent internet connection in order to throw these posts online so can’t really go into much detail. Anyway, on to the Perito Moreno glacier and the boat ride and nature walks which were done by us all. Read more
Even though we have driven through a little of Chile, this is our first stop here. Torres Del Paine is a national park featuring a few cool excursions and some incredible nature walks with stunning views. We are camping just outside the entrance to the national park at the Rio Serrano camping grounds. Well equipped with hot showers and decent undercover seating space, it is one of the more “luxurious” camp grounds. The area in and around the national park hosts snow-capped mountains, river filled valleys and glacier blue lakes. The weather is generally cold as you have the wind sweeping over the famous Glacier Grey but expect 4 seasons in a day.
I am at the “End of the World”! Ushuaia is the southern most city on the very tip of Argentina. To get here, we had to pass through Chile and Tierra del Fuegos which is Spanish for “Fireland” even though there was not fire to be seen. We had a massive drive day of 15 hours and got into camp around 01:30. Rather nippy would be an understatement! It was also raining / sleeting which didn’t help in having to set up the tent. At least the camping ground we are staying in has a nice inside area and kitchen so there was no need to set up the cookers, tables and other equipement we have been using at other campsites. We spending 2 days here so best to make use of the time we have. Read more
With Buenos Aires behind us we hit the road. Next stop, Patagonia! Ok, to be fair, it’s a little bit far so there was some free-camping to be had inbetween. But as I write this post now, we are on the truck (it’s not a bus!) slowly making our way to Ushuaia which is better known as ‘The End of the World”. Spent two days in a city called Pueto Madryn but there was not that much there so not going to bother writing about it. Just walked around town really. Was recovering from a cold so didn’t do any form of partying. It is starting to get cold. Been a while since I last had visible vapour come out my mouth when breathing. Besides getting up and putting the tent down at 6am in the dark and the rain, I’m quite enjoying the change of temperature (for now).
On our way, we stopped off for a couple hours at a penguin colony. There are aproximately 8000 Megellanic penguins here and it is Feltching so it looks like most of them are shedding off their brown feathers to reveal the true black and white colours of the older ones. Took a walk along a walkway through the middle of the colony. An obvious tourist attraction as the penguins didn’t even flinch. I had a sit down next to one who was giving me a shifty look to have my picture taken. Do not be fooled though, even though these chaps are used to people, they will still take your finger off if you give it to them. There was strictly no touching allowed signs everywhere. Must say, that short little visit was the highlight of this journey so far.
Really looking forward to Ushuaia and say I have been to the “End of the World”. From here on out, the drive days get shorter with more stops and excursions to be had. Ushuaia offers nature walks in a national park, many museums and it is the place where trips to Antartica leave from. Our itenary is looking exciting. Glacier walks and climbing, huskey sledding, kayaking through glacier canals and hiking up an active volcano are some of the highlights to look forward to. Expect a very long post (assuming I can afford these excursions!) soon. Me out.
Meaning “Good Air”, Buenos Aires (BA) is an incredible city. We spent four days here and barely scratched the surface. There is so much to see and do that it would probably takes months to feel like you know BA. I am definitely coming back here. We didnt have a set itinery here, rather, we were told about some of the various attractions available and was given the freedom to come and go as we pleased visiting whatever we wanted. We were staying at the Florida Suites (so named for the street it was on) which was a rather nice hostel. Nice to finally sleep in a proper bed and not on a 1/2 cm thick foam mat. But more on Florida Suites later. On to BA!
Buenos diaz Argentina. We have left Brazil behind and now continue our adventure here. The border crossing was a breeze. Didn’t even have to get out of the truck. A guide which we were going to be using for the Iguazu falls took all our passports and got them ok’d by the officials. After passport control, we drove over the river which seperated Brazil from Argentina. The concrete walls of the bridge were painted green and gold for half of the bridge and then turned into blue and white symbolizing that we were now officially on the other side. First stop was the falls which are apparently better on this side than the Brazil side. Well, here is my opinion.
Well, that brings us to the end of Brazil. There is still a lot to explore here I am sure as the furthest north we went was Rio (which is not very high at all). Even though we are doing most of the countries in South America, I would still like to head on up north to countries like Venuzeala and Columbia. Andyway, Brazil has been awesome for the most part. Besides a couple ailments which afflicted me, everything was peachy. After hearing people ramble on about high risk of food poisoning etc, I am pleasantly surprised to say that those claims are a little overrated. Perhaps all the hardcore Punjabi curries have hardend by gut. Who knows.
It’s hard to say what the highlights of Brazil have been. There was obviously some amazing events and experiences to be had at all stops. But some of my best times were simply spend sitting at a beach bar in Paraty for the afternoon having a couple bears and just staring out over the mirror smooth bay into the distance. Partying it up in Rio de Janiero or walking around a natural world wonder for 6 hours are awesome things to do but sometimes, it’s nice to just sit back, relax and recover a bit from the go-go activities. Just because I’m in Brazil doesn’t mean I must constantly be doing or seeing something. That can actually detract from the experience. Tourist attractions are all good and well but some of the most interesting information can be gleaned from some friendly locals on the beach or in a bar. Everything in proportion I guess is what I’m saying.
Anyway, that’s the end of Brazil. Obrigado. It’s been a blast.
Here we are. Of the entire tour, there are two main attractions which have me the most excited. The Inca trail trek and these, the Iguaçu (or Iguazu if you’re on the Argentinian side) Falls. As of last year, they have been declared one of the 7 natural world wonders. What it replaced I could not tell you but regardless, they deserve it. But Foz is not all about the falls. There are a lot possible excursions which can keep you busy for 3 or 4 days. From nature walks, waterfalls (duh), a bird park / sanctuary and 2 other countries a stones throw away. Didn’t do all of it but will dedicate just a brief paragraph to each of them anyway. The focus is the falls and the bird park. You will notice I have not used an image of the falls as my main image. That is because we will be visiting the falls again but from the Argentinian side (which apparently is better) so I’m saving that image for that post.
Bonito, our next stop after the Pantanal and home to the incredible Rio de Plata. We set up camp 6km outside of town at a well kept and equiped campsite. There was a river withbrapids 200 meters away but more on that later. We all decided to have a quiet evening in preparation for a day of fresh water river snorkling and big party the following day. Had a chap by the name of Mario come by the campsite to tell us about the possible excursions to be had here. He’s lived here for over 10 years and has a wealth of knowledge regarding the Rio de Plata and Abysmo which I will expand on further as it is an amazing sight but alas, slightly out of most peoples budgets. But lets not waste any more time. On to the Rio de Plata!