Tag Archives: Argentina

Settled in the homeland – for now!

3 Dec

I thought I would write a little something after settling into my temporary home here in Toronto. It’s weird to think I’ve already been in Canada for  3 weeks now. Time flies… When I look back, I can’t even believe I was in South America. It feels like a strange dream – as if it never even happened and I’m transplanted back to my regular life. Funny how that works.

The last few weeks, I have been living at Kyle’s apartment in Toronto, working at Gap (barf!) and applying for graduate school. Throw in a bunch of doggie walks, coffee dates and family visits and I’ve been one busy gal. Continue reading

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Ciao Argentina, Hello again Chile!

10 Nov

Mendoza, Argentina Vineyard

I haven’t realized how long it’s been since posting. In the last week, Stefanie and I have taken one 18 hour bus ride, drank too much red wine, took another 7 hour bus ride, crossed the border into Chile, explored Santiago, met up with some friends from Peru and booked a flight to Northern Chile. I’ll start from the beginning… Continue reading

Kayaking, Horseback Riding, Hiking – oh my!

3 Nov

Kayaking in Bariloche

I love Bariloche, Argentina! It is so beautiful! So, I mentioned in the last post that we booked a kayak and horseback riding tour – the verdict? AMAZING! The guide picked us up at the hostel and brought us to a cute log cabin on the lake where we enjoyed a second breakfast.

Kayaking was first on the roster. We had double kayaks and they gave us a brief lesson – I was really excited because the water was crystal clear and sparkling. We had to wear the neoprene skirt over the kayak because the water was freezing. It felt like the kayak and I were bonded together. Stefanie got stuck in the back and I was up in front. She had to maneuver the little rudder which I was thankful for because I wouldn’t have been able to paddle AND steer. We managed pretty well. Our paddling was in rhythm and we were going pretty fast at some points but then we had to take a break. It was exhausting! Kayaking  works out your arms, shoulders and back. I am still sore and this was two days ago! Despite being a little reluctant, I was so happy I decided to try it. Continue reading

Patagonia – the furthest south I’ve been!

1 Nov

Puerto Madryn, Argentina

Happy Halloween to my fellow Canadians! I was a whale-watcher for Halloween *wink!

We just spent several days in Puerto Madryn, Argentina. It’s the furthest south we’ve managed to travel and is considered the beginning of Patagonia, the southernmost region in South America. The town is situated in between Peninsula Valdes (a protected national reserve) and Punta Tombo (the second largest penguin colony in the world!). How cute! It makes for a great base to explore both areas. Continue reading

Buenos Aires – the Paris/Big Apple of South America!

30 Oct

Biking riding in Buenos Aires

B.A. – B.A. – B.A.! What a fun city!

We arrived in Buenos Aires on a Saturday, which was perfect considering we wanted to enjoy some of the nightlife. We met our English friend Adam at the hostel and decided to spend the afternoon in the parks of Palermo – an upscale neighbourhood in Buenos Aires.

There were so many people jogging, strolling and rollerblading throughout the park. Surprisingly, there were so many people ‘trick’ rollerblading. The stunts were so entertaining to watch. Jumping, one legged, backwards, twists, etc. So cool! We were watching for a bit while we ate delicious street sausages called Chorizos. For dessert, I bought the biggest cotton candy stick EVER! It was practically the size of my upper body. I have picture proof. Continue reading

Iguazu Falls, Argentina

22 Oct

Iguazu Falls, Argentina

Hola from Iguazu Falls. Yesterday, Stef and I spent the entire day in Iguazu National Park and it was incredible! We arrived at the park before 9am and paid the 85 pesos entrance fee. Locals in the area are allowed to enter the park free of charge. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had something like that in Canada? Continue reading

Salar de Uyuni, Atacama Desert and Euro-Style.

20 Oct

I am finally HEALTHY!

It was awful being sick for 3 days, especially since I was scheduled for a 3 day Salt Flat tour, but everything turned out great. We met Sebastian, a 26 year old German physicist in Potosi, Bolivia and have been traveling for over a week before separating two days ago. The three of us went on the Salar de Uyuni tour, which boasted some amazing landscapes. There was a large group, so we had to go in two different jeeps. Stef, Sebastian and I ended up in a jeep with 4 sick Koreans and the other jeep had three Belgians and two drunk Aussies.

Our first day involved driving across the Salar, which is approximately 12000 square KM. Bolivian workers make 1bs. (less than 20 cents) per each salt pile they scrape… and these salt piles are quite large. They aim for 50 piles a day. It’s outrageous. Very few people in Canada would ever do that kind of manual labour. Continue reading

13 days before South America

19 Aug

I am one day past the two week mark. I am becoming more excited, but nervousness keeps creeping in. It’s not like I am completely new to this whole travel thing (as I’m sure you can tell), but every destination is different – every situation is novel. So, I guess I’ll have to embrace this feeling with an open heart and get a move on things.

I am trying to upload my Europe photos to Flickr, but for some reason, it doesn’t want to play nice and keeps shutting down my iPhoto. If there is anyone who can help out, it would be MUCH appreciated!

Stefanie has been in Toronto all week and we’ve been going over possible itineraries for our backpacking stint in South America. It took some blood, sweat and tears – well, maybe not tears but DEFINITELY sweat (from no A/C) and blood (due to a bike accident) to get a super duper awesome destination list going. I’m sure you’re all excited to read it! This isn’t in order, but is listed by country to make things a little bit easier. I linked some fun photos as well.

PERU
Lima / Miraflores,
Cuzco & Sacred Valley
Arequipa
Puno & Lake Titicaca
La Huacachina
BOLIVIA
La Paz
Rurrenabaque (Amazon Basin)
Sucre
Potosi (Highest city in the world)
Uyuni (salt flats)
CHILE
San Pedro de Atacama (driest desert in the world)
Santiago
Arica
ARGENTINA
Salta
Puerto Iguazu
Buenos Aires
Bariloche

I’m also thinking about traveling through Patagonia in Argentina to see some marine life, but I’m not entirely sure where to go between Buenos Aires and Santiago. I have about two weeks to get from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Lima, Peru, so there is room to take some interesting side trips and wander. I’ll be updating a few more times before leaving – so stay tuned!!!

The Countdown Begins

5 Aug

I’ve let this blog sit for a while now, but it’s time to rev her back up again. In just 3 1/2 weeks, Stefanie and I are jet setting (once again!) to a faraway destination. As you may have read from my previous blogs, we will be taking 20 hour bus rides, spying on alpacas, canoeing the Amazon River, sipping wine in Chile, eating steaks in Argentina and hiking pristine landscapes in South America all in 10 1/2 weeks. At least, that’s the plan and there is definitely more to it than that – which is the very challenge I’m dealing with as of late.

You think after a few gos, one would coast through planning their next backpacking trip. Well, not for me. I find it so much more difficult! Maybe it’s the type of trip I’m dealing with or maybe it’s the length of time I have – either way, planning my South America adventure has been more stressful than fun. The continent is massive. Look on a map. Now, take the distance from Windsor to Toronto (3 1/2 hours?) and compare that very distance between two cities in Peru. The only difference is that in Peru, it will take you 3X as long to drive. The roads are awful and there are lakes, mountains, desert and everything in between. The distances are so vast. From what I have figured out so far, I’ll be taking a few flights. I don’t know how many 23hr bus rides I can handle, especially if they are anything like the ones in Costa Rica!

When planning, I like to hash out ideas with people – get a second opinion, you know? With Stefanie on a road trip to the east coast of Canada, it’s hard to ask for her input. Thankfully, Stefanie is visiting Toronto for a week after her road trip. I hope we can get some things organized – at least a general route and a rough itinerary. The rest I can figure out on the road/in the plane.

I’ll update on how the planning goes. This week, my main concern is paying our volunteering fees (room and board, administration, etc.). I’ve decided to stay with a family one week and the volunteer house another. I’m super excited to try this out, but insanely nervous. I have ZERO experience teaching English, unless you count helping my little brother read. I need to think of some fun activities. Stefanie and I both agreed that we want to teach little kids! Mostly because we feel they won’t judge us. HA! Any suggestions of fun children’s games will be much appreciated!

The South American countdown begins folks. 27 days!!!

Flights and Films

17 Jan

Next time you want to visit Sea World/Marine World/a dolphin’s hell, you may want to consider watching the documentary ‘The Cove‘ beforehand. It’s a fascinating film and is available to watch online for free. Do it (and cry like I did).

Aside from that, flights to Europe and South America are fluctuating – which I consider a good sign. They were basically at a standstill for a month. Fluctuation (in travel terms) is good for comparison. It was dreadful logging on everyday (and night) only to see the same flight at the same cost for so long. I’m hoping to score a great deal soon. Sure, you may be thinking it’s too early to book flights, but Stef and I need to book South America before we leave for Europe in May. We don’t want too many costs at one given time. Oh, the horror…

Also, Jessie showed off her new backpack to me today. It’s decent, but mine is better AND I WILL NOT TRADE! Once – in a rainstorm no less! – I traded shoes with Jessie because her heels hurt too much and then she complained that my flats made her feet wet. This was after she complained she wasn’t drunk enough and that we didn’t dance enough. She may be a bit of a complainer, but there’s no one like Jessie and that’s why I can’t wait to spend 6 weeks in Europe together!

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