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Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Hola de Punta del Esta,
Uraguay

This is the furthest east city we will visit on our trip. With 1 day left,  Its clear now that the SA trip is at a close.

Buenos Aires was a hell√≥va blow out to end in style.  The city has more culture and beauty than anything I´ve seen yet in South America.  Mature trees(maple family) cover the sidewalks.  Classy restaurants are on every street.  The people, oh man, its not fair how so many gorgeous people are packed into one area of the world lol.  Im glad it was left to last.  Ill tell ya the story of our first night there.

7 pm we start feeling the hunger pains.  Argentina is known for its high quality steak so we decide to splurge at a nice steak specialized restaurant.  They turn us away at the door because .. they hadn´t open yet.    Upon returning at 9pm there is an hour long wait ahead of us. Yes, were still hungry.  By a 11pm I can say i have consumed the greatest steak on the planet.  If a cloud was edible you could say it was as tender a cloud, juicy and the texture was great. Ahh good steak!  So we go home and nap. Thats right nap at 11pm.  Its a sensible thing to do, I´m telling ya!

After 20-30 minute napping,  the pre-drink began.  We ended up meeting a young couple from London.  We drank till 2 AM then grabbed a bus to the club.  The club was packed with locals and travellers. They played all american pop music.  The club is dark et cetera and the time is flying by. At 630 AM the club opens its doors to a fully sunny Buenos Aires street.  That was a first for me.  Not gunna lie is was a cool feeling seeing the sun up and still being guilty of partying.  At 7AM we took the bus back to the hostal.  Of course,on the bus we were accompanied by everyone going to work.  They were half asleep in their seats and we were half passed out in ours.  This took place on a Monday night.  Tueday night Jess sat out.  I went for it as I had to experience it all over again.  Seven days a week this city (clubs) are alive at night till 5, 6, 7 AM  8AM on the weekends.  Mi gusta!

Uraguay was an easy boarder crossing early today.  We took a ferry boat over.  Bused it to Montevideo then to Punta del Esta.  We are told this place is a solid beach resort in the Nov-Feb season.

Home this weekend  :).  If you are of legal drinking age and are in the Burlington area meet me downtown burly Saturday night!

Adios

Ryan

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Hey guys

Currently hanging out in Mar del Plata, Argentina.

The story of how we got here is a long one.  Buses in Argentina are the most confuzing and challenging thing I have delt with yet on this travel.  If you travel within Argentina, my advise is;  fly. 

Mar del Plata has been well worth the LONG trip north. We have travelled from Puorto Arenas, Chile via multiple buses.  The city is home to a beautiful stretch of beaches. Also it hosts numerous castle homes along the Ocean front.  Many are abandoned believe it or not, boarded windows and overgrown yards.  These castles have been built over the past centuries by wealthy families all across Europe.  Some English, French, Dutch and Spanish to name a few.  I am currently sitting in Castle home, turned hostal, which judging by the architecture  was built by a Dutch family in the 1920´s. The rooms, stairways, and porches seem to keep appearing around every corner.  I have found 3 backyards so far all of which are on different levels.  This included a rooftop massive BBQ setup.  It is insane that families had this sorta dough. If your feeling bad for any reason, don´t. They all seem abonded and Mar del Plata is now the vacation spot of middle class vacationers amongst Argentina. ´

Any who, funny story about crossing the boarder.  My strategy was cross with no Chilean coin leftover. Most money exchangers have awful rates, therefore de-motivating the idea of leftover currency in a new country.  So, my last few hours in Argentina were spent roughing it. I had exact change for water, which was badly needed.  Even with bare nessities its still possible to be happy. I was having a great time that day.  Outgoing, meeting new bus mates, starting convos with strangers, et cetera. A good lesson I´ve experienced thus far.  In saying this you also teeter on highs and lows while living on a shoestring.  They can drop pretty quick when reality hits.

While in Puoto Madryn I got stranded in the dessert by my self.  I rented a bike, to avoid tourist packages by bus.  I rode out 6kms of a 19km trip, on a road which turned into a gravel road which de-evolved into a dessert path.  After getting a flat tire via a thorn, my heart sank.  There was nothing arround me but dessert and ocean.  I barely know how to change the gears on a bike, let alone the tube of the tire. 

Great news.  With a low blood sugar I tought myself how to successfully change the tube of a mountain bike.  Glad we survived that one.  Kept riding and had a good time.  If you wanna hear the details of the story best to just ask me in person lol. I left some stuff out.

Heard it is cold at home. Uh oh. Not looking foward to the chill. Although seeing everyone again will be worth it. See ya soon.

On route to Buenos Aires tonight. 1.45-7 AM bus. In cama aka first class.  Looking forward to party again in B.A..

Hasta

Ryan

Monday, 10 October 2011

Hey Hay Hey

Im in Patagonia! WoW is the only description of the scenary in these parts.


We just disembarked our ship today in Puorto Natalas.  This town is beautiful!  Colourful houses, appropriate wooden furniture at restaurants and  hostals give this city a rustic feel.  City is a generous term given that it has a handful of streets  All of which were walked today to find the usual; 1. hostal.  2. supermarket. 3. bus station.   It takes me by surprise that a city this far south in the world is is full of life, business et cetera.  Granted it will be full of park seeking tourists once the season is underway in weeks.

We have been cruising south for the past 4 days on a 125 M cargo ship.  Great company made the journey a lotta fun.  Most of the passengers were young and full of adventure. Perhaps 30 passengers; tourists from every corner of the earth.  There are two couples we have been hanging out with, Holly&Jamie of New Zealand  and Ryan&Randy of Texas. Jamie told us about the boat in Arica aka the north city of Chile. Ryan and I chatted about the ship again in Vina del Mar.  Essentially this passage is the talk of Chile. It was an outragous deal for what we recieved.

Pucon was my favourite adventure day of this trip!  We arrived at 930 and by 2 pm I was Kayaking. It took hours to find a store crazy enough to let me take their Kayak out to the Lake by myself.  I visited flooded forrests. Pulled up to shore on basically untouched beaches.  Crossed a large bay with a 3000m active Volcano on my left covered in white snow.  Sure enough, while on route back home it bagan to pour rain.  Lightening was not present, so  I  was safe.  The rain made it a lotta fun.  Fish were jumping outta the water.  I walked the Kayak back to AguaAdventures in the Rain.  Then bought some warmer used clothes for $12, winter jaket, fleece and a .....Brittany Spears concert T. In my defense she is the comback Queen.  Our hostal for the night was a beautiful log cabin equpped with a wood burning fire place.  The whole lakes district looks exactly like northern Ontario.

Off to Torres del Pain in the AM.

Happy Thanksgiving! Missed ya all.

RB

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Hey from ...Santiago,

Has anyone taken a FREE TOUR before (question mark).  Our guide today said they are popular in Europe.  To be fair they say "based on tips" under the Free title. Brilliant marketing, hats off to the company.  The guide was very passionate and a book full of knowledge of the city. Favourite part was finding out this is the end of the road to Elderaldo.  Enjoyed that movie by the way. Yes, I tipped the young guy.

In Santiago we are staying at La Casa Roja.  Our hostal has a pool, hot tub and a cricket field. Pretty neat mansion it is. Not bad for $13 a night.  Swam in the pool today, did some laps. Im outta shape, uhg.

We came from Vina Del Mar a couple days a go. It was nice. Very posh, wealthy.  Never have seen so many palm trees, this palm tree popularity in South Americam surprises me!  A city beside Vina is where we stayed. Its short form is Valpo.  Each house is built on  one of the 42 hills which rise from the port to the mountains.  Each house is a different colour from the next, light blues, pinks, yellows et cetera.  It is no doubt the art capital of South America with grafitti as welcomed artwork on all buildings and artists sketching the streets and hills around every corner.

Travelling aside, I can say I feel at peace. No I dont mean im ready to die, I just feel more calm, appretiative and tranquil.  If i have grown in anyway from this trip, my patience level has grown.  A busy western culture has not been present in these travels.

The bus tonight will be our bed as we cruise south for 8 hrs to Pucon.  This is known as the lake district of south Chile.   Excited and cold.  The chills will be there from one of the two as we approach closer to Antartica.

Paz

Friday, 30 September 2011

Hello from La Serena!

We took a 14 hour bus ride  a couple days a go to get to the Mining town of Chile.  There wasnt much there. No sight of the infamous mine which captured the world's headlines. I can tell you the town is very much in a desert.  Montains compliment the landscape.  The sunsets are uncomparable in the desert.  The sunset over the Egyptian pyramids was similar to the one here over the rocky dessert mountains; beautiful.

Yesterday may have been one of the most enjoyable days I've had in a long time.  Jess and I walked.  There is a Spanish city to the south. We had no idea where or how long it would take to get there.  After a KFC lunch featuring the famous Mr. Bieber on the packaging, we just started walking. Four hours in total.  A large german shepperd decided to join us.  He walked beside us over bridges, along railway tracks on beaches, through parking lots et cetera et cetera. I named the companion seeking dog; Steve.  Eventually we found the city after seeking direction from locals. The city wasnt the best part. The jounrney getting there was!

Vina del Mar tomorrow! I believe an Observatory is in the works tonight to see the milky way, which you can see in some places here!  Question, can you see the milky way by the naked eye in Ontario?  Love the comments!

-Adios

Monday, 26 September 2011

Hola de Iquique, Chile,

Iquique (E-key-kay)

This is a balling surf city. The name which means relax is mis-represented in today's age. The waves are great and the adventure-land doesn´t end there. There is paragliding, body boarding, surfing, skate parks, sand dunes for Jeeps and Paint ball.  We just went sand boarding today. A pretty unique activity to add to the list.  Best way to describe it is, snowboarding with your hiking boots on and riding down sand dunes.

Before leaving Arica, a new friend named Jack brought up the opportunity to play some Rugby. That night, we went to the rugby pitch and played a couple hours of rugby with a club from the city. Days after I´m still stretching the hamstrings to feel normal again.  It was  a lot of fun, the English made it easier for trick plays between Jack and I.  Admittedly, we partied too hard that night.

The hostel in Iquique is flat out amazing and the best yet.  Wood finished everything, stairs, furniture, foosball tables, artwork.  The best way to describe this hostel is warm.  There´s surfboards and body boards covering a whole section. Great kitchen, which has been used daily.  The music is constantly just right for the beach town feel.

Side note, I´ve been growing the beard. In fact, I havn´t shaved the face since Canada.  Its growing in pretty solid.   We´ll see how long she stays on for.  Brain waves are slow on the beach. I just keep sitting on the beach,  mesmerized by the boarders.  The size,  motion and thunder of the surf is incredible.  I´m amazed life can be lived in this fashion.

Off to the beach tmrw AM for some body boarding.  Then to Copiapio (The Mining Disaster Area) over night.  I hear there is not much to see about 'the mine' but we will at least pass through the town.

Feel free to leave comments,

-RB

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Hello from Arica, Chile,

Finally we have reached warmth!  Jess and I swam in the Pacific today after 2 weeks of travelling.

We visited the floating islands of Lake Titcaca near Puno Peru two days ago. Yes you read that correctly, floating.  The natives have combined a meter thick of these reeds (like cattails) into islands for 100´s to live on.  Not to find the negative in it but it was sad to see how the tourism industry has influenced them.  They gave a quick story of how they have been doing the floating life (which they forgot to mention has only been since the 60´s) then drag you over to their table cloth of bracelts and toy boats to buy.  Great to be on the water though. Ha funny story. Our tour boat´s prop came cought on a fishing line. Our half day tour nearly became a full day tour as we drifted to shore.  Bonus!  Except i really had to pee.

We crossed the Peru-Chilean boarder in a gold  ford toarus this AM.  Yep  the Toursha is living strong in Arica.  I had the greatest memory of home this morning.  Penut butter and toast!!!!! Well techinically it was Skippy not Karft but ill take it, lol. Seriously it was heaven tasting something familure. Also I saw the first McDonalds today. No i didnt buy anything. Im saving up untill tomorrow´s lunch.

Groceries today for today and tomorrows dinner came to ....wait for it.....8,250.    The Mula in Chile is soooo different. 1 Chilean peso is = 525 US $.  But the six pack of beer was the equilavent of 4 bucks.  Deal!

Still alive and Kicking,

-Ryan