A Travellerspoint blog

Travel Tips

Live and learn

Travel Tip #9: When packing toiletries tightly in a small bag -as you should-, take caution. E.g. Toothpaste + razors = disaster. Unless you´re a big fan of being minty fresh..

Travel Tip #10: When formulating a question in a foreign language you will not necessarily understand the answer of (a common problem), make it a yes-or-no question.

Travel Tip #11: Dirty or smelly shoes? Take the insoles out and wipe the inside of the shoes and the insoles with baby wipe and rub in a little bit of deodorant.

Posted by BatSoo 12:40 Tagged tips_and_tricks Comments (0)

I have been to the desert

NOT on a horse with no name


View Global Hoboing: South America on BatSoo's travel map.

Sorry for the lack of updates. It has been eventful since the God forsaken town of El Chaltén. Mind you, the mountains and the trek (ended up doing a 10 hour trail walking) were fantastic, so the grim living arrangements were more than forgiven.

So I will just do a highlight reel today to sum up the trip so far. We will see how far I get, since Francesca and I are really just killing time until the happy hour at a cafe nearby. Pisco Sour!!

==================
Highlights

=Argentina=

-Buenos Aires: Start of the trip. Tango shows, hostel-mate fun. San Telmo market. Brazilian nightclub madness.
-Cordoba: Nothing to report. Three days more or less wasted.
-Salta: Had a dog following me. cable car. Meh sort of a day.
-Jujuy: Quebrada de Humahuaca & etc. tour. Tilcara coolness. Awesome hostel with two other female math majors. Represent?
-Cafayate: Cute little wine town. Free tastings fun.
-Tucuman: Overnight stop enroute to Iguazu Falls. Dirty Argentine with handlebar mustache wearing wifebeater hitting on me with vodka & tang water. Ewww.
-Iguazu Falls: Iguazu Falls.

=Brazil=

-Rio: Carnaval! Samba, blocos, street parties. Sambadromo fever.
-Sao Paulo: Just a one day (no night) stop. Shopping madness. Bought a fushia potato sack of ridiculousness. (a dress.)
-Florianopolis: Postcard, picture perfect beaches. Got sunburnt badly. Looks like I am wearing thigh highs.

=Uruguay=

-Montevideo: Worst day on the trip so far. Rained, found the umbrella broke. Found the UV filter for the camera shattered in my bag. Hated the hostel. etc. etc. All was better when I found out I got into SFU masters around 11:30 pm.
-Colonia (del Sacramento): Pretty city. Not too much to report.

=Argentina=

-Buenos Aires: Still cool. Gigantic fancy bookstore in an old opera house
-Ushuaia: Patagonia rocks. Saw penguins, sailed on the Beagle Channel, climbed a mountain (Glacier Marcial? The spelling is off.)
-El Calafate: Saw Perito Moreno Glaciers. More Canadian Rockie Mountains resembling nature. Feel at home and great.
-El Chaltén: Trek around Fitz Roy & etc. LOVE hiking.
-Ruta 40 bus trip up to Bariloche: 2 day bus ride. Meet awesome people, beautiful nature of vast nothingness.
-Bariloche: 40Km bike ride around Circuito Chico. Lesson learned: Do not party with the Irish unless you are prepared for hangovers or have a spare liver. Awesome people continue to travel together.
-Mendoza: wine tour on a bike. (Finally.)

=Chile=

-Santiago: Lots of energy. LOVE the hostel. Radiohead concert. Mostly do nothing and recover from the first-wind-death. Feel up to travelling again.
-La Serena: Star gazing at an observatory (Alpha Centauri, Saturn´s ring, Southern Cross, etc), drive through lovely vallies, crash local wine and pisco fair and get free booze, petrogliffs
-San Pedro de Atacama: Got here in the morning. Trek out to the desert with Francesca. Amazing scenery. About to go hit pisco sours. 4 am El Tatio Geyser tour tomorrow. Thursday departure on a 3 day Salar de Uyuni tour, crossing into Bolivia. Probably head to Potosi from there.

Well, kids, that´s pretty much all I have been up to now. Gotta go. Happy hour.

Posted by BatSoo 15:54 Comments (0)

While I´m At It

You be the judge.

You tell me if these two scenes don´t look similar.

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Travel tip #8: If you can´t find a lid for the container you want for the leftovers in the hostel fridge (people shift things often, so this is actually quite vital), put it in the freezer. Usually there is more room there, and the frozen food will not spill when someone tips it over. This post was brought to you by the fact I made way too much soup for dinner.

Posted by BatSoo 17:50 Archived in Argentina Tagged food Comments (0)

Food

Just so I remember

sunny 15 °C
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Notable meals I manage to cook so far using sometimes awful, sometimes lovely hostel kitchens:

-Ushuaia (La Posta Alberque)
Scrambled eggs with garlic, onion, eggplant, and tomato simmered in arrabiata tomato sauce (the tomato sauce was store bought. Knorr.) Side dishes were steaming hot boiled potato and spicy vinegary coleslaw
....and who could forget the 1 dollar bottle of wine that was more of bitter grape juice than wine

-El Calafate (I Keu Ken)
Garlicky spinach and potato soup (with whole black peppercorns and two large pieces of lemon zest). Had it with minced tomato and pastrami strewn on top. Topped it all off with pan arabe (large round bread) with some liberal amount of skim milk ricotta smeared on as well as slices of field cucumber. Tim the Aussie traveller gave me a glass of wine, which made it a feast.

As for destination update, I´m in El Calafate, staying at yet another GREAT hostel. It´s called I Keu Ken, and it´s located on a hill looking over the lake and the mountains behind it. The sunset from the porch is quite the sight. It looks... just like the Rockies.

Went to see the Perito Moreno glaciers today. It was majestic and expensive. And cold. It rained. I tingled in happiness regardless. It looks just like the paintings of Group of Seven. The Canadian gal is going to be just fine here in this lovely hostel. (It helps that the hostel is across the street from the biggest supermarket in town...)

Travel tip #7: When asking someone to take a I-was-here photo of you (an eventual necessity if you are travelling alone), pick the person with the biggest SLR.

Posted by BatSoo 16:52 Archived in Argentina Tagged food Comments (0)

Ushuaia Love

It´s just like home.

sunny 18 °C
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I absolutely adore Ushuaia. It is not a big city, no. It is not the same kind of love I have for Buenos Aires, my beach ball mother. (What the hell are you talking about, you say. I will get back to you later on this.) As soon as my flight came into the vicinity of the tall snow capped mountains, preparing for the descent, I knew I´d like it here. And I was absolutely correct. You see, it is uncannily like.... back home... (Yes.. I had to come down to the end of the world only to find somewhere that was just like home.) The mountains look much like the Rockies, the temperature is between 10 and 20 celcius, the types of trees, the houses... the muskrats and the beavers..

True story. Canadian muskrats and beavers were imported into Tierra del Fuego here. They lack their natural preditors, they are thriving, destroying large parts of Ushuaia. Apparently the government gives out rewards per beaver hunted, but the reward is 15 pesos. Tidbit - a bullet costs 15 pesos. So supposedly beaver hunting is just done as a hobby. Ha.

Yesterday, I went to hike up Glaciar Martial. Took me almost four hours. In my defense, I started at the sea level and took the long and windy way up to the chairlift station, from which it was another 1.5 - 2 hour hike up the steep mountain.

I came down and sat at the sweet hostel sore and tired. I love this place.

  • **Beach Ball Mother

I have been wondering if my irrational love for Buenos Aires is mostly due to the fact it was the first destination on this trip after a particularly stressful few weeks prior to my departure. So, I have been describing the situation using the analogy of chicks hatching and supposing the first thing in their sight to be their mothers, even if it´s a beach ball. So, Buenos Aires is my beach ball mother. (Ushuaia is my Patagonia beach ball mother, I think. More commonly referred to as The Beach Ball Mother Jr.)

Posted by BatSoo 06:58 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

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