Published: December 15th 2011December 15th 2011
Che Guevara museum. The bike he used to travel the continent
Ok, so we hope the title did not cause any confusion... we are still far from the Bo-Kaap, but it has felt like home the past while here.
We have done many small trips since our last blog. Still in Argentina, we visited the 2 small towns of Alta Gracia and Villa General Belgrano. Alta Gracia is the small town where Che Guavara grew up. We both became well educated as to the exploits of this revolutionist (and now know more than his famous face on a t-shirt worn by rastafarians and the like). It is a cute town and we enjoyed walking around, but the municipal campsite we stayed in left much to be desired. Our highlight was stumbling upon an amazing ice cream shop and enjoying super duper unbelievably rich and creamy ice cream!
Villa General Belgrano is a German town, and you can see by the photos that it is exactly like Germany: green hills, cows, wooden signs. All that was missing was the snow with the Christmas trees! Marco loved it, and we had to stop for a hearty German meal of goulash and spaetzle, rounded off with a mug of the local brew. Apparently,
A gem of a find - the most amazing freshly made ice cream!
a German ship shipwrecked off the coast of Uruguay and the survivors settled in this town. Since then, Germans moved there during the war and for other reasons.
We then headed south (on a quick 12 hour bus ride) to Mendoza, the wine capital of Argentina. It is just like Stellenbosch: leafy streets, lots of vineyards, cafes and restaurants on the sidewalks. We hired 2 tandem bikes with new friends and did some wine and liqueur tasting. It was a super day out. The tandem took some practice with out-of-synch pedals, but was heaps of fun! They also have a huge city park which is beautiful.
We said a tough goodbye to Mendoza and headed across the border back into Chile, where we are now. Our first stop was on the coast to the city of Valparaiso. Here we treated ourselves to a private room with a sea view in a little house belonging to a French/Chilean couple who rent out a few rooms in their house. We slept late and enjoyed checking out the sights of this very arty town. Graffiti is the artwork of choice, with some very good pieces around. Funiculars built in the 1800´s
Villa General Belgrano
No, we did not go to Germany... a little German town in Argentina
are dotted all over the city to get you up the hills quickly and were quite fun. The suburbs strewn across the slopes also had colourful houses - purple, blue, green... this and the sea views of the bay all reminded us of the Malay Bo-Kaap area in Cape Town.
We also went to the town of Vina del Mar, a seaside town with nice beaches. With beautiful sunshine and a cool sea breeze it was quite relaxing. We ate our best churro ever there filled with caramel and covered in chocolate and have been talking about it for days!
We are now in Santiago, Chile´s capital. Phil has enjoyed seeing the city she was born in, and yesterday was spent finding her old street. The city has a nice vibe, with friendly people.
As we head towards Christmas, we have no idea as to where we will be or what we will be doing. We think a lot of you all during the festive season and hope you are all getting a well deserved rest (and for those working, hopefully the office is quiet enough that you can leave early anyway!).
Marco & Phil
Villa General Belgrano
Another German villa pic
- feeling like we were visiting the old familiar Stellies and CT.
Marco - Realising that at some point I will have to get up to an alarm clock again...
What we miss most:
Marco - Missing the run-up of the end of year holiday/festive season with family.
Phil - Good friends.
There are more photos below