Blogs from South America - page 6

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South America » Brazil » Pernambuco » Recife April 4th 2014

So everyone is bugging me about starting a blog, understandably... Recife is awesome :) I will try to back track a little for you. I left RDU on Tuesday bright eyed and bushy-tailed but that quickly wore off in Miami during my five hour layover in Miami. I got on the plane to Sao Paulo around 9pm and started what I would consider the worst plane ride ever... it was so uncomfortable, I couldn~t sleep at all and the food was... TERRIBLE. There was a Brazillian sitting next to me who was really friendly and unbelievably beautiful, turns out she was a model with several boyfriends in various countries and was flying back from ULTRA in Miami. She was tons of fun to talk to and assured me that it would be really easy to find ... read more

South America » Ecuador » South » Cuenca April 4th 2014

Well, April is off to a very busy month. Today we attended a presentation at the Cuenca Chamber of Commerce by the US Ambassador to Ecuador, Adam Namm. He came with Ambassador General David Lingwell and Matt Cranston from the Guayaquil Consulate. There are only four countries that have both an embassy and a consulate - Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Ecuador. Ecuador is the smallest country in South America, but the consulate in Guyaquil has been there since 1825. They just built a new consulate, at the cost of $60 million, so it is not going anywhere soon. They were there to explain to any Americans that came to the meeting the things the embassy and consulate could provide for us. It was a very informative meeting.... read more
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South America » Argentina April 3rd 2014

After visiting the capital Buenos Aires –where for information 50% of the population is living- and making a quick stop in Cordoba Ciudad –which I didn’t like so much-, I arrived in La Rioja Ciudad, where my trip at the discovery of Argentinian natural wonders will begin :) This will start in fact from the bus ride there: the scenery on the road was breathtaking ! There is no village just the nature with bushes, lagoons, ancient salt lakes, which are dry now with small hills of salt. All of this is along the road, so near! La Rioja Ciudad is a small but vibrant city, with his main square, where I liked staying. But, the reason, why I was staying there was the National Park of Talampaya, where there is a nice canyon. This park ... read more
Green tree Parque de Talampaya
Hike near San Juan
Fossils near Malargue

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago April 3rd 2014

So it's been a few weeks since I've taken the time to sit down and write anything here. Partially out of laziness, but partially because once you get into the rhythm of working and having a normal life, the mundane becomes routine and there isn't much to report on. But I'm at a point where there are some things worth writing about. So first off, work has gotten different since my last post. The other American teacher and I met with the head of English for the entire school system we work in to express our frustration at not having the work environment that was promised to us, and she addressed this with some of our teachers. Little has changed, but I'm adjusting to my role and have a great working relationship with the teacher I ... read more

South America » Argentina April 3rd 2014

We crossed the border into Argentina and spent a few days at "the rustic hostel" where we were given alternate Inca history lessons by the owner and where I personally had the pleasure of being called a doughnut (it's D.O.N.N.A people) each time I entered its doors. There wasn't much to this town so when the owner coerced us into doing a video testimonial for his hostel website we really had to use our imagination. As we moved on we passed the incredible multicolored ravine of Humahuaca, spent a night in the tiny yet bustling town of Tilcara, passed through Jujuy, and settled for a few days in Salta. After so much desert, arriving in an affluent city such as Salta where the standard dress code wasn't Bolivian sweatpants and hiking boots was a strange affair ... read more

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Bariloche is located on the southern shore of Lago Nahuel Huapi and is surrounded by stunning mountain peaks and crystal clear waters. In winter Bariloche is a popular ski destination & has a European ski town feel. We stayed in a hostel just off the main square on the 10th floor of an ugly soviet type building but with fantastic views over the town, lakes & mountains, hence the name 'Penthouse'. We climbed to the Cerro Campanario look out with another couple from our hostel. The walk wasn't particularly difficult but it did give us amazing 360 degree views over the lakes around Bariloche. It helped the weather was in our favour. The following day we cycled a 37 km loop around Circuito Chico and Colonial Suiza. This was for two reasons: one it was a ... read more
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South America » Argentina » Mendoza » Mendoza April 3rd 2014

30 March 2014 – Sunday – Santiago, Chile to Mendoza, Argentina We were surprised to see that the Metro doesn’t start until 8am on Sunday morning and we hailed a cruising taxicab instead to get to the Tur Bus station for our journey into Argentina to the famous wine region of Mendoza. Route 7 crosses Argentina west to east and is an Argentine branch of the Pan American Highway. The 7 hour journey commenced at near sea level and rose slowly up into the Andes mountains. This route is not always open to traffic as the Andes pass often closes after heavy snowfall in the winter months, normally around late May to early September. The only snow we saw, however, were the snow-capped mountains in the distance. The ski-resorts closer to the main road looked like ... read more
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South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa April 2nd 2014

Days 43 - 44 Nazca is a pretty soulless town with not much of interest due to being newer than the colonial towns we have been visiting so far. The town seems to be only geared for the tourist trade including sand boarding and buggies in the nearby desert hills. Wandered around much of the same areas as yesterday waiting for our afternoon local bus trip to Arequipa. While an 11 hr trip & a midnight arrival we were ready to move on from Nazca. The trip was quite interesting. Initially out of Nazca it seemed to be endless flat desert landscape on both sides with a sand storm blowing & passing occasional shanty settlements. The road then moved closer to the coast with endless whitecap crashing into the mainly rocky shore for the next several ... read more
Cloister Murals
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South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Calafate April 2nd 2014

Glaciers Galore and Icebergs Aplenty I was lashed by freezing wind and occasional horizontal rain, but I couldn't leave the deck of our big catamaran, The Patagonia--there was magic everywhere! Gliding by us, all around were icebergs from the size of toy boats to cruise ships. They'd been wind- and water-sculpted into a myriad of fanciful, hulking and anthropomorphic shapes. I saw birds, dragons, amphibians, even the Three Graces and a few angels wafting across the water. As varied as the shapes, were the colors from deep cobalt interiors to turquoise and baby blue, most opaque, some transparent, some striped in blues and dirty grays, revealing their checkered origins. Not only were the icebergs impressive, but also was the setting spectacular. Tall, snow-capped mountains towered above the fiords of Lago Argentino, the country's ... read more
cutting through the waters
fine sunrise
sun comes out as we leave

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago April 2nd 2014

24 March 2014 – Monday – Santiago, Chile We began the first full day of our second week in Santiago by visiting the building of Antiquarian Bookdealers near the Manuel Mott metro station. This is a building, the ground floor of which is entirely made up of small antiquarian booksellers’ stores. They are not very large; some of them are very dusty; a few of them have some old English language books. We were hoping to trade-in a couple of the books we have finished with but didn’t find anything worth trying to negotiate for. Afterwards, I thought I should have traded or purchased a copy of The Short Novels of John Steinbeck. Joan has never read any of them and I would quite happily read them again. We had thought about buying a new copy ... read more
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