Blogs from South America - page 8


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
Santiago Week 2 I 012
Santiago Week 2 I 041
Santiago Week 2 I 057

South America » Bolivia » Oruro Department » Oruro April 2nd 2014

Carnival in Sucre was a blast. Carnival in Oruro was completely over the top. For most of the year Oruro is a grim mining town with nothing much to recommend it, but a week before Lent it explodes into a frenetic fiesta of colour and music. It's the most raucous and outrageous party of all. Aida urged us to go, telling us it was 'different'. She though, was content to watch it on the TV. We dithered; wandering about the cost - hotels put up their prices five-fold - and worrying about all that water-throwing. Finally, we bit the bullet, booked a hotel and seats for the procession, and off we went. 'What time does the Entrada begin'? I asked the man in the hotel lobby on the Saturday morning. He nodded towards the street, took ... read more

Before I came to Bariloche I had felt it might be a bit of a watershed moment, and so it proved. Up until now my route had pretty much taken care of itself. I'd booked or at least planned things well in advance and whilst I'd left some latitude to allow time to make arrangements or act on recommendations I'd had a focus and expectation for each stage of my journey. Bariloche was different. I knew it was in a beautiful part of Argentina but it lacked the big ticket draw such as the iconic mountains in the south. In addition the time I would be able to spend here had always been contingent on my earlier progress and limited by the need to get to Mendoza in order to catch my flight to Salta in ... read more
Town Centre
Easter in Chocolate Town
Looking Across the Forest towards the Lake

South America » Peru » Ica » Nazca March 31st 2014

Day 42. We opted out of the optional trip to Ballestas Islands as it seemed like a poor comparison with our Patagonian Valdes Peninsula experience. Instead we had a later breakfast & just enough time to walk to the Paracas village centre to wander through the trinket shops & pick up a few supplies before checking out of our hostel to get back on the bus for an 11 am start to a 3.5 hr trip to Nascar. We were on a tight schedule as many of the group had pre-arranged flights over the mysterious ancient lines. Bus problems meant a 40 min delay & change of bus at Ica. Again we opted out as it didn't seem compelling enough to enhance my understanding or vision of the region. The flights themselves are on single engine ... read more

South America » Brazil » São Paulo » São Paulo March 31st 2014

Nachdem ich in den ersten beiden Blogeinträgen eher auf weiblichereThemen wie Bildung und Soziales eingegangen bin, kommen wir heute zu den wirklich wichtigen Dingen des Lebens: Autos und Bier. Erstere Faszination kann ich seit meinem Auslandsaufenthalt im Schwabenländle nachvollziehen, zweitere ist familiär bedingt. Since I dedicated my last two blog entries more or less on girly topics such as education, I will talk about the things that truly matter today: cars and beer. Former fascination became my second nature when moving to Stuttgart (which is pretty much all about cars for the ones not familiar with the Swabians and their love for Mercedes and Co.). Speaking about the latter is due to my personal background and upbringing, I guess. Flexiblität – Die gibt es auch bei Autos Nun gut, befriedigen wir zunächst einmal die Neugier nach ... read more
VW Gol - Flex-fuel car
Strand in Santos


South America » Peru » Ica » Paracas March 30th 2014

Day 41 Today was a free morning allowing for a welcome sleep-in after the late night drinks last night. After breakfast in pleasant temperature we walked the Miraflores promenade overlooking the beach to get some much needed exercise. We returned to the hotel by 1pm to load our luggage into a minivan back to Lima's bus station for another local bus to our next stop, Paracas (approx 3 hrs). The trip down was along the coast with some obvious nice beachside housing scattered along the way while on the opposite side of the highway the initial outlook was mostly bald sandy hills occasional scattered with shanty towns but then opening up to some agricultural farming on flat plains. Paracas & Pisco are neighbouring small fishing towns and the gateway to the Ballestas Islands and the Paracas ... read more

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Miraflores March 30th 2014

I had arranged a cycling tour for my first day, which started at 9am. I walked to the meeting point, only 10 blocks away. On my way there, I found a French bakery and had a cafe mocha and un chocolate pan. Mucho gusto. I sat watching the workman repair the ancient solar site in the middle of Lima, while drinking my coffee and croissant. The pre-Incans covered a hill with mud brick and raised platforms to the pray to the sun. This site is now covered in crumbling mud, rather than bricks, so they are returning it to it's original state. The bike guide joined me and gave me all the history. We were driven to the outskirts of town at the top of a hill overlooking Lima. There is a stature of Jesus that ... read more

South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires » Buenos Aires March 30th 2014

The start of my journey in Argentina was quite difficult because of money issues. At the bus station, there were indeed only 2 ATMs at the bus station from the same bank and none of them were working. So, the girl at the tourist information advised me to go near the Sheraton Hotel, where there were other ATMs. Well, I went there, but the ATMs were telling me “sorry, we cannot proceed with this operation”… The problem was: I had no money and needed at least money to pay the metro to get to my host. So, I went back to the bus station to exchange the few euros I had at an exchange counter. Well, when I arrived there, the girl told me that as it was holiday- thing that I didn’t know until that ... read more

South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires » Buenos Aires March 30th 2014

After spending one week in Paraguay, which helped me to find myself again, I took a 22-hour bus to go to Buenos Aires and begin my trip in Argentina. It was a really long drive, especially when we spent 2 hours crossing the border. Why did it take 2 hours: well mainly because when they stamped the entrance papers at the Argentinian checkpoint, they put the year 2013 instead of 2014. They noticed it after doing all the papers, so everyone had to give back his paper again to get a new one with the right year on it… The other reason, why it took so long to arrive in Buenos Aires is that we were stopping in any small villages in Paraguay to take other passengers. Anyway, after one day on a bus, I finally ... read more
La Boca district
Tango shows
San Telmo district

South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires March 30th 2014

Cant quite beleive it has been over 2 weeks since I last wrote! Apologies for this. Partly due to being lazy and partly due t being busy and caught up in the moment. Those close to me have known I am alive and well though so not quite vanished off the face of the planet. After over a month of living in hostels it has been amazing to have our own flat. We are situated centrally in a new apartment build on the 3rd floor in a studio style flat. It has the standard cooking area, living area with TV etc, then bed with drawers and so on. We also have a balcony with BBQ overlooking a large garden, and the building itself is host to a solarium and swimming pool. For the first week whenever ... read more

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