Blogs from South America - page 8


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

This past weekend I had the opportunity to take a 3 day weekend and fly up North to visit San Pedro de Atacama and the Atacama Desert. All of the "top things to do in Chile" lists say this is a must see, and I think they are spot on. This place is otherworldly and stunningly beautiful. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is considering going. I'll give you a short recap of the weekend and the things we were able to enjoy. Friday we flew into Calama where the wind chill at the airport was a balmy -25C when we stepped off the plane, and that prepared us for the cold nights and mornings we were to encounter all weekend. My roommate has friends in Calama so we spent the day with them ... read more
Oldest Church in Chile
Church doors
Oldest church in Chile

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa July 2nd 2014

unser letzter tag in arequipa. der letzte tag unter frauen mit runden hüten, geschmückt mit glitzernden glassteinen, bunten perlen und geometrischen blüten. der letzte tag inmitten weißen lava-gesteins. wir leben heute besonders langsam, sind beide auch müde. reisen strengt dann doch an auf die dauer und wir genießen völlige langeweile! es ist auch wirklich gut, dass wir heute soviel zeit haben, denn peruanisches lokal-service ist einzigartig! einzigartig langsam! wir gehen essen, bestellen das tagesmenü, das jeden tag das gleiche ist. man möchte meinen, das lokal ist auf gäste mit dem wahnwitzigen wunsch, das klassische mittagsmenü zu essen, eingestellt. weit gefehlt! wir bestellen also und kurz darauf huscht die chefin selbst aus der tür - richtung markt höchstwahrscheinlich. salat wird aufgetragen. ohne angepriesenem brot… weil die chefin noch nicht zurück ist. das... read more
packs hitting their limits
last chachani view (the bit**)

After a series of cities and concrete jungles it was a welcome relief to discover some wilderness in the more rural destination of Iguazu (the Argentinian side). The Brandon-four stumbled off the bus after another disturbed sleep and some very questionable bus-food (which still today haunts the Welshman´s dreams) and teamed up with support act Scotty in their welcoming hostel, equip with a pool and ping-pong table - game on. An enthralling evening of mediocre table tennis precluded a healthy slumber - much needed, for unknown to the boys was the visual assault about to take place on their retinas. A short bus ride (anything less than 2 hours was considered short by now) and the Brandon Four +1 were dropped at Iguazu National Park. A seemingly unfair entry fee was paid for being gringo, and ... read more
Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls

South America » Brazil » Distrito Federal July 2nd 2014

Got up and had good old cereal for breakfast. We also decided to do laundry today as we're fast running out of clean clothes plus there is no dryer here so we have to make sure there's enough time for it to dry on its own. Aroud 9 am we visited the Palacio de Planalto, the official workplace of the President of Brazil. I suppose by extension it is also the workplace of the execuitive branch, since the same plaza had the buildings for the Legislative and Judicial Branches as well. All of these buildings, just like the rest of the city, were designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer and it is a very modern stylistic design especially compared to govt buildings in other countries which are usually classical. A lady gave us about a 15-minute tour ... read more

South America » Brazil » Minas Gerais July 2nd 2014

Heute steht kein Fussballspiel auf dem Programm und nach dem bitteren Ausscheiden der Schweiz müssen wir uns ohnehin mit anderen Sachen beschäftigen. Hierfür eignete sich ein Ausflug nach Inhotim besonders. Das Centro de Arte Contemporânea Inhotim ist ein Freilichtmuseum südlich von Belo Horizonte. Das von rund 10 Jahren entstandene Inhotim stellt zeitgenössische Kunst von brasilianischen Künstlern aus. Die gesamte Anlage ist mehrere Quadratkilometer gross. Bei angenehmen Wetterverhältnissen erkundeten wir zu Fuss die verschiedenen Kunstwerke. Alles gleicht einem grossen Park, der mit wunderschönen Pflanzen und Seen und ruhigen Orten zum geniessen angelegt wurde. Die Kunstwerke sind alle schön in diese Landschaft eingebettet. Nebst ungewöhnlichen Objekten gab es auch sehr interessante Anlagen. Da war zum Beispiel ein rundes Glashaus, in welchem in der Mitte ein Loch in d... read more


Today was another travel day, this time from Brasilia to Rio de Janeiro with a quick stop in Sao Paulo to change flights. In the 1.5 layover, I grabbed my ticket to the France vs Germany game, cancelled a flight and ate lunch. Both flights were quick and smooth. In Rio, we landed at the airport that sits right in front of the Sugar Loaf. I waited there for my friend Bruno who was coming to the airport to pick up his wife Antonia and daughter Nina. I had seen them in Blumenau on Saturday night and they were to land in Rio about 40 minutes after me. While waiting, I all of a sudden noticed Brazilian soccer legend Rivellino standing right in front of me. He was a star in the 70’s and was on ... read more

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Puerto Ayora July 2nd 2014

The plane touched down on Isla Baltra and we were offloaded onto the hot tarmac. A warm sea breeze hit us as we crossed to the newly renovated airport, and I nearly lost my latest hat acquired on this trip. It is made exclusively from coconut husk and wood glue and is unique enough to cut a dash (in my humble opinion) without looking like a wannabe Texas cowboy. The airport boasted at great length about its green stamp of approval for renewable energy technology, with wind turbines, manual conveyor belts and careful alignment with the prevailing winds to negate the need for air conditioning. It was nice and cool, but the wind turbines were stationary despite the strong breeze and the lack of baggage carousel caused a scramble for the bags as everyone wanted to ... read more

South America » Colombia » Cartagena July 2nd 2014

Our Arrival Our bus from Santa Marta arrived in the bus terminal at 12:10pm. Walk though the building and go out by the entrance where there is a big terminal sign over the road. This is where you can get a taxi or the bus stop is signed on the other side of the road. We caught a Metrocar bus that had 'Centro' on the front. It cost COP$1,700, pay the driver as you get on. It left at 12:25pm. There was a lot of traffic and we arrived in the centre at 1:20pm. We got off the bus at the Monumento India Catalina. Just after you see the castle the bus goes over a bridge and the monument is on the other side at a bus intersection. From there we walked about 4 blocks down ... read more

South America » Argentina » Mendoza » San Rafael July 2nd 2014

4:55 p.m. The new Pope was just declared! Argentinian Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires from the Metropolitan Cathedral, which we visited a couple of days ago. Martin is so excited he has goose bumps. (He has seen the Archbishop many times.) Victor, our Mendoza guide says the new pope is very simple and humble. Of course all the TV stations are covering the story. This afternoon was “compulsory nap” for our late evening at a winery. Indeed needing a nap, I watched TV long enough to see the url= smoke. (Who needs Spanish!) Then my nap. Fortunately, I woke up soon enough to wait for a few minutes to watch the ann... read more
Mercandito Martin
Children dancing
Algodon Wine Estates

South America » Brazil » Distrito Federal July 2nd 2014

As an aside from my travel journal let me clarify a few things. First of all my first impression of Brazil as a third world country was far from correct. The majority of the country is a nice place. The first city I went to, Fortaleza is in a poorer part of the country and although it's really fun and has amazing beaches it definitely shouldn't be the first place you should go to in Brazil. The rest of the cities I went to (Manaus, Rio de Janeiro, and Brasilia) are more outsider friendly and give less of a culture shock. All that being said, you should definitely visit Fortaleza, but do it after one of the other cities. 6/28 I woke up late in the morning, but Jorge was running late so it was all ... read more

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