Page 4 of CStephens Travel Blog Posts

South America » Argentina » Misiones » Puerto Iguazú August 7th 2015

If there’s anything I miss about America, it’s the promptness of the airlines. I know we all say it’s bad, but we know nothing. I have now flown Aerolíneas Argentinas for 5 legs, and only 2 have been on time: the 2 international ones, to and from Chile. Everything domestic has been delayed. The worst part was today, our departure from Buenos Aires was delayed until 3:15 from the original 1:20 departure, after our flight from Santiago to BA was perfectly on time. Normally, I wouldn’t care about a 2 hour delay. That’s nothing. But there were 3 things irking me. this is not the airlines fault, but we had a horrendous server at the Hard Rock Cafe in the airport, and it was kind of annoying. We shouldn’t have to wait half an hour and ... read more

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago August 6th 2015

Another cold and wet day. More rain, really pummeling down, pretty much all day. We started by going to the theater again. Yesterday, we saw an ad for a movie called Los 33, which is about the Chilean miners who were trapped for 3 months a couple years ago, and we thought it would be particularly cool to see it in Chile. It also doesn’t come out in the US until November, but it’s released today here. But strangely (to us), movie theaters here have assigned seats, so we went to get our tickets early so we weren’t stuck up front like yesterday. After picking those up, we went to the Central Market, which is a big fish market that also has a lot of restaurants with the MOST aggressive “greeters” you will ever find. We’d ... read more
Plaza de Monedas

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago August 5th 2015

Today was cold, rainy, and wet all day. It was one of the coolest days I’ve had on this trip. I say this for two reasons. First, Santiago has been in a drought for 7 years. Rain is rare, so any bit helps. Second was what we did. After sleeping in and being lazy again, we got up and headed to the market downtown. We were expecting it to be like the one in Recoleta in Buenos Aires, with local artisanal goods, but it actually was mostly clothing and shoes from knock-offs. There were a few funny things, like a “Toronto, USA” shirt, or a Yankees shirt that said “MY” instead. Then there was also the 3-week-old puppy we met that I’m still not convinced wasn’t a toy. It was absolutely adorable. We left from there ... read more
Geography is hard
Strong women

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago August 4th 2015

As today is supposed to be our only really nice day in Santiago, we used it to get a good, clear view of the city. Santiago is very much built in a valley surrounded on one side by the snow-capped Andes, and on the other by the shorter Chilean Coastal Range. Although the valley is perfectly flat now, it's fair to assume that it was probably a bit more hilly in the past. Although the city fills most of the valley, there were a few hills left to stand, including San Cristóbal in the center of it all, part of a huge city park (probably about the size of Central Park). On the recommendation of my sister, Serena and I chose to hike it today. First, though, since Dialogue is over, we did nothing for a ... read more
Rough life, being here
What a view
Panorama over the valey

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago August 3rd 2015

Adiós, Buenos Aires! I actually had quite a busy day today. I woke up at about 8:00 to go on one last run around the parks of Buenos Aires. Breakfast at 9:30, and then I showered and headed out. First I had to hit my old host mom's house, as she is kindly storing my big suitcase for the next week. I saw her briefly, then I headed over to the place where we've been changing money. Since the blue dollar is now above 15, we're paying for our hotel in Iguazú in cash to save more than 33%. So we needed some money to do that! At 11:15, we headed out to a famous steakhouse here called Siga la Vaca, which had unlimited meat and salad, and, for us, wine. Although the group was leaving ... read more
What a sunset

South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires » Buenos Aires August 2nd 2015

It's hard to believe it's all over, but here we are. We woke up this morning and had the last couple hours to wander the city and pack before heading out at 1:00. The airport is well outside the city - I'm not sure why; it's not like there's a lot of people demanding land there. We arrived and hung around for an hour before boarding on our way back to BA. In Buenos Aires, we got to our hotel and dropped off our suitcases for the last night. I spent some time repacking, as I'll need very different clothing in Santiago and Iguazú than in El Calafate, and I don't intend on paying to bring both suitcases with me. A group of us then went out to an Italian restaurant called Filo. We were just ... read more

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Calafate August 1st 2015

Today was our last non-travel day on the dialogue. How quickly it went! I can't believe it's over, and yet I still have a full month of traveling left before me! We had two options for activities today. For those of us that wanted to spend about $150-175 and trek on Perito Moreno, which we drove by yesterday, they could do that and leave at about 11. The majority did this. For those of us (of which there 7, including me) that did not want to do that, we got to go help with the local dog shelter's adoption day. Which basically meant holding and playing with puppies and talking with locals who came to look at them. It was possibly the best afternoon I've ever had. 9 puppies, all wanting cuddles? Yes please. Before getting ... read more
We all loved holding them
Puppies on puppies
So. Cute. This one got adopted!

Another gorgeous day in Patagonia! We were allowed to sleep in a little later today, and then the bus actually froze, so we were delayed another hour. We finally got going on our long drive towards Perito Moreno glacier, one of the most famous in the world. It's easily accessible, you can trek on it, and every few years (last in 2012), it freezes across its branch of the lake. When this happens, the water digs a tunnel through it to keep the flow going. The tunnel expands until its supports are too weak and it collapses under its own weight. Apparently it's an incredible sight, but it was not the case this year. We were taken near the glacier on a boat trip first, where we got to get up close and personal with it, ... read more
Happy in Patagonia!
Not complaining
Just wow. No other comment

Sorry for the long hiatus! Many things to tell you, so be ready for an influx of blog posts. First of all, the main reason for the hiatus was how much in the middle of nowhere we were. Southern Patagonia is pure tundra and mountains, so getting services can be difficult. There's no suburbs of cities; there's the city and then nothing for a while and then the city. When the internet cut out on this day, it was out for the entire city for at least 15 hours. Anyway, on to the backfill of blog posts: Today was quite an incredible day. Although we had to get up at 6:30, we had a delicious and filling breakfast buffet waiting for us, and a bus that left at 7:30. We were taken to Puerta Bandera, a ... read more
The fog is fading
Is this real life?
Blue icebergs

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Calafate July 29th 2015

I wish that I could write more for you today, but unfortunately there's not a lot to tell you about. We woke up at 5:30 for a 7:00 meeting time. Once on the busses, we went to a hotel, where those of us who didn't need them dropped off our big bags to store while we're in Patagonia. We then went to the airport for an 11:00 flight out. Our professor is very determined to get there at least 2 hours ahead of time, if not earlier, so we just hung out and talked for a while at the airport. As Aerolíneas Argentinas is apparently prone to doing, we left about 40 minutes late for our 3 hour flight. About 2.5 hours in, the captain came on the speaker, saying that the airport at our destination, ... read more

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