Jeffrey Moss


Jeffrey Moss

I'm going to be travelling in South America from October to mid-December and felt obligated to do a travel blog because everyone else does it. Unfortunately I won't be able to post pics because I have an old-school film camera. But if you are interested in how my trip is going I'll try to post to this when I have internet access.

I´m not feeling too eloquent, but Im sitting in the Tacna bus station and have an hour before my departure, so this gives me something to do. After my aforementioned "Adventurous" bus ride from El Calafate to Bariloche via Rte. 40 I was struck with conflicting feelings of exhaustion and restlessness. Unfortunately, due to the 6 hour delay caused by the bus breaking down, by the time I found a vacant hostel there wasn´t much I could see. On Thursday I rented a bike in town and cycled a touristy loop overlooking Lago Nahuel Huapi and some smaller lakes in Reserva Llao Llao. After the first 20km in which autos and buses zoomed by giving little heed to cyclists, the traffic desisted and the scenery turned magnificent. There were a lot of short side trails to ... read more

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Calafate December 2nd 2009

The last few days since my trek in Torres del Paine have been pretty mellow, and not necessarily by choice. I suffered some sort of overuse injury to my right ankle the last day of the trek, and that prevented me from hiking from El Chalten to see Cerro Fitz Roy and the nearby lakes, which are supposed to be a highlight of Patagonia. Instead, due to the bus schedule I was stuck in El Calafate for a few days. I was able to walk around Glaciar Perito Moreno in el Parque Nacional de los Glaciares. The fact that I was actually a bit disappointed by one of the worlds only stable glaciers, towering 60m over Lago Argentina, is either a testament to Torres del Paine or that I couldnt walk well enough to get away ... read more

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine November 27th 2009

I just got back from a 5 day trekking/backpacking trip in Torres del Paine, the park in Patagonian Chile famous for its towers (torres). In addition to being a bit tired, I don´t think that I can fully describe my experience in words, or even pictures. Hands down my favorite place in South America. Here´s a tease: Imagine a place where metallic blue lakes are enveloped by vibrant flowers, mountain berries and lush, pristine pine forests. Where hills give way to towering snow-laden peaks, and snow turns to massive glaciers, which creak and groan and every so often treat you to a thundering avalanche. Unique geoligically-shaped summits dot the landscape, transiently protruding from the mist to provide cellestial viewpoints. To accentuate how great this place is, I loved it so much despite having awful weather for ... read more

South America » Argentina » Tierra del Fuego » Ushuaia November 22nd 2009

On Thursday I was lucky to catch my flight to Ushuaia, as my alarms didn´t go off. Hurried to the airport to learn that the flight was delayed an hour. Sometimes I forget that Argentina is still in South America. We arrived in Ushuaia to a 8C beautiful day, with great views of the mountains surrounding the city. Quite a relief after spending so long in a tropical climate. After finding my hostel I headed towards Glacier Martial. Despite a couple of detours (unintentional, but still with great views and beautiful nature) I found the glacier. Although it is described as almost inadequate in many guide books, it is actually quite beautiful. A 2 hour trek towards the top provided great views of the Beagle Channel and the city of Ushuaia. However, right before the summit ... read more

South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires » Buenos Aires November 22nd 2009

Don´t remember exactly where I left off... On Tuesday I was originally planning to go to Uruguay for the day. Apparently Colonia is really nice and pretty easy to get to. But when I awoke to a thunderstorm I realized that it really wasn´t worth it just to get the stamp in my passport. Kind of a lazy day. At night, however, I made it out to a more local milango tango show, with a substantially cheaper entrance fee and an eclectic mix of seemingly professional dancers and couples who clearly had learned an hour ago. It had a great environment, and I was glad I was able to see that over a more touristy performance. Wednesday I again considered going to Uruguay but chose to use my last day in Buenos for a once in ... read more

South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires » Buenos Aires November 17th 2009

I´m splitting Buenos Aires up because I´ve done a lot in the last few days, and also because its raining and I have nowhere to be for a few hours. As I mentioned, I arrived on Saturday via an awesome bus ride that erased all my memories of the buses in Bolivia (although we did get in a few hours late, can´t ask for too much). I visited Boca (the poorest barrio in Buenos Aires, which is all relative... after spending time in other South American cities I thought that Boca was rather nice) and saw el Estadio de Club Boca Juniors and a couple of small but unique museums, including the Proa, Bellas Artes de Boca and el Caminato, a colorful but overtouristy area. I went over to the apt of a friend and fellow ... read more

South America » Argentina » Misiones » Iguazú National Park November 14th 2009

Not only have I not posted anything for a week, the days are starting to run together, but I´ll give it a go. After my escapades in Paraguay/Brazil, I finally made it to Puerto Iguazu, in the northeast corner of Argentina. I was immediately how struck by how expensive everything was, but I guess that was inevitable after spending three weeks in Bolivia. And you really get what you pay for, as the infrastructure in Argentina is leaps and bounds ahead of anywhere I´ve traveled in South America to date. I woke up early on Thursday, 12/10/09 to visit Parque Nacional de Iguazu, and the famous waterfalls. I was unable to flag down a bus, so I actually ended up walking the entire 12km to the falls. Despite the walk being beautiful (as it was through ... read more

South America » Paraguay » Asunciòn » Villarrica November 12th 2009

On Sunday evening I began the infamous trans-Chaco route from Santa Cruz, which was reported as "30+" hours in my Lonely Planet -- and listed as an activity in the highlight section -- but I was encouraged by reports that the road had been improved since then. Furthermore, I was promised an 18-hour trip, with AC, full cama (bed) and TV/movies. Of course, all of that was a lie. At 2am we awoke to the passengers of another bus -- which had left on Saturday but gotten stuck because of the rain -- flooding onto the bus. While I felt fortunate enough to have a working bus, it still did not make for a comfortable trip, as I ended up standing for about 6 hours. Furthermore, the excess passengers caused several hour-long delays at the numerous ... read more

South America » Bolivia » Santa Cruz Department » Santa Cruz November 8th 2009

One of the reasons I stuck around in Samaipata and Santa Cruz was that I kept hearing how awesome the Santa Cruz Oktoberfest was going to be (and inevitably delaying going to more expensive countries like Argentina and Chile). Santa Cruz is the largest city in Bolivia at around 1.5 million people, although it´s so spread out you wouldn´t know it. Also, it has more of a Brazilian feel (and climate, at 500m ASL) than the rest of Bolivia -- not sure how accurate this is, but I´ve been told that Santa Cruz tried to seceede from the rest of Bolivia, and I wouldn´t be surprised given the political stability in this country. On Friday I did a really awesome canyon hike for FREE (sans transportation) that followed a river several kilometers, at some points too ... read more

South America » Bolivia » Santa Cruz Department » Samaipata November 6th 2009

(Noticing a trend in decreasing creativity in blog entry titles, and text in general) The nature around the town of Samaipata either makes you want to grab a machette and explore the jungle/forest, or rent a hammock and enjoy an afternoon siesta. Having spent the last three weeks rushing around Bolivia, I finally decided to relax a bit and enjoy the tranquilidad that the Santa Cruz atmosphere has to offer. Looking for a chance to stretch my legs (I didn´t feel like I´d gotten any exercise while in Bolivia) I arrived in Samaipata on Monday morning and immediately rushed to El Fuerte, the self-titled "Best Ruins in Bolivia." Although they were pretty cool (the ritualistic site contained engraivings of animals and niches), I´d just spent the past 2 weeks around Cusco, and El Fuerte really paled ... read more

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