Page 3 of Si and Em Travel Blog Posts

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro April 12th 2011

Day 74 After an uneventful flight we land in Rio and get our airport pickup to the hostel. We have booked a private room and paying £50 a night we expect something ok (not too flashy) - we are slightly disappointed that the mattress is damp and there is a faint aroma of wee... It is scorchio, so we change and fearing for our personal safety (the guidebooks and various people have given us the fear) we head out to get out money (military-styley with Em going in first, scanning for people who are going to rob us, and me taking money out and secreting it in our special money belt that fits in my pants). Carrying nothing of any value we head out walking along the Copa...Copacabana beach to reach a little Lebanese restaurant called ... read more
Art in Santa Teresa

Day 70-71 After a night bus we arrive in Puerto Iguazu at 8am, find our hostel ‘Si Mi Capitan’ and are told we can’t check in till 3pm - luckily we are able to have a shower before we head off to the falls. The book says that there is a lot of wildlife (snakes, spiders, pumas) in the surrounding forest and feeling slightly nervous we set off on a walk to see our first views of the falls from the lower walkways. Almost immediately we see two racoon-like creatures, and stop to take their picture (we later see a woman feeding one a crisp and it nearly takes her hand off, so they are not as friendly as they look). We also see loads of beautiful butterflies from bright blue (and the size of small ... read more
1st view from Argentina
Full Force
2 brothers and a Simon

Day 65 We catch the slow boat (3hrs) across the brown river to Colonia in Uruguay. Again walking in the midday sun uphill we eventually find our hostel. After dumping our bags we head out for something to eat and quickly discover that no one in Uruguay speaks English so I leave Em to decipher the ‘menu turistica’. We both order fish (sole) to start and calamari rissotto. When the first course arrives Em just looks at what we are eating and says' that's not fish' and I look down and notice that there are large taste buds on the side of the 'fish'... yes, you guessed, it is tongue. Oh well this is not the first time Em has put me in this situation, so trying not to look at the hairy taste buds I ... read more
Lighthouse in Colonia
Pulp Fiction

South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires » Buenos Aires March 28th 2011

Day 60-61 After a 24 hour bus journey from Jujuy we arrive in Buenos Aires. Bus journey is like many others except for the not so nice addition of food trays that smell very strongly of cheese, and Si and I have to hold our breaths every time we are served something to eat or drink... We quickly work out the metro system and as I stand in the carriage, in what must be 30 degree heat, I let my guard down... all the people around me seem well dressed and respectable. I glance down at my front back pack and notice that the pocket is open, ‘strange’, I think... and then it slowly dawns on me that the ‘respectable’ man standing in front of me is trying to steal my stuff. I zip up the ... read more
Dog Walking
Cherub Recoleta
Em at Recoleta

South America » Argentina » Jujuy » San Salvador de Jujuy March 21st 2011

Day 58 Catch bus to Jujuy and dump our bags at hostel before exploring the town. On our D.I.Y walking tour we are bemused to find a police officer at every corner. I guess this makes us feel safer but can't help wondering why there are so many police - what happens here? Anyway after a quick lunch in a place which is straight from an eighties B&H magazine advert we return to our hostel. Now Em’s sixth sense kicks in and starts to ask the following: 1) Why is no one else staying at this hostel? 2) Why do they not have clean sheets for us? 3) What is that smell? 4) Why do we have paper instead of glass for a window? Torch in hand she inspects the mattress and around the skirting boards ... read more
To the side
Lama Market
Statue in Humahuaca

South America » Argentina » Salta » Salta March 17th 2011

Day 52 -53 After the 25 hour bus ride we arrive to a rainy Salta and catch a cab to our hostel (with the moodiest taxi driver ever - Em tries, amd fails to charm him), which to our great relief is very nice. The next day we explore (now) sunny Salta with visits to the modern art gallery and Museo de Arqueolgia. The latter has a display of three inca child mummies. The story is that the best looking children were chosen to be sacrificed to the Inca gods, which although was a great honour, involved being drugged and buried (we thought definitely better to be ugly to escape that fate). The altitude they were buried at (c. 6700m) means that they were perfectly preserved when they were found and it was more than a ... read more
View over Salta
Tractor saves the day
Em lands her magic carpet

South America » Argentina » Mendoza » Mendoza March 9th 2011

Day 46 ‘I’m gonna party like it’s my birthday!’ Arrive in Mendoza, check in to the hostel (Mendoza Monkey), do some laundry (it is slightly like groundhog day sometimes) and then it is time to celebrate! Happy hour at the hostel so I order a G and T... unfortunately no tonic, so end up having a gin and sprite (on the plus side it is heavy on the G). Then out for a Spanish-style tapas meal, in a lovely romantic restaurant. Food is great, even though the chef has a thing for bacon and literally everything we order has bacon either wrapped round it, or in it, and the local white wine Torrontes is also delicious. Feeling happy and slightly tipsy we have a stroll back to the hostel through the muggy streets... Day 47 We ... read more
Waiting for the first tasting...
First Tasting
Wine Cellar

South America » Argentina » Chubut » Puerto Madryn March 5th 2011

Day 42 & 43 The 30 hour (3 seperate buses) trip to Puerto Madryn was ok as Si had treated me to cama (bed-style seats) so we actually managed to sleep for 7 hours which was a result, particularly as the Patagonian Step wilderness is dull, dull, dull to look at. We amused ourselves by trying to spot anomalies in the landscape – which were in no particular order a) a bend in the road, b) a slightly taller telegraph pole (you get the picture). Arrived in Puerto Madryn - not much happening (everything closes on Sunday) but we wandered round town and booked a tour to Peninsula Valdes for the next day. Day 44 & 45 The tour to Peninsula Valdes was fun... although it was a 400km+ round trip through Patagonia step style landscape(again) ... read more
Piramides Beach
Sea lion colony

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » El Calafate March 1st 2011

Day 37 After another early start to get the 8am bus for El Calafate, we are stunned by the efficient border crossing (30mins – best yet). Arrive in El Calafate at 2pm, get a taxi (yes I treat Em as she is still aching from the ‘W’) and check in our hostel. We spend the day doing practical things like laundry (our stuff smells like we have been at a festival for a week), booking bus tickets and our tour to see the glacier. We are so tired that in our hazy state we almost book a 40hour bus journey to Mendoza... luckily we are so tired we can’t make a decision, and then after uhmming and ahhing and descending the 74 steps from the bus station (yes we counted them) we really can’t be bothered ... read more
Perito Merino
It's behind you
Ice Licking

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine February 23rd 2011

Day 33 Distance - 18km Time - 8hrs Greeted by our guide Rodrigo, we meet fellow hikers from America; Tomasz, Laura L and Laura M. Feeling tired before we begin (we are rudely awakened at 5.30am by someone turning on the radio and setting up breakfast), we start our journey to Torres del Paine. We arrive at the refugio (mountain huts/lodges) called Torres where we will be spending the night. Having packed what we think is the minimum required clothing for 4 days (but packing for all weather eventualities including full waterproofs, fleeces, gloves, woolly hats) we are told on arrival that it is going to be some of the hottest weather of the summer (up to 26 degrees most days)! Good news for today’s walk is that we leave our bags at the refugio as ... read more
Looking at Condors
Blister TLC
Almost there

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