Phillipa and Marco Holtz

holtzholiday

Phillipa and Marco Holtz




South America » Brazil » São Paulo » São Paulo February 19th 2012

We are typing our final blog entry with just 2 hours sleep and a 48 hour journey ahead of us, where we will come out the other side seriously sleep deprived. Last night was the perfect way to end our trip: a big Carnival bash through the night. This is nothing like Stellenbosch University Vlotte. In fact, they would laugh if they ever had to see those floats. These samba processions are huge - about 3500 people and 5 floats each (about 4 storeys high) - but this is only one of the many processions that come past! The price of this carnival was just short of 200 million rand!!! Approaching the entrance, we could hear fireworks, music and caught a glimpse of the floats parked in the parking lot and the participants getting dressed all ... read more
Carnaval
Carnaval
Carnaval

South America » Brazil » Paraná » Ilha do Mel February 17th 2012

For all the beach bums out there, you´´ll be turning a darker shade of green when you read this. We have just finished exploring the southern parts of Brazil, and this is what we can say about it: Our first port of call was Florianopolis, or as all the locals call it, Floripa. There is really only one thing to do there and that is go to the beach. And once you have visited the beach, you move on to another beach. And then another. So, when it rains, issues arise (as you will read about later). As we cannot consider ourselves rotisserie kind of people (turning round and round to roast yourself evenly), we actually had to find something to do. We took off on a short hike over one big hill to a relatively ... read more
Florianopolis
Blumenau
Blumenau

South America » Argentina » Misiones » Iguazú National Park February 7th 2012

We can see by the lack of responses to our blog, that perhaps our blogs are becoming too boring or maybe, you are all just storing up all the news for when we get home... : ) Another boring day in our lives: We flew up to Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. We spent a couple of days here, absorbing the atmosphere of a city comprised of 12 million people (that´s over 1/4 of the population of South Africa). The city abounds with old, well maintained buildings, a lot of them built during the 1900s, when people tried to create a mini-Europe and to show off their wealth. We went on a very different walking tour of the city, with a very dramatic tour guide. We also visited Boca, a suburb claiming to be the ... read more
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires

South America » Argentina » Tierra del Fuego » Ushuaia February 1st 2012

Our final Chilean destination was Punto Arenas. The main tourist attraction here are the Magellanic penguin colonies. Marco was convinced that they are exactly the same as the Jackass penguins. Either way, we decided to give this sightseeing trip a skip and rather went to the Naval Museum. Among other things, we watched an entertaining video of a sailboat that sailed around Cape Horn in the 1950s. The cameraman gave a blow by blow account of the happenings en route. We had thought of doing a remote hike to the southernmost point of mainland South America, but a look at the weather report changed our minds. We visited an interesting cemetery though: large burial vaults/houses dedicated to families. As per our tradition, we went out for a final dinner to reminisce our Chilean experiences. We both ... read more
Ushuaia
Ushuaia
Andorra Valley Hike

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Puerto Natales January 22nd 2012

So, its been a packed few days since our last blog. We made our way from Cochrane to Villa O´Higgins all the way to the end of the Carretera Austral. We travelled down with our group of new-found friends after two nights in Cochrane. The scenery going south from Cochrane was beautiful and it was appreciated all the more because we didn´t do it like so many other travellers - on bicycle. The cyclists seem to outnumber the backpackers in this part of Chile. We were a group of eight and found ourselves a cozy Cabaña in town with a fireplace and fully equipped kitchen. We tasked one of our travel companions, Dirk the Belgian chef, to cook us a meal. So, given a budget, we visited all the supermercados to look for some fresh produce ... read more
Villa O Higgins
Villa O Higgins
Lago O Higgins

South America » Chile » Aisén » Cerro Castillo January 11th 2012

The past couple of days have been very cool! It has felt like we are really getting into Patagonia now - high mountains, snow, heaps of rivers, glacial meltwater lakes and of course, cold weather : ) Leaving Coyhaique behind, we drove to the little town of Villa Cerro Castillo, based at the foot of the mountain we were planning to hike up to. This village lies on the Carretera Austral: the final southernmost road in Chile, that meanders through mountains and rivers. During winter, this area is completely cut off from the northern parts, due to the snow and rain. Not many people drive this road and public transport is very scarce. Most people cycle or hire a car or hitchike to get to the southernmost village, O Higgins. We opted for the hitching/attempted public ... read more
Cerro Castillo
Cerro Castillo
Cerro Castillo

South America » Chile » Aisén » Coyhaique January 4th 2012

Hi all! Many thanks for the messages, we can really see people are on holiday and have more time on their hands! We can´t believe our holiday is drawing to a close, with less than 2 months left and still so much to see!!! We left the island of Chiloe and went back over the Andes to Argentina, to the tourist town of Bariloche. Here, we had made plans to hike in the Nahuel Haupi nature Reserve. While driving to Bariloche, we were surprised with the overcast conditions despite a clear sunny sky forecast. As we drove further we noticed this fine grey dust everywhere which just got worse and worse. We drove past a sign saying Puyehue Reserve we then realised it was the ash of Volcano Puyehue (or something like that) which erupted last ... read more
Catedral Hike
Catedral Hike
Catedral Hike

South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Chiloé Island » Ancud December 26th 2011

It has been while since we last wrote and we have moved along quite swiftly. From Santiago, we went to the surfing town of Pichilemu. We expected a JBay kind of town, with fancy holiday houses and surf shops. What we saw was quite the opposite - a pokey town with run down houses and overgrown verges. Pichilemu is known to have some of the best waves in the world, hosting one of the big surf competitions. Marco hired a board and enjoyed the Pacific water for a day. Unfortunately, his lack of surfing fitness let him down despite the good waves, but he enjoyed the surf in Pichilemu and Los Lobos (while Phillipa read a good book, hence, no photos). We had a nervous laugh at the sign painted on the beach road stating this ... read more
Pucon
Pucon
Pucon

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago December 15th 2011

Ok, so we hope the title did not cause any confusion... we are still far from the Bo-Kaap, but it has felt like home the past while here. We have done many small trips since our last blog. Still in Argentina, we visited the 2 small towns of Alta Gracia and Villa General Belgrano. Alta Gracia is the small town where Che Guavara grew up. We both became well educated as to the exploits of this revolutionist (and now know more than his famous face on a t-shirt worn by rastafarians and the like). It is a cute town and we enjoyed walking around, but the municipal campsite we stayed in left much to be desired. Our highlight was stumbling upon an amazing ice cream shop and enjoying super duper unbelievably rich and creamy ice cream! ... read more
Alta Gracia
Villa General Belgrano
Villa General Belgrano

South America » Argentina » Córdoba » Córdoba December 4th 2011

A short stint in Chile´s Atacama Desert was all we had time for before heading across the Andes into Argentina. We have dubbed Argentina the Land of the Mullet. Every guy here, young or old seems to have a mullet - did they get stuck in another era? But to rewind a little. Our time in San Pedro was good. We downgraded to a camp site after one night in a hostel due to the high prices. We enjoyed a hike through the Valley of Death, accompanied by two dogs (once again), where we watched some sandboarders and enjoyed the sunset atop a ridge. We also decided (against the advice of tour operators) that we would cycle through the driest desert in the world to see the sights, rather than go with an expensive organised tour. ... read more
Death Valley
Death Valley
Death Valley




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