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North America » United States » California » Ventura
March 19th 2008
Published: April 9th 2008
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Sniff...Sniff....Sniff

As sad as it is, my trip came to an end. It has been two months since I last wrote and to be honest its because I really couldn't be bothered with writing this travelblog. Tons did happen since the last entry though. For a quick recap:

After Paraguay, I went back to Buenos Aires to meet up with Dad and Jeff to get a flight to the southern tip of the civilized world, Ushuaia, Argentina. We were to embark on a 10 day Patagonia trip in style. The flight was business/first class and I was drinking champagne while wearing a smelly, ripped, and repaired orange t-shirt as other passengers filed past me. It was classic. I did read the newspaper so I would look sophisticated, but all of you know that just isn't the truth. Anyway, we got into Ushuaia and were staying at the best hotel in town on top of the hill with hot water and fresh towels. It was luxury like I haven't felt in ages while living in and out of hostels. We did two tours in Ushuaia. One out to penguin and cormorant colonies and another into Tierra del Fuego to see the wonderful landscape of Patagonia. Next Stop: El Calafate. We flew here and were even more lucky with our killer accomodation. The ONLY hotel inside the park with each room boasting a view of the incredible Perito Moreno glacier. All other visitors had to stay in the town of El Calafate 1 1/2 hours away. We on the other hand had the view and a full service staff. Ahhhh. We did 3 activities here. 1st we did a horseback riding day in the plains back towards the town which turned out to be awesome. The guides let us open up the horses to the fastest speeds we could get them. It was great besides the sore ass and body afterwards. Later that day we took a tour over some catwalks to get upclose views of the glacier and snap about 100 pictures. The ice faces of the glacier stood from 150-200 feet tall above the water and something ridiculous like 400 feet below the surface. Day two was spent putting crampons on our feet and getting onto the glacier itself to see what it really is like. There were massive crevasses with the bluest of blue water I have ever witnessed. At the end of the day we were lucky to see a HUGE piece of the ice wall calve off into the lake which is something everyone should witness in their life. Our next stop was a bus ride and car ride into Torres del Paine, Chile. This area has the most impressive mountains I have ever seen. They are so strange and magnificent. They come out of nowhere and go straight upward. Their appearence changes drastically as you drive around them. After Dad left, Jeff and I had a few more days together to do some serious hiking around these mountains. We met lots of people and saw some beautiful sights. That was the end of my trip with my family. It was a fantastic time hanging out with my two best friends for 2 weeks and it rejuvinated me to finish off the last month of my trip. Thanks guys for coming down to see me and helping fund this part of the trip. It is something I will never forget as long as I live.

Back on my own again, I headed up to El Chalten to see some more wild mountains, but the weather
UshuaiaUshuaiaUshuaia

View from hotel room
was blown out so I hopped on another bus. 32 hours back to Bariloche. The long ride was not too bad at least not until I made the biggest mistake of my trip. Playing with my camera I accidently reformatted my cameras memory card, essentially erasing all 678 photos which I had not backed up. ALL of my Patagonia pictures were gone. Well I got to Bariloche and bought a new memory card in hope of being able to retrieve my erased photos upon my return to the US so long as I did not use it anymore.

I spent my time in Bariloche hanging out with Israelis again, drinking, reading, and sleeping mostly. I did do some of the activities I had planned though. I hike Frey which is a local mountain area which was a LONG day hike including an accidental hike over a mountain range that had ski chair lifts going up the face. I also spent time in an area called Llao Llao which had incredible views like all of the other places in Bariloche.

With only 3 weeks left in Argentina I was in a bit of a rush, so after 5 days
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View from front of hotel
in Bariloche I did a massive travel session. 22 hours by bus to Cordoba with an 8 hour wait before getting on a 14 hour bus ride to Salta with another 4 hour wait for a 4 hour bus ride into the town of Cafayate. I made it to my final destination tired as could be, but ready to see the desert area. I had been looking forward to coming here since I arrived in Argentina 3 months earlier. It consisted of wineries and 50 plus kilometers of desert landscapes filled with multiples colors of reds, oranges, greens, browns, etc. It was wild. Sort of similar to southern Utah and Western Colorado. Just check out the pictures. In addition, I got lucky and arrived a day before the annual music festival started which I got to enjoy with a couple of Irish people and a Canadian girl I met. At the end of the week we back to Salta to hang out and then went to Purmamarca to see the 7 colored mountain and a dried up salt lake. It was amazing and a wonderful way to end my time in Argentina. After my time in Northwest Argentina I caught a bus to Buenos Aires to meet up with two German girls I met in Bariloche before catching my flight to Lima, Peru.

I spent my last 5 days of my trip in Lima eating awesome food and shopping at discounted prices in a place called Polvos Azules. I saw Paola for one afternoon and went to a boring club one night. Other than that my last few days were kinda boring and sad. The end of my trip was feeling too real and I was a bit nervous about heading home. Its not something I really wanted to do at that point, but I had no money left in my account and I used up all of my traveler's checks. I had no other choice. I boarded a plane to San Salvador, El Salvador. At the airport I again thought about leaving the airport and skipping my flight on a gamble of whether or not I could get some money wired to my account. The prospect of travelling more and busing all the way north through Mexico sounded like fun and I wanted to prolong the trip. I just could not bring myself to do it. So I
End of the World LighthouseEnd of the World LighthouseEnd of the World Lighthouse

Its actually not the real one, but you guys dont really know the difference, so pretend it is.
got on the next plane and flew to Los Angeles, CA. As we were descending over the city a bit of panic began to ring through my head. I did not think I was doing the right thing and wanted to be back in South America. I could not turn back though. Going home was inevitable at this point. I was stuck. It was all too real when I landed. Everyone spoke English.

I got into my roadrunner and made the trip back to Thousand Oaks to my parent's house. I cannot lie though, the arrival at our house was nice and comfortable. I had not seen my mom in 8 months and it was great to get a big hug from her. Lucky enough, my brother came over for a beer than night as well. It was a great reunion with my family. Taking a nice hot shower with water pressure and sleeping in a big queen sized bed was even better. Still though, 4 days later, I am still feeling strange about being home. My stomach is doing worse on the food here and I still feel exhausted from my trip. I also keep running through my
PenguinoPenguinoPenguino

Funny little fellas
mind on ways to go travelling again sometime soon. Mexico is close......A flight to India should only be about 1500 dollars.....Mexico is close. What to do? I guess do what the rest of the people do...live off my parents for as long as possible! Right? Noo, I am now searching for jobs back in the lovely state of Colorado. I have decided to move back there because it is where my heart is and there is a dropzone in Longmont so I can go skydiving. If any of you have any job hookups for me please let me know. Resume upon request. I also need a place to live. I am a good roomate! Okay, enough solicitation. I am glad to be home and I look forward to seeing each and everyone of you. For those of you in southern California i will be here for the next month or so. Call me to hang out 805-373-9881. I do not have anyone's number. As for Colorado dwellers. Ill see you in April. Take care all and I want to thank all of you for reading my travel blogs. I hope you enjoyed them because I had a great time experiencing
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Beagle Channel
everything you read about.

Chao!

James


Additional photos below
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Brotherly Love Patagonia

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Perito Moreno Glacier

From the Catwalk
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Perito Moreno Glacier
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El Calafate
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Cafayate (north west argentina)


10th April 2008

James! Your pictures are amazing. I can't imagine what it must have been like to actually be there, as pictures usually don't begin to do a place justice.

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