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Published: January 7th 2010
Hi to all -
I am back after a long period of not writing. Last point we left in our reporting was leaving Mendoza in North Argentina on a bus to Santiago de Chile.
After giving up on the idea of buying a camper in Argentina, we have decided, in Santiago de Chile, to rent a car. It was a bit hard, as it was a weekend and a long one due to a local holiday, but nothing will stop us, so with the help of the hotel staff we managed to find two renting companies that came over to our hotel to offer us several cars, and we finally chose one - a family Kia.
The next thing we did, after receiving the car, on Monday morning we went to an outlet store, bought a tent and a double blanket - with this, we decided we could start camping! An hour later, on our way south of Santiago, we found a big supermarket, that had some more camping gear, so we bought two sleeping bags, and 4 camping mattresses - and now we were really ready to camp.
When night came, around 9pm, we started looking for
Lake & mountains view " room"
Picture taken from inside our tent in Traful lake, Argentina
a place to camp. We could not find any official camping ground. After some search, and consulting with some locals, we found the perfect spot - a small flat grass lot, near a small lake that looked just like the right place to camp. The kids were totaly excited!
The kids were immediately offered to collect wood to make a fire, and Tal and I started to build up our brand new tent. 10 minutes later the tent was proudly standing with its red facade.. And we had a nice pile of wood ready for the fire. Tal and the kids worked a little on arranging some stones to be the fire place, while I made sandwiches for dinner. Then, when they were all ready to start the fire, we discovered that all the matches we had, are used... McGyver trials to light a candle or a piece of paper with the car's lighter and with that to start the fire, were a complete failure.But not us will be the ones to give up! So, while I and the kids started eating, Tal drove back to the nearest house to ask for matches. Not long after, celebrating his success by
pressing the car horn strongly from distance, he came back and soon after we had a nice fire to warm us, and to cheer us. We even sang a few songs around the fire.
This was the first night of many more to come. In the next few weeks, we spent almost all our nights in camping - many in official campgrounds, with showers and toilets, some with kitchens or a dinning room, some with electricity, but some were just off the road beside beautiful lake's or river's banks, without any facilities - Just plain nature.
Most of the locations were completely GORGEOUS
- as you can see in the pictures, there is nothing like waking up in the morning with the view of a crystal-blue lake or a river, snowy mountains, or even better - the combination of all. Some places were weired solutions we found - we ended up sleeping in the barn or teh stable in of an old man's farm (brushing our teeth in the morning in his small milking station - yes, yes for cows), another strange location was a deserted shade in the back of a small town in the middle of
nowhere, but since you will probably hear more about these locations, as we tell the full story of our trip, I will not detail more now.
We have developed some kind of routine along the way - once we have decided on a camping spot, the boys went to gather woods for the fire / or the BBQ, Nitzan and I made up the tent, and Tal prepared the fire location or stove . We have slowly built up also our camping gear, purchasing 2 more sleeping bags, finding a small but thick mattress for Shachar, buying a camping stove, pot, plates, cutlery, etc. We have cooked over the open fire, or over our stove mainly pasta, but also good sauces, some rice and obviously since we have been not only in Chile, but also in Argentina - tons of BBQ meat... The kids (and us) are really enjoying this way of traveling
as we have much more freedom, we do not need to hurry to arrive at any town in time to find a hostel, we do not have to wake up at a
Morning "routine" in the barn
Brushing teeth in the milking station
certain time to catch a bus or to check out, etc. In one occasion, as we were discussing the option of spending the night in a simple room, after 3 nights in camping, Nitzan preferred to spend this night - again - in our tent. We did not fight about that... Such freedom allow us to stop the car in any nice location we want - for having lunch, a snack or just to watch or visit something interesting we noticed on the way, especially nice unplanned detours. We even find it comfortable and warm enough to sleep in the tent, though we are traveling in areas which are VERY cold, rainy and windy at times. We found our tent to be much better than we originally thought it would be - and already stood bravely through 3-4 night of rain, 2 nights of strong winds, and obviously regular nights. And above all, we discovered right at the beginning, that it can accommodate all 5 of us, although it was sold as a 3-person tent.
The only disadvantage of this way of life, is that we hardly get to be connected to internet, and so we are not so much
in touch with all of you nor do we keep our blog well updated. Happy New Year 2010!!!
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