Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fast forward - from Patagonia to Bolivia!

One month's travel resume...

Last time I had written I was in Puerto Natales in the south of Chile. Since then we have been to:

PATAGONIA - ARGENTINA (26.02.09-29.02.09)
- El Calafate in Argentina to visit the largest moving GLACIER called Perito Moreno - incredible!
- El Chalten to hike up the mountian of Fitz Roy - absolutly beautiful! but very expensive little village, it had gotten us all very frustrated! But this was compensated by the BEST Alfajores we had ever eaten! (Alfajores are Argentinian cookie type biscuit with a caramel like filling called Dulce de Leche and covered in chocolate)

30 HOUR BUS JOURNEY UP and away from the cold of Patagonia to...
- El Bolson (29.02.09-04.03.09). Cute little hippy village which was very relaxing. We went into the forest and swam in "El Cajon del Azul" - absolutly gorgeous turquoise lake in the mountains - it was freezing but extremely exhilirating!

MENDOZA & CORDOBA REGION (05.03.09-17.03.09)
- San Rafael - wine region of Argentina. We visited a Canyon and wine making "Bodegas"
- Mendoza - capital of the wine region! We visited the town and the parks...as you do... We also took an excursion "on the Inca Trail". There we saw the highest peak in South America called the Aconcagua, a magical Inca bridge called "el Puente del Inca" which was yellow and we went right up on the mountain to the border with Chile at 4000 meters above sea level - the highest altitude I ever been at!
- Cordoba, the second largest city in Argentina. According to Argentinian's recommendation as the most beautiful region in Argentina (as they all are), the "cultural capital of Argentina", the best Alfajores and overall a "mini Buenos Aires". After a day in t }he city we couldnt handle the noise, the pollution and hecticness of cities - we needed to get back out into nature! So we rented a car for two days and visited the surrounding mountains and stayed in little villages called San Javier and Alta Gracia. Che Guevarra used to live in Alta Gracia so we visited the museum. All very nice.

NORTH ARGENTINA (18.03.09-22.03.09)
- San Salvador de Jujuy - the capital of the Jujuy region of Argentina. At this point we realised that our time is very limited so we are literally spending one night in each place and constantly on the move. Jujuy was nice, but the spectacular areas are outside of the city centre. We spent one night there and headed north.
-Humahuaca. Just the name I love! Gorgeous little village of under 20,000 inhabitants. Here we started feeling our proximity to Bolivia. The faces became darker, rounder and we no longer felt in Argentina. In general Argentina doesnt feel too different from Europe, it is not that much of a culture shock (or perhaps I got used to it after a month and a half?). But here things started to change. The clothing, the music, the food, the street markets, the smells...
In Humahuaca there is a mountain range from the norhtn of Argentina to Bolivia where the rocks and stones are all different colours, seriously. Red, orange, turquoise, yellow, purple, green... all beside one another. The formations are spectacular and you really start to question "HOW ON EARTH?????" Absolutly incredibly beautiful... Its called the "Quebrada de Humahuaca".

BOLIVIA (23.03.09 - )

- Tupiza - as I wrote in my meagre diary "absolutly rediculously beautiful". Bolivia has welcomed us with the most beautiful scenery ever - cactuses, cliffs and canyons! It feels like Mexico and the Far West cow boy movies... so beautiful! Here we went on a 5 hour horse back ride around the canyons to visit "la garganta del Diabolo" "el Canyon del Inca" amongst other geological features. It was so much fun horse riding! I thought I wouldn't like it but my horsy "Mora" was great, she even did a big jump and we galloped...it was great! And fantastic weather too - despite having put on factor 50 sun block, I still got a little sun burn.
- Uyuni, renown for its "Salt Deserts", this small village survives off tourism. We are about to go on a 3 day excursion around the world's largest salt desert (and the highest one too!). We are now at 3600 meters above sea level and we are starting the feel what used to be a mystery to me "altitude sickness". Short of breath, tired, dizzy, nauseous... but its great! We cant wait to get to the Salt Desert....apparently we are going to go up to 5000 meters in altitude to visit some steamy hot geysers and volcanoes!

No photos, cos yet again the computers. No comment. But I will be posting loads as soon as I can.
In general, in terms of my state of being - I am starting to find it hard to reflect upon myself and I am starting to wonder whether I will ever be able to live in a city or town again. I am so used to being out in nature and seeing and experiencing beautiful things, I feel so incredibly priviledged. And I dont want it to end! The first month or so, my mind was still somewhat back in Barcelona, but now that it has been three months (today) that I have been travelling - I am starting to feel the changes. I dont know what they are or what I actually mean, but I will resume it as "I have fully embraced my travelling lifestyle!"

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