As we head off to New Zealand, I am reflecting on the past month in South America. I have been thinking about the highlights of the trip, what I’ve learned about the cultures, about myself and about travelling. In an effort to keep this short and to the point, I’ve narrowed down my thoughts to “the top 5 things…” I Love About South America: Wide open spaces! – indeed, the Dixie Chick’s song was in my head a good part of the time. Chile, in particular allows you the opportunity to truly feel in the middle of nowhere and witness … Continue reading Looking back on South America
We arrived in Buenos Aires around 3pm and without a hotel booking. We’d talked to a few travelers and read that the Palermo neighborhood was one of the cool spots to stay in, so we jumped in a cab and gave the address of a hotel we’d read about on Trip Advisor. When we got to the hotel, we didn’t expect it to be fully booked; in fact it never really crossed our minds that any of the hotels would be fully booked, but this quickly become the reality after the 3rd hotel was also booked up completely. Our nice … Continue reading Buenos Aires – The city that never sleeps.
The hotel in Torres del Paine transferred us back to Punta Arenas by van along with 2 other couples who were going on the same cruise. We spent about 7 hours with them between the journey and waiting to be able to board so we learned quite a lot about each other and began the cruise with new friends. One couple, Hans and Rena, were in their 70s (actually Hans was 80) and had travelled absolutely everywhere! They amazed us with their endless energy and fabulous stores from their 50 years of travelling. The other couple, Jeff and Midge, were … Continue reading Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn Cruise
The day before we left the Lake District (in Northern Patagonia) to fly to Punta Arenas (Southern Patagonia) we realized that we should look into where we were going to stay. The main attraction on the Chilean side of Southern Patagonia is the enormous National Park, Torres del Paine. It is about 4-5 hours drive away from Punta Arenas and the roads, we had heard, are not that great. (travelers note: other than being mostly gravel and no gas stations for hours, the roads were fine… just lots and lots of flat nothing, like driving through Texas). We had also … Continue reading Torres del Paine
After checking back into the Holiday Inn Express in Puerto Montt we decided to get some much needed laundry done and contacted some guy our cab driver gave us in order to book a rental car for the next three days. It was a Saturday night in Puerto Montt, but all we could handle was room service and some R&R after a long week of exhilarating riding. The next day we picked up our rental car, which I like to call “piece of shit car” after the Adam Sandler song (Jeff you know which one I mean). No joke, this … Continue reading The Lake District
Day 3: We woke up at Irvin’s a bit sore from sharing the tiny bed that sinks in the middle, and certainly in part from 2 long days of horseback riding. Seeing the location by daylight, however, was illuminating. Though the small house was similar to how it looked by candlelight, the scenery around it was a pleasant surprise, as it was on hill overlooking the lake. Once Fabian returned from a ride to the neighbors to buy some bread, the four us had breakfast, I helped Fabian remove a big splinter from his hand (thank you big tree from … Continue reading 6 days and 5 nights of horseback riding and estancias (Part 2 of 2)
Day 1: We woke up early in the lodge after a freezing night’s sleep that was often interrupted by crazy dogs barking all night long. We had a quick breakfast and then Fabian arrived to take us to his barn to meet our horses and load up the pack horse. Fabian and his dad introduced us to La Pinta, a very cute, gray and white smaller horse, and Al Tivo, a large, brown, beautiful horse. They were concerned about giving me Al Tivo because he often scares tourists with his intense desire to run, and more importantly, his tendency to … Continue reading 6 days and 5 nights of horseback riding and haciendas (Part 1 of 2)
Sorry for the week-long teaser! It wasn’t really intentional – we just ran out of time to write and also had no access to our computer or Internet all week. So, here we go… 1. Getting pulled over by la policia after drinking a bottle of wine – In Santa Cruz we drove out to a lovely dinner in a rural area at a traditional family owned restaurant. We shared a really nice bottle of Montes wine (for $13) and asked the owner/waiter to order for us (meat for raj and fish for me-although I’m eating meat on this trip, … Continue reading As promised…
1. Getting pulled over by la policia after drinking a bottle of wine 2. What Santa Cruz Wine Valley is like 3. Wine tasting by horseback 4. GPS getting directions to Santiago airport wrong 5. Raj giving away his burger to the needy 6. Charter plane to Palena 7. Ride to Futaleufu Valley 8. “The Lodge” in the Valley 9. Why Tovah is no longer interested in Kayaking 10. Our 5 day tour through the mountains that have not been ridden this season (due to volcano eruptions that wiped out a town last year) and staying at haciendas with locals … Continue reading 10 Things we will tell you about next weekend (after we get back from #10)
Unfortunately this is a quick post as it’s 2am in Peuto Monte, Chile and we have a 8am charter flight to Futaleufú Vally for a week of riding. more to come on the next post in about a week. Anyway the last few days in Santa Cruz have been amazing. From jumping into a rental car and finding our way down to what I’d like to call the James bond on wineries (Casa Lapostolle’s Clos Apalta), to riding through vineyards experiencing the beauty of the back country on amazing strong horses. I wish I could write more, but you’ll have … Continue reading Riding Horses through vineyards. What could be better?