Im going to take this point in my blog where I spent 2 weeks back in the states visiting family and having an absolute blast at the Lightning in a Bottle music festival to go over a bit of “lessons learned” in the past 3 months of my travel abroad. I had never really done much travel outside of the country besides Mexico and this was my first time getting out in the world on my own and really pushing myself out of my comfort zone so I had (and still have) a lot to learn. I don’t feel like Mexico really counts because everywhere I went in Mexico was so touristy that I never really had to stop speaking English and living in San Diego, we have a pretty good sense of Mexico anyways. (more…)
Salta and Amazing New Friends from Sapoland July 15, 2010
Noah was going to be picking up their daughter Lila a few blocks from where Nicki was staying so I was able to grab my pack and walk to meet him there. They currently had 6 other couch surfers staying at their amazing home in the countryside of Salta but were still more than happy to have me over as well. Lucky for me, they had planned to have a feast of traditional Argentina parilla since there were so many fellow couchsurfers. Noah threw everything on the grill, everyone had a glass of wine or a beer and I got to know some of the people who were staying at the house. First and foremost, their 6-year-old daughter Lila is one of the most curious and interested little girls I have ever had the joy of meeting Nahuel had already been bragging about how impressed he was with ability to go back and forth from Spanish to English without even blinking. How lucky this girl is going to be so advantaged by being completely bilingual her whole life! (more…)
When our bus arrived in Cafayete, we all headed to a hostel together, me, Nicki, Guapie & Pamela (Buenos Aires girls) and Andrea (Italian guy) and pretty much stuck together for the next couple of days. Nicki, Andrea and I did the winery tour in Cafayete in the morning because the wine is supposed to be just as good as the wineries in Mendoza and since I wasn’t heading that far south this time around, I really wanted to make sure we got that in. The wine was fabulous and we all ended up getting a bottle for later.
I’m not one to waste delicious wine so Nicki lovingly called me her “wine bucket” since I finished all her wine tasting for her. After the wine tour, we had about an hour before we were leaving for Quebrada de los Conchas, which was supposed to be some amazing canyon and red rock scenery on the way up to Salta. We ended up sharing a bottle of wine and eating my favorite, of course empanadas, to kill the time. (more…)
Tafi De Valle with Nicki July 11, 2010
When I woke up the next morning in Tucuman I had pretty much no idea what to do since they were unable to help me set up a rock climbing adventure. Apparently, it was some sort of National Labor Day holiday and everything was closed and everyone was off. There wasn’t a whole lot I wanted to see in the area and I met my dorm mate, Nicki from Germany who was leaving that afternoon on the first available bus to head to Tafi de Valle. I didn’t know anything about it but it was heading north towards Salta where I needed to end up within a week or so and I decided why not go along with my new friend. As we were checking out, Christian popped up and said he had been to Tafi recently and it was a cool mountain town well known for its cheese. I like cheese, sounds good to me. We got the last tickets on the bus out and away we went. The drive up was absolutely amazing with lots of lush greenery. The road was insane with tons of switchbacks and at one point we saw a bus that had driven off the road and was lying on its side tipped over with the passengers outside all pushing to try to get it upright. (more…)
Jayme and I left Buenos Aires around 1pm and were scheduled to arrive in Iguaçu Falls sometime around 7am. We were pretty excited to see the falls and do the full moon hike but also a bit worn out and looking forward to sleeping through the night so we could just get straight to the falls when we arrived. Unfortunately, for me that was not the case. About 3 hours into the trip, I was reading my book and felt like there was someone staring at me and out of the corner of my eye, I saw some movement. A nasty little cockroach was next to my left arm swinging his nasty little antennas at me. Now if you know how I feel about cockroaches, then you can imagine my fear and disgust and understand why I jumped out of my seat and over Jayme into the aisle while screaming like a little girl. Jayme was kind enough to kill it for me and offer to switch seats but it was already too late for me. I know roaches don’t travel solo so if there is one, there is about a million more hiding somewhere. (more…)
Buenos Aires…the “Latin” NYC June 27, 2010
I figured getting back to Buenos Aires from the Eco Yoga Park would be no problem since I was essentially just going in reverse. But is still turned out to be extremely challenging because of my lack of ability to communicate in Spanish. I cannot stress this enough….if you learn the language of the country you are in, it will GREATLY improve your travels. At one point in Moreno, I sat down at the train station and cried and actually said out loud, “I HATE Argentina!” I hate it!”. Yep- that’s me throwing a fit and having a pity party because I couldn’t figure out how to use the phones to call Nahuel and let him know I was on my way to his house. When I was done feeling sorry for myself, I wiped my tears, picked up my ridiculously heavy bag and went to find the correct train. The correct train turned out to be some sort of crackhead commuter train. I mean literally, the seats were all ripped out of one whole section and there were people sitting on the ground smoking cigarettes and weed and a bunch of other people trying to avert their eyes from anyone else. It was a super sketchy train but I just minded my own business and ended up back in Buenos Aires and walking back to Nahuel’s place. (more…)
Maybe It Was All a Dream June 24, 2010
When I arrived at the Eco Yoga Park the place looked pretty empty because I arrived during the yoga class. From the temple where the daily afternoon class takes place I could see someone coming out the side door so I started walking towards him. When he approached me and introduced himself as Martin from England, I got the immediate impression that this was the most chillaxed person I had ever had the pleasure of meeting. Everything from his soft-spoken voice, the look in his eyes, his slow and peaceful walk and movements had me feeling calmer by the second which is great considering the stress I put myself under getting out there. Since he was the first person I met and he showed me around and I assumed everyone must be this chilled out and wondered if that’s what happened to you when you came here.
Boy was I ever wrong about that 🙂 (more…)