06.06.2012 14 °C
Sorry its been a while since we last blogged, but the last few weeks have been busy! Once we arrived in Chile we left San Pedro de Atacama to head for La Serena, a seaside town enroute to Santiago. Our short stay here consisted of watching the football in the pub and watching the sunset at the beach. Sadly it was too cold for sunbathing but Claire was excited to have finally dipped her toes in the Pacific! The next morning we had to get up early to get our next bus, and unfortunately the lady running the hostel had not had time to run to the bakery yet, so she gave us cake for breakfast- AMAZING! Despite this early start we ended up having to wait at the bus station as our bus was 2 hours late, but the bus company redeemed themselves by playing The Notebook during the journey! The locals on the bus seemed to find it hilarious that we were all crying so much! On arrival in Valparaisso we found out that it was Rememberance Day in Chile, and the President was coming to give a speech, right outside our hostel! That night we went to an amazing fish restaurant where we tried cerviche for the first time (raw fish marinated in citrus juice, nicer than it sounds!) The next day the entire city was closed due to the Presidents arrival and we watched a big military parade. Sadly our Spanish was not yet good enough to translate his speech, so instead we headed to the furnicular railway and went to explore the hills, where the buildings are covered in street art and graffiti. A two hour bus ride that evening took us to Santiago where we spent a whirlwind day seeing all the sights, including the zoo and San Christobel hill. The evening was spent having a nice meal in Bellavista and a few cocktails.
The next leg of our journey took us into Argentina, with a very cold border crossing in the mountains. Mendoza is the heart of wine country so we took the opportunity to explore by doing a cycling winery tour. At first we were very civilized, testing red wine, olive oils and liquers, but the fact we were given shots of absynthe at 11am showed what was in store for the rest of the day! By the afternoon the bikes were a bit wobbly, and as we cycled home down the busy main road we were joined by a policeman on a motorbike who escorted us back! This was probably neccesary as not long after Claire fell off her bike, twice! From Mendoza we travelled to Buenos Aires, arriving just in time for Vickis birthday! As it was a saturday, we celebrated that night, meeting up with some friends we had travelled with previously and going to the biggest club in Buenos Aires. As can be expected, a few too many drinks were had by the birthday girl, resulting in one less camera on the trip! This meant that on Vickis actual birthday she spent 3 hours of it in a police station trying to get a report for the insurance company.. oops! Once finally recovered from the hangover we went to see a percussion and drumming show called La Bomba del Tiempo which was amazing! Our final day was spent in the cemetery which was so grand, almost like shrines rather than graves, and is where Eva Peron is buried. We will be returning to Buenos Aires, so more exploring will be had then.
We then headed upwards to Puerto Iguazu, the Argentinian base for Iguazu Falls. These were incredible. Even in the dry season I have never seen so much water! The first view of the Devils Throat took our breath away and the views of the other falls were equally mesmorising. Although the falls can also be seen from the Brazilian side, these are not supposed to be as impressive so we skipped this and headed straight to Campo Grande, Brazil!
Vicki and Claire x