Sunday, February 28, 2010


Dancing on the streets in Cusco... there seems to always be something going on in the streets - protests, speeches, marches, dancing, fireworks; it's crazy!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Onto Peru... in the nick of time

I left Chile one day before the big earthquake. Crazy timing! Still, I had been in the north of Chile so I wouldn't have been affected. I finally arrived in Cusco, Peru where I will be staying put for a little longer. I'm taking two weeks of Spanish classes here.

You run into stairs like this all the time in Cusco. Considering this and the high altitude, I am constantly out of breath.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Just to break up my journey to Peru, I decided to stop in Iquique, a beach town even further north in Chile. I ended up having such a great time that I stayed for three nights. I ran into a girl that I had met in San Pedro, and met lots of other cool people. Turned out to be a very enjoyable, relaxing time.

Cute little hostel

Alice and I with the surf boards. This is not just a posed photo. We really DID take surfing lessons! It was.... interesting. Happy I can now say I have tried to surf, but I'm not sure if I will be trying it again. :)

View from the hostel patio - that's right, we could see the beach!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Leaving the desert

Photo from the road on my way out of San Pedro.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Salt flats

After the lagoons, we stopped by a big salt flat.

Funny pictures...

You really do see some odd things in South America.

Salt Lake Lagoons

The next tour I did was to several high altitude salt lake lagoons. One was so salty that you just naturally floated. It was almost hard to swim because you were so buoyant. It was such a strange sensation!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Moon Valley

Salt formations

San Pedro de Atacama is a tiny town in northern Chile with lots of amazing sites nearby. My first day there I went on a tour through the desert. First stop - these salt formations that have been carved by the wind and water over years and years.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Leaving Argentina

I finally said goodbye to Argentina for good and headed once more into Chile. It was a little sad! These are some views from the road.... the fun mountain roads in Argentina and then the desert of Chile.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The hill of seven colors

From Salta I headed north to a city I had previously never heard of - San Salvador de Jujuy. I went there purely because of a photo I saw on a postcard in Salta of this hill with multiple colors in it called "El Cerro de los Siete Colores." From Jujuy I traveled an hour north to this tiny town called Purmamarca where you could see the hill. All the colors were amazing! I'm not sure if these pictures do it justice, but it was definitely worth the journey.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Salta by day and night

Next stop on the itinerary was Salta (in northern Argentina), a nice 24 hour bus ride from Iguazú where I was surrounded by breast feeding mothers and young children. Anyway, Salta was nice and this little church was right up the street from my hostel. It looked cool during the day and lit up at night.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Iguazú waterfalls

The waterfalls of Iguazú!! Below are just a fraction of the pictures I took there. I must have at least 100. Huge waterfalls for almost as far as you could see. Incredible! You couldn't get too close to them without getting nearly drenched by the heavy mist (as you can see I am in the last photo).

Wildlife in Iguazú

One of the main stops in South America is Iguazú, where they have these incredible waterfalls. Little did I know, there was also some interesting wildlife. I'm not quite sure what the animals are in the last photo below... anteaters? They were the most tame things I have ever seen. They would come right up to everyone eating and try and take their food. At first I was fascinated, but then quickly annoyed!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

El Perito Moreno Glacier

Finally... the glacier. My ultimate destination in southern Argentina. One of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Again though, bad weather. It rained so hard the entire time we were there. I was so cold I was afraid my toes were going to get frost bite. My bus driver actually found me a poncho to wear. But hey, it was worth it!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

El Chaltén

El Chaltén was my next stop on my way down south. This town is a hikers paradise. Unfortunately, I am not a hiker. Neither am I equipped for hikes. So, it was interesting! I went with several people on an 8 hour hike up to a peak where you could see Fitz Roy. The weather was not so great though. We actually got snowed on for much of the hike!

This explains exactly what it was like at the top. Windy. So windy you could hardly stand. We spend most of the time crouched behind a big rock trying not to be blown away. Seriously.

View on the way back down. Magically the sun had finally appeared.

The small town of El Chaltén.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Ruta 40

After El Bolsón, I took a nice long trek down further south in Argentina. I went via bus on the famous Ruta 40, one of the longest roads in the world. Unfortunately, most of it was unpaved so that meant a 33 hour bumpy, slow bus ride! Yikes. At least I have my longest bus journey (hopefully) behind me. The road was full of.... nothing. Looked about like this most of the way. Every hour or so we would pass another car.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

El Bolsón and the injury

Next stop after Bariloche - El Bolsón, a cute little hippie town where I also just happened to have the worst of luck. I was walking by a restaurant with outdoor seating (tables and big umbrellas), and a big gust of wind came by and blew over the umbrella which hit me in the head!!! Ouch. Unfortunately, it gave me quite a cut so I went to the hospital and got three stiches. Never had a stitch before in my life but I got to get one in a foreign country. Luckily, the hospital was quick, easy, and FREE!! Amazing. Still, I managed to see the sites in El Bolsón the following day.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Viewpoint outside Bariloche

About an hour bus ride outside of Bariloche, you can go way up high to a beautiful viewpoint. These are some of the pics from there. I think this is one of the best things I have seen so far!!