Travel Update – Argentina & Chile
Since my last blog about hiking through Patagonia, I’ve spent countless hours on buses making my way through South America. To give you an update, here are a few of my favourite photos and some highlights from each of the towns and cities I visited.
After El Chaltén in Argentina, I spent just over a week in Bariloche where I was pretty happy to finally reach a larger town in Patagonia! Don’t get me wrong, the smaller towns were great, but being able to do the smallest things like buy fresh fruit was a blessing. I also took a week of Spanish classes in Bariloche and they’re finally starting to pay off!
My initial plan from Bariloche was to head west to Pucon in Chile, but as travel goes, your plans change once you meet people you get along with and I scrapped Pucon in favour of Mendoza to continue travelling with Bibi from Denmark, Mustafa from Pakistan and Rico from Germany. Mendoza is famous around the world for its red wine and we hired tandem bikes and rode around the wineries in the Maipu region!
Mendoza was a great place to chill out and the nightlife was unreal, especially because we got free vino tinto (red wine) every night from the hostel! I had to leave Mendoza before I got stuck there, so I headed west and back into Chile for its pièce de résistance, Santiago.
Last summer in Stockholm marked the first time I travelled by myself and I was fortunate enough to meet a Chileno by the name of Patricio. Although we only spent one afternoon chatting and drinking beers, we got along like a house on fire. We exchanged Facebook details and like most people you meet on the road, we both offered up our places for the other to stay in. I didn’t think it would be so soon, but I found myself in Santiago and true to his word, Patricio took me in.
I spent most of my time in Santiago just chilling out and it was great to have a place to call home, even if it was only for a week. I went sightseeing in and around the city and after a few days it felt like I lived in Santiago, which was really nice.
Before leaving Chile and heading over to Buenos Aires, I took a bus to Valparaiso to get some sun and spend a few days on the beach. Unfortunately, I arrived on the day that a fire started and it turned out to be the worst fire the city had ever experienced. Thousands were evacuated; hundreds of homes destroyed and there were multiple casualties from the fire. Even though I was kilometres from the fire, it was raining ash throughout the city and the army locked it down. All bars, clubs, restaurants and kiosks were closed on the Saturday night at 11:30pm and the President declared a state of emergency. I didn’t manage to get any beach time with smoke blanketing the city so I headed back to Santiago and then onto Buenos Aires. The deep south of South America was great, but I was more than ready to hit a few bigger cities and continue my adventures!