A Travellerspoint blog

April 2011

Córdoba

The second biggest city in Argentina

sunny 27 °C
View Latin America on sarahm_lux's travel map.

I spent 2 days and 1 night in Córdoba. It is not an especially nice city, but it has some beautiful churches and a very good atmosphere in some areas because it is a big student city. The city has many museums, but since I was there on a Monday, most of them were closed.
Córdoba

Córdoba

Córdoba

Córdoba

Córdoba

Córdoba


I spent the night at a hostel that works together with the hostel I stayed at in Ushuaia. The owners of the two hostels had swapped hostels for a few months, so that I met the owners of the Ushuaia hostel again. They are very nice people, so I was happy to see them, and their cute little dog, again.

On the second day in Córdoba I went to Alta Gracia with some people I had met. This is a town about 40km away from Córdoba where you can find the house Che Guevara lived in when he was young and which now houses a museum telling the story of his life. A very interesting exhibition!
Che Guevara House

Che Guevara House


The town itself is very quiet but nice. It has a lot of old Jesuit buildings, an artificial lake and a pretty park.
Alta Gracia

Alta Gracia

Posted by sarahm_lux 20:02 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Wine, bikes, plazas and horses

A few days in and around Mendoza

sunny 27 °C
View Latin America on sarahm_lux's travel map.

From Santiago I got a bus to Mendoza. This time I decided not to get a night bus, but one early in the morning because of the views on the bus ride were supposed to be amazing. This was the right choice because the views really were spectacular. Since the Andes form the border between Chile and Argentina, the bus has to cross the mountain range to get from one country to the other.

Mendoza is a nice city with many beautiful plazas and a very big and pretty park to relax in.
Mendoza

Mendoza

Mendoza

Mendoza

Mendoza

Mendoza

Mendoza

Mendoza


The area around Mendoza is the biggest wine producing region in Argentina, so one thing you have to do while in Mendoza is to go on some kind of wine tasting tour. The one I chose was a wine tour done by bike. You visit 3 bodegas, have a tour and some wine tasting at each one, and ride from one bodega to the next on your bike. The tours were interesting and the wine tastings were nice. Unfortunately, there was not very much cycling involved though, altogether only about 30 minutes. I would have liked to spend some more time on the bikes.
Wine Bike Tour

Wine Bike Tour

Wine Bike Tour

Wine Bike Tour


Another activity I was recommended to do in Mendoza was horseback riding. I think I had been on a horse twice when I was very young, so it was very strange to be sitting on the horse at first. Once I got used to it, it became a nice experience though and I enjoyed riding the horse through the mountains. However, once again, the time spent riding was too short, only 1 hour 15 minutes. The horseback riding was followed by an asado (an Argentinean barbecue, the second one I had within 3 days because the hostel had organised a barbecue and party on Friday night). We ate good beef and drank wine, and the whole thing happened in the dark as there was no light in the barbecue area.
Horseback riding

Horseback riding

Horseback riding - asado

Horseback riding - asado

Horseback riding - asado

Horseback riding - asado

Posted by sarahm_lux 10:16 Archived in Argentina Tagged mendoza Comments (0)

Back in a big city

Santiago

sunny 28 °C
View Latin America on sarahm_lux's travel map.

When I got to Santiago and had a look around the city, I really liked the place and was happy to be back in a big city again. After all the nature, beautiful landscapes and small towns, Santiago was a nice change.
Santiago

Santiago

Museo de Bellas Artes

Museo de Bellas Artes


Since two weeks, one of the big topics in Chile amongst all the travellers was Lollapalooza festival, which was going to be in Santiago this year, and whether to go there or not. It was happening just on the weekend when I was going to be in Santiago. The tickets were quite expensive, so I was not sure whether to go or not, I did not really want to spent that much money on it, but it sounded like it would be a great festival. In the end I decided on a compromise, I was going to go only for 1 day instead of the 2. Sunday was going to be my day at Lollapalooza. However, when I went to the shop to buy my ticket, I found out that there was an offer on that day: if you had a can of the energy drink Burn with you when buying the ticket, you could get 2 tickets for the price of 1. I managed to buy a can of someone and to find another girl who wanted just 1 ticket for both days. So I ended up going to the festival for 2 days and paying less than the price of 1 day J Perfect! The festival was great! The atmosphere was really nice, the weather was perfect and there were many good bands playing. Some of the best were The Killers, 30 Seconds to Mars, Cypress Hill and Kanye West.
Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza

Lollapalooza


After I spent the weekend at Lollapalooza, I finally had time to see the city a bit more. I walked around Santiago, went to a couple of museums, went up on the Cerro San Cristóbal to enjoy the views from up there… I also met up with one of the Chilean girls I had met in Rio and with the American I knew from Pucón and who lives in Santiago. We went to eat ice cream, walked around the city, went out for some drinks and went to the cinema. (The black Swan was such a good movie!)

Of course I had to try some more typical Chilean foods in Santiago too. The Cazuela de Vacuno, a clear soup containing beef, vegetables, noodles, potatoes and pumpkin, the Mote con Huesillo, a kind of peach juice with cooked wheat swimming in it, and Pastel de Choclo, a pie made with beef, chicken, olives, eggs and onions, topped with ground maize and then baked.
Cazuela de vacuno

Cazuela de vacuno

Mote con huesillo

Mote con huesillo

Pastel de choclo

Pastel de choclo

Posted by sarahm_lux 20:28 Archived in Chile Tagged santiago lollapalooza Comments (0)

Valparaíso and Viña del Mar

sunny 22 °C
View Latin America on sarahm_lux's travel map.

Wednesday and Thursday, 30th and 31st of March, I spent on the Chilean coast, in Valparaíso. This is a busy city built over many hills covered in colourful houses.
Valparaíso

Valparaíso

Valparaíso

Valparaíso

Valparaíso

Valparaíso


Although the city centre is too busy and not very nice during the day, the city has a nice feel to it. It is a student city, so there is a lot going on, especially at night. Since the city is built on hills, there are many funiculars and lifts going up these hills. Some of these are an experience by themselves, like the ascensor Polanco, which consist of a long underground tunnel you walk through and then a lift which takes you straight up through the hill. There is water running along the walls of the tunnel constantly and men are standing there with buckets to get rid of the excess water.
Tunnel to Ascensor Polanco

Tunnel to Ascensor Polanco


Another highlight of the city is La Sebastiana, one of Pablo Neruda’s houses. The house is really interesting, showing how the poet lived and the things he owned. You get an audio guide when entering the house which explains all the rooms, furniture and other items you see and how it fit into Neruda’s life.

The second day in Valparaíso, I went to Viña del Mar, the neighbouring city and a popular holiday destination. With its nice beaches and holiday atmosphere, Viña del Mar was the perfect place to spend a quiet day. We walked along the beach, had a picnic, ate ice cream and finished the day by going to the cinema (for the first time since I arrived in South America!).
Reloj de Flores

Reloj de Flores

Viña del Mar

Viña del Mar

Viña del Mar

Viña del Mar

Viña del Mar

Viña del Mar

Viña del Mar - ice cream at the beach bar

Viña del Mar - ice cream at the beach bar

Posted by sarahm_lux 11:31 Archived in Chile Comments (2)

Volcanoes, hikes and hot springs

Pucón

sunny 22 °C
View Latin America on sarahm_lux's travel map.

Pucón is a great base to go hiking and do many other outdoor activities. The main reason why many travellers go to Pucón is that you can climb the volcano Villarica.

I started my days in Pucón with a trip to the Parque Nacional Huerquehue where I hiked the trail Los Lagos. The park is really pretty, contains many different types of trees, including the funny-looking araucarias and a lot of bamboo, and the lakes are beautiful! It was quite a long and tiring walk, so that when we got back to town tired and exhausted, we rewarded ourselves with a nice big ice cream J
Parque Nacional Huerquehue

Parque Nacional Huerquehue

Parque Nacional Huerquehue

Parque Nacional Huerquehue

Parque Nacional Huerquehue

Parque Nacional Huerquehue

Trying to catch a turkey for dinner in Parque Nacional Huerquehue ;-)

Trying to catch a turkey for dinner in Parque Nacional Huerquehue ;-)


Monday was supposed to be the day with the best weather during my stay in Pucón, so I decided to try to climb that volcano. Of course you have to do this with a tour; they provide the equipment needed and you go with professional mountain guides. Our group consisted of 9 people and we had 3 guides, which I found very adequate. It was an amazing day. They were right about the weather. The whole day there was not one cloud in the sky, it was warm but not too hot and there was no wind at all. This means that we were able to climb all the way to the top of the volcano (which you cannot do when it rains or it is too cloudy) and were able to stay up there for a while (which you cannot do when it is too windy because the toxic fumes coming from the volcano get blown at you then). The hike up was difficult, but not too much. However, the part where you climb over snow and ice was very scary. It was very slippery in parts and we were walking on a very steep part of the mountain. So we needed to use our ice picks as well as we could to keep our grip on the ice and be ready to use it to hang on to in case we would fall. This part was not just scary, but also very tiring because you had to concentrate on every step. It was all worth it though when we got to the top of the volcano, we could look into the crater and we could enjoy the amazing views from up there. You can see all the way to Argentina on one side. The way down was an adventure too. Instead of walking, you slide down the snow (and ice…) most of the way. This was scary again at first as it is easy to go too fast or lose control of where, how and how fast you are sliding down. However, once you know how to do it right, it is so much fun!
Climbing up volcano Villarica

Climbing up volcano Villarica

On top of the volcano

On top of the volcano

Made it to the top of the volcano!

Made it to the top of the volcano!

The crater

The crater

The view from the volcano

The view from the volcano


I stayed another day in Pucón, which I used recover from all the hiking by doing some more relaxing activities. In the morning I walked around the town, along the lake and the beach. Very pretty!
Pucón

Pucón

Pucón

Pucón


In the afternoon I went to the natural hot pools Termas Los Pozones. What a coincidence that I was on the bus there with 3 other people from the ferry again (I kept meeting people I knew all over Pucón, and also the Dutch girls were staying at my hostel again). The pools are really nice and located in an amazing surrounding! There are 5 pools with water of different temperatures ranging from lukewarm to too hot for me to get in. It was a nice relaxing afternoon and the English girl I knew from the ferry and I met a very nice American couple who even gave us a lift back into town with their rental car, saving us the bumpy bus ride and giving us 40 minutes more to enjoy the hot water.
Termas Los Pozones 1

Termas Los Pozones 1

Termas Los Pozones 2

Termas Los Pozones 2


That night I left Pucón and got the night bus up North to Valparaíso. Looking forward to the warmer weather up North and to seeing a different area after all these glaciers, mountains, volcanoes and lakes.

Posted by sarahm_lux 22:00 Archived in Chile Comments (4)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 6) Page [1] 2 » Next