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Movie star, deserted city and the last Argentinian Steak
Last updated: 7. March 2010 - 10635 Clicks - Enable Print View
Buenos Aires, Argentina, 6 January 2010, 29 degrees Celsius

Torres del Paine National ParkLying in one of three outdoor hot tubs on the roof of our hotel in Puerto Natales, we waited at 3 degrees Celsius air temperature for the arrival of the parents of Andri. The anticipation of the joint two weeks in Patagonia was great, the joy at the arrival of our two guests was even bigger! After 4.5 months on the road we had many stories to tell so that we did not even notice that the sun did not go down until about 22:30. And after the countless (and probably even more) times we got ripped off in South America, consciously or unconsciously, we did not mind to eat and drink for free thanks to an unknown voucher at the hotel restaurant! With a rented car we drove into the Torres del Paine National Park, a place where all 4 seasons can be experienced on the same day. However, the imposing mountain range seems indestructible and makes the park so attractive. Beside a 9h hike to the Cerro Torre we also enjoyed a Pisco Sour (or whiskey, with the slogan: The ice is older than the whiskey itself) in front of Glacier Gray and the magnificent sunsets in this place in the south of Chile. Even further south in Punta Arenas we went to Isla Magdalena. The island is with about 150,000 penguins so full that the park ranger had to make space so our ship could land at the beach! While very funny for us to watch we are grateful that we walk in a different way and therefore don't fall so many times on our stomach... Through the pampas and past herds of sheep we drove back "home" to Argentina. The mutual "love" of Chile and Argentina, was demonstrated impressively with El Chalten: The town was founded by Argentina in 1985, in response to the border conflict about this area... The area around El Chalten is scenic, this is why the Argentine national television turned some documentation about it. On a short hike we were asked for an interview - an interview in Spanish, of course. Andri agreed, and the crew started jumping around him. Unfortunately we do not know if we are TV stars, because the broadcasting date was not yet known ... 

Penguin on Isla MagdalenaFinally, a special highlight of the two-week trip in Patagonia with Andri's parents: the Perito Moreno Glacier. The glacier is 60 meters high and 5 kilometers wide! If this is not impressing enough: the glacier also grows 2 meters PER DAY, so we were able to experience three large ice ruptures within 4 hours. The cracking of the ice can be heard for miles - it's almost as loud as the city of Buenos Aires, with its 13 million inhabitants. After the silence of patagonian nature we had to digest the noise of the 20 lanes wide Avenida 9 de Julio. Enriched with many, many impressions we said goodbye to Andri's parents and met old travel friends: Kay and Caroline, with whom we had traveled in their 4x4 through the Andes in northern Peru, and Robert and Yvonne, with whom we had examined the wineries for their wine quality. For both couples their tour around the world was coming to an end, while we had a new country on the itinerary: Uruguay. The country not only greeted us with a superior level of prices but also with a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At Christmas in the capital Montevideo everyone seemed to have movesd away, so we were next to the homeless and the policeman the only ones on the street. This was quite contrary to Punta del Este, which was filled with people, luxury boats and big houses (or shall we call them castles?) and countless teenagers who drove around in their expensive cars. To illustrate these extremes: Most clubs are open only 20 days a year. Everyone with a name was there - plus, we, with our rented bikes in the midst of luxury cars ;-) Our next stop in Punta del Diablo was our league again: In a small witch's house we stayed in an even smaller room, which had next to the bed only about 60cm space. The fishing village, however, began to be busy towards the end of the year, thanks to the many holidaymakers from Argentina and so we celebrated new year with 2 Germans and 7 Argentineans. A new year that will bring us many more days in the wide world began ...

Cerro Torre Perito Moreno Iguazu Waterfalls

Steak in Argentina...Back "home" in Buenos Aires (Argentina was definitely our favorite country in South America), we did not stay long. From Retiro bus station, probably one of the biggest bus terminals in the world with 100 platforms (!), we drove 18 hours north to Puerto Iguazu. As so often, we got to know the Argentineans on the bus. Most of them were on their way to their families because they work in Buenos Aires, but have relatives in northern Argentina. One of them even workes in Ushaia, the southernmost city of Argentina in Patagonia. There he earns four times more and does not have to pay taxes because it is so remote. So he can finance his children a good education, but sees his family only every 1-2 years... He said he will do that for a few more years until he has saved enough money. He travelled with us on the way from the icy south to 41 degrees with high humidity and heat, to Puerto Iguazu. Located on the border triangle (Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina) it is the starting point for the Iguazu Falls. To describe the falls with only one word: huge. The falls stretch over a length of 2.7 kilometers, are up to 82 meters high and 1,500 m³ or 1.5 million liters of water per second flow down. While you can admire to falls from close on the Argentine side, the Brazilian side offers a panoramic view. No matter which side, the force of nature is impressive and demonstrates itself with a deafening noise. As the end of our time in South America approached, we boarded already 48 hours later the bus back to Buenos Aires and enjoyed our last bus trip across the continent. In order to duly prepare ourselves for the departure from South America after 173 days, we treated ourselves once again with a really good piece of meat as well as some Argentinean red wine and let our current incredible journey through the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentinein, Chile and Uruguay pass in review ... 

See ya, we've gone away.
Corina & Andri
Pictures to this article:
Fotos of our two weeks in amazing Patagonia as well as impressions of our time in Buenos Aires, Uruguay and at the massive Iguazu waterfalls. - View pictures
Comments about this article: 2 comments so far | Post a comment
27. March 2010 | Kay said...
Hey ihr 2!
Schöner Bericht und noch schönere Bilder! Wenn ich das so les, bekomm ich gleich wieder riesig Lust... Wünsch euch noch weiterhin viel, VIEL! Spass und erlebnisreiche Tage.

7. March 2010 | Marco said...
Danke für einen wiederum sehr ausführlichen und interessanten Reisebericht. Good luck for your future travels. Greetinks from San Murezzan

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