A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Perch

Spoiled in Brazil…

São Paulo / Recife & Olinda

…there is truly no better way to tell that story.

First in São Paulo at the beautiful house of my ‘cousin’ - the weather was rather bad so besides a busy crossroad full of restaurants I have not seen anything of the city. But I had a great relaxing time, delicious food, and very nice company.

Next and also ultimate stop for ‘the Perch’ – Recife. Visiting a good friend from my ERASMUS time in Rotterdam. I experienced a very warm welcome by André and his family.
We went two days to Olinda which is about 20 minutes away for the big street carnival party. Some of Andre’s friends have rented a house in the middle of the whole celebration with food (even a cook) and all you can drink beer… It was wild! But actually it’s not that different from so many other street festivals / carnivals in Switzerland.

8 month in a nutshell: “There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.”

So my journey through America came to an end. And this is all right. After 6-7 month I became ready to return to beautiful Zurich – home sweet home! Nevertheless this trip was a blast!! I don’t want to miss any day of it.
To have a good overview of my road I took the time to adjust my travel map to actual locations. However, I could not be bothered with adjusting all the dates and means of transport. So this is the road I chose in the end. It may seem a bit chaotic in the south but believe me it made sense at the time:

http://www.travellerspoint.com/member_map.cfm?user=Perch

“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” Further than all the fantastic sceneries of nature and nice cities I saw in ‘the new world’ the people are what really count. And I had a lot of memorable moments with good friends who I hope I have not seen for the last time in my life…

So after about 4 weeks at home I made it and put my last entry for this blog online… Thank you for following my trip!
“Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.”

Posted by Perch 05:10 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

Heading to the end...

Monteviedeo / Punta del Este / Florianopolis

The capital of Uruguay is another very nice city with fantastic food. However, I spent only two nights and one full day there. But by exploring the city with a bicycle I saw many places and don’t think I missed a lot. The people there are by the way quite friendly as are the drivers on the street compared to the rest of South America. The most memorable memory, however, are the contradictions I have seen there all over the city. Some buildings are very modern and on the other hand there are old buildings in the very center that have not been taken care, are empty, and almost fall apart (or partly have fallen already).

Then Punta del Este is this fancy and expensive beach town / peninsula. Actually I wanted to visit the alternative counterpart, Punta del Diablo, as well but just did / could not make the time for this. So I just made my way directly to Florianopolis, Brazil.

The island of Florianopolis is beautiful, very green and packed with beaches. Unfortunately the weather was not that great. So my highlight was the Sushi place with not only delicious but also very special plates (all you can eat for 30 bucks).

Now I just left Spanish speaking countries for a long time… I heard that it can be offensive to speak Spanish in Brazil and expect people to understand. Well the question then would be; is gringo-language any better? But what are my options? Somehow I will manage these almost three remaining weeks.
I’m looking forward to visit family in Sao Paulo and a good friend in Recife where I’m also going to experience the famous Brazilian Carnival! As a farewell party for ‘The Perch on the road’ :)

Posted by Perch 11:20 Archived in Uruguay Comments (0)

Odyseus arrives

Odyssey through southern Chile / Bariloche / Mendoza / Viña del Mar

From Los Antiguos we went to Chile where we tried to reach a boat to Puerto Montt (which we missed in Punto Arenas by one day) in Puerto Chacabuco. Well we made it eventually to the port but for some stupid reasons there were no more tickets available for the Frenchman and me. So we tried to reach Bariloche which was again very complicated and annoying. The bus out of Chile drove through Bariloche but the system said we were not allowed to exit the bus in Argentina but had to get back into Chile (Osorno) where we of course just missed the last bus to Bariloche. But the next day we finally made it, our odyssey came to an end in which we through away four days for (almost) nothing.

Bariloche is in the middle of the beautiful Lake District. Already from the bus we saw scenic landscape. We did some mountain biking with two Aussies and parties where I also met a group a funny locals.

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After 5 days the boys still wanted to stay but I felt some time pressure. So I went alone again up to Mendoza. Again I could enjoy fantastic scenery on the other side of the bus window. And again travelling with bloody Andesmar, again leaving an hour late, and again a breakdown for about two hours, and again arriving three or more hours late… never again! (I thought…)

Well Mendoza is a nice city but out of about eight rainy days per year I hit two in three days I was there. While I was in the gym it started to pouring down hard and streets turned into wild brown rivers. But it never rained very long and I had time for some sight-seeing and a bodega tour to two wineries and an olive oil production site.

Since I was invited and also tempted to go back to Viña del Mar I decided to do so. Well ‘I thought’ I’ll be clever and book another bus company just to find out at the bus station that El Rapido is working closely together with Andesmar. But they are only half as bad, leavin only 30 minutes late and arriving only 1.5 hours late… Anyway, on the way there I decided not to go all the way back to the east coast by bus and since the flights to Rio and Sao Paulo were too expensive I changed my plans again which are now heading up north along the cost starting in Monteviedo where I’m flying to from Santiago on Monday. Reading about Uruguay I am very happy with that decision and looking forward to another great country.

Arriving in Viña I could help a bit with decorating the restaurant which is soon to be opened and was welcomed with a delicious Mexican dinner and then could spend a quality weekend with good people.

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...one month to go...

Posted by Perch 07:06 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Dance the Tango and eat THE MEAT!

Buenos Aires / Puerto Madryn / El Calafate / El Chaltén / Los Antiguos

Well what can I say about Buenos Aires…? It’s a great city, I stayed more than two weeks – no idea where the time has gone, it was like two days - in three different hostels, I enjoyed fantastic meals (not only meat but also a variety of delicious food), great coffees, saw a lot of the city and its different districts, went to the gym and played squash twice, good parties and cozy evenings at the hostel.
For the first night and day I met Marco, a good friend form Switzerland, and Nicole, who gave me a nice introduction to the city and the Buenos Aires Lonely Planet which turned out to be very handy.

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Later I had a great time being with two friends - I met earlier in Ecuador and Peru and respectively - and besides there have been a lot of nice and entertaining people around.

But after more than two weeks of taking it easy and just enjoying being free I went back on the road again. So far is Argentina very good and no disappointment to my high expectations but now it’s time to see the rest of the country. First station Puerto Madryn with its nice national reserve on the Peninsula Valdes full of wildlife…
Furthermore I did my cold water dive number 6 & 7. Nr. 6 was also my first wreck dive and in total I’m “already” on 22 dives. But enough with cold water – warm water is more fun and I’m looking forward to Brazil for that!

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Then I went far south to El Calafate in southern Patagonia where probably the most beautiful glacier, Glacier Porito Moreno, in the world is and a nice lagoon for a little walk. But there is not much to do, however, sorry to say that but after the hot temperatures in the north of Argentina I’m really enjoying the lower temperatures down south.
With two Italian girls and a Frenchman we built a travel group here and tried to plan the trip back up north to El Bolson which turned out to be very complicated and we have to take it step by step.
By bus to El Chaltén witch has great trekking through Patagonia in beautiful nature and beside a nice wine bar and the best meat I had so far in Argentina. Then we took a bus to Los Antiguos which has not much more than the border crossing over to Chile (Chico).

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Miscellaneous:

  • I’m had a hard time to decide whether I should extend my travels by 2-3 month or fly back home on the 9th March… Pros and cons equal out… I hate these kinds of decisions! Between a rock and a hard place. But I think now I will come home as planned in the first place -> 10th March.
  • Back on the road and already feeling the time pressure again. I have to catch my flight in Sao Paulo on the 1st March to Recife and like to spend one or better two weeks in the south of Brazil first. But there is so much to do on the way there. I want to go see southern Patagonia (also in Chile), Bariloche (The Lake District), Mendoza, maybe back to Viña del Mar, north of Argentina, Iguazu falls and from there entering Brazil.
  • Travelling for 20 or more hours in a bus became a very normal thing to do. Thinking in European terms this is crazy and far too long but actually it’s ok and I think I will do that back in Europe more often instead of taking a plane.

Posted by Perch 18:58 Archived in Argentina Comments (1)

Enough with altitude…

Viña del Mar / Santiago

The contrast from Bolivia (and weeks in Ecuador and Peru) to Chile is strong but it felt good to have some better standards again and having the best shower in more than five month… But I don’t want to assess – one better or worse – just different!

I had a fantastic time in Chile. Thanks to Andres, a Mexican friend I know from my exchange semester in Rotterdam, I not only had a place to stay but the chance to meet plenty of fantastic people (some Mexican friends visiting for two weeks and all the locals in Viña) and spend a great time on the days around New Year.

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Since the Mexicans had their flight to BA at 8am and I joined their shuttle from Viña to Santiago, I had one day to discover the city center of Santiago by myself which I really liked. The smog is disgusting and strong but the streets and parks I have seen are charming and the people very friendly. But I did not have the feeling that there is so much to do for me and I was happy to have the flight to Buenos Aires in the evening…
Now I’m enjoying BA very much! Delicious food and great coffee all over…

Miscellaneous:

  • HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE!
  • The Chileans had a lot of fun with the fact that the Swiss guy was wearing a 4$-watch from Quito and not a fancy Swiss watch…
  • Pictures will follow are now online

Posted by Perch 14:55 Archived in Chile Comments (1)

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