Monday, June 1, 2015

Our Last Post About South America

I've been putting off writing about our final month in South America. There are a lot of reasons why. Probably the biggest reason is that so much happened in such a short time. Also, it's a bit sad to write the final South America post - if I don't write about it, we never left, right? In fact we did leave, and I am sitting in the comfort of my parent's dining room writing this post.

Our final destination was Buenos Aires, on the east side of the country, where we shipped the truck back to the USA. But first, we retraced or path through some of our favorite parts of Chile and Argentina. We also hit up a few national parks in northern Argentina that kept us outdoors, oohing and ahhing at mother nature. Here's some pictures of the mother-nature part of our month:

The Patagonian Mara, spotted in Las Quijadas National Park, kind of freaked us out. Our brains couldn't deal with the contrast in how they looked and behaved. They walk like a deer, hop like a rabbit, look like a guinea pig, and sit like a dog. Our picture's were fuzzy, so I grabbed a better one online.

In Las Quijadas National Park, we finally had some closer encounters with the ubiquitous but shy Guanaco

The tiny national park of  Las Quijadas got flooded in a major rain event, weeks before we visited. Luckily, we were there for the greenery popping up in the most unlikely of places.

We spent 4 days camped on private property exploring the interior of  Los Gigantes National Park, outside of Cordoba. If you're interested in more info about this great hiking and rock-climbing destination, email us!

The paper bark tree in Los Gigantes National Park. You can peel soft pieces of paper off the bark of this tree. It was addicting and probably not the nicest thing for the tree.

Enough of all that mother-nature stuff, we needed to buckle down and drive across the country to get to Buenos Aires so that El Tigre could board a ship for 5+ weeks. The drive was inconveniently interrupted by a failed alternator that we got rebuilt only days before we had to drop the truck off at the port.

Scott and the awesome mechanic we found on our drive across Argentina working on the failed alternator

We rented an apartment in Buenos Aires for 8 days after we dropped off El Tigre at the port. We spent those 8 days eating and drinking our way through the city. We barely managed to venture more than 10 blocks away from our apartment because there was so much to see/do in that small area. Two awesome overlanding couples were also in town shipping their vehicle back to the USA (SouthToNowhere from Colorado and SongOfTheRoad from California). They helped us celebrate our last week. Here's a few pictures of the big city:

There were a lot of breweries and craft beer establishments. We loved it. BUT, we also drank with critical taste buds, realizing that you don't go to Argentina for the beer.

We found a great authentic Mexican restaurant. Our only mistake was ordering margaritas in a country that doesn't really import tequila and likes to put SUGAR on the rim (!!!!)

We can now say that we we have been to a closed-door restaurant (that's really what they're called) and had a 5-course meal. Erica's parents were even visiting from California!

Pretending like we have fancy enough clothes for a 5-course meal

Sam and Erica ( had us over for dinner and brunch (different days). Brunch fixins pictured here.

We didn't stop to listen to these guys for very long, but I love how this picture captures the colorful, musical street-scene in Buenos Aires

The view from the top floor of our apartment building - that's a really big city

And now for the sappy stuff:

I certainly don't have the words to describe how these travels and adventures have changed me. I feel like I have finally started to scratch the surface on what it's like outside of my American bubble. I have a new-found sensitivity into the lives of other people and now, more than ever, I realize what a tiny place I occupy in the world. In the past 4 years, we have found that Latin Americans are kind, generous, fun, and unbelievably family-oriented. They are rarely in a hurry and we constantly find ourselves overwhelmed with their generosity. In many ways, I wish I could be more like them.

At the Buenos Aires airport, as if to perfectly punctuate our departure from Latin America, our gentleman taxi driver warmly kissed me (and Scott!) on the cheek and bid us farewell with an enthusiastic "Ciao!".

This might be the last we see of the truck. We snuck a picture through the window of our cab as we drove away from the port.

1 comment:

Rhonda said...

So the end of one adventure and the start of the next! We've loved following along as you traveled, preparing to embark on our own version of the Panam this fall. Best wishes for whatever you do next, wherever that may be. And you said it well, one of my favorite parts of travel is realizing how tiny our little place in the world is.