Click here to see my lovely Travel Map at Travellerspoint. It’s still a work in progress. So many places I’ve been that I still need to add (mainly Europe). Still so many more places to see. Travelling makes me happiest.
A summary of the most memorable moments of my adventure through South America (in no particular order of importance, simply memories that stand out)
I feel as though I’ve been falling a bit behind in my blogging lately. I guess that means I’m having too much fun! Its almost time to go home, so here is a summary of my final days in South America. All the love in the world for South America, but I am so happy to be going HOME!!!!
- Fun in Mancora (Peru) – Few words are needed to describe this point. Going back to Mancora felt like I was going back home. Back with our little family of travellers. Hayley and I were happy 🙂
- Traveling back to Quito (Ecuador) via every form of transport possible – A collectivo (minivan) from the bus stop to the town where nearest to the border, squished between some sizely humans and the lady who booked the bus tickets for us (lets call her “Maria”. Then, we hopped into Maria’s friends car, along with Maria and her hubby, and the 5 of us drove to the border like a happy little family. At the border, Maria’s friend left, Maria and hubby stood with our backpacks while we went through passport control (they didn’t go through passport control????), then Maria, hubby, Hayley and I got a taxi to the town on the other side of the border where Maria made sure we were at the right bus terminal to then get a shitty bus for a whole long many hours from that mystery town to Quito bus terminal. At Quito bus terminal, we then got a taxi to our hostel, and pheeewwww, we finally made it. Hello cool weather in Quito. I never thought I’d be so happy to be cold.
- A chilled night in Quito (Ecuador), a little bit of wandering around (mainly to find a bank that worked with my bank cards, but also to the ECUATOR!!). – Here’s a tip for travels in South America in general: Always have a VISA bank card. I had one, but it got eaten by an ATM in Cusco, but nonetheless, its a necessity, otherwise you ill continuously be fighting with various ATM’s to try get your hard earned money out of the machine, and into the world of spending cash!
- Time to fly back to Buenos Aires (Argentina) – I didn’t plan on going back to Argentina this soon. I though I still had another few weeks to travel up to Colombia and see the beautiful Caribean cost but….flights in South America are soooooo expensive. While I was looking at different options to fly back to Buenos Aires (Argentina), I found that the cheapest option was to fly from Quito (Ecuador). Therefore, I never made it up to Colombia (but I will be back someday I promise!!), instead I hopped on a 6 hour flight back to the land of good wine and beautiful people.
- Iguasu Falls (Argentina and Brazil) – Met up with a Belgian friend, Salvatore and we hit the road on an 18hour bus ride to the border of Argentina and Brazil to go see the magical Iguazu falls. We saw them in Argentina then crossed the border and saw them from the Brazilian side too. Both sides are a must! Soooo much water!
- Home Sweet Home (South Africa) – The long flight home with the most crazy turbulence of all time. But now I’m home and happy and adjusting… The adjustment is weird but seeing everybody is great.
I’m sitting writing this with my Spanish Audio tapes playing in my ears. We seriously need to brush up on our Spanish ASAP!
Buenos Aires was a bit of a whirlwind trip for Sam and I because we were still coming to grips with what we are actually doing. We’ve quit our jobs, sold up our lives, and set off on this adventure, and now we are actually here. We are in Argentina!
The first two things we noticed when we got off the plane were the beautiful people and the hot muggy heat. Everywhere you look, you just see beautiful faces. Everything you feel is hot and sticky. So, with our grubby faces and sweaty clothes, and lots of eye candy all around us, we set off on a mission to find the local bus that takes you into the city (no luxury taxi’s for us, we are travelling on a VERY tight budget).
If you get the local bus into the city, it only cost $4 pesos (which is about R8.00 and less than US$1). The catch is that it’s a 2 hour bus trip, and after a 12 hour flight, it’s not exactly ideal. For the bus, you need coins, and I’m not sure why, but coins are hard to come by in Argentina. There is a Cambio (currency exchange place) in the airport and you just need to cross your little fingers that its open so that you can get your trusty coins. Then you’re good to go. Bus number 8 takes you right into the city. We weren’t to sure which stop we had to get off at, so of course we ended up going way to far, then having to walk back to our hostel, fully loaded with backpacks, but we made it eventually. All part of the adventure. Let the fun begin.
Milhouse Hipo Hostel has the reputation of being a crazy party hostel, and one of the most highly rated hostels in Latin America. After a couple drinks with some new friends, we ended up sneaking off to bed relatively early. In Argentina, dinner is only at around 9pm, then pre-drinks start at 10h30pm, and people only go out to nightclubs at 2pm! It’s madness. So you really have to be on your top game to endure a long night out. I sound like I’m getting old. I’m not I promise. I’m blaming it on jet lag seeming as we did gain an extra 5 hours to our day from the time differences.
On the second night we had our first Couchsurfing experience at an Argentinian guy’s house. His name is Emilio, and he was such a wonderful trusting host and gave us so much advice. He was also such an interesting person to chat to. Really cool guy. Our first couchsurfing experience!
We didn’t do any of the typical tourist things while in BA as we are anticipating that we will do these all on our final return flight when we do eventually leave South America at some point. Some things we did do though included going to Florida Ave and the surrounds, changing our dollars on the black market at a cueva (pronounced kwe-va), eating many empanadas (AMAZING!!), drinking mate (pronounced ma-tey), having dinner in San Telmo, seeing lots of beautiful graffiti and just exploring and getting very lost in the streets of Buenos Aires.
Such a lovely city and I will be back to explore it properly, but it was a great way to start our adventure. Next stop, a 10 hour overnight bus trip to Cordoba, where we will be for a month, volunteering at a hostel (this includes free food and accommodation).
Much loves to all. ❤ Oh and one last thing… the men in Argentina are BEAUTIFUL!!!!
For more photos of our time in Buenos Aires CLICK HERE
The past few days (and those few still to come) have been filled with bitter sweet goodbyes. I hadn’t felt any sad emotions about my impending adventures until Saturday night, when a friend hugged me tightly and told me that I’d be sorely missed. That was the moment that it actually hit me. I’m leaving my beautiful Cape Town and all my incredible friends and family.
I’m so beyond excited for this adventure, but goodbyes are really tough.
This morning, a friend sent me two lovely quotes.
Why can’t we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn’t work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. Then we would have to say good-bye. I hate good-byes. I know what I need. I need more hellos.
~ Charles M. Schulz
Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Some trails are happy ones,
Others are blue.
It’s the way you ride the trail that counts,
Here’s a happy one for you.
So tonight is my final farewell with all my lovely friends. Tomorrow I finish packing. Tuesday night I’m having a family farewell dinner. And Wednesday morning I leave at the crack of dawn to fly to Johannesburg to meet up with Sam, and then we’re off to Buenos Aires.
Let the travels begin 🐞
10 sleeps until Sam and I fly to Buenos Aires. I am beyond excited. All my unimportant things have been sold. I’ve only got my backpack of things to take with me, and one trunk of belongings I’m leaving at home. And that’s it.
We’ve been so lucky. We’ve already organised a job at a hostel in Cordoba from 15th September, and another job at a hostel in Bariloche thereafter. Now all we need is to find a couch to sleep on in Buenos Aires for two nights upon arrival in Argentina on the 11th September. Yes, 9/11.
I cannot express how excited I am for this journey to begin.