travel map

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.

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homeward bound

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!!!!

  1. 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 🙂

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    Happy in Mancora with Hayley

  2.  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.
  3. 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!

    Middle of the World with Hayley and our monkeys

    Middle of the World with Hayley and our monkeys

  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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.

…and while everyone else is at rocking the daisies

Pretty much everybody I know is at the most epic music festival that South Africa has to offer. It is called “Rocking the Daisies”. If my time difference calculations are accurate, Alt-J ∆ is busy performing for thousands of very happy people right now. So my contribution to the festivities is to sit here in Córdoba (Argentina) with my daisy headband on and watch various Alt-J ∆ Live sets on YouTube. It’s as close as I can get to the real thing. But anyway, who needs FOMO. I’m living the dream right here, right now.

We have one week left in Córdoba, and then we are hitting the road to further our travels. Córdoba is a student city and considering that there are seven Universities in the town, there are ample young people around and the nightlife is always great. During the day, the city itself is a bit of a dud. The colonial buildings and mass amounts of churches are beautiful to see, but the main reason to come to this city is to use it as a base and then take day outings to various towns in the surrounding Sierras. It’s been a great stay here and Turning Point Hostel has become our pseudo-family. We will definitely miss them, but at the same time, we’re both rather excited to move on to new experiences. We’ve got a 13 hour bus trip ahead of us to San Rafael (Argentina) where we will be working on a farm at the foot of the Andes. On the farm we will be helping out with gardening, going horse-riding, helping out with their Eco-Project, and always, everywhere, no matter what, trying to learn Spanish.

It’s now almost (only) been one month since we set off on this journey. Still so many great things coming our way. Life is perfect. Wanderlust.

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Feeling Restless

The intention was to stay in Córdoba for a month. So far, we have been here for just over 2 weeks. I (Karen) am starting to get restless. These itchy feet of mine are begging me to take them to the beach. From spending evenings watching the sun go down at home on Glenn Beach or walking my dogs at Hout Bay beach, my toes are pretty well acquainted with sea sand. Now it’s been three weeks of sea sand deprivation. Life is tough right?

I’m starting to consider the possibilities of leaving here a bit earlier. What are the protocol’s with leaving a host hostel earlier than anticipated? Does anyone have any ideas?

Córdoba has been great to us. The hostel where we’ve been working has become a family of sorts. Sam, myself, Gabi (from Columbia) and Eugene (from Canada), spend endless days lazing around the hostel, drinking tea, eating far to many delicious empanadas, and drinking copious amounts of wine and beer. Every once in awhile we go on a day outing somewhere. I know I shouldn’t be complaining. But I’m on this epic trip, and I need to make the most of it. I feel as if Córdoba and I need to go our separate way.

We have actually done a fair amount while we’ve been here, and I’ve learnt quite a few new skills too.

Fredy (a Columbian guy that works at the hostel) has made me my very own Quena, which is a traditional Incan flute. It’s a huge gesture on his part and I am blown away with his generosity. It is said that if you can play the Quena, you can control your soul. I’m well on my way in learning to play it. It will be quite a significant personal achievement to be able to play it well. On the funny side, everyone thinks I will make so much money if I can play it, busking around town playing this traditional Incan flute with my ditsy blonde hair and fair skin and very poor Spanish skills.

I’ve also learnt the basics of Macramé. We’ve been to a trance party in the Spiritual centre of Argentina in a town called Capilla del Monte. I’ve gone to a beautiful Alpine village called La Cumbrecita, which is situated at about 1450 meters above sea level in the middle of the wood and is said to be the town that inspired the setting for the Disney Movie Bambi. I’ve even had a little bit of a holiday romance. Yet still my feet are itching.

Soon enough, Sam and I will be sitting on the beach in Peru, braiding wraps into the hair of tourists, selling my Macramé jewellery, playing the Quena (and hopefully surfing a bit too). Aah, those are the days I am dreaming about and itching for.