A Travellerspoint blog

Chile

sunny 31 °C

My flight to Santiago, Chile was already late to begin with, and it was delayed further. So I land in the middle of the night, a tiny bit scary, but I manage to take it in stride. I see this at the airport:

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I get into cab and take the long journey into the city. The cabbie and I find the hostel address. Its in a pretty sketchy neighbourhood. All of the storefronts are boarded up and there is graffiti everywhere. I try to open the door, but its locked and no one is answering my knocks (and occasional bangs). I call the number and no one is answering that either. The cabbie whistles loudly, but nothing. Giving up, I look in my lonely planet for another nearbye hostel or hotel. Just as I start to dial the number of one, a voice on the intercom comes on. He fell asleep behind the desk, even though I called him from Brazil to let the hostel know I'll be late. Noticing that the hostel is several floors up the stairs, I fiercely shove him Sapphire to carry up. I take my third shower of the day (even in this weather, is it normal to sweat this much?) and head straight to bed.

Its moments like these that make people wonder why I continue to travel like I do. But I wouldn't have it any other way. It may be a tad scary in the moment, but I think I get more from pushing myself like this as opposed to lying on a resort beach. I wouldn't mind the inclusive drinks though lol.

Sleep tight.

AC

Posted by AshleyC 07:54 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

Brazil

overcast 30 °C

I couldn't get my Brazilian visa in time before I left Canada, so I had to get in Argentina. Luckily it took very quickly. I only have time for one day, so I make plans to see the big Jesus statue. Being an ex-catholic/atheist, I have mixed feelings about seeing this. It is however, one of the 7 New Wonders of the World. So I set my deeply held reservations aside and make plans to see it. While in line, this guy asks me if there are stairs to walk up rather then the elevator. I'm like "How would I know?". We start talking and it turns our while he is from South America originally, he lives 2 blocks away from me in Toronto! How weird is that? Its really overcast all morning, so I was worried at first if I would see it at all. As I'm up there, it gradually becomes more visible and eventually the weather clears and take a picture while I can.

Anyway, here are some pictures.

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I tease the guy about the building he lives in, window panes fell down a few years ago.

As the weather clears more, I quickly get a sunburn. :(

I head back to my airport hotel as I have a flight to Chile later in the day.

AC

Posted by AshleyC 12:01 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Uruguay

sunny 37 °C

Towards the end of my stay in Argentina, I get my passport back from the embassy and immediately buy my ticket to Uruguay for later in the day. I head to the ferry docks and meet a bunch of American guys. We all get in the ferry together and they ask to see my passport and make contrasts and comparisons to American and Canadian passports.

About an hour later we step on Uruguayan soil in Colonia del Sacramento. The American guys and I follow the guide around town. Turns out to be a pretty progressive society for a predominately Catholic region. Much hotter then Buenos Aires, I keep slathering on sunscreen likes its going out of style. I find a Uruguay flag patch for Saphire (my backpack)

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They tease me about Rob Ford, I tell them that I didn't vote for him. Don't tell them that I didn't vote in that election (first and last time that will ever happen!)

Get back later in the day. We see a half asleep guard dog a customs that was there when we first left. Poor guy :(

It was a bit of journey back, got lost along the way. It's pretty late. So I go to bed right away, with more drunken travellers in the background.

AC

Posted by AshleyC 11:05 Archived in Uruguay Comments (0)

Argentina Continued

sunny 30 °C

First morning in Argentina. I love staying in hostels. I love meeting people from all over, I love how easy it can be to socialize (which is saying alot, because I don't like most people), I do NOT like the beds. I get up and stretch my back. I've always thought that yoga was for high neo-hippies (and my mother, apparently), but I give a few poses a whirl in an effort to get a few kinks out.

I go online and decide to get my Brazilian visa first, roll the dice and hope for Uruguay later. I head to the Brazilian Embassy to turn in my passport along with banking in info, proof of tickets in and out of the country. Every country has its own hoops you have to jump through. You can't even pay the fee at the embassy, you have to go to a bank around the corner, pay there, get a receipt and go back to the embassy with that. The air the embassy is stuffy and the lines are long. The lady at the kiosk sees me and ushers me over, takes the receipt and eeek, my passport. Always a hard thing to do. Feels wrong to the walking around a foreign country without it.

Later on, a few hostel peeps and I decide on a few sights in Buenos Aires.

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Jet lag kills me.

Peace out

AC

Posted by AshleyC 08:52 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Don't cry for me... well, you get it.

sunny 30 °C

So this my second trip to South America, first one being to Peru in 2010. I always make it a point to take a long flight late in the day, so I can arrive first thing in the morning. In my advancing age of 30, the first day is always a write off. Last year I had no choice but to visit Chernobyl on my first day. I fell asleep on the bus 3 times.

I arrive in Buenos Aires bright and early in the morning and call the hostel to let them know I'm coming. They suggest a specific company so I don't get scammed (as someone who has worked in hospitality, THAT is great service). I hop in and take the loong drive to the city. The cab is weaving through the narrow streets as we get closer to my hostel. It looks to be in bit of s sketchy neighbourhood, but I take it all in stride. Nothing I haven't seen before.

I step into the hostel and its bright and youthful with pop art and letters from departing travellers on the walls (the later a common sight among hostels). I go to check in and to my dismay, the room hasn't been cleaned yet. The woman behind the desk instructs me to follow one of housekeepers to the basement where they have a TV, computers, lockers and SHOWERS. I dig through my exquisitely packed rucksack to locate my towel, toiletries and clean clothes. I hop in the moderately cold (I wanted it that way) and could taste the salt on my skin. That is how much I sweat since being in the country two whole hours. I wrap up my hair, slip on one of my sundresses, and plop on the couch. I'm barely watching the Spanish version of The Breakfast Club when I start to nod off. I wake up a few hours later and I go to the desk to see if my room is ready. It is and I make my way up. There are two people already in the room, who happen to also be from Canada. Happens quite frequently. We exchange pleasantries and so forth. They each just graduated from Queens University. Ahh, pre chronic hangover early 20s travelling, how I've missed you. They have plans to do stuff, I have plans to lie down.

I leaf through my lonely planet looking at what to do first. There are a few thing I have to plan for. I have an appointment with the Brazil embassy to get my visa, and I want to book a day trip to Uruguay, but I'm torn on doing it now and securing my spot on the tour, or not getting my passport back in time, and having the trip sell out. I decide to wait, Uruguay isn't going anywhere.

I pack my purse with my various necessities, slather on my first of many coats of sunscreen, and head off for the day. I like to just wander around on my first day. Get a feel for the city. The immediate streets are a tad confusing. One just seems to turn into the next, and into the next. I head to MicroCentro, the city centre, so see what it has to offer. Its your run of the mill downtown hub. Many tributes to the late Eva Peron, surprisingly few of the new Argentinian pope. A bit of a relief, Catholicism and I don't have a great relationship.

I grab a few things for lunch and head back to the hostel.

Jet lag is setting in, I take a siesta and wake up in the evening. I wake up to the familiar noise of drunken travellers in the courtyard. I head down to join them in the festivities. I meet people from all over, I common practice on the road. We all discuss our lives back home, jobs, schools, our current plans for South America. There are people here for a weekend away to other on a 1 year+ around the world trek. Makes me long for the days of my first world trip. Being 23, alone in Europe. Breaking free from home. Those were the days.

After a few beers, I head back to the room and conk out again.

AC

Posted by AshleyC 07:34 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

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