Category Archives: South America

Falklandia to Buenos Aires and Home Again Home Again Jiggety Jig

Cape HornFrom the End of the World we rounded Cape Horn and made our way to Stanley in the Falkland Islands where penguins rule – 350 for every person.  Who cares if there are no trees or mammals on the island and the winds blows daily.  The flora is breathtaking. White rugged rock formations rise out from the squishy ground – penguins hang out in coffee klatches while dolphins dance off shore.

The town is colorful and tidy – no traffic lights or department stores but oh so British – with a smashing of Range Rover Defenders driving on the left. Fish and chips washed down with warmish beer complemented the day.

Onward to Buenos Aires where we permanently secured our sea legs.

After being off the grid for 5 days we were anxious to book a flight home – the luxury of living our lives without plans. It was important to be home with our friends who are grieving.

We did a power foray of the hot spots in Buenos Aires (Recoleta Cemetery, Casa Rosada, San Telmo, Palermo, La Boca and Centro) and rang in the New Year.

2 long plane flights later and we are now back home.  Heck, we are even planning a trip to Winnemucca!

The End of the World

Rough seas and foggy skies followed us for 2 1/2 days from Puerto Montt to Punta Arenas, Chile. The water was breathtaking – gray and grumpy – making for good core work on the treadmill.

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Fortunately, in Punta Arenas the sun peaked through the fluffy white clouds and the wind blew gently. The town is known to be so windy in the summer that people cling to ropes, strung between the light poles, to keep from blowing away.

Summer days have the sun rising at 3:52 am and setting at 10:53 pm – a balmy 45 degrees and windy. The cold temperatures still have us wearing sun block since the ozone layer is non-existent.

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We sailed through the Straits of Magellan and the glacier capped Beagle Passage which lead us to Ushuaia, Argentina on Christmas Day. Known as the End of the World. It is the most southerly town in the world. The air is crisp and the scenery stunning – where snow capped mountains meet the cold Pacific-ish.

Tomorrow we’ll sail around Cape Horn on our way to the Falkland Islands where penguins rule!

Our hearts are heavy today and the world is just too large for we are half a world away from our dear friends who lost their husband and father last night and we a close friend and partner. We will miss you Scott. What an honor to call you “Friend”.

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The Colors of Valparaíso, Chile

Like a big bowl of colorful Jelly Bellies – Valparaíso offers the same eye candy.

Old homes, wrapped in corrugated zinc siding covered in wall art/graffiti, cling to the 17 hills (cerros) towering over the port area.  The best way to access this wonderland is to take a nail biting ride up one of many funiculars (acensores) – operating since 1833.

The town is most known for its historic center of town – named a World Heritage site in 2003. The best part is the artist vibe oozing out of the cerros.  A close second has to be the array of artisanal restaurants – from the architecture to the decor to the cutting edge menus.

Have a look…

Click on a photo to enlarge.

 

and today a new adventure begins…

a cruise – contrary to the normal way we roll.

Not so much a slow boat to China but a slow boat to Argentina – Buenos Aires for New Year’s Eve – traveling down the west side of South America stopping at historic or touristy ports of call at which we’ll hail a taxi and see what’s out there.

The down time on the cruise will be like savasana in yoga – good for the soul all the while my monkey mind searches for the key to the jail cell.  Get me outta here!!!

Internet on a cruise is slower than a turtle with a broken leg and more expensive than the caviar that I long to bathe in – this will be my down fall.  It started on January 1st when a self imposed Photo of the Day was born – a love hate relationship – loved to share a good photo – hated when sleep was postponed for a photo had to be posted.

Restless nights from the lack of internet twice this year loomed over me like a heavy fog – feeling irresponsible – no photo of the day! So again I prepare for this same fog, hoping the lack of internet will give way to savasana…..

The cruise will offer plenty of time to dream of South America and all the countries left to explore for we have no return ticket.

Say WHAT???

We have settled in.

14 weeks later (yeah, I know I just told you last week that we were “settling down”, funny how blog time goes by so fast).

Bill works in the yard. Everyday. It was fun at first. Seeing the fruits of his labor.  Not a weed to be had.  Plants growing vigorously.  The old looks new and fresh.

I fixed up the house, painted furniture and walls – took Photoshop lessons galore, painted with watercolors, snapped a few photos and even started Spanish lessons again.

And here’s the rub.

Everyday – did you hear me?  Bill works in the yard everyday!  Minus the few days that our friends came to visit and pulled us in another direction. My routine has become a routine. A routine!

The long and the short of it …

We fly home in 1 week – have the next 2 1/2 months in the States jam packed – head back to Baja for a few weeks and THEN…

off to Tierra del Fuego. South America. A one way ticket!

There’s a whole continent to explore!!!

So much for settling down.

“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” – Mark Jenkins