Saturday, December 29, 2012
We fell in love with New Zealand then, and Googled how to apply for citizenship and everything. But we came home and resumed our lives, and the memories of it faded. It was striking enough, however, that it was the only thing on our Round the World trip that was a repeat of somewhere we’d already been. But we knew we liked it there; we remembered that much. We had an adventurous flight, with a long layover in Fiji and a missing bag that we were reunited with in Auckland. It was a shaky beginning, but even before the plane touched down on the tarmac we remembered.
Friday, December 21, 2012
Seriously, though, Happy Holidays to all of you who are following along. May your journeys in the coming year be filled with beautiful views and lots of ice cream—I know ours will.
Lana & David
Thursday, December 20, 2012
It’s been said that we travel on our stomachs. We do enjoy food; we like cooking it and eating it, as well as reading and writing about it, and we love to eat local dishes when we’re traveling. While David keeps track of what we eat, and where, in a written journal, we’ve found that pictures are much better at bringing back our memories of meals we’ve had. On this trip, David vowed to take a picture of every single meal. That lasted one full day before he forgot, and it wasn’t the last time, by any stretch. However, he took pictures of most, and the ones we have are representative of the trip in general. We also rated each picture, from 1 to 5 stars, based on how the contents tasted; not all the pretty dishes were tasty, and some of the ugly ones were fabulous. It should be noted, however, that no ice cream or gelato is picture here. Ice cream, of course, will merit its own post.
The video above moves fairly quickly; if you want to see them at a slower pace, you can scroll through them here at your own pace. If you're curious about something we ate, leave us a comment and we'll explain what it was. Bon appetit!
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
It was simply amazing to see the glacier up close and personal, with all the grooves and channels of melting water. Our guide told us that the bubbles coming up in the various pools of water were air that had been trapped at the top of the glacier about 300 years ago. That is an astounding thought.
At the end of our trek, our guide had a little surprise for us—a little drink “on the rocks,” chipped off the glacier.
For those of you who know David, you will not be surprised that his glass was full of glacier water, not whisky (the melted glacier water tasted flat, much like distilled water).
We toasted our guide, and each other, and Perito Moreno. Then it was time to clamber off the glacier, unlace the crampons and head back to El Calafate, by hike, by boat, and by bus. After a long day and a whisky, we might have dozed on our way back to town.
More pictures below—we took so many (about 400), but we weeded them down to around 50. If you’d like to see more, click on the slideshow below. I think it’s some of our best photography.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Two months ago, we flew from Denver to Quito, Ecuador; this is the first picture we took after landing (we are not going to inflict the picture of our airline meal on you yet). Sometimes it feels like yesterday, other times, it’s a lifetime ago. We struggled with Spanish more than we expected. We took the guide books’ dire safety warnings at face value (in retrospect, Quito, like almost everywhere we’ve been, was less dangerous than most US cities). We were excited, nervous, and drinking from a firehose of very different stimuli. We had no idea if we had packed too much, too little, or just the wrong kind of stuff.
Since then, we’ve taken 4800 pictures, a total of 94GB. We’ve posted about 360 of those, with another 150 queued up for posts we haven’t written yet. We’re still struggling with Spanish (Argentinian Spanish was like a different language). We’re still excited, but I think we’ve left nervous behind. We chuckle at some of the tips in the guide books now—generally, the most dangerous things on the streets are the streets themselves (or lack thereof).
We’ve slowed down a little, but need to figure out how to slow down more. The firehose is still on full blast, but we’re finding ways to sip from the side of the torrent.
For the most part, our luggage, clothes, and gear have worked quite well. Lana’s larger bag suffered a tear, but it’s covered by warranty, and a replacement is awaiting us at our next layover. We’ve taken advantage of a few redundant gear items (one memory card reader that failed, and one European power adapter lost), and have replaced a few stained/torn clothes. We’ve acquired just three, non-replacement, non-consumable items: a warm alpaca wool hat for Lana (priceless on the Inca trail), a butter knife for spreading peanut butter on our cheap picnic lunches (which TSA won’t confiscate), and a pair of shoes Lana could not resist buying, but will be shipped home soon. The only souvenirs we’re taking are small denomination bills from each country, which are much smaller, lighter, and generally cheaper than anything we could buy. The dollar bill is from Ecuador, which uses the US dollar for currency.
While we’ve been travelling in South America for two months, it's been 120 days since we left our house in the hands of a renter. We left Colorado to start our road trip in North America 111 days ago. We’ve been to 7 countries, eaten guinea pig, swum with penguins, and hiked on both glaciers and volcanoes. Lana’s had two falls with skin loss and bruises, and David has had one fall, reinjuring his left knee. We’ve both had a head cold that clung on for more than three weeks. Despite our primitive grasp of Spanish, we’ve been treated with incredible patience and warmth by the locals in every country.
We know we’ve only been to half the countries in South America, and there was so much of those countries that we didn’t see even half of. We could spend another 10 months here and not see it all. But it’s time to move on now, and we’re ready to go.
This won’t be the last picture we take in South America, but it is the last place we will stay here:
Monday, December 17, 2012
After 10 days, the apartment was starting to feel like home. But we had a plane to catch to El Calafate, and a date with a little glacier named Perito Moreno, so we finally had to bid farewell to our home in Recoleta and Buenos Aires.