Rio de Janeiro, Carioca & Samba!

DAY 21: We finally arrived in Rio around 5pm! It was long, very long and not the best we had. From the bus station we had to get to Copacabana where we will be staying. We rented an apartment just one block from the beach. Viviane our landlord was meeting us at the apt at 5.30

We grab a cab from the station, but had first to go around all the different companies to check the prices. We decided on the cheapest one and took off.

Viviane is a super nice lady. I think she is from Australia or New Zealand. She moved to Brazil a couple of years ago and she is a photographer for the lonely planet!

She offered us a cold drink and sat down with us, took a big map and told us about everything we needed to know about Rio. Where and when to go. Where not, what to avoid. t was very helpful. She even left us a list of all her favourites’ places, cafes, restaurant. How thoughtful!

She left around 6.30

We quickly unpacked and decided to go have a look around and check out the neighbourhood. We walked around, stop at Mc Donalds (so easy, no need to think about anything… very safe choice). Did some grocery shopping and went back to the apartment. Took a shower and went off to bed.

DAY 22: It is so nice to be back on a real bed, and to sleep in a quiet place! Let’s not forget about those little small pleasures we can find in every day’s life!!!

Anyway, I was up at 7am. Viviane warned us that most touristic places get backed after 9am. We found out the hard way that she wasn’t lying. We wanted to start by the statue of Christ the Redeemer. We had to take the subway and then a bus to get to the train station that takes you all the way up. The subway is amazing, air conditioning, very spacious, very clean. They even have some part of the train that is women only from 6am to 9am and from 5pm to 10pm.

We arrived at the station at 9.15 to be told that we wouldn’t be able to go up before 12.00!!!! How to lose half a day doing nothing but wait. We walked around the area but of course there wasn’t much to do or see. So we waited….

Of course it was all worth it, once you are up there you forget about it all. The train was a 20min ride in the middle of the jungles, the trees are so tall it’s hard to see where they end. It’s weird to see the statue, something you’ve only seen in movies. I have always wanted to see it but never thought I actually would. The 360degres view from up there is amazing. You can see all of Rio and how big it is. We took a couple of pictures and quickly gave up because of all the madness. _ Stupid tourists again!

We sat at the snack bar, had a cold drink (32degres) and enjoyed the view, tying to take it all in. Then, it took us another hour to get down and go back to the station!

We then decided to go to Centro, the historical district. Viviane said that it’s super nice during the day, but you shouldn’t go at night or during the weekend. It was our only chance to tour it. We walked around all the outside market, street vendors everywhere. Loud music in a very crowded place. The Colonial architecture is stunning, a mix of very old and modern. In one of the street we spotted this beautiful building standing almost on its own. We went it to find the most magnificent public library! With big paintings showing how Brazil was treated by Portugal. Not very friendly.

After lunch we made it back to the south and decided to go to Ipanema. Arnaud didn’t have his swimsuit no this flip flops because “he didn’t think we might go to the beach”! _ Why guys do not think the way we do is beyond me.

So we just walked along the crowded beach. I don’t recall ever seeing that many people of on a beach. As of the Myth of Bomba Latina, let me tell you that from what we have seen wherever we’ve been in the last couple of weeks. The bomba latina only exists in Music video. I don’t think they have ever heard of a thing called a diet in here.

We stopped for a drink at Ipanema, before we walked back to Copacabana.

Puerto Iguazu_Foz Del Iguazu : DAY 19&20

DAY 19: We didn’t do much. Woke up around 9am for breakfast and went back to bed. We slept like babies until early afternoon. We got ready and went back to downtown. It didn’t change much since the last time we went there. Still boring and still poor. We had lunch and wondered around. We hardly saw anyone. Most shops weren’t even open. La siesta seems to be contagious around Argentina. I’m very surprised that in a touristic city there is so little to do or see.

We needed to figure out a way to get our bus to Rio, because it leaves on the Brazilian side.  When we asked at the Hostel reception, they told us the best way to cross the border and get to the Brazilian bus terminal was to go by taxi, 150Pesos. The information we got at the hostel was always useless and not trustworthy. We went back to the Argentinian bus terminal and they told us there was a bus that could take us there for 8pesos. They warned us that we needed to leave 3hours early because of customs.

We decided to go to the supermarket buy some food and go back to the hostel. After the food experience we had last night we are not going to try anymore of their food at the hostel. On the way to the supermarcado, we met Jean Yves and Jean Marc, the two French Toulousains we met at the hostel the night before. We hang out together and made it back to the hostel just in time before what seemed to be the biggest storm ever!

The night was quiet, had dinner, and hang out with the Toulousains the rest of the evening. They are both adorable. We talked for hours before we all decided to go to bed.

We were a bit disappointed by Iguazu and the Hostel. If it wasn’t for the swimming pool, there would be nothing good about it. The staff was nice but as I previously said not trustworthy. The breakfast was ridiculous. The Wi-Fi was very bad and only accessible in the lobby. I’m glad at least I had my laptop because we heard a lot of people complaining that there weren’t enough computers to use. There was always a line up there. Check in is at 2pm, but check out is at 10am! And they warned us that if we were even 10min late, they would keep the deposit (100 pesos) Not sure I would recommend the hostel to anyone. (Just so you know it was Hostel Inn Iguazu)

Day 20: We woke up early to pack AGAIN! But we were glad we were leaving for our finale destination, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL. We checked out on time, and had breakfast by the pool. We hang out there for a couple of hours and then decided to leave.

We took a bus that drove us to the Argentinian bus terminal from where we took another bus for Foz del Iguazu, Brazil. We had to stop at the Argentinian border. They stamped our passport, went back on the bus, drove for another 10 min, and stopped at the Brazilian border.

 There, the bus driver told us to go get our stamp but he couldn’t wait for us, we had to take the next bus coming in. It didn’t take long. Thankfully when we got out I double checked that the officer stamped my passport. She did not, so went back and got it.

You are never too careful when you travel. It was her fault but they wouldn’t have allowed me to take into the bus to Rio if I didn’t have it. They check your passport before you board.  Anyway, we waited another 45min before the next bus came in. When you are on the Brazilian side the time changed, they are an hour ahead, but we still had time to catch our bus.

Troubles arrived when we got to Foz del Iguazu, the bus didn’t take us to the terminal, he asked us to get off what seems to be the last stop. We didn’t expect to be drop off somewhere else, so we didn’t have any Brazilians money ($Real). We had a map and the terminal seemed only a couple of blocks away. We walked. It was about 30min walk. It’s nothing with all the walking we have been doing. But with heavy backpacks and the heat; I was this close to cry or die. It felt like it was never going to end. I was also nervous because it was a city that we know nothing about, it wasn’t smart to wonder around like we did. After a while we realised that the map we had wasn’t complete, where they pointed out the terminal wasn’t really there, it was further up but they put it there as an indication that it was somewhere there. We asked a couple of people on the way and they all seemed to point us to the same direction. It wasn’t easy because nobody speaks English or Spanish.

We finally made it to the freaking station. 2 hours ahead of our bus departure but at least we could breathe again. Forget about the stress, relax, and wait!

At this point we are not sure how the bus is going to be, but it doesn’t matter because we are so tired that we could sleep in anything.

We boarded the bus around 7pm, the seats were comfy and spacious. It smelt a bit like pee in there. I thought I’ll be able to deal with it. What I couldn’t deal with was the AC. It was FREAKING FREEZING in there. I had packed my jacket, a pair of socks, leggings and a scarf. But it was not enough. Everyone else seemed to know about it because they all had packed blankets.

We didn’t. They didn’t give us any. It was a nightmare to sleep. It got better in the morning when we stopped in Sao Paulo. It was only 5 of us left in the bus and I was finally able to sleep better.

Puerto Iguazu: DAY 18

The dorm turned out to be ok. The other 4 people staying in the same dorm were very respectful. They went to bed after us and were very quiet, same in the morning. I didn’t even hear them waking up. This is great. When we got up around 9am they were already gone! We had breakfast by the swimming pool which was very nice. The breakfast was very poor comparing to what we had in other hostel until now. We didn’t have much of a choice. Bread and jam. Tea or coffee. Very disappointing when you see the size of this place. They must make a lot of money with the prices they charge for everything else.

Anyway, we got ready and took a bus to the Falls. We had to pay 100Pesos each to get into the park. The place is huge and many options to choose from. We decided to follow two different circuits. The 1st one being the Garganta del Diablo. We took a bus and then a mini train (told you the place is freaking huge). When we got off the train we followed the trail to the falls. About 1.5km. We had to walk in the middle of the jungle on a bridge above the water. Super nice! We spotted a couple of huge fishes swimming around, and even a mini alligator.

The falls were amazing to look at. It’s so impressive. Breathtaking, not sure how you could ever describe something that is so amazing. Nothing like anything you’ve seen before and certainly not like the Niagara falls.

But man, the experience was a bit spoiled by all the other tourists who all seemed like they lost their senses and forgot how to behave in public. Everyone was pushing around to take their freaking picture. Dude, you are standing at one of the most beautiful places in the word, relax, take a deep breath and wait for your turn. People tend to forget that it’s not about the picture. Try to absorb first what you are seeing. Try to enjoy it.

But it seemed that nothing else mattered but the picture.

Something else that I didn’t like is people asking you to take a picture. I don’t mind taking a picture, I understand, we do it sometimes. But what I hate is other people asking you when you are at it. Arnaud took a picture of this couple, another couple asked him straight after, and so did another one. WTF? I just don’t get how people think sometimes… Or Am I just being a pain in the butt?

Anyway, we went back to where we started and took another circuit. We stopped for lunch and were surrounded by coaties, all trying to steal food from everyone. Very weird animal.

The second circuit was also really good and had a different view of the falls. We loved that wherever you go you are always in the middle of the jungle and there is always something going on. Birds and butterflies flying everywhere, smaller falls here and there.  Not to forget a bunch of idiots all the way around.

We loved the whole experience, but it got really hot by the end of the afternoon, and we got so tired, we decided to make it back to the hostel. We probably missed a lot of other cool places. We debated on whether we should go on the boat and goo under the falls, but it was another 125$ per person. It didn’t seem like it was really worth it. 

We got back to the hostel around 6.30. We heard there was a Tango show and BBQ at 8, and decided to register. Paid 45$ each. Quiet expenses but at least we didn’t have to go back to the city centre to get some food and cook. We then jumped straight in the swimming pool, it was so refreshing at last!

Later on we had dinner, NOT GREAT! The show was alright but not great either! We’ve seen better for free in Buenos Aires. We didn’t even stay until the end, went back by the pool and had a drink. We heard two guys speaking French and went to sit with them. Both from Toulouse, very nice! We had a great time sharing our travelling stories. Around 00.30 I decided to go to bed and wasn’t feeling good at all. I don’t know if it’s the food or the heat. I slept the moment I put my head on the pillow and felt good again this morning. Piouf… I was so scared that it might have been food poisoning or something bad like this!

The rip off of the day: I forgot to mention that we should have brought our own food and water.  A small bottle of water, 3$ in a supermarket was sold there for 15$!!! You better drink it straight because after a couple of minutes it’s boiling hot!

 

From Mendoza to Puerto Iguazu: DAY 17

We left our hostel in Mendoza around 9am. The hostel was nice, but again the noise…. I don’t get people who get up early and make a hell of a noise. There was this guy talking just outside our door for like half hour. Like seriously don’t you have any respect? There is nothing that annoys me more than being up and not be able to go back to sleep because of some kind of asshole.

The breakfast was very poor comparing to what we had in previous hostels. Overall Mendoza did disappoint. We took a ca and went straight to the airport. A tiny airport surrounded by a vineyard.

The plane was small but very comfortable, we had drinks and food. It felt so good being back on a plane! We had a layover at salta. But stopped for only 30min. Some people came on board and we took off again. It took in total about 3hours30 to get to Puerto Iguazu. When we were about to land we tried to spot the falls but couldn’t see them, instead we had this amazing view on the jungle. It seriously felt like we were landing straight in the jungle. And the feeling did not go away when we stepped out of the plane.  The humidity was even worse than in Buenos Aires.

We took a bus transfer that drove us to the hostel for 30pesos each. Kinda expensive but it was the only option.

Got to a crowded hostel, it’s HUGE! It seriously look like a resort. It has everything, bar, restaurant, pool and a dj playing. It’s nice but for the 1st time, we are going to experience something new: Sleeping in a dorm. It’s a small one but it is still a dorm ( for 6 people). We went to check out the room (the dorm) it’s small but ok.  1st sight of relief the temperature in the room was cool (AC is on). I was afraid we were going to die in there.

We dropped the backpacks (So tired of the backpack!). We had one last thing to book, the bs ticket for Rio de Janeiro. The last step. We talked to the girl at the reception who said it was going to be difficult to find ticket at this time, because of the carnival and a lot of Brazilians are on vacation here, she said the agency they work with can maybe find us something but it was closed until the morning.

We were on panic mode! We decided to go downtown and check at the bus station. The hostel is just outside the city so we had to take a bus, it wasn’t a long ride but a terrible one! OMG, we almost died about a hundred times. The roads are so bad!

Anyway, we got to the terminal; the first company we stopped at had availability for the day we wanted to leave. 2nd sight of relief of the day!

Went back to the hostel, but this time the ride was even worse. The guy took a detour, he drove around the local houses, and there wasn’t even a road in there! The entire city is dirty and very poor. I don’t get it. How come a city that owns the best falls in the world can be so poor? It’s the worst we have seen so far. It looks like we’re in some three world country. With kids half naked playing around and asking for money to everyone who looks like a tourist!

Back at the Hostel we enjoyed the swimming pool.

Mendoza: DAY 16

This morning, we almost didn’t make it to the bus. We woke up early enough, had breakfast and got ready to leave. We took the subway, but we got off one stop early because it said Terminal station, so we thought the station was big enough and would be easy to find our way from there. BIG MISTAKE!

It was the train station, but we couldn’t be far away as it was just one stop before the one we were supposed to get off. So we walked and got to the bus station, it was huge, and crowded, and no signs anywhere, on our ticket it said the bus was leaving from platform 22. Went there, waiting a couple of minutes, something was wrong. No Turbus around, every other company was there but ours. We remembered that when we arrived it was outside and all Turbus buses were there. We weren’t sure how to get there. We asked some guy, but didn’t get a word of what he said, we just followed the direction he pointed us toward to, which was on the opposite side of the station, went there, asked another guy, who pointed us the direction were we came from. Went back there, waited a couple of minutes, but still not convinced we were at the right place. Time was running and at this time I’m almost certain that somehow we missed the freaking bus.

By chance, there was this tiny minivan from Turbus so I thought he might know better about other buses! So walked up to him and showed him our tickets, and THANK GOD we did, he was there to pick up people travelling with Turbus, and drove us to the other terminal ( the one we came from when we arrived). The bus was supposed to leave at 8.40 but it was rescheduled for 9am, so we made in just on time!!!

We drove for about 7hours to get to Mendoza, Argentina. The bus was once again very nice, and comfy enough to sleep. The scenery was magnificent, couldn’t keep my eyes off the window.  We spent about too boring and long hours at the border! So busy up there.

We arrived around 4pm in Mendoza, went straight to the hostel. SUPER NICE! It’s always nice to arrive somewhere and not be disappointed. Dropped the bags and left straight away. We are leaving Mendoza tomorrow am so we had not time to lose. We went to San Martin Parques. The French couple we met in Bariloche told us about it. It was designed by a French guy.

The park was about 10min walk for the hostel. It’s super big and crowded, really enjoyed walking around. There was a festival going on, bbqs everywhere. We stopped there for a drink and listen to a band playing some really cool music.

Went back downtown, walked around the busy streets, it was around 8pm, all the shops was still open. It didn’t felt safe at all, I don’t know there was a weird atmosphere, maybe too many people. Everybody was looking at my camera like Jesus just came back! I put it back in my backpack and kept walking looking for a place to have dinner. We decided to leave the area and go somewhere quiet. We spotted earlier a couple of restaurant on the same street as the hostel and made our way back there.

There isn’t much to do in Mendoza unless you want to do wines tours, the region is very well known for its wines. SO I’m glad we aren’t staying any longer in here. We enjoyed the day and the night here but I’m ready to move on to our next step.

Tomorrow am we are upgrading to a plane! Youhou! We are flying from Mendoza to Iguazu falls, up north, 6hours flight. We were going to do it by bus (36hours) but the flights weren’t that expense comparing to the bus. Time is flying! We only have about a week left!

Moment of the day: While having dinner a bunch of kids surrounded our table, selling God knows what. One of them almost grabbed my phone. But got it on time! This is the 1st time that I don’t feel safe at all. That’s probably why I’m glad we are taking off tomorrow!

Santiago, Chile: DAY 15

Ok, we are so ready to move over to Santiago. We are both so in love with this city. It has been the biggest surprise so far. We weren’t expecting to like it at all. It wasn’t even on our 1st itinerary to begin with.

So today was a very pleasant day, we enjoyed walking around the city. We went to Lastarria, such a nice tiny area, a bohemian street with tons of café. You wouldn’t know where to stop. There are a couple of street vendor and we spotted a theatre were the Artist was showing!! Way to go for the Frenchies!!_ Very proud moment here!

 From there we walked to Museo Bella Artes, surrounded by a gigantic park. Santiago is so green, Parks everywhere! The Museum is so gorgeous. It’s huge on the outside but nothing much happening in the inside. We enjoy the Roberto Matta exposition, a Chilean painter. Other than that the museum was filled with sculptures. I love Art but I just don’t get sculptures.

It was getting late in the afternoon and we were getting hungry so we crossed over to Ballista for a late lunch. Ballista is to Santiago what La Boca is to Buenos Aires. Very colourful, a bit touristy, but it feels great walking there. I took about a million of pictures. We sat at a random restaurant and had a nice light lunch.

We then headed to Cerro San cristobal, we wanted to get into the funicular and go all the way up, but it was crazy crowded in there. We debated on whether we should walk up there (6km) But with the heat (32degres today) we gave up and walked back to the city and stopped by the fish market; an indoor fish market surrounded by seafood restaurants. Weird concept! It stinks like hell in there. I would never sit at one of the restaurant and eat seafood, not in a million years, not even for free. I could barely walk around without passing out _ trying not to breath.

We ended up the day in another park, in the shadow. We were surrounded by trees, a couple of fountains and A LOT of other couples. And when I say a lot, I mean like Millions, it feels like there is nothing else but cute couples all around the city!

Anyway, we walked back home, and the street got suddenly so busy. I guess because the siesta time was over. People were out shopping, terraces were all filled with people laughing and music playing loudly.

The whole day was just perfect. Not sure what is it about the city that we are attracted to. But it felt good being here and we enjoyed every minute of it. Everything was easy and hassle free.  We loved Buenos Aires but it looked too European. Santiago is just as good but with a real South American feel to it which I guess makes the big difference.

I really wish we had more time here, but we have to get back to Argentina tomorrow. Leaving early morning to Mendoza. We heard the view passing over the Andes is incredible. And the border is all the way up high (3500m)! I’m  looking forward to it!

Santiago, Chile: DAY 14

DAY 13 was our last day in Puerto varas, I was so tired because we went to bed very late and sleeping in a hostel isn’t going to give you the best night sleep. Once somebody is up, everyone else is up. Our room is almost in the living area, the breakfast table is 30cm away from our door. It’s so frustrating, and I don’t get people. You want to wake up early, fine. No need to be so loud!

Anyway, we had to leave the room by 11am. Then we had the afternoon to enjoy Puerto Varas for the last time. We decided on a picnic on the beach and spent the entire afternoon there. It was super nice and very crowded!

By the end of the afternoon, the weather was getting weird, we felt like it was going to rain any minutes. So we went back to the hostel, packed our stuff, and headed to the bus station. This time we booked out tickets with TurBus, not sure what’s worth. I really hope it’s as good as Via Bariloche because I really need to sleep.

It’s a 12 hours ride and we should arrive in Santiago around 8am. The bus was beyond perfect! The service was good too. When we popped in, the guy walked around to give us blankets and pillows, not just give out… Put the pillow behind your back and spread the blanket nicely on your laps. Amazing! I slept almost the entire way to Santiago!

Day 14: We arrived as scheduled around 8am, and man it was hot! But at least there is no humidity. We headed to the subway; we had about 6 stops to get to Santa Lucia area where we are staying. Check in is not before 2pm, but we are hoping we can drop our backpacks. Arnaud booked us an apartment in a residence. He found it on booking.com, and it was the same price as any other hostel in Santiago. The reviews were all really good. So we decided to try it out. It seemed too good to be true but whatever, we gave it a shot. We got there around 9 am; it’s a huge and beautiful building with a concierge. 1st relief! He called the lady in charge and we went upstairs with her to her office. We dropped our bags and asked us to come back in the afternoon to get the keys for the apt.

We stopped at the 1st cafe and had a nice breakfast.  We then decided to start sightseeing and try to do most of what we had on our list (Things to do and see in Santiago). We lost a day because of what happened in Bariloche so we can’t lose any more time.

Santiago is not that big and most touristy stuff are around the same area, which makes it easy to just walk around from one place to another. We went to Plaza de Armas, the cathedral, the public library, plaza de moneda (where the president palace is). The architecture is amazing! But overall, it looks like any other big cities, people rushing around to work. I thought it would be more “ghetto” but it’s not at all.

After lunch we went to the Park Cerro Santa Lucia, and walked up to the top of the Hill. The hill has an altitude of 629 m and a height of 69 m over the surrounding area. The hill is the remnant of a volcano 15 million years old. The park itself is super nice with ornate facades, stairways and fountains. At the top the hill, there is an amazing view of Santiago and the surrounding mountains.  But we heard that the view from cero San Cristobal is even more breathtaking. We might try that tomorrow.

We went back to do the check in. and OH MY GOD! The apartment is AMAZING!!! Do you know how nice it is to have your own bathroom; I can finally leave my toothbrush in there! And a tub! The bedroom is huge; we even have a small balcony. There is also a swimming pool on the rooftop, so we went to check it out. The terrace is huge and has a lot of tables and chairs. SUPER NICE! The swimming pool is inside, which is a good thing because at this point it’s around 4pm and it’s about 35degres outside! Boiling hot!

Later on we decided to go get some food to cook and stay home. It’s nice to be in hostel because you meet a lot of people, but it feels so good to be alone, just the two of us.

Puerto Varas, Chile: DAY 12

Puerto Varas is a cute small little town; it reminds me of the small villages you can find south of France. The scenery is different though. But it has the same “vacation feel”.
It seems that a lot of Chileans and Argentinians are here on vacation, it’s the end of summer break!
It’s a true paradise for REAL adventurers… Kayaking, canoeing, mountains climbing… horseback riding… We as is in NOT adventurer decided to take it easy! i wish we were able to do the Volcano osorno ascension, but the trek is 6hours long! I’m sure we could have done it but we just weren’t feeling it! I wish there was a way to go up there without the walking and just enjoy being up there! But whatever excursion you decide on doing it always involves hours of trekking or/and being in the water. There is no harm in enjoying the smallest things so, instead we stayed in town, rented a bike and cycle around the city. There are a couple of super nice beaches along the lake. Families everywhere, kids learning to ride a canoe!

Day 12 was a day where Love was definitely in the air, here in Northern Patagonia, Chile, in a town most people have never heard of, everyone was celebrating Valentine’s Day! But it had nothing to do with the gifts, flowers or chocolates. It was just a simple celebration of love… Heart shaped balloons everywhere, live music in the streets… there was a concert in the main square and for a sec we thought it was Justin Bieber… Girls screaming and signing along… We couldn’t figure out who it was but probably the Chilean version of Biebs!!!
We stopped for lunch at a super nice cafe. The food was never a disappointment… And is always so cheap!!
 
In the afternoon we went the opposite direction to discover the other part of the town! On our way we found Paolo Ferio museo. A young painter who opened his own museum! It’s a three storey house and you can walk around look at all his paintings he’s made of the town, so you can see how the city evolved. The house was filled with very old stuff. it is a vintage HEAVEN!!! And it is all so nicely put together! It made my day! ;-)
 
Back at the hostel, we met Nicolas the French owner! 15 years ago he travelled to South America and never left! He’s such a nice guy!
 
Moment of the day: Later on we decided to go grab something to eat. We never look at menus because the prices are the same almost everywhere, and I have not seen any menus in French or English… So what’s the point… we just sat outside what seemed to be a very small cafe/restaurant. When the girl brought us the “carta” we found out it was a sushi place!!! Eating sushi in Chile felt kinda wrong…Like totally wrong, but we decided to stay anyway… believe it not… after waiting the usual 40min or so to be served… it was the BEST sushi I ever had! No kidding!! ;-)
 
PS: we are leaving for Santiago tomorrow! We have a couple of hours during the day to enjoy Puerto Varas some more….

Puerto Varas, Chile: DAY 11

I can’t remember the last I had to wake up so early.

6.00am, my eyes wouldn’t open up.

The previous night we had ask the guy at the reception to book us a cab for 7am. The bus station is close by; we needed to be there at 7.10am. I was kinda stressed that the cab wouldn’t show up on time… But it did and we got there on time! Once again we travelled with the company via Bariloche.

 I knew it would be comfortable enough to sleep all the way through. Bariloche to Puerto Montt, Chile = 6hours. I slept for about an hour… the road wasn’t the best and we kept going up and around mountains. We arrived at customs around 9. But it was the Argentinians. They stamped our passport that we were leaving the country. We went back to the bus and drove another 2hours before we arrived to the Chilean border. What’s in between? Argentina? Chile? Not sure, so weird the way it works. Anyway we arrived to Puerto Montt in one piece!

I was exhausted and starved. You are not allowed to bring any food to Chile, so we didn’t pack any snacks. But before we could even think about eating, we had to find an ATM, get Chilean pesos, and get another bus to Puerto Varas, 30km from Puerto Montt. We popped in what seemed to be the smallest bus in the world. With our backpacks we felt like giants in a cave.

 Anyway, we finally made it to Puerto Varas, found our Hostel pretty fast. Dropped the freaking Backpack and rushed outside to eat. Forget to mention, our hostel is owned by a French guy, Nicolas. We haven’t met him yet, but we were greeted by Marylin, who is also French. It’s always so nice to meet people from your own country. Marylin has a Spanish to die for, so jealous. Anyway, we went to this cute little restaurant by the lake with a gorgeous view on the Volcano Osorno. We ordered a massive homemade burger and fries. I forgot that in South America, you should never go eat out when you are hungry. It takes for ever…

Once my stomach was full again, we walked around, and noticed for the 1st time how cute is this small little town. We didn’t do much. We will explore some more tomorrow. We had to find the bus company to book our tickets for Santiago. We learned our lesson. Never wait last minute. We walked quickly by the lake and I treated to myself to a cotton candy. Miam miam. And for the 1st time I felt so relaxed and finally on vacation. Moment of the day: We spent the evening at the hostel talking to a 64 year old American, Stanley, he is so sweet and kind, a Chilean couple from Santiago, about our age. We had a great time.

Good Bye Patagonia: DAY 10

Hola Amigos!

Day 10 was a super quiet day and we loved it! We always forget what day it is… and it was Sunday, most places were closed. It didn’t really matter as we planned to go relax by the lake. No running around, no sightseeing, no looking at the map (obviously I’m talking about Arnaud here!)NADA_WALLOU_QUE DALLE!!!!

We wanted for one day, to just relax, and do nothing.

We walked down the city centre to get a bus to go to la playa Bonita, 8km outside the city. For one second, we weren’t sure anymore… it was very windy and chilly! We decided to go anyway and see what happens there.

It turned up to be just fine! Not bad at all. By the time we got there, the wind had disappeared. It wasn’t crowded at all, which is always nice, a couple of people here and there…

We found a nice and quiet spot away from anyone else and stay there a couple of hours. It was so nice to be there and to hear nothing but the sound of waves. We needed some peace at last.

It got very hot, and almost wished that the earlier breeze would come back. And swimming was not an option, the water was freezing cold!!!!!! My body’s temperature dropped by 15C, just by putting my feet into the water.  But at least it was refreshing.

After a couple of hours, the heat was not bearable, so we made it back to the city. We stopped by a very nice place and had what we usually have every Sunday, a crepe for me and a waffle for Arnaud with the locally made “chocolade”. It was so delicious.

We walked back home for the last time here in Bariloche. We packed our backpack again, paid our dues, booked a cab for 7am the next day. And now off to bed I go!

Next time I’ll see you here, it will be from Perto Varas, Chile!

Hasta Luego!

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