Monday, March 30, 2009

A Continuation

So, we pull up to this seedy motel called Motel Navada. Classy. So I ask the driver... is this sex motel? Yes, he replies with gusto, very pleased with himself for being so clever. Umm... is it safe? Is it clean? Oh yes yes, very safe, very clean, two free drinks! Awesome... So we pull in and decide that we might as well check out the room. We open the door and the place absolutely shines. Big double bed with shiny gold polyester blanket, big mirrors at the head and foot of the bed, as well as two mats attached to the wall at the head of the bed for god knows what.... and i'm sure that he doesn't approve of it, and a nice bathroom. Well sweet. It looked fairly secure too, and was only 10 000 pesos, which is like 13 dollars. So we took it, of course. How could we pass up such an extremely odd opportunity, plus we had already driven so far out of town, and everything else was either closed, creepy or expensive. The driver was very pleased, and here's the kicker, they only rent the room for 12 hours....hahahaha! Which was all we needed as we were just passing through town. The driver picked up the phone and ordered us two whiskey's and coke... to you know... get us all relaxed.... and stuff... and then left, promising to be back in 12 hours to take us to the bus station. This place was awesome.. pretty much one of the nicest rooms we'd had yet, with a tv, though the only clear station was porn, but I wasn't complaining. There was also a cd player, bring your own cd. A minute after the driver left there was a little knock on this locked cupboard on the wall, and we unlocked it and opened er up, and this little tray slid through with two cokes, two cups with a big shot of whiskey in each, and two chocolate bars to ´keep er going´, called yotu, which is you and me in English. Awesome. In the end the place was pretty good, though I had to wear earplugs all night as cars were pulling in and out continually all night, and the thin walls allowed the noise of all other fornicaters to clearly enter our room. Quite creepy really. Luckily for us, pathetic for them, it lasted for a freakishly short time but at top volume. Guess they wanted to get what they paid for. Man I love earplugs. I used to be neurotic about wearing them, as I was paranoid I would burn up in a fire or something without noticing, but I'm over it.

So he showed up the next morning with a little smile on his face which we pointedly ignored, and took us to the wrong bus station. So we grabbed another taxi to the right one, and were on our way. It was a 5 hour bus ride, quite beautiful really, and then we arrove at Pichilemu and found a nice place to camp. It is secure with a big gate, nice even camp sites with a parrilla, so we are going to go to go grill up some steak etc tonight. Mmmm. There is absolutely no one else at the camp site, due to low season, so it's pretty cool. Unfortunately we are complete idiots and forgot to dry out our tent, so we spent about an hour trying to scrub off the creepy mould that is devouring our tent. Orin keeps on telling me about how his dad always used to yammer at him about drying the tent, and he finally understands why... if only he had learnt for the both of us. It was a royal pain in the ass, but now it is clean enough not to scare me, and hopefully we will come home disease free. Today we rented some bikes from some guy (very descriptive). He tried to rent them us for 20 american each for a day! Holy crap, we said. We could rent a car for that much! no way..... so... how much do you offer.. How about 14 for the both of them. Deal! Okay.... So we got a bit of food and rode 7 km out of town to this big break, beautiful massive lefts rolling off a point. So nice. We watched these guys battle out there and wait and wait, and then this one guy just smoothly paddled into one wave and slide down the massive wall of water and stand out with ease and ride it for a couple hundred meters. It was beautiful, and he made it look so easy. We sat there until the sun almost set, then got back on our bikes and race teamed back to town to see the sun set over the ocean. It was gorgeous. I have to pee like a race horse so must flee.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Update-o-rama and taste test satan

Alright. The dreaded update... wrenching into the depths of my mind trying to remember what in gods name i did last week, let alone the week before it. And the sad part is that I know that I have to do the same shit in my journal. From exactly the same point. Lord of the Rings I cannot resist your temptations. So that was a huge disappointment. We were all settled in front of the tv, watching Frodo and Sam climb up the staircase of doom into Mordor, and the battle was just beggining when there was a commercial break, so we raced upstairs to grab some random shit, such as shoes for my blue toes and water or something, and when we come back down the guy shuts the door in our face and tells us he's closed. Once again they closed half an hour early on us. We were pretty choked, and dragged our feet up two flights of stairs to stand in our empty room at 1130 at night, cursing his name and wondering what other anticlimatic thing we could fill the void with. It was super depressing. We turned on some music and wrote in our journals or something, which was pretty good, but honestly, to this day I still think about Lord of the Rings and what the hell happens at the end. It has been so long.... so good. I love that series... as you can all tell, so I will shut up about it as your are here for South America, not some movie that we have all watched.

Rafting... Rafting was awesome. We had a small group of six, consisting of two other couples. Romantico Rafting. hmm... but both of the other couples spoke Spanish so the guide kept on having to translate everything to us, which was awesome but I still wish that we could speak Spanish! The river was extrodinarily beautiful. We drove into the woods for an hour or so, had a small brekkie of bread and jam, and then suited up, jumped in the van again, and another half an hour or so to the river. We jumped in the boat and were off. There was the guide and two safety kyaks, which looked like they were having the most fun out of anyone! I really want to try that! They were ripping it down the rapids, and then would turn around and just sit in a rapid, paddling lightly and doing all these crazy tricks like dipping the nose in and sticking straight up with their head in the water, and then back down, and all sorts of spins and stuff. Looked awesome. Note that these are tiny little river kyaks.
There was probably about 8 rapids, getting progressively harder. It was about a level 3, and honestly both Orin and I agreed that we would have enjoyed a 5 better, as it doesn't take much skill if you are able to row, which suprisingly some of the Argentinians couldn't... which made sense when they told us they couldn't swim either. Everyone's not so lucky as to grow up by a river and a lake! But even so it was a blast! We were just all pumped up and ready for some super craziness; and were not satisfied until we got a good 10 foot drop or somthing, which did not happen. We did try to do a "wheelie" in our boat, but everyone was a bit too scared to really put their back into it, and we kind of just did a lopsided rise... The group was really awesome, everyone was enthusiastic and the guide was really good, kind, funny and bilingual. There were a couple of straight stretches where we all jumped off and floated for a while. It was pretty damn cold, but we were all wearing wet suits with little booties and such so it wasn't that bad. It was a great time, and now we know that we need to keep an eye out for some 5's. I won't be content with anything less than barely legal.

We pulled the boat over just as we hit the Chillean border, and for about 5 minutes we entered Chile for the first time this trip. Very beautiful... Looks a lot like Argentina actually. haha. So we hiked up this very steep hill, some poor horse had our deflated boat on its back, but it didn't seem to mind actually, the horse seemed to be having an easier time than the argentinian guys. haha. We got changed, jumped back into the van, and after an hour or so were back at the beginning point where we were served breakfast. We were all famished, and from the van window I could see that the table was pristinely set, wine glasses and salad already out. We got out of the van and went inside, and had barely sat down when they came out with a big sizzling hot plate, hot coals still burning under it to keep it warm, absolutely piled with meat. Chicken, Beef and Chorizo, all sizzling away looking tasty as all hell, with some potatoe salad, lettuce, tomatoes etc and a bottle of wine. It was one of the best meals yet. So So so good. We all ate until we couldn't fit another bit in our mouths, and then went outside where I drank some wine in the sun until it was time to go. Awesome.

So the next day we left Bariloche for Junin de Los Andes, where we found a cute little camp site by the river, which turned out to be not so cute when a bunch of guys pulled up in a car. Idiots, is what we called them mostly. They were noisy, and thoughtless, randomly turning the car on during the night and revving it for power I assume. The problem with that is that not only is the revving engine noisy, but their car is a peice of shit, and their belt was messed up and screaming like a banshee. Luckily we were not trying to sleep at this point but there were many people around us that we saw go to bed much earlier. Jerks. So the next day we moved farther down camp, and it wasn't quite so bad. It just aggrivates me when people are that rude. In the end the campsite was awesome, we had a parrilla there, and grilled every night. Fat steaks, which I am learning to really like medium rare. I used to be terrified of red in meat, and now am realizing that is why they call it red meat. Orin's made me love steak, and I have turned him on wine, and therefore we have wonderful evenings. Both nights we grilled steak, onion, peppers, and mini squash. So friggin good man. So our purpose for being in Junin was to visit Parque Lanin to see a volcano and enjoy the park. We got up early, like 7 30 ish, and packed a lunch and grabbed a day bus to the park, where we arrove at 11 and would leave at 5 45. It was very different than we thought. Firstly, they charged us 30 pesos to get in, like 10 bucks, which is pretty hefty for a park that has no infastrcuture or paths laid out. Also, and Argentinian went in before us and only had to pay 8 pesos. Such a weird system that no Argentinian seems to agree with, all of them quite shocked that we get so badly gouged and exploited just cuz we're forgeign. So pretty much what happened was that they drove us out to the middle of nowhere and said get out, see you in 6 hours. So we got out, went to the lake, and ate some food. There was a little campground across the river, with a bell on our side that you could ring, and ther was a little dude in a boat sitting there, waiting to pick you up. Pretty damn awesome. Then we sat there and wondered what the hell we were going to do for another 5 hours. So we walked for a bit, hoping to find something, some hiking trail or little town or something, and then ran into the Argentinian who was on the bus with us, who introduced himself as Diego. He told us there was a little town or something about 1 km from there and that he was planning on walking, and as we were going the same way he joined us. So, about 2 km later we found a little information place, and he went in and worked his Argentinian magic, and we walked down to a nice little beach nearby. We went there, took a nap, ate some food, and then it was almost time to go. It was a beautiful area, but they dropped you off in the most random place, and there was no way to go anywhere. Kind of rediculous for a place we paid 20 bucks to get into! It would have been awesome if there was a bike rental place in there, but this was not an on foot exploration park. We had a good time looking the beauty and volcano, and talking to Diego about Argentina. He was so proud of his mate, it was awesome. We coudln't quite understand what he was getting at, but apparently he never washes his mate cup, and never EVER lets anyone put sugar in it, as it ruins the taste. Pretty hard core about there mate here man.
The next day we got up super early for our 630 bus and were on our way to Chile! It went pretty smoothly, except for instead of getting up on time I lay there having scary dreams about being late for the bus and the taxi leaving on us, and then woke up to near reality. But we got there on time, got some coffee, and met this guy from the UK named Chris at the bus stop. He was trying to decide where to go, and we convinced him to come to Pucon rather than Temulco, which is just a bus stop over for tourists and quite business orientated. The border crossing was pretty good, though we almost got killed for asking if we could bring avocados over the border. Oops!
We Arrove at Pucon at about 11, and got scammed into joining Chris at this crazy little Chillaen guys house across town. His promises of having a car and hot water proved to be futile, and when we arrove to his place he pointed across the street at a place under construction and said "that is my hostel.... but it burnt down.... so you will be staying here with me!".... it was strange and hilarious. We ended up sleeping in his room...very strange. All it consisted of was a bed, a seedy brazilian flag, a picture of a skimpily clad girl, a dirty bike, and a seriously giant panda bear. Okay.... and this guy was like 50. Lucky Chris got to share a room with this character, who introduced himself as Lalo Bravo. Lalo sat us down, made us some tea and coffee, and then proceeded to talk our ear off for like an hour. No joke. We heard about his ex wife (curvy, sexy, but Italian, therefore what a temper! And the family...don't get me started! haha) and his love for Pinochet. I repeat, his love for Pinochet. Apparently, contrary to what I expected, just under half of Chile supports Pinochet. Sure, they aren't too impressed with his homicidal tendencies, but hey, the man jump started the economy, chased out those damn commies and wrote the Constitution of Freedoms and Rights (which he then violated over and over again). We were first introduced to this subject when Chris, who is journalist and therefore knows who's who, picked up a picture of a man looking a lot like Lalo and Pinochet, exclaiming "Is this a picture of you and the general!", to which Lalo responded that it was not him, but his father, who worked for the regime. Then he explained that when Pinochet stepped down, and here's how he put it, asked if the people wanted him in power any more, and when they all said "nah, go home Pinochet, your work is done" he simply stepped down and sent home. But, aha, here's the kicker, before they left, Lalo's father was murdered because he knew too much. We all sat there shocked, until I piped up... doesn't that piss you off... they murdered your father. To which crazy man responded, nah, it was his job. It is seperate. It is his work. And we all sat there entralled that this man had a picture of his father, standing beside the famous dictator that gave the order for his fathers death. What. The. Fuck. But how hard can you press a maniac whose bed you are sleeping in, right?
So Lovely Lalo set us up with a tour up the Volcano that looms over Pucon. He showed us a little video of people waving, having fun, hiking, great family adventure! But no shots of lava, even though its there, for sure, it is "the suprise". Apparently the suprise being that you have to push your body beyond human measure to get to the top, risking plunging into the pit of death, pushing by the freakishly overagressive wind, only to find out that there is no lava, and has no been lava in 2 years. Bastard.
So, naively, we set this tour up for the next morning, and walked with Chris down to the beach, where we met a couple of people, a girl from Alberta, and guy that Chris had hung out with on his travels before. Oh, something that should be mentioned about Chris is that he is a fellow motorbike enthusiast, so him and Orin had an oral orgy based on bikes, as I sat there trying to follow. I did alright. I am improving. So we all hung out on the beach and then went out for beers. We broke up around dinner time, as Orin and I had to go get fitted for our volcano gear, which consisted of a windbreaker suit and some ill fitting hiking boots. All you have to bring is a lunch and some sunglasses, they assured us. Liar. And tomorrow is supposed to be a beautiful day.... which the Albertan girl proceeded to tell us her company told her it was going to be shitty and they may cancel. Liars....
We had plans to make dinner with Chris at the house, so he headed to the grocery store. We fitted up, grabbed some stuff from the store for lunch the next day, got lost, and by the time we made it home dinner was practically on the table. It was awesome! So we ate up quick, shared some of the artisan chocolate Orin and I had stored from Argentina, and then went back to town to meet our new friends for more beers. Bad plan as tomorrow would tell us. But it was a good time nonetheless, and we headed home and were in bed for midnight, with no alarm set, as Lalo promised to wake us up with coffee at 6. Liar.
So the bugger woke us up at 7, whining about how Chris snored and he had to use ear plugs so he couldn't hear the alarm... blah blah blah, get the hell up, the car is coming to pick you up in 5 minutes. So we got up, groggy eyed, grabbed our stuff from the fridge, and got in the car. We showed up at the tour place late, but no one seemed to really care, or actually know what was going on. We transferred our stuff into their bag they provided for each of us, and got in the van, and then proceeded to wait for everyone else to finish their coffee and get in. Hmm, Ironic. We drove to the volcano and were dropped off at the ski lift at the bottom, as it is a ski hill in the winter. Our guide suggested that we use the lift as it would save us an hour, and, gasp, he just realized that the weather may not be great all day. So we got on the lift, for an extra 8 friggin bucks each, and then started our hike. So we hiked, and hiked, and hiked, and hiked, and hiked. The guy was a friggin slave driver, ICH NICH BREAKS! HEIL HELL! And so we trekked, and so I died slowly inside, knowing that Orin is part machine, part giant, and not quick to tire. I had to keep stopping, out of breath on this crazy endless incline. Also, we didn't have a chance for breakfast, damn you Lalo! We slurped down some yogurt, but not nearly enough to keep you going up Volcano Satansnads. Our cereal, ironically named Fitness, which apprently I am very low on, lay untouched at Lalos house. So here I am on the side of this mountain of doom, feeling very much like Sam in LOTR (had to), contemplating offing myself. In the end, our guide, who guided me to exhausting and nearing passing out from overexhertion, was trying to get us up to the top before the weather turned bad, which honestly I really didn't give a shit about. I would like to get to the top without suffering cardiac arrest, rather than getting to the top in time to continue climbing to the summit without dying. Seriously, we were passing groups as I was close to passing out. It was mental. Orin was getting pretty pissed about how harsh this guy was being, as I was obviously not up to it. At this point the other two guys in our group had opted to hike the first part rather than take the lift and were yet to catch up to us. So after an hour and a half of this we arrove to the icey portion of the volcano, where he actually allowed us to have a break and eat some food. Thank you baby Jesus. The other two caught up not long after, and they had a quick rest, then we all strapped on our crampons and began the slog up the snow. For the first bit it was quite neat, having never hiked on ice before, it was pretty damn cool how much grip you have, but it lost it's magic quick, as we climbed over a hill and I looked up to endless ice, the path zig zagging back and forth because of the steepness. We hiked on, put one foot infront of the other, then that foot infront of the other foot, and then again, and again, my eyes on the ground and this playing over and over in my head, begging myself to find some energy. The guide made me walk at the front of the group... i'm not sure why... perhaps to shame me into keeping pace and not break, but whatever the fuck his reasoning was it was a cruel move. Whenever I had to stop, so did everyone else, no one was allowed to pass me, god forbid they utilize the fact that there was two guides an break it up into hiking boys and exhausted female. Funnily enough, I needed frequent breaks but was generally outpacing one of the other boys, who too looked like he was having a rough time. At one point the guide tried to get me to stop, and told me that the rest would go on as I wouldn't make it, and that I would just have to wait. That royally pissed me off, as I was paying this douche to guide me up the mountain, not make me feel like shit on a stick. So I told him to stuff it and suffered up to the top of the ice, finally back on dry ground. This was where he told me that he forbid me to go on, that I was too tired and that I wouldn't be able to make it back down. It was too much of a hike to the top, and if I went it would take and hour rather than 50 minutes.... okay. So what he really should have said here was that around the corner the winds were extremely strong, dangerously so, and that I would have a really difficult time, especially being as tired as I was, and that bad weather was moving in quick, leaving me at risk of being caught in a storm on the peak of the volcano. But no, he just told me that I was basically too weak, and that I would stay behind while the men summited. I was pretty crushed. So I sat there miserably, freezing half to death while the guys ripped up to the top, retuning in about an hour and a half. By this point I was pretty much frozen, shivering like crazy, and about 10 minutes before they returned I walked over to where the guide was sitting, and he was a little scared as to the fact that I was developing hypothermia on top of this god damned volcano. So he gave me some better gloves, the ones that we had where thin and useless, and gave me another touque, and told me that we had to go down now. I agreed, not wanting to leave Orin but not wanting to die alone with this asshole up there, so started suiting back up, when thank god Orin appeared out of no where. I pretty much cried out of happiness that he was not dead, as many had to turn back due to the terrifying wind, and one person that did make it told me that it was scary as all hell, and that her life flashed before her eyes a couple times. Great. So we all suited up quick, as I was very cold, and trekked back down. This was much more fun and quick, and we got back down in record time. Thank the lord. Now, during all of this fear and loathing in Los Volcano, there was definatly some awesome moments. The view was absolutely breathtaking, and for the first while waiting at the top I enjoyed it quite a lot, playing in the strong wind and looking at the beautful mountains, until the storm came in and froze my witch tits off. So all is not lost. And I know that this may sound very strange, but even though I was very dissapointed in myself that I could not make it to the top, in a fucked up way it felt good to fail. It was a strange feeling, a grand failure, something that I could not defeat. The mountain completely broke me and it was oddly freeing. I don't know how to explain something like that, but I guess sucess means nothing if it isn't riddled with failure.
So we made it down the mountain, got back in the car, got back to Pucon, walked home and fell into bed, sleeping from 5 until 8 the next morning. It was then that we realized that we had ran ourselves ragged from travel, and were in no state to climb such an intense peak. If only the company hadn't been such a scam! We had encountered the deadly combination of travellers exhaustion, no breakfast, and were unprepared for the extreme cold and wind due to a terrible tour company. In the end, I think that Orin had a pretty good time and was pretty pumped about seeing into the volcano. I'm pretty jealous but am going to photoshop myself into the photo of him at the top. Hahahaha. But seriously, I am. It will be awesome. Probably 20 years down the road I will have forgotten that I didn't even make it and will look at that picture fondly remembering the time I climbed that Volcano in Chile.
The next day we busted out of that damned town, and bused up to this town called Rancagua, about 5 hours from Pichilemu, where we are now. That was quite an experience as well! We got pitched out of the bus onto the side of a highway at like 10 30 at night, and we had to use a phone near by and called a taxi. The guy who showed up compeltely moulded our Rancagua experiences. We went to the only hostel in the book, which looked desolate and creepy, so asked him to take us somewhere different. Ultimately, he took us somewhere very, very different. First he took us to this hotel which looked rocking nice but was out of our price range. We came out and told him that so he told he us knew of a cheap motel, and that he would take us there. Cheap motel it was my friends. He drove us about 15 minutes out of town, parts of it on a gravol road, all the while explaining that we would get 10 hours and two drinks.... not really understanding what he was saying we just smiled and nodded.... maintain.
Sorry folks, this is a too be continued juicy tale. It is a good one too! And Deb, sorry for the late return on the email, been while since computer ville, but I will hit you one back tomorrow! (hopefully) We are hoping to go surfing if the weather is good.
Good night everyone!

Monday, March 23, 2009


So Bariloche is pretty awesome. Touristy, but not disguistingly so, it still carries a lot of it's own character. There are a lot of punks here, it is crazy! So many of them look as though they are 12, but as trendy as many Vancouverites, ripping around on their skateboards, smoking cigarettes, and shaking pills into bottles of coke....
When we arrove here yesterday there was a concert going on to commemorate the 24 of March, even though it wasnt the 24, it was just the closest sunday. It is a day spent in memory of the Guerra Sucia, ie the Dirty War, in which a lot of innocent people died. There was a bunch of pictures hung on a string around the park, with poems on them and stuff, and between bands this dude would come on stage and say things in Spanish that made everyone else clap. Apparently in Bariloche the best way to tribute the dead is through thrasher metal music and punk rock. Pretty fucking awesome in my opinion, so we hung around in the park for a matter of hours and rocked out as I people watched all of the children doing drugs and smoking...My intense hatred of cigarettes does not mix well with Latin America! The smell just makes me sick to my stomach.. too many nights being forced to sit in the smoke rooms with all my lung sick friends.
Today was an awesome day. We went to a river a couple hours from here and did some Level 3 rafting. Apparently there is up to 6 levels, but only five that you can do commercially. In the summer the river is a level 4, and instead of taking two hours, like it took us today, it only takes one. The river gets so high that some of the rapids we went over today dont even exist anymore, and some large rocks that we went by are not even seen. Pretty neat. I think that I will write about this later because Lord of the Rings just came on the tv in the room, the one that they sit in front of 24/7, no joke, and it is rarely in English... but this time it is! Very exciting because we havent watched anything the whole trip, and now there is something in English on this poor overstrained senior citizen of a television... my neck is straining from turning around to see gollum be creepy as he is... so i will be kind to my already aching body and allow it to stare into the abyss for a while. Ciao!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Fleeing to the North

Alright! Things have been going pretty excellently here! We have finally made ourselves some decent ground to the north, and are hanging out in a pretty little town called El Bolson. It is really hippie orientated, and on thursday and today there was a great big market selling all sorts of hand made things. Lot and lots of cutting boards made out of wood, knit hats that turn to a point and are so long they touch your bum (uber hippie) , and chocolate. Mmm, and to my great delight we have found some berries here! It was awesome... the strawberries were alright, and the raspberries were very good. I was happy to gorge myself and soothe my berry addiction.

This morning I was pulled from my tent by the voice of our neighbours, one of them doing an excellent Towlie impression. Clare, you know what happened next, which made this next part so much tastier. For breakfast we walked to the market and ate a really delcious waffle, with blackberries, strawberries and rasberries, topped with whipped cream and icing sugar. So damn good, and something that you rarely find down here. In the guide book it says that the fair sells ´lots of cheap health food` but all it really sold were hamburgers, fries, meat sandwiches and snitzel sandwiches... very healthy indeed, a slice of tomato laid on grease. haha. We had checked out the market on Thursday when we arrove, so we decided to get a taxi out to a waterfall 10 km away from town, and spend a couple of hours hanging out there. It was really pretty there and we did some adventuring across the creek and around the waterfalls.

Going back bit farther, our time in Trelew was great. We managed to rent a car, even though there is only one company that rents to people younger than 25... ouch. So we coughed up a bit more dough and had our own car for the day, which was awesome. We got the car at 9 o'clock, and drove directly out to Punta Tombo. It was over 100 km out of town, some of it being gravol road, so it was a bit after 11 when we got there. We paid our entrance fee and were released onto a dusty path with a warning that it would take us 3 hours... what "it" exactly was we were still not sure of. What we were both expecting was this... walk for an hour or so down to the water, where we would see this giant penguin colony hanging out, walking around on the beach and swimming in the water, and if we were lucky they would walk up to the little wooden tourist fence that we would be hanging over and we would get a good close view. (It´s hilarious being on this side of the fence...we being the animals that they are trying to keep in). Here´s how it really went: Within 30 second of walking down the dusty path this little penguin was panting to the left of us, scaring the shit out of me really. It had it's mouth wide open and was panting into the sky, looking as if it were about to die from dehydration. My initial thought was that I was going to have to go over to the park ranger at the enterance and tell them that a poor penguin had wandered from the colony and was going to die out in the heat.... but as I looked around I realized what a tool I would have looked like if I had done that. All around us there were nests below the brush, and there were penguins dotted throughout the bushes, some sleeping, some walking around randomly, but most staying in the shade of the brush. I laughed to myself, thinking about the look on the rangers face when I explained to her about the penguin I saw with a look of distress on my face... so funny. As we walked on there became more and more of them, one of them walking along the board walk with us. It hissed at me... but most of them were really friendly and curious. They seemed to be molting, some of them having a crazy head of hair, looking like a mohawk or some other punky cut, and some of them just looking disheveled.

We got to see a whole lot of penguins that day! They were everywhere we looked. The best part was near the end of the park, where we made it to the edge of the ocean. There were two main overlookings, one of them you could see the penguins swimming in the water directly below, and man can they swim! For what flying they can't do in the air, they make up for it in the water... looking as if they were gracefully soaring through blue sky with such speed, not even flapping thier little wing stubs.... or whatever they are... flippers or such... Another really good view brought you down to a small bay with a couple hundred penguins on shore just muckng around and screaming at eachother randomly. There was also about 50 in the water, swimming around and fishing. It was really neat. There were so many penguins just hanging around that we both almost stepped on a couple, blending into the shade under thebush they are using as shelter.

After exploring Punta Tombo we jumped back into our Volkswagon Gol (no, that is not a typo... she's the Gol) and went to a small Welsh town closer to Trelew. It was pretty cool there, very small and quaint. We followed this big sign for a Welsh teahouse for ages, and it finally led us out of town and then down this dirt road...both of us wondering where we were going... until we arrove at this random castle like thing, with the big grounds all nicely kept. A stream flowed through the lawn, being trimmed at the time, and there was a big fountain in the middle of the path. There was also a giant pot of tea on the lawn, which was being painted when we left... random... When we got to the door there was this big ass sign informing us that Princess Diana had visited this teahouse some years ago. They were so proud! We went into the restaraunt where we were lead to a table, the same on as Princess Di I'm sure, and were told it was 45 pesos each for their spread. Kind of steep but we were into it. We looked so funny and out of place in this prim teahouse with the table cloths and pictures of princess Diana, and then me in my flannel and Orin sitting in the corner with his giant brown fro. Our waitress was about 70 years old, sweet as could be, and she returned shortly with a big pot of tea, full pink and purple hand knitted cozy. Along with tea we got 5 mini sandwiches, some white bread with a lot of butter, some jams and some scones. They were delicous. Then like 10 desert squares came after it, and we did our best to mow them all down... only later realizing that that is a bad idea in the first place. After leaving the crazy little welsh teahouse we went back to Trelew and promply picked up some veggies and other ingrediants for a good ol salad for dinner.

The bus ride to El Bolson wasn't that bad, as we had Cama seats, where there is somewhere to rest your legs, which seriously helps your comfort level when sleeping. We got in around 8 30 in the morning, and could see our breath. We walked too far for early morning Sage with backpack, and found a campsite. We set up our tent in the sun, and then fell into it for a nap. This turned out to be a terrible idea, as it is only cold when the sun is down here, and proceeded to spend the next couple hours in a sweating daze, half sleeping in our tent. We were exhausted from all of the early morning and random night travel. When we woke up we dragged our tent into the nearby forest, and things are much better now.

Well, that's how things are going... tommorrow we head to Barriloche, the big town about two hours north of here, and then up a little further to see a Volcano, and then back to Barriloche and across the border to Chile! I am looking forwards to the nice Chilean roads, but not the undecipherable language! And I am looking forwards to seeing my lovely friend the Pacific again!

Love to you all

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A picture taken off the balcony of Ostinatto hostel in Buenos Aires at night.

The "downtown¨ of Cabo Polonia, in Uruguay, just as we arrove on the truck.

The glacier Perrito Moreno in the morning.

This one is for Clare. You know what I mean. Trekking through the mountains of Parque National de Los Glaciers, just outside of El Chalten, on the first day of our hike.

Orin just barely making it across a glacier river...we weren't supposed to cross without proper gear but we make our own laws in the forest! (Joke mom)

Alright! Quick update... we have made it much farther north, after 28 hours of bussing in two days we are now in Trelew, on the East Coast. Here we are going to go visit the largest colony of penguins outside of antartica....bitchin. Apparently they are quite friendly and curious and will walk up to you, so maybe we'll go trekking with a group of penguins.... hmm. We have rented a car for tomorrow, with unlimited miles, and so are going to go visit Punta Tombo, with all the penguins, and then to Gaiman, a Welsh village that is randomly in the middle of Argentina, and then hopefully we will have time to go check out the dinosaur museum. Relatives of Orin, we have finally discovered the cause of his giantism, and it will be interesting to meet more of his family. And then that evening at 10 30 we are jumping back on the bus for another 12 hour ride...and to think I used to complain about the scoot from Vancouver to Summerland.
The rest of our time at El Chalten was actually pretty awesome, as we made friends with some French Canadians, Catherine and Alex, and a german named Bernard. We got along especially well with the Quebecois, and hopefully we are going to run into them at barriloche, our next stop, or perhaps in Bolivia. Ciao.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Hello everyone. This is just going to be a short blog, as this computer sucks big time. Right now we are stranded in this small mountain town El Chalten. Apparently buses out of here are a rare commodity, and the soonest we could get is Sunday, and we were lucky to get that. We left one bus company to check if the other one had a bus out sooner, and by the time we made it back they only had places for tuesday. Very worridly we busted it back to the other company again and got our tickets. We were very happy that they hadn't sold out while we were gone too!
El Chalten is very nice, but windy as all hell! The kind that stops you in your tracks, blowing dirt into your eyes and all sorts of pleasant things like that. But we haven't been hanging out in town until today. We went for an awesome four day hiking trip in Parque de Los Glaciers. We spent two nights at the foot of this awesome peak called Cerro Torre, which took us just over 4 hours to get to. The first half hour was very very steep, especially for me, who does not generally hike, especially with a massive back pack. We ditched a bunch of stuff at a local hostel, but somehow our bags were still quite full and heavy. Damn this camping gear! haha. In the parque there was numerous free camping sites which were really well set up, shielding you from the howling wind. For the third night we hiked for almost 5 hours over to the giant mountain called Fitz Roy. It too had an extremely steep part, which left me panting and sweating like a crazy person, constantly begging orin for breaks. The rest of the hikes were awesome though, well worth the crazy inclines. It was generally even trail winding through the wilderness with random grasslands, lakes, rivers, glaciers and beautiful forest to keep us amused at all times. And except for one day where we just hung out in the tent, the weather was awesome. We were lucky and got to see both peaks stretching into a clear cloudless sky. So beautiful. It was really an awesome trip, and even though we are stuck here for 3 extra days it was well worth it. Now I am a little worried about the time, because when we look at the map we are still way the hell down in the bottom of Argentina! We are getting a 14 hour bus on Sunday at 1145 at night, which should be an aboslute pleasure, and then bussing and boating into Chile for a while, then back out into Argentina and across the country to the east to see this massive penguin colony. I have never seen penguins and am pretty excited. I remember when I was little my favourite hockey team, other than the Canucks, relax family, relax, was the Pittsburgs Penguins, just because I loved penguins so much. And so we meet again old friend...
Anyways, we are going to go raid the grocery store in hope that we can gather all the ingredients to whip up a batch of pancakes....and hopefully this damned lavandero will open up, as every time we've gone there with our bag of clothes they are closed, even though right on the door they say they should be open! As much as it bugs me I'm really not suprised....

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Hello Heilo

It is funny to read my last blog entry, because the setting is the exact opposite of where I am today. Patagonia is the same sort of climate as a Canada, as they both share the close proximity to a pole. The days are warm but still have a nip to them, and the nights are very cold, as i unfortunately found out last night. Apparently my 'drifter' sleeping bag is not quite sufficient for drifting around Patagonia. Last night i woke up three times and donned another layer of clothes. Only once I was wearing my thermal shirt, long underwear, pajama pants, socks, long sleeved shirt and sweater was I warm enough, and by that time it was time to get up (or so we thought). And I also seem to have lost my grey sweater, which was kind of counting on down here. Luckily i have a seriously quality thermal shirt, so it keeps me pretty toasty warm, and i have been doing pretty good. I will just be prepared when i go to sleep this night.

Back to Punta Del Diablo. After we left the internet shanty we grabbed an icecream and went for a big walk along the rocks, and then sat down on this big rock above a bit of an alcove and watched the waves crash in, splashing up high into the air and ocassionally misting us as well. It was really cool. When we looked over we saw a young couple smoking a joint and watching a similar thing. We were very jealous, but have had more than enough natural highs to keep up going down here.

After our walk we jumped back on our bikes and hit it home. I'm not sure i i've talked about these bikes yet, so if i have skip this as it will be quite repetitive. The hostel that we were staying at had about 15 bikes... out of these bikes we scrounged up two that had any remains of brakes rotting in them. I had a bit more than Orin, so had to remember to give plenty of notice for taking any turns. From our hostel we would ride a short dirt road to the only paved road in the town and rip it down the hill into the town. It was such an amazing feeling, as it was such a long time since i've been zooming along pavement, a private (yet much advertized) passion of mine. We rocketed into town each day, hair ablaze, eyes on the ocean, rarely running into any vehicles. The hostel asked us to leave our bikes at this place in town, but the first evening we could not find it and just wanted to get to the beach, so thinking they just didn't want them left on the beach and stolen, we brought them onto the shore an kept a good eye on them. The next day when we were leaving, the hostel clerk, a very nice guy, reminded us again that we can't bring them onto the beach, as it is 'very terrible' for the bikes. It was hard for me to restrain myself from laughing out loud as i held the rusting chunk of metal he called a bike, and wanted to tell him that i don't think they they could deteriorate much farther, but we took it with a smile and got him to circle the place on the map, which was actually pretty easy to find if you can remember the name, which was a bunch of random letters together. Still can't remember it.... Those bikes were good times.

So we rode the beasts home and relaxed a bit before the parrillo that they were preparing that night, which their kind of bbq. I think Orin give a good description on his blog, so i'll leave it up to forest boy and move on. That night we had a great time, drinking beer and wine, eating chorizo and bread, and finally the asado, their steak cut. The meat was absolutely amazing, and the company was equal. The hostel, that usually holds over a hundred in the summer, had 6 people at this time, so it was a fun small little gathering. There were two frenchies, a swede, the uruguayan desk guy Raoel, a guy from Seattle and a German guy, who's hair got messier and messier as he got drunker and drunker. It was quite hilarious really. It was a really great little evening with food wine and friend, and we chatted a lot with Jeevon from Seattle, who told us great little tips about Bolivia where he had just come from, and hopefully we will see him again as we live so close together. Everyone had lots of questions about Canada and were quite disappointed that we didn't speak French and hadn't been to Eastern Canada. They were more understanding when I told them how huge Canada was (they actually thought the states was bigger, ugh!) and that it was almost as far away from BC as China is from them. They are used to their tiny little countries and have the luxury of exploring it all without spending much time travelling. Then we busted out the Canadian money that we brought exactly for that purpose, and people went ape shit over it! It was hilarious! They were trying to buy it off us and were wondering why the hell the queen was on there (kind of hard to explain really...) We tried our best to answer all their questions, but seeing as i have the memory of a gold fish I had a hard time remembering facts about Canada. Dude... i have no idea how many kilometers it is off by heart, or the percentage of people that speak french... damn.

The next morning we got up early and hopped on the bus to deal with that shannanegan. If you don't purchase your bus at the station, you don't get a seat number and have to make like a squatter and be ousted whenever someone shows up with your seat number on their ticket. People were standing in the aisles... even though we pay the same ammount of money. Personally i am into the first come first serve option, or better yet, only sell enough tickets as their is seats! And those who are left to stand can either wait for the next or get a deal or something. But that would be way to rational....
Then the transfer to Montevideo, onto the Buquebus, though we almost didn't make it because apparently we were supposed to save this random peice of paper with a stamp on it in order to leave the country (an inconsequential fact they just happened not to tell us on the way in). I was laughing and thinking it was quite funny, saying ´damn, we'll have to stay in Uruguay forever', until Orin looked at me and said 'no, we will miss our flight'. Then I went pale in the face and started swearing like a sailor. Seeing my reaction and panic the guy helped us out a lot and sneaked us a stamp. Holy crap we were lucky. I was still weak at the knees walking away, knowing we would not get a refund from our plane and it would seriously compromise our ability to see Patagonia... lucky lucky us. That's another thing, our luck has pulled a 360 on us and thank god, because we were really swimming in shit before.
So, from Buquebus to Buenos Aires, where we filed a lost luggage report, a little afraid they were going to arrest me for sending agressive harassment emails. We spent the night in Ostinatto, if you can call 4 hours in a room a night. We saw Oggy, who was quite drunk off one beer, and Lucas. He was having as hard of time as ever as Oggy and this other guy Oswaldo argued about nonesense. Oswaldo was really really drunk, calling Oggy ugly, and that even though he's gay he wouldn't touch him. It was a friendly enough conversation but we don't really like Oswaldo and we especially didn't like him calling our friend ugly. ' like frankenstein' Bastard. Then He proceeded to tell us the same lame story twice in a row where he almost got beat up for touching some American's girl, even though he told the guy he was gay. I've only heard that story like 100 times... and now two more... So we headed to bed and got up far to early, at 4 am, and caught the plane to El Calafate.

This next part is going to have a lot of profanities, so please prepare yourself and excuse my crudeness. The plane ride was kind of shitty, due to the fact that our window seat got jacked by some kid, and not wanting to be like those assholes on the bus we just aid screw the numbers, we'll sit where there's seats. So we sat down, and Orin leaned back, and when I went to lean back a little my chair got whalloped in the back so hard that I got flung forward into a fourty five degree angle... something that plane seats shouldn't even do. I looked behind me and their was this big oaf of a guy, probably 50, who proceed to say 'sorry, sorry'. I assumed that it was some sort of randomly agressive accident, so i went to put it back again. Note here, that i was not even trying to put it back that far, and even if I was I have every right to. So i try to move it back again, out of the 45 degree crap position I was in, and once again I got booted freakishly hard. I mean, this guy was just giving me both knees with all his brutish strength. I was pissed. I turned around and gave him a peice of my mind, and he mumbled his stupid sorries again. I told him where to put his sorries and to just stop doing it. So I go to do it again, and this mother fucker just wails me again. By this point I am extremely agitated and upset, not to mention in pain. I motion to the stewardess in distress and he immediately grabs my chair and rips it back into the back position. I was really upset by this all, he was such an undesripable prick, i honestly would have beat the shit out of him if he didn't have a good solid hundred pounds on me. I still considered bitch slapping his preppy hoe of a wife, who sat there primly in her little pink shirt and pink camo pants. So instead i had myself a little cry of fury and sat there fuming. The stewardess came over to me and started speaking spanish, and i was to exasperated to even try to understand her. She saw that on my face and switched to English, telling me to inform her if that guy bothered me again, as he was being very agressive towards me. I agreed and she left. Our plane landed to let some people off, and that guy was one of them. As everyone stood around getting out their carryons and just waited to get off I sat on my chair giving him the stinkeye hard, not looking away when he would look over at me, and then look away uneasily. On his way out I pegged him good with a coin in the head, and he didn't even turn around, obviously knowing who and why. Wish I had some sort of better vigilante justice for him but I just don't.

Another negative to the plane rides was that Orin's sinuses were extremely painful on both landings. We figured out that it is the small planes that do this to him. I hate watching him in pain, sitting there concernedly knowing that there is nothing that I can do. Needless to say we were releived to get off that plane and to finally be in Patagonia!

We found a hostel with an excellent little campsite out back underneth some fruit trees. The fruit must have just dropped a couple days before we came, as we are making it into jam with out feet every day. Seriously, i am considering spreading it on toast. Artisan made plum jam, they would call that here. The town of El Calafate is set up for tourists, with lots of shops fore the wealthy backpacker and those just flying in to see the glacier. An amazing ammount of stone animals... made out of pink stone mostly. Very well crafted but something that would never be found in the presence of my house. That evening we did a big grocery shop, pretty damn cheap compared to restaraunts here. Patagonia can be quite expensive. Then we went home and made a delicious stir fry, while this family that we assume is staying there sat at the table in silence watching us. It was pretty akward. Then orin had to run to the store to get some oil, and I stood there for about 15 minutes in utter silence, playing drums on my belly and drinking wine.

So, back to this morning. Little did we know that there is a time change between here and BA, so we got up an hour before we had to, and only realize what time it was when we walked down to set up our taxi for half an hour later, or rather an hour and a half later. So we grabbed a little nap, and then got up and ate some cereal all rushed like and jumped in the cab. It was a wild hour ride to the glacier, and i saw about 30 bunnies on the way. A couple were kamakazi bunnies that saw the solution to their problems in the wheels of our tires, but luckily our sketchy driver eluded them quite well. The same can not be said for the 5 galleon water jug that bit the rubber, waking me from a queasy sleep, fearing that the tire was busted. It was funny seeing all the rabbits, because in the Lonely Planet it psyched you up, saying that if you are quiet and patient and very very lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the timid bunnies that inhabit Patagonia.... apparently not. We laughed at the fact that, ironically as usual, it is much more than Lonely Planet says.

We got stopped for road construction just before the glaciers and got out and watched the sun rise, and a beautiful rainbow appear through the light rain on top of the glacier, which we could now see from the road. It was so beautiful. The name of this glacier is Glaciar Perito Moreno, just in case any of you get frisky and search the web for it. After a short wait we got back in the taxi and were soon at the glacier. There was a very well set up metal stair system with rails and all, that stretched a good way along the hillside, giving you views from lots of angles. It was absolutely breathtaking and quite indescripable but I will try. The craggy ridges streched 55 meters into the sky, and the part that we could see stretched back 14 kilometers and was probably about 8 k wide or so. You could see it wrapping around the mountain, two rivers of ice inching towards us. Apparently it can move up to two meters a day... wow. And unlike many other glaciers in this deteriorating world today, it is not receding. Horrah! So watching it crack and come crashing into the sea was not depressing, but awe inspiring. It got more and more active as the day went on. We arrove at around 7:30 am, and the glacier put on quite a show for us! At first we could just hear groans and deep cracking sounds permiating from the great scape, but soon small peices began to fall off. Orin and I sat there avidly, not wanting to miss anything that fell from the great beast. When we finally saw our first real peice of ice fall off, probably the size of a stand up piano, we were very excited. We were also relieved that we saw something grand before we left, being ignorant to what the glacier was about to reveal to us. We watched in awe, and I turned to Orin and told him that even if we didn't see anything else, that peice made it worth the trip. He said he was just thinking the same thing and we sat there contentedly. We moved throught the park and walked the whole walkway, watching bigger and bigger peices peel of and fall with a thunderclap into the lake. Amazing. And the colour of the glacier was so blue in some areas. It was absolutely awesome, a gift of nature for sure. After a couple hours we found a beautiful vantage point where we could see lots of the glacier, as it came to a point that blocked of either side from eachother. As we sat up there I realized that I had watched so much amazing ice falling that I wouldn't mind spending time trying to catch a chunk on video for the folks back home. The point was dropping small football sized hunks into the river and I tried to get that on video, though you couldn't really see it as it was pretty far away. So i turned it to Orin, who like the weirdo that he is started to see how much spit he could get to hang from his mouth. Very attractive... you will see. I turned it back to the glacier and wham! Most of the huge point cracked and hurled itself into the lake. It was fucking unreal. I don't have the words to describe how amazing it was, and i've used amazing about 10 times so far. It was huge, and the water splashed up, reaching into the air and spitting up peices of ice with it. Then the glacier chunk reemerged from the swell, now a massive iceburg. The adrenaline rush I got was huge, a natural high I haven't felt in a long long time. We were absolutely awestruck by this great gesture, and it took a while for us to calm down. We ate some yogurt, and by the time we checked the time we had to go! Already, we thought.... wow. That seemed so quick.. hmm. So we rushed up to the taxi and the guy was sitting their with a mouth full of sandwich. That´s weird, i thought, seeing as we had this specific time to meet. Nonetheless we jumped in a chatted a bit, then he looked at us and was like... umm, it's 11 you know... ooh, no, we didn't know. We laughed at our own stupidity in being duped by the same time change twice one day, and raced down to the glaciers again. We weren't there for long when the same corner dropped off another massivo peice, probably as big if not bigger than the one we saw. I was glad this time not to be behind a video camera, having to worry about not shaking and if it was even in the frame. It was amazing. We easily passed another hour infront of the glacier, and then made it back for 12, where I snoozed the whole way home. I woke up resting my head on the girl next to me and kind of started and said sorry, fearing that I had been sleeping and drooling on her the whole time. She just looked over at me stunned, and told me after that she too had been sleeping and that i had woken her with my sorry. No wonder she looked so confused, she was probably wondering what sort of weirdo thing I had done. Orin said that all three of us were just conked out in the back seat the whole time, and him and the taxi driver were laughing at us. Well, for the second day in a row of getting up inhumainly early I figure i deserved it. So we went home, made a delicious batch of hashbrowns and eggs, missing our darling Clare accompanying our traditional breakfast, and are now tending to our responsiblities to our memory, by burning our pics onto cd, which hopefully we will now be able to post (though not right now because as you can tell I have spent way to much time writing this glacier sized blog entry) and writing in our blogs and answering emails... though Zoe is the only one that actually emails me. So, now you are probably sitting uncomfortably in your seats holding your aching backs and wanting to go for a walk this is so long! Freedom Granted! love you all
Sage, or here Sache.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dirty feet indeed...

So, from Montevideo we caught a bus out to the hippie town, which is called Cabo Polonia. The bus dropped us off on the side of the road at this grassy parking lot, where we then chucked our stuff in the back of this big ass truck which took us along the sandy trail to Cabo. The truck was quite large with space for about fifteen, and we rode on this bench on top of the cab, which was really sweet. The truck has these really smooth special tires for sand, and we soon found out why. After the truck loaded up we took off, and basically offroaded through these sandy roads for about 15 minutes, until it met the ocean. Then we ripped it across the beach, the whole time with a beautiful view of this quaint little town that we were about to visit. By the time we got in it was quite late, so we trekked our way to the hostel we were hoping to stay at. It was full, but the hostel right before it greeted us with a German girl, Stephi, that we met in Montevideo. She ran our and gave us hugs, and told us that there was still room left at her hostel. So we stayed there for the first night, even though it was quite expensive, 20 am each for a 6 bed dorm room with no power (only a couple of places in the town had power) or toilet paper, and unlike most hostels didn't serve a breakfast. We heard from another girl Anne that we had all hung out with in montevideo, that there were little cabanas with 4 beds that you can rent for 30 dollars for the whole thing. So we decide we three would find one the next day, cutting our price in half and upping the privacy greatly. That night Orin and I sat out on the beach looking at the stars, which were absolutely beautiful. It was the first time we'd truely seen them down here, finally being out of the city. The only thing was there was this dead stinking seal wafting an odour toward us... It was weird, it was half rotten, but nobody buried it or moved it, and i even saw people the next day setting up their towel precariously close to it... typical latin america really...

The next day two drunken girls woke us up right before sunrise, trying to wriggle their way to the top bunk directly above us. Instead of trying to drift back to sleep to the tune of their drunken snoring, i kicked Orin's ass out of bed and we went and watched a beautiful sunrise and went for a long walk through town and onto the other beach, watching the town wake up and get busy. It was awesome. On our way back we managed to score a 3 bed cabana for 30 am, with a kitchen, and a well that we used for flushing the toilet and taking showers. It was perfect, and i felt so elated and peaceful sitting in the kitchen of our cute little place, looking at the ocean infront of us. Stephi just happened to walk across the field while we were in the middle of trying to understand the woman, who spoke agressively fast and used complecated words. We called her in and we all agreed it was the perfect place. We went and grabbed our bags and settled in. That afternoon we went to the close beach, the one that we could see from our doorstep, and took Orin for his first swim in truely crashing waves. It was awesome. Then later that day we walked to the other beach, joking sighing and complaining the whole way about the long 5 minute walk. The waves were even better over there, and we got some body boarding in before we went home and made some pasta for dinner. We then proceeded to drink a bunch of beer and talk about the differences in our countries, and her exchange to America. The german government is apparently a pimp, and will send you on any exchange for free, with the parents legally bound to giving you a reasonable sum of money each month... nice. Apparently it is worth it to get rid of their teenagers, sending them to terrorize other nations! haha. We walked into town at about midnight to see what sort of things were kicking on a saturday night in a small beach town, and found a local film set in Montevideo being played on a hillside, and sat down and watched the end of it. Then a musician came on and we grooved until Orin´s sunburn got to him, so we all headed home.

Sunday was fairly relaxed, we rented and umbrella (both Stephi and Orin were quite burnt) and played in the waves and went for a walk down the beach. We went out for dinner that night, and i got a delicious fish burger. Just as we were finishing our second litro of beer amonst us, we saw violent flashes in the sky. We downed our beer and paid the bill, and walked to a bank overlooking the ocean, and watched a storm rage from a waze away. It was flashing like crazy, mostly behind the clouds, with the occasional bolt jerking down to graze the ocean. It put on quite a show for us, and orin and i fooled around with our camera, getting a couple of good pictures (though we took about a hundred!) Thinking it was almost over and heading away, we walked home, and were proven wrong. It hit us with a vengence, pouring rain down on the tin roof, and the window lit up every couple seconds. At one point the wind was making this really really weird sound that mimiced an alien craft coming to abduct me. I wanted to go look out the back door to see what could have been making the sound, but my tired reasoning told me that i really didn't want to be abducted in South America, so i lay there alone, as i was the only one awake, pretty creeped out.

The next day we caught the big truck out, caught the connection to the bus perfectly, and are not in Punto Del Diablo, where we wandered around in the dead heat, cursing the fact that we did not plan our hostel better. Were looking for Punta del diablo hostel, but were fooled by Del Diablo Hostel, and Del Diablo Hostel Tranquillo. Finally we found an English speaker who actually knew where it was, and she directed us there. None of these places would allow camping and were very expensive, so we trekked on and finally found the place. We set up our tent and headed to the beach, where we caught the last of the sun as we bathed in the water.

So, our new tent sucks, Orin barely fits in it, and i was ravaged by two hungry mosquitos last night, which woke me up with a bite directly in the middle of my forehead. But i slapped that fucker silly. Nothing like killing a bug on your face. mmm. then i heard the other and sat there for about half an hour hunting it while Orin worried that i´d lost my marbles. Which i kind of had. The good thing about camping (in a way....) is that it is too hot to sleep in stupidly late, so we probably got up in the nine´s, allowing us to do some laundry and try to use the hostel computer. Which failed, as it was so fuzzy i couldn't read anything. So, now that we've found a place with internet, we´re going to go eat and head to the beach, as tomorrow we are starting our trek back to Argentina, and away from beach country. I know those in Canada are going to hate to hear me say this, but i am kind of excited for Patagonia... and a little bit of cold that can whip off the sand that is deeply ingrained in my skin. One thing about the sand here is that it is so fine that it becomes part of you, whether you want it to or not. Punta del Diablo also has a lot of flies, and though i am trying to learn to be zen and just let them walk on my body, like those shots you see of people chillin in Africa with flies on them, i have been failing so far. Even though it is energy and time consuming to flail around everytime they land on you, like every two second, and it doesn't matter how close you come to killing them they don't learn to go away, it is really hard to just forget about them.

We´ve seen some cool wild life though, other than flies, mosquitos and the dead seal. On the way out of Cabo Polonia we saw two baby owls sitting in a bush. We were driving by, really close, and they were so beautiful! I really love owls so i got irrationally excited, yelling on the truck and shit, embarassing Orin i´m sure. It was awesome. Then when we were walking around in the heat we ran into a flock of parrots chillin on the ground. It was really cool. I have never seen a flock of them so up close, i usually just spot them vaguely sitting in trees.

Anyways, I've spent more than an hour on this damn machine and want to get back outside, to the clouds... haha. Hope everything is going well in Canada, i heard that it is warming up nicely in Vancouver, and that it should be coming soon to summerland....
And nikki, i hope thta the boats are treating you well and that you had time for a good visit with your sister before it all started.