for my birthday I decided only to stay a night and start my travels through Argentina right away. The next day I caught a 14 hour bus ride to Mendoza. Where to begin with Mendoza.... I LOVE IT! I would have to say it is my favorite spot in Argentina and one of my top favorite cities in South America that I have been to
. The atmosphere of the city gives off this small town feel but still has its diversities. It is the perfect place to walk around, through the many beautiful plazas and feel like you are at home. I did the second I was there. After getting settled, I met up with a friend from Australia who I had met in Quito, Ecuador weeks earlier. One of the greatest things about traveling is meeting new people, but when you get the off chance that you run into someone you have met before, you can't pass it up. I enjoyed a perfect day around the city. The next day, I went out with some new friends from the hostel to enjoy the wine of Mendoza a bit. We made our way to a Winery called Vines of Mendoza and had one of the best wines (for not too expensive) called San Felipe. If somehow you come across the Malbec of this Winery I say go for it, it is delicious! We then made our way to a park to enjoy the rest of our wine and great company. Another wonderful day! The last day in Mendoza was just as great, if not better, than the rest. With some new Irish and German friends, we went on a bike/wine tasting tour! We were able to make our way on our bikes to four different wineries and an olive oil/dulce de leche factory. We tried a number of fabulous wines and an olive oil and balsamic that I could not pass up buying. It was so delicious I bought some bottles and carried it the rest of my trip just to bring it home. After the wine tastings we came back to the hostel just in time for me to catch the bus to Cordoba!
Once I was in Cordoba, the cold I had for almost a month was really catching up to me and I decided to make this my city of rest
. I spent one day relaxing, reading in a park, and walking around the city. This city is pretty big but the best part is the artistic side to it. Around every corner someone was doing something artistic, whether it be playing an instrument, singing, painting, magic or just random entertainment. That is what I saw as the city of Cordoba. That evening I found a wonderful event at my hostel called English and Mate, Espanol y Cerveza. This was with a group of people who got together to speak English to each other in a park to practice and drink tea then later meet up to have a drink and speak Spanish. It was a wonderful cultural exchange where everyone there was from somewhere different. I met some wonderful people and had a great time! The next day I decided to get on a bus and go somewhere new. I was told about this town outside of Cordoba called Carlos Paz, so I went. It's near a huge beautiful lake, which of course reminded me of Tahoe, and was the perfect escape. Since it was so windy, there were kite surfers and wind surfers (thought of you Dad) everywhere! The lake was amazing and could not have asked for a better small getaway for the day. I also made it to the Jesuit Block in Cordoba and the Museum of Memory. The museum was for those who had died and/or disappeared during the military dictatorship in Argentina. The actual building itself used to be the center for detention and torture for those who were accused of being suspected political agitators. It is quite a sad story and touches the heart to see it
. Cordoba was a great trip for being sick but I will definitely need to go back one day and see everything.
After Cordoba, two Dutch friends and I rode the 20 hour bus ride to Iguassu Falls. I don't even know where to begin with this part of my trip. I can tell you all but make sure you look at the photos, the pictures show it better than I can say. I got into Iguassu and walked around this TINY town in about 20 minutes. Since it was Sunday everything (which honestly wasn't much) was closed. I was planning on meeting a couple of friends I had met in Mendoza here and was so very excited for that. Later that evening I met up with Aoife from Ireland and we planned our next day in the park. Once we got to the national park we were like children in Disneyland. We were so excited, taking pictures of every little thing we saw and we saw a lot. Even though it was rainy, and it got pretty bad later in the day, we were having the times of our lives. We walked around to each different part of the park seeing new wildlife, incredible green, lush forests, and of course amazing powerful waterfalls! It was absolutely breathtaking and needs to be on your list of things to see! Right now it is the most incredible natural wonder I have seen! That night another friend Ly Ann from England joined us in Iguassu. We planned out our next day in the park with her knowing now what to expect and still so excited to see it! The second day in the park was completely clear skies and beautiful
! It was cooler that day but the waterfalls seemed more powerful (if that is even possible). We decided to take a boat tour that is only about 15 minutes long that takes you right up to the HUGE waterfall, getting you soaked through the bone and you feel the power of the falls right next to you, pounding down so loud you can feel it in your heart! After our tour up to the falls, we were kicked out of the park, since we were there past closing. We were the last ones out, the park attendants locking up everything right behind us. We ended up leaving our hostel that night, as I found out that day I had bed bugs. I was, within a couple hours, covered with hundreds, and I mean hundreds of bites from head to toe. We immediately moved to another place and I got my money back. It was an awful experience but at least I got rid of them! They are not the best best traveling buddy, let me tell you! After saying our goodbyes, I took the 19 hour bus ride to Buenos Aires and I am happy to say it was my last long bus ride for a while!
I got into the city and to my hostel to find out I was put in the same room as my great Irish friends from Mendoza. I also found out that there was an Irish guy there that I met from Iguassu and two British boys I met in La Paz as well. It was like a small reunion, seeing all these people again in my travels! Since the next day was my birthday I wanted to plan something to do. I ended up going on a walking tour throughout some beautiful spots in Buenos Aires
. There were about twelve of us and they ended up buying me a cake and singing happy birthday to me on the tour, which was so funny when they got to the part to say my name and no one knew it! I was lucky enough to have my first steak in Argentina and had a wonderful night out with great friends from all different parts of the world. It was a fantastic way to celebrate my 25th
birthday! Throughout my days in Buenos Aires I walked around the wonderful city that reminded me greatly of Spain and New York city combined! It gives off such a great vibe throughout the whole city. I was able to see the amazing cemetery, where they have some sites above ground and you can look in and see the actual coffins, a very strange thing for me. I also had a very Irish day when Ireland played Croatia in the Eurocup. I got together with about 15 Irish folk and we all went to an Irish pub to root on Ireland in the match. When we seated at the pub for about 20 minutes the game was 2 minutes from kick off and the bartender told us the match wasn't working on their TV. All 20 of us ran out of the bar and hopped in the first taxi to race to the next Irish pub. It took us all about 20 minutes but we made it literally about 4 seconds before Ireland scored. It was a mad house with all those Irish cheering but it was so much fun! I also was able to go on a shopping tour which showed me how people spend way too much on clothes! It was odd though, I would say about 70% of the shops were for men and the rest for women, which I found unusual. The last night I was there before Uruguay, my friends and I went to a Drum show called Bomba de Tiempo (Time Bomb). I was absolutely stunned by this group! They were fantastic! Everyone around us was dancing and jumping to the beat, including myself, because they were so fun and entertaining! There was a harmonica player, who played the harmonica like I have never seen before, a trumpet player and a well deserved chant for an encore. I was so amazed by this show and would recommend it to anyone going to Buenos Aires
The next day I caught a ferry called Boquebus to Uruguay. I never though I would be interested in going to Uruguay but I am so very happy that I did. I docked into Colonia del
Sacramento to get on a short bus ride to the middle of no where, I ended up staying at a Horse Farm hostel called El Galope (the gallop). Once I got settled I decided to walk to a goat farm to try the cheese. After walking for hours in the middle of no where and asking a boy on a horse where I was, I made my way back (somehow) to meet three Californians on vacation! Being out in the middle of no where was exactly what I needed for a couple days. It was so beautiful and peaceful. The people who owned the house were so kind and thoughtful and the lady of the house made the best food I ever ate in South America!! The cheese for the fondue was fresh from their neighbor, the wine was also fresh from their neighbor, oh and the vegetables were also fresh from their garden. It was so delicious and a great experience. I was hoping to go horseback riding but since it was rainy and stormy the only option I had was to sit inside by the fire enjoying a nice tea and reading my book. I could not have asked for more. The second night, after an amazing meal of ratatouille swiss potatoes and baptized ice cream (ice cream with whiskey on it), there was this electrical storm
. I had never seen one before but it was literally non-stop lightning for hours with no thunder to follow. Now some of you (DAD) may say there has to be thunder, well I am saying that there does not. HA! It was insane to see that much lightning in one sitting! Absolutely incredible! I ended up going back to Colonia for a day, walking around the cute, tiny port town and made my way to Monetvideo. This bus to Monetvideo was my last bus in South America and even though I am happy to be done riding a bus for a while, it was still a sad moment. Once I got to the city I enjoyed walking around, I went to the Guacho Museum, which is the Cowboy museum showing different photos of what Uruguay was like before. A friend and I went to the Mercado Del Puerto ( Port Market) to find the most met in one sitting I have ever seen! It was absolutely divine! This Market was by the port but in an old train station. Back in the late 1800s early 1900s the English sent over parts of the train station and tracks for Brasil. The boat had made a pit stop in Monetvideo when everything was accidentally unloaded onto the port and never taken to Brazil because it was too expensive to put back on the boat. Now it is this amazing market full of delectable food! In Montevideo I also made it to the Artisan market to see the different arts and crafts of uruguay. I absolutely loved it in Uruguay, the people were so kind and helpful and I would said the friendliest I met in South America. The country is small but breathtaking and the culture is exciting
Going back to Buenos Aires I decided to book myself a nice hotel ans spend my last two nights in luxury (which I happened to find a great deal!). The night I was first back I met up with my friend Alan from Huaraz to go for a nice dinner at one of the most popular steakhouses in Buenos Aires called La Cabrera. Let me say it lives up to its reputation. Even though we
waited about an hour and didn't eat until 12:30 am (our faults for getting there late) it was seriously the best steak I have ever had and maybe will ever have! The next day I did some final shopping at the San Telmo market wanting to buy everything. There was live music, great artists and I was able to find some friends of a friend that I worked with in Peru. They are two Americans making a hot sauce in Argentina called Boca Roja and I bought a bottle to bring back. Let me say if they ever export to the states, get some! It is delicious! For my last night in Argentina and my last night in South America I went to a Tango show at this place called Cafe Tortoni. There was an incredible singer and band and a group of dancers that blew my mind! They were outstanding! I felt like I was part of such a beautiful culture. My last day in Argentina was such a hard day. I was so very excited to see my family but ending my travels is a very difficult thing to do. After a 9:30pm flight, missing my connecting flight , and over 15 hours, I finally get home to my wonderful boyfriend picking me up from the airport.
The past 5 months have been absolutely a dream come true. I have been wanting this since I came home from Spain and could not have ask for a better experience. I want to thank
my incredible family and wonderful boyfriend for supporting me through this journey. It is hard to stop traveling and I am already thinking about where I want to go next. This has been amazing and I will never forget this experience!
So after about 11 fantastic days inBolivia I had a flight to Argentina. I had bought this flight because I found one for super cheap when in the end things turned out to be much more expensive. After about 24 hours total of flying (I had 4 stops) I get into Buenos Aires and find out I have to pay 160 dollars because I am American. This would have been the perfect time to have the dual citizenship I can get from my mum but no, right now I am 100 percent American and literally have to pay for it. So after getting through customs I got into Buenos Aires, which has been a dream since I started studying Spanish. Since I wanted to be back in Buenos Aires