The Awards - The Sin Azucar Oscars

Trip Start Oct 15, 2012
Trip End May 17, 2013

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Saturday, May 18, 2013

So anything amazing needs an awards ceremony and awards to celebrate and while after 7 months of traveling our budget does not extend currently to an ceremony we can still do an awards right. Ok so here are our top five in various categories

Most Amazing Site:

- Machu Picchu: akin to visiting the Pyramids where the image is so ingrained in your mind. It may not be something that truly hits you at the time but will later. Doing the Inca trail to get there is the perfect overall experience

- Salar de Uyuni / San Pedro de Atacama: completely other wordly, no where like it!

- Iguazu Waterfalls: I love water so it is hard not to like these massive falls

- Perito Moreno (Glacier): we saw a number of Glaciers on this trip but the sounds of this one and the sight if large parts of it falling off were just really impressive and this was the last of the ones we saw (well I saw Gabriella saw a few in Antarctica!)

- The area around Salta: we were surprised by the amazing natural beauty around Salta and so very glad we hired a car to enjoy as much of it as possible.

- The amazon rain Forrest: a highlight on any through South American journey. We were not disappointed as we got to spend almost a week in the jungle and Pampas

- Antarctica: umm do I need to say more what an opportunity to be able to visit one of earths most amazing and remote places!

(ok I know that's seven but come on this is hard lol)

Best Experience

- Staying with Gabriella's dads best friends sister Oliva in Santiago and drinking piscocolas with her and her two cousins

- The trip through the Fjords on the Navimag a lovely albeit expensive way to get from place to place, still better than taking the bus for sure.

- Learning Spanish, well starting to anyway

- Staying with Pedro and Nahir on their farm near Tacurembo

- the fabulous time we had in Pucon and the fabulous people we met at the hostel.

- completing the 10 day circuit of Torres del Paine. It is nice to have a challenge to overcome on any trip and doing with some lovely people, well half of it.

Worst Experience

- Being sick and with Diarrhea on a 20 hour night bus from Rurrenabque to La Paz

- Learning Spanish. Ok I know its also in the best experience but it was fricken hard too!

- being sick on the bus from Bariloche to El Bolsón. Having to actually get the bus to stop and both of us running off to throw up. God knows what the locals on the bus were thinking!

- getting through almost all the trip without losing anything noticeable and then losing a number of small but useful items the last week, such as the universal power plug, knife and fork set and my jacket - very very frustrating

Have to say given these are our worst experience can hardly complain can we

Best Accommodation:

- Serere National Park, near Rurrenabque, Bolivia. The perfect little place in the Amazon Jungle (Madiddi Travel)

- Casa Adventura, Valparisio, Chile: Christen is a little mad but in a good way and one of the nicest people we have met on our travels.

- El Refugio, Pucon, Chile: we had such a good time and met so many people there that we have stayed in touch with over our trip and had the chance to met up with again.

- Casona Odile, Bolsen, Argentina: while our first couple of days there was spent recovering from what ever sickness we had from Bariloche we ended up having a wonderful time here in this little green oasis with friendly, caring and passionate staff.

overall I can say most of the accommodation we stayed in was pretty amazing and only a couple that I would even class as ordinary - which is pretty dam amazing

Best Memories

- Gabriella randomly jumping off a bed and onto the floor in our hostel in Valpariso, Chile leaving me extremely confused, still am.

- A night spent having pisco colas with Olivia and her cousins in Santiago pretending I knew Spanish

- the delicious lunch and dinner that our Spanish teacher Mihail prepared for us - probably the best chicken we have had on our trip.

- starring at stars at the observatory near La Serena and just being wowed by the vast size of it all not to mention the time lags involved in astronomy.

- being able to share this amazing journey with someone I love even if she asks why far to often!

Best Food

- Empandas, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay. A wonderful and tasty pastry snack filled with various ingredients - Meat Chicken, Cheese, Vegetables. The best ones in our view were around Salta and the very best were at Casa La empanadas in Cafayte, near Salta

- Steak / Asado, Chile, Argentina. Who can go past a good steak or a good BBQ (ok maybe I'm cheating by combining two things here but hey these are my awards!). By far my favourite steaks were at La Casona, San Pedro, Chile and Miranda, Buenos Aires, Argentina. The best asados were in Pucon, Chile (where we manage to have two) and El Calafate

- Ceviche, Chile. Strangely a Peruvian dish we never tried in Peru. Our first real try was in the fish market in Santiago, Chile and we both feel in love with this fish dish

- Gelato, Argentina, Chile. Hmmm ice cream. Ok so it may not hit the lofty gelato heights of Italy but as an ice cream there are many excellent choices , more so in Argentina but Santiago also had a couple of good ones around Bella Artes. In Argentina Bariloche and Buenos Aires are the focal points. Our favorites we Abuela Goye, Jujuy and Rapa Nui. Favorite flavor had to be calafate, the sweet berry that el calafate is named for.

- Pizza Strudel, Puerto Natales. This was by far one of the most interesting take on a tradational dish. Pizza Strudel - need i say more. If you find yourself in Puerto Natales go to La meista and try it - The pizzas in general there are also good.

-- Chocolate. Bariloche, Argentina. The home of chocolate and rightly so. We were there over easter and witnessed the creation of the worlds largest Easter egg and wondered through the numerous chocolate shops getting free samples. We did eventually buy some to take with us from Rapa Nui which were Delicious but would also highly recommend Abuela Goye.

Ok know I am breaking the top five rule but we both love food, even just doing six was hard!

Best Restaurant:

- Chi Cha, Cuzco, Peru: showed what really good be done with Peruvian food which up to that point had been slightly disappointing

- La Casona. San Pedro De Atacama. The best steak and chip meals

- La Meista. Puerto Natales, Chile: apple strudel pizza, need I say more

- Patagonia sud, Santiago, Chile, some of the best meats. The wild boar was amazing - god even the salads (which you rarely find me eating when I go out) was amazing. Sometime you do pay for what you get.

- La Casa Empanadas, Calayate, Argentina: ok so not sure it counts as a restaurant in the normal sense but probably home to the best empanadas you will ever find!

Lastly while I don't remember the name of the place but the french bakery in Rurrenabaque, Bolivia deserves a mention - who thought you would find maybe one of the best bakeries more or less in the amazon jungle!

All in all we will both be taking away so so many memories (not to mention the 50,000 photos gab took (ok I may have taken lime 500 of them......) and we are both so glad we had the chance to do this trip that we have both wanted to do for so long!
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