Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pictures - Chile and Uruguay

Time seems to both fly by incredibly fast and simultaneously stand still when you're traveling.  Karla and I have been in Buenos Aires just over a week now, and it's as if we've been here forever and also as if we've just arrived.  We've reached the halfway point of our journey, and have transitioned from packing our bags every few days to move to the next place into our temporary urban apartment life in Palermo.

Argentina is the third country we've been in in as many weeks, so it's nice to stop traveling and concentrate one place.  That said, since we've been traveling so much up until now, we've been remiss in uploading the photos that help chronicle our adventures of Chile and Uruguay.  Fortunately, I've managed to get our backlog onto our flickr feed last night.

Without further ado, here are links to our photo sets for the various places we visited in Chile and Uruguay, along with our Buenos Aires photos so far.

Santiago de Chile:

Valparaiso, Viña del Mar, and Isla Negra:


Punta del Este and Casapueblo:

Buenos Aires:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Parallel Universe

Right now we are on a bus heading towards Punta del Este from Montevideo, Uruguay. The bus happens to have WiFi. Amazing! This is more modern then the USA. Or maybe there is WiFi on buses now in the US... things change so fast. If not then Los Estados Unidos needs to get with the times.

Anyway... the Uruguay countryside is not much different than driving through New Jersey to get to the beach. All the signs are in Spanish and some in English like some crazy parallel universe which is what it is like here on the other side of the globe. And it is winter here. Okay so this might only amaze a fifth grader.

I have a theory about why the infrastructure is more modern in the more southern cities of South America. I think it has to do with the weather.
In countries like Ecuador and Peru, it is okay to live in a hut when the weather doesn't drop below 70 degrees. It is a week theory I admit. I really don't know why there is more infrastructure here. But it is a mystery I plan on solving while here. Perhaps this is a less exploited section or maybe it is all the Europeans that emigrated here later on and weren't about to live in a country with crumbling or half constructed buildings.
There are less indigenous people or people of mixed race here. The European gene is most prominent in most of the residents of Montevideo anyway. I don't know if that has anything to do with it but most likely it affects... something.

Then there is the fact that Uruguay is small and reportedly the least corrupt or crime ridden of the countries in South America... but if that plays a part then the United States would be full of people living in tents and buildings should be crumbling and boarded up... and, oh, that is happening.

Well, I am unsure of how this is all connected... if it is connected. I know there are a lot more factors.

Three things I miss about the USA.... in order of importance:

  • family and friends
  • food without ham in it (and other food hot sauce and jalapenos)
  • a bigger wardrobe

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pictures - Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca

We've been able to clear some of our backlog of pictures!  Thanks to the good Internet connectivity here at the Hotel Vegas in Santiago de Chile, we've been able to upload some 300+ shots that myself, Karla, and our friend William took on our trips together along the Inca Trail and to Machu Picchu, and to Puno and Lake Titicaca, visiting the islands of Uros and Taquile.

Inca Trail + Machu Picchu Pictures:

Puno + Lake Titicaca Pictures:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Santiago, Chile - Culture Shock and Music in the Streets

Santiago, Chile - Our LAN flight from Lima, Peru, touched down at Aeropuerto Arturo Merino Benítez, outside of Santiago de Chile, at approximately 1 AM this morning.  It was perhaps one of the smoothest landings I've ever had flying, which was a precursor to the efficiency by which we paid our reciprocity fee ($131 each to enter the country and receive a tourist visa good for the lifetime of our passports), had our passports checked by immigration (where Karla, who was born in Ecuador - which is stated on her passport - was briefly hassled for not knowing any Spanish), and passed through customs (I thought they might confiscate my tea and garlic salt, since they have strict agricultural protections, but they were looking for fresh vegetables, cheese, and meats).   All in all, it took only a half hour between disembarking the plane and finding ourselves in a taxi en route to our hotel, Hotel Vegas in the barrio Paris-Londres just south of the city center.