Another month down and so many adventures to be had! The great thing about being on a tour is that you get to see a lot of places in a really short space of time. This month we have been in Brazil and in and out of Chile and Argentina. We have gone from soaring hot temperatures in Brazil to freezing cold in Argentina in the space of just a few weeks. We have had an insight into just how varied South America can be and we are loving it!
The Pantanal is a wetland located in Brazil near the Bolivian border, it was stinking hot, full of mosquitos and a good place to spot wildlife. Aside from being absolutely ravaged by mosquitos (I counted a total of 120 after a two hour walk in the jungle whilst wearing 100% deet) it was an interesting place to visit. We got to see a variety of bird life, caymans, capybara and the other group even saw a jaguar. I also tested out my fishing skills in the river to try and catch a piraña, alas no luck but lots of other people caught them and had them for dinner.
After the Pantanal we were looking forward to a few days of rest, relaxation and pool time and that is exactly what Bonito offered. There was also lots of lakes nearby and I visited one which was like a natural swimming pool for the locals with giant fish swimming by.
Foz du Igauzu (Brazil)
We finally arrived at the mighty Iguazu Falls where I took a helicopter ride over the Falls, it was my first time in a helicopter and it was so much fun! The Falls from the Brazilian side were overwhelming and you can get so close to them and feel the real force of it all.
We did a sneaky trip over the border to Paraguay from Foz to tick off another country and to buy some cheap clothes for Patagonia, when we arrived they didn’t even look at our passports so no stamp and most of the shops were closed so it was a bit of a mission for nothing. But hey, ticked off another country and had fun trying to get out of there!
Iguazu Falls (Argentina)
After seeing Iguazu from the Brazil side I wasn’t sure how it could be topped but Argentina sure got the better side! The morning of the trip it was pouring with rain and it was a real slog to get out of bed and into the truck to get there. It was torrential rain whilst we made our way to the boat ramp, it rained on the 20 minute open truck transfer and it was raining when we got on the boat so our spirits were pretty low but once the boat got going and actually took us directly under the flowing water of the falls it was beyond exhilarating. It turned out to be one of the best days on tour and the boat trip under the falls was one of the most memorable experiences yet.
After spending a week in Buenos Aires at the beginning of our trip I was excited to get back there and explore it some more. We saw a tango show on our first night and took a lesson as well and then went out dancing until 5.30am (early for the Argentinians). A group of us took the ferry over to Uruguay and visited the UNESCO world heritage old town of Colonia. One of Dan’s life long dreams of going to a Boca Juniors football game came true as they happened to have a home game when we were there. It was a whirlwind few days there and I can honestly say it is one of my favourite cities so far, so full of life and charm, I do hope that one day I can return.
Puerto Madryn + Bush Camps
After leaving Buenos Aires there was a few “bush camps” along the way, this basically means that we stop where we can and camp for the night, often with no facilities at all so when we got to Puerto Madryn it was a nice break. This little Welsh settlement town is right on the coast and is most famous for whale watching although we weren’t in season so we just hung out around town and enjoyed the last bit of sunshine before crossing into Patagonia. We did spot a huge colony of seals along the coast as well which was a real highlight.
After a few days of driving we arrived at the most southerly town in the world. It was very chilly but luckily the camp site owner let us all sleep in his dining room that had a fire so it was definitely warmer than being outside! The town itself is mainly geared up for tourism to Antartica so it was all pretty pricey but a nice place to spend a couple of days.
Tierra del Fuego
One of Argentina’s finest National Parks, Tierra del Fuego was a nice day trip in which we did a short walk along the coast and then found ourselves at the ‘end of the world’. The scenery was just breathtaking and it reminded me a lot of Queenstown in New Zealand.
Torres del Paine
To top off the month we spent 5 days in the mighty Torres del Paine National Park which was our main reason for booking this trip to Patagonia. It was beautiful scenery the whole way there and upon arrival I couldn’t believe our campsite was right on a beautiful lake overlooking two mountain ranges.
We did different walks throughout the park each day and every day the scenery got more and more spectacular.
Although the temperatures plummeted at night time, the days were mainly warm and no wind. It was a brilliant few days and I’m so glad I got to experience such a beautiful part of the world. Unfortunately the morning we left Torres del Paine I missed a step and rolled my ankle quite badly. Luckily it’s not broken but still very painful!
Plans for next month:
San Pedro de Atacama
Dan and I will be finishing our tour in Santiago and we are really looking forward to getting back to travelling independently. We have loved the tour so far and it has got us around so quickly but now it’s time to take it a bit slower and really enjoy the travelling now.