04
Jun
2004
James

Smuggling Contraband through Uruguay

So we’ve got about a month left to make it back to Ecuador, on the other side of this continent, with such a variety of things to see between here and there, we were feeling the rush of our trip coming slowing to an end. In montevideo we had to figure out how we could make it up to Iguazú falls some 1000 kilometers away. It would clearly require us to travel back into Argentina, but the problem was there was no direct bus from Montevideo. We decided that it would be worthwhile before leaving Uruguay (after a stay of only2 days!) to visit the small port city of Colonia de Sacramento.

03
Jun
2004
James

Mate in Montevideo

We spent Thursday walking around the Uruguayan capital city, of which I cant really think of anything for which it might be famous. This city and perhaps all of Uruguay in general have a distinct aire. I believe that the warmth of the people and their interesting cultural and social habits, mixed with the exceptionally calm temperate climate creates what I’m experiencing here as an overall buena onda.

02
Jun
2004
James

Coastal Uruguay in Winter

We left Buenos Aires on tuesday night for the Uruguayan border. Its possible to cross to Montevideo, the capital city and Buenos Aires’ smaller scruffier cousin, by a ferry boat across Rio de La Plata. But the cost of the boat launch was, once again, more than we were willing to pay when we could catch a night bus (that goes quite a bit out of the way up river) for much cheaper and at the same time saving us the cost of lodging for one night.

31
May
2004
James

Buenos Aires fiesta

From Calafate, we marched back up the coastline some 3000+ kilometers to the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires (BA), located on the southern banks of the Rio de la Plata river. Actually we road a direct bus for 42 hours (two days two nights) and arrived in BA a bit worn and slimey. I dont recommend riding any bus for that long, granted… ours was decked out with heat/AC, reclining “semi-cama” chairs, and various movies (and you can bet your house there was at least one Schwarzeneger film)!

29
May
2004
James

Moreno Glacier

We left Puerto Natales, Chile for the Argentine border crossing in the middle of nowhere on a 5 hour trip down a dirt road. The Argentine border patrol station had a pingpong table set up in the room adjacent to where we had to get the entrance stamp, so naturally we wandered over and struck up a game, thinking the border guards might want to jump in with us.

25
May
2004
James

Snow, Mud, Ice and Wind: the Towers of Paine

Hello diary, I’m going to basically take some of this summary of our trek to Torres del Paine from Paul’s mass email he just sent to his friends so as to save me time in writing what would be much the same information. A work authored by Paul and revised and edited by yours truly, enjoy:)

19
May
2004
James

Ushuaia, the end of the world

Hey, two days in Ushuaia were just enough for us… We arrived at night and found a hostel where there were actually a couple of people staying despite the frigid cold. We figured this place would be deserted because its really between seasons. (summer travel season and winter ski season) It might have been because the hostel actually had heated floors! WOW that was nice… but you had to walk outside on a boardwalk to get to and from your bungalo dormroom and to the shared bathroom :/

16
May
2004
James

Straight of Magellan

To cross to Tierra del Fuego you have to cross the Straight of Magellan or Estrecho de Magallanes at Bahia Azul (blue bay). The ordeal was pretty nifty and cold, we waited for the ferry to arrive while looking into the clear waters seeing straight (heh, heh, heh) down to the bottom, someone said they saw a small whale, but i missed it. We looked across a couple kilometers to the other side that looked a lot like the side we were on. We took a picture and then crossed. On the ferry I ate a hot dog with mayo, mustard, and ketchup.

15
May
2004
James

The long trip to the end of the world

Tierra del Fuego, the Land of Fire is the huge island group at the very tip of the southern cone of South America. The majority of the area is claimed by Chile but the two big cities there are on the smaller Argentinian side: Rio Grande and Ushuaia , the later of which is the proported southern-most city in the world somewhere around 53° Lat.

12
May
2004
James

Cerro Catedral Trek

Monday Tuesday and Wednesday we took a 3 day trek into the Patagonian mountains right outside Bariloche with two californian girls, Ana and Dalia, to keep us company and give us some comedic relief. The bus dropped us off at the base of Cerro Catedral at the ski slopes, no snow yet.

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