Friday, December 24, 2010

I will have the Red Curry...Gracias!

Merry Christmas Eve!  I've been back a few days and I'm slowly but surely adjusting to not being in South America.  I'm trying to switch my brain back to English.  I've had a few slip ups with flight attendants and restaurant servers where I've said something in Spanish and I just get a blank stare - like what is wrong with that girl?  The time difference hasn't been so bad (5 hours!) but I'm mostly worried I'll begin to forget my day to day life in Chile. I do feel refreshed being back, positive and most importantly relaxed.

I'm still planning on writing a post on my last week in South America including Buenos Aires (and my Antique store debacle) and my sweet, last few days in Valparaiso.  In the mean time, I'm excited to share an article I had published on a women's travel Web site, Pink Pangea.  I've written articles for clients before but I'm thrilled and nervous that it is all about moi!  Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone: Canyoning in Chile

Here are a few photos from our waterfall adventures!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Travel Frenzy to The End of The Earth and Back - Greetings!

Greetings from the dazzling city of Buenos Aires!  I appologize for the lack of posts but these last weeks have been hectic bouncing from city to town with the hopes of snagging a computer for a few minutes at a hostel.  On that note, I´m on my final travel countdown right now.  I´ll return on December 19 and I have to admit leaving South America breaks my heart a little bit or a lot.  That and the reality that playtime is over and it´s time to get working (although teaching was super hard).  But I´m excited to see family and friends. 

So anyways back to business, let´s talk about some of my travels.  Buenos Aires is a beautiful city (and gigantic with 13 million people) full of fashion, food and architecture.  Most people compare it to European cities and it is - and also much more expensive than other cities in South America.  I can understand why so many people fall in love with BA. 

Unfortunately, I can´t chat for long though because I´m off to reinact the Evita scene (photos to come) in the centro.  Here´s a little recap about where I´ve been and what I´ve been up to these last three weeks.

1.  First stop Santiago - I wrapped up my program with a formal ceremony at the United Nations.  We had a few days in Santiago and it was surreal to be back where it all began.  My friend Ian arrived a few days later determined more than ever to try a Terremoto and eat Chorillana (that didn´t happen until his last night traveling with us in Chiloe jaja).

2. The end of the earth - A group of us girls (plus Ian) flew to Punta Arenas which is at the end of South America in Patagonia and traveled up to Puerto Natales, which is sort of like a gateway town to all of the awesomeness there.  We took a day trip to the giant, active glacier, Petito Moreno in Argentina, which was awe inspiring.  The boat was up close and personal with the giant, I mean GIANT glacier that was crackling and falling into the water.  It looked like a scene from Lord of the Rings.  Once back we plotted our journey to Torres Del Paine, an incredible national park that pretty much everyone in Chile talks up.  Lucky for us it lived up to the hype.  Giant spikes of mountains, turquoise lakes, waterfalls - everything in Torres Del Paine feels like the size and colors are heightened to a grand scale.  I´ve never scene anything so beautiful.

3.  We bounced from the South, South to a small island off of Chile called Chiloe.  It was a perfect rest after being so extreme.  The island is lovely, green and tranquilo.  The local artisans knit wool everything (look out because some lucky family members might just get some wine bottle fashionwear).  Ian set off on his way to Valpo -  my favorite city in Chile and my home for the last five months.

4.  Off to Puerto Varras, we started making our way up North.  Still considered Patagonia, Puerto Varras is a lovely mountain town with German influence.  It´s set below two giant volcanoes and a large deep blue lake.  I don´t want to say too much because I´m writing on article (fingers crossed) on this town for a Web site but let´s just say it was one of my favorite traveling memories and probably the most extreme.

5.  Valdivia was next on the list and finally we could peel off our layers as the weather was much, much warmer.  Valdivia is a larger city and although I liked it, I missed the small feel and natural beauty of our stops.  We went to a brewery, shopped and just sort of recharged.  Like the final episodes in Real World some of the group started saying their goodbyes. 

6.  Back to Santiago on a 12 hour bus, one night of rest, early morning bus to Buenos Aires, 21 hours on the bus and here I am. 

What a run but I´m still loving every moment.  Will try to update you soon.

Chao, Chao!