4/18/10: Argentina and Chile
Top Five To-Dos
- While on a scooter, soak in the mysterious history of Easter Island
- Trek the Big Ice of the Perito Moreno glacier near El Calafate
- Walk with the penguins way down south at “the end of the world”
- Get lost in the colorful hillside houses of Valparaiso
- Pick a nice day and hike to Laguna de los Tres in El Chalten
Top Five Don’t-Dos
- Spend a cold night out on the streets of Perito Moreno (the city)
- Shortchange your time on Easter Island (even though people will tell you you only need two days there)
- Take a bike tour around the wine “country” of Mendoza
- Forget to bring snacks on all long bus rides – you never know what food you’ll get
- Expect to see a glacier on the hike to the Martial Glacier just north of Ushuaia
Top Five Things We Learned
- If you’re planning on spending more than a week in non-Brazil South America, you’ll have an infinitely easier time if you’re able to pick up on a few words. The number one thing we’ve learned here is Spanish.
- Obviously everything has to be imported to Easter Island so it’s going to cost more than on the mainland. We had no idea how much more it would be. Since you can carry pretty much whatever you want on to domestic flights in Chile, bring as much food as you can to Easter Island.
- Not much is mentioned of South America when learning about the world in school, so I honestly had no idea what to expect. What a way to begin our adventure on this continent though. Despite the hurricane-like winds, Patagonia is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
- The best way we’ve found to stay under budget is to cook your own food. While this does free up money to be used on more expensive adventures (see: Big Ice on Perito Moreno), it’s not always the best decision. When you’re in Argentina, go out and order the steak (our pick: Ahonikenk in El Chalten). The deliciousness of Argentine beef is unmatched.
- There are so many places to see and things to do in Patagonia, and no one can tell you in advance what you’ll like the best. When busing through the country never plan your tickets out more than two days in advance. By keeping your timetable flexible, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite places more.
Kevin’s Top Five Favorite Pictures
Zhou’s Top Five Favorite Pictures
- Total days: 40
- Days over budget: 6
- Days under budget: 34
- Total dollars under budget: $314.15
- Number of stops at immigration/customs: 11
- Visits to the ATM: 10
- Cumulative ATM fees: $40.78
- Times we ate more than just bread for breakfast on the mainland: 5
- Percentage of nights spent on buses and/or the street: 15%
- Total hours spent on buses: 164.1
- Kilograms of ham and cheese eaten on bus rides: countless
- Times we were followed by a dog for at least ten minutes: 5
- Days left until Kevin’s dad meets us in Peru: 18!
Picture of the Day: A parting shot from two of the more contemplative oversized heads.