A Travellerspoint blog

day 27

Santiago

Last time I checked in we were locked in the house. We're no longer trapped but we are still in the house, its so cold! ! The plan was to go camping in cajon del maipo yesterday and leave Santiago today for la Serena, a beach town north of here, but neither of those things happened. Camping didn't happen because it was pouring all day yesterday (of course....), and there aren't many buses going today/they are cheaper tomorrow so we are just going to chill here for another night. Its 3pm, maddy is still in bed, Mich is trying to do yoga, and star and I are lounging on the couches. My toes are freezing, but otherwise I'm a pretty comfy couch potato right now. I think the plan for the day is order sushi and watch breaking bad. The first few days we were in Santiago I was really restless and wanted to take advantage of being here and actually do things, and I still do but its fun to just hang out with the guys.

Yesterday alex took us to the rock climbing gym he works at which was really fun, we definitely all feel it today though. We stopped afterward at a pizza/beer place and got delicious, what do you know, pizza and beer. Then we came home and watched the giants!!! Sucks they lost but it was awesome to watch, its been so long. It was fun explaining it to pepe and alex although I'm not sure how much they actually liked it.... I told pepe there was another game today and thrilled wouldn't be how i would describe his reaction haha the game ended around 130am but we stayed up but for a couple more hours just hanging out. We had a YouTube sesh, if you are bored/looking for a laugh look up remi guillard, I think that's his name.... so ridiculous and so funny.

So that was yesterday, Saturday. On Friday maddy got a tattoo! It looks really good, but as with stars I'm going to make you wait for a picture. Alex stayed wwith her for the duration and star Mich and I went to a craft market for a few hours and all walked away with some cool new stuff. Stopped to get a churripan on the way back (for the second time in less than 24 hours.... I think Mich are star are churripaned out, but Im definite)ly not, in fact I could defiitely go for one right meow). We made cookies for the house again and had a chill night around the yellow table with alex pepe and some of their friends. Michelle went out later with them but maddy star and I opted for sleep.

After we were freed on Thursday we went over to sofi (friend from coho) and Aaron's apartment to hang out. Got some Chinese food from across the street and picked up some beer (its pretty cool you can bring back the bottles and get some money back or a discount on a new bottle), and played some good old American drinking games before meeting up with pepe and a friend at a bar. Finished the night with a delicious churripan.

Well my toes are still freezing but Maddys kind of sitting on them so hopefully they will thaw.

Thanks for reading another super exciting entry! ¡¡¡vamos madbum/gigantes!!!!!!!!

PS we are all sick

Posted by alexascamp 10:45 Archived in Chile Comments (2)

day 24

Back in Santiago

Well we're back. We were going to stay in valpo til today but there wasn't too much to do and we figured it wasn't worth it to spend money on another night sober came back to Santiago last night. Valpo was really nice though, Monday was cold but Tuesday and Wednesday were beautiful.

On Tuesday Michelle and I went for a run to check out some other hostels. We found one that was cheaper and closer to things so we relocated. We were literally the only ones who were at the other one, which was nice because we we had the place to ourselves but we were ready to move on. The new one had a German and a group of 4 American dudes who just got out of law school. After we checked in too the new hostel we walked to the beach and spent a couple hours there. On our way back we were discussing dinner options when we passes by a pretty crowded restaurant that had really cheap completos. We figured we couldn't go wrong by stopping there but oh boy we went wrong..... lets just say we swore off completos halfway through the meal.

Went out that night with the American guys to this random 80s bar which was very interesting... maddy and I went back to the hostel pretty soon after getting tthere.

We successfully managed to get an early start yesterday. At least Michelle maddy and I did, star got up for the breakfast then went back to bed while we went with the German to Pablo nerudas house to look at the view that inspired him. We didn't go inside because there was an hour wait (whattt?) But we were able to go onto the balcony and see a really pretty view of valpo. We went back to the hostel to get star then we took a 20 minute busride to vina del Mar which is like valpo but mmore bougie. It was a perfect day on the beach.

Made our way back to the hostel where our freshly laundered clothes were waiting for us. I've never been so excited to have clean clothes. We packed up and headed back to Santiago. On the bus ride we realized we probably shod have told the guys we were coming a day early but it was too late. Luckily they were home and soo excited to see us. Joel and pau had left for a month and mauricio was in vina so it was just alex and pepe at the house. We chilled for a bit, drank some piscolas, skyped with emily, then headed out to a club that was two stories packed with foreigners and locals looking for foreigners.

I woke up before everyone else this morning and decided to go on a run. Put on my running gear and wrote a note saying where I had gone only to discover that I wasn't actually going anywhere because the door was llocked. Never have I ever encountered a door in which you need a key to open it from the inside... until today. So instead of going on a run I sat. Thankfully there was one last beer to make me happy. I broke the news to the others when they woke up and we spent a few minutes scrounging for a spare key /attempting to devise an escape route but were unsuccessful. Considering all the bottom story windows are barred, our only opting IA to climb/jump out of the second story but then we would be locked out..... its quite a situation. We've accepted the ffact that we just hhave to wait til alex or pepe comes home. Hopefully pepe has a shorter workday than alex who told us last night that he has a 13 hour day and wont be home til 10pm...... this is such a cruel joke, we've spent so many days not leaving this house til like 5 or 6, and now that we actually want to leave and do something we can't. Honestly all we want are churripans. Is that sso much to ask for?on that note, food is limited. We already ate the last two slices of pizza from last night and I had the last beer. I feel like I'm in an alternate version of lord of the flies. I think I hear someone making food though.... so I'm gonna go check it out.

Last thing. Maddy got sick a week ago and has been coughing and blowing her nose all over the place. We've all kinda felt the sickness coming the past couple days but this morning it really hit Mich and star, they are very bitter towards maddy. Ive got a sniffly nose and a scratchy throat but its not too bad which is good because its survival of the fittest on the island (in the house), hopefully I'm not speaking to soon but seeing as how this day is going I probably am.

Posted by alexascamp 11:00 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

day 22

santiago to valparaiso

Im surpised at how quickly five nights went by in Santiago considering we didn´t do very much...

Joel´s house was in Providencia, a really nice area of the city. The house itself was small but there was so much life in it. 5 guys lived there - there was a bedroom for each of them, a small kitchen, one bathroom, and a small living room that two couches and some chairs around a table where we would eat dinner. Joel, Pau, Mauricio, Alex, and Pepe are the ones that actually live there but there were usually at least one or two other friends over as well. All of them are originally from Spain except for Alex and Mauricio who are Chilean. They were all really nice and welcoming, the lifestyle was very communal - dinner was made for everyone and whenever we asked a question about using something like the computer or shower they would tell us not to ask stupid questions. The most frustrating thing is not being able to communicate as well as I would like to with them, so I´m trying to brush up on as much Spanish as possible before heading back there as I can.

The house was right off the main road which had a huge park that ran along a river. Whenever we went out there was always so much activity and so many people out - going to the subway, walking down the street, biking, couples canoodaling in the park, etc. Wednesday treated us to the nicest weather all week (unfortunately we didn´t know that when we planned to go to the viewpoint on Thursday...), which we enjoyed across the street at the park. Pau set up a slackline which only he could walk across, although michelle put up a valiant effort. It was nice just lying in the grass, and we got some free entertainment when this guy who was clearly tripping on something tried to make friends with us. He was attracted to the slackline and turned out to be pretty good at it, he was able to balance on it even after a running start and shoes still on, michelle was very bitter.

We feasted wednesday night on coho black bean casserole with homemade tortillas courtesy of pau, followed by a bbq, and two batches of cookies (ill give you one guess as to who was the driving force behind that one...). Everything was delicious, the cookies were a little sketchy because all the measurments were approximations but they turned out great despite the fact that we found out half of the ´butter´we used was actually animal fat (sorry maddy). Our food coma prevented us from making it to the club we were planning on going to in time to get in for free so we went somewhere else. Fun night of pisco colas and dancing.

Theme for Thursday was failure. Plan for the day was to go to a museum that had art which had been hidden underground during Pinochets dictatorship, but by the time we finished eating lunch we were past closing time. Plan for the night was to go see a movie, but we got there five minutes late and the security people insisted the box office was closed and wouldn´t let us in. I guess the taxi ride across town was worth it.... We went back to the house and had a movie night there, probably the most bizarre movie night I´ve ever had. We watched about 10 minutes of a wordless movie that was literally just still images before we couldn´t take it anymore and switched to a new one, which turned out to be in French with Spanish subtitles. Not sure which one I preferred... but I guess that´s irrelevant because I passed out pretty quickly.

Friday was somewhat of a nicer day and we managed to get out of the house by 1 which, pathetic as it may seem, was actually an accomplishment. We met up with Aaron and Tyler, two guys who are studying abroad in Santiago that we met through a mutual friend, and headed to a lookout point called Cerro de San Cristobal. It was a pretty decently steep trek, its been 3 days since and the soreness is finally subsiding. We got a mote con huesillo to refresh ourselves - a drink with rehydrated dehydrated peaches and corn/grain. We were skeptical but it turned out to be really good. After taking in the view we made plans to go across town to a restaurant called La Piojera to get a drink called a Terremoto (white wine, fernet, and ice cream) and fries covered in sausage/steak and a fried egg. Both were delicious, and the restaurant was crazy packed. It reminded me of Mzolis in Cape Town, everyone was there to drink eat and have a good time.

We had another long night at a club that was basically an auditorium with a bar in the back. We tried to keep the night going but nothing was really happening so we went back to Aaron and Tylers to play beer pong. Their apartment was pretty high up and had a really nice view of the sunrising of the city. Long night turned into another wasted day that we were going to use to go to Cajon del Maipo. Instead we had dinner at a Peruvian restaurant and drinks later at this place called Mr. Jack. Joel got the biggest burger I have ever seen - ´only´3 patties, but extra cheese avo egg, etc and was devoured it before I would have gotten 5 bites down. Another movie night at the house, this time it was taxi driver, which I also managed to sleep through.

All of Sunday was spent trying to leave Santiago. We left to get lunch, hoping to get Churripans from this street vendor that Tyler and Aaron showed us (sausage with delicious toppings), but it was closed so we settled for Mr. Jacks (clearly we are all about trying new things). Finally managed to resist the temptation of staying at the house and left for Valparaiso around 8pm to get there around 10pm (2 hours felt like it went by in a minute). Took a taxi to a hostel which we are still at now. Its pretty empty, apparently everyone went to Santiago? No complaints though, we have full access to the comp and tv - and lucky us breaking bad was on last night!

We got up today around 10, ate the hostel breakfast, then set off to roam around the city. We came here hoping for beach weather but instead got the opposite. It´s a beautiful city though, there is so much color. Houses are painted really brightly and there is street art everywhere. Its pretty hilly too, there are old elevators around the city that you can take instead of walking up hundreds of stairs. I guess a lot of the museums are closed on mondays (of course..) so we just walked around. The streets are kinda windy and narrow and a lot of them are cobblestone. The city has an old, somewhat abandoned feeling to it but when you get to the plazas its bustling with life. Ate some lunch and decided to head back to the hostel, which is where we are hunkered down for the night. We saw so many hostels when we were out but I didn´t notice that many travellers, but then again it isn´t high season.

I guess I should mention what/where Valpo is. It´s Northwest of Santiago and situated on the coast in a little bay that makes me feel like I´m at home. The view last night when we got here was beautiful, you could see the bay from our hostel (super hilly, everywhere has a nice view of the water/the rest of the city) and all the city lights. This morning felt even more like home as there was a blanket of fog across the bay. We didn´t make it to the beach today, apparently its about a 15 minute walk to get to the beach, the immediate area where ocean meets city is a massive port with a lot of ships and huge cargo boxes.

i´m going to start recording my budget to help me keep track of how much i´m spending.....
bus to valpo from santiago - 3900
hostel - 8000 x night (cheapest we could find)
lunch -2000 (made our own sandos)
dinner - 750 (bought pasta and veggies)
--> total so far for valpo trip is aboutttt 23,000 which is around 40 us dollars... not too shabby i´d say for 2 nights, 2 meals, and the bus ticket

we just looked up the weather and wednesday is going to be the nicest day, so i think we are going to rent bikes and head to Vina Del Mar (a more beachy expensive area) that day, and spend tomorrow exploring more of valpo, check out some museums and apparently a really windy street like the one in SF that is flat rather than down a hill. Going to head back to Santiago Wednesday or Thursday to actually go camping at Cajon del Maipo with some of the guys from the house, should be fun.

Hopefully I will have something more exciting to report next time, I know reading me talk is boring.............. i tried to upload pics but this comp isn´t reading my camera, sorryyyyyyy :(

Posted by alexascamp 13:46 Archived in Chile Comments (2)

day 16

Santiago

We arrived in Chile around 6am yesterday morning. The bus ride was great - lots of leg room, food and drinks, well heated (we were bundled up in preparation for passing through the snow capped Andes). We've been taking red eye buses to not waste a day/avoid paying for a night at a hostel but this would have been a cool one to do during the day so we could have really seen the mountains. They looked crazy in the dark. The stars were so pretty too, only time I've ever seen, a better night sky was in Namibia literally in the middle of nowhere.

It was a relatively short bus ride.... left at 11 got there at 6, and that included like an hour stop at the border which was pretty smooth. It was freezinggg when we got off the bus. We grabbed a taxi and took it to stars friend Joel's house. We passed out in the living room, but switched to Joel's bed when he left for work a few hours later, it fit the four of us perfectly.

Got up around noon then went with joels roomies pau and mauricio to get groceries from this open market vendor place similar to our farmer markets (but apparently they have farmers markets twice a week also). Wish I had brought my camera (not that would be able to post the pics anyways). Maddy was stoked to finally be around some vegetables, I spent most of the time trying to make sense of the exchange rate.

Came back to Joel's to chill and make some food. It was a pretty lazy day but it was nice to relax and be with locals again, Joel and his roomies aare all really nice. We didn't get everything we needed from the market so we needed to make a mission to the supermarket. There were only two bikes so maddy and I ended up going. Confidence levels of success were not high.... especially considering I could barely get on my bike because it was too tall. We were literally given two directions, and we couldn't find the first street so we started asking people within five minutes. Progress was sketchy as the directions we were given appeared to be the exact oppsite of those we were originally given, but after maddy gave me a tutorial on how to ride a bike that was too big for you, and we found the bike path.things were looking up. We finally got there, grabbed what we needed and headed back. The whole thing took us a while but we made it back successfully to a nearly ready dinner. We chowed down on some salad and pasta with a delicious sauce made by mauricio. There were 9 or 10 of us surrounding this little table, it was a good meal. Stomach full, heart happy.

Hung out for a while longer then made our way to this club to meet jona and javis friend Leo and his girlfriend Chelsea. We didn't stay for too long, it was pretty small and dark and we weren't really feeling it.

Trying to figure out a plan now... gonna check out a craft market and museum today, do something scenic tomorrow, maybe do the canjon del maipu or save it for friday. We're thinking about heading south and also towards the coast to.get to the beaches. Other than that its all up in the air, still debating whether we are goingbto make it to Bolivia, if we do it will be about 2 weeks in each country, if not it will be about 3 in each.

Chile is really pretty, seems similar to California geographically... cities beaches mountains. Santiago is a really nice city, lots of open community space, beautiful weather.

Posted by alexascamp 08:32 Archived in Chile Comments (2)

day 8 - 14?

Iguazu to Rosario to Mendoza

Its been a while....

20 minutes after we got to iguazu there was a huge thunderstorm... we had to get money to pay for the hostel and were hungry for food so we put on our jackets and headed out into the rain. Storm didn't last long but it took out the power all over town. Luckily the atms worked but our choices of where to eat were limited, but we ended up with a pretty delicious dinner of chicken and potatoes for relatively cheap. We planned out the following day and went to bed early. Got up around 730, downed the free breakfast of a croissant and roll then hit the road. We stopped at the grocery store to get sandwich materials then took a 20 min bus ride to the park. We spent the day checking out all the viewpoints, they were all amazing ill post pictures later. It was like Victoria falls on steroids.... waterfalls for daysss. We finished around 2 then headed out to this 'hidden waterfall ' that isn't really advertised/most people don't go to (probably because its a 45 minute walk and 90% of the people at the park were over 70 or under 12). Definitely was a highlight of the day, but at first it didn't seem like it as the waterfall was only like 2 feet wide, which was pretty unimpressive after seeing the actual falls. But then we looked down and saw that it created a pool we could swim in. The weather is super tropical so the air was thick and sticky... swimming was all we wanted. The walk through the jungle was really peaceful, we saw an iguana a monkey and some huge ants raping each other.

I want to write so much more but I'm doing this on my phone and its taking a while so I'm just gonna do bullet points...

Chilled at the hostel for another night then walked to the tres fronteras in the morning, which is where the borders of Argentina Paraguay and Brazil coincide.

Had to wait five plus hours for the next bus to Rosario so star got a spontaneous tattoo.... its really cool but I'm gonna make you wait for a picture.

Bus ride to rosario was pretty uneventful besides the attendent who told Mich to put her shoes on because they smelled.

So nice to be back at maxis with him and his family... had these delicious meat spinach enchilada things for dinner. Maddy poured us wine and got a couple drops on the table cloth so we gave her some shit for it, two seconds later I tried adding some of this fizzy water they like to add to their wine, I pouredit at the wrong angle and wine literally sprayed all over the table. Great way to pay back the family that has been housing and feeding me....

Went out to tthe local bar media Luna for beer and pool with maxi and his friends it was a lot of fun hanging out with them, all were so nice. After we left around four we went to this doughnut shop that was randomly open... yum.

We left the next day loaded with snacks and our favorite - burgers with ham. Definitely sad to say goodbye to the family but hopefully ill be able to see them again when I'm back in Argentina with lauren and louie.

Really shitty bus ride, left at 4pm, two shitty movies, no food or snacks, and a crying baby. We got to Mendoza at 630am and went to a couple different hostels til we found one that had room for us. Passed out for a few hours then got up to do a biking wine tasting tour.

Got a late start and ended up taking a taxi to save time... bit of course he didn't know where he wad going. He had to stop to ask for directions twice. Finally made it to the bike rental place and were on our way. Went to three different wineries and a beer garden where we met 4 American dudes. We met up with them later for dinner at this really good Mexican restaurant. Chilled at their hostel which was across the street from ours then went out around 230 or 3 to meet some people we met earlier.

It was a fun night but sooo random, for some reason the bars /clubs weren't working out so we went to one of the locals tattoo parlor and hung out there. We left to get beer from the gas station but the lady wouldnt let us leave without finishing the beer so we spent some time there drinking. Not sure when we left, but Mich and I didn't get to sleep til like 8am because we kicked it at our hostel with a couple of others and played fooseball.

Got up at 1030 for 11am check out and so we could go to these hot springs. We were too late to get tickets so we just went back to the hostel and hing out bybthe pool, it wad a really nice day. We went searching for a place to eat and settled on one that we thought looked for sure decent. It wasn't....

We picked up our bags and headed to jona and javis apartment a few blocks away. We met them the day before and they offered us a free place to stay and its been great. We put our stuff down then headed to a bar where CJ Ramone was playing. We got in halfway through the show for cheaper, it was really fun. Show ended around midnight and went to their friends house to hang out and dance. Everyone we have met is so nice and welcoming and helpful.

Went to the springs today... total let down. It was more like a public pool for families, but it was pretty cool that we were in the middle of the mountains. We did a quick walk around then asked for our money back. We had an hour to kill before the next bus so we got lunch which wad realllly good. We got back a couple hours ago and are just hanging out. We are leaving tonight for santiago Chile at 1045. Kinda looking forward to just passing out. Star has aa friend we can stay with and jona put us in contact with his friend who invited us to stay with him. Should be fun!!

Posted by alexascamp 14:32 Archived in Argentina Comments (3)

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