Few things are as relaxing at home as lying on the sofa with a snack and a cold beer while enjoying a nice nature documentary presented by Sir David Attenborough (feel free to read this in his voice if it helps you get in the mood). More than a few times during this trip we have visited places which are more than suitable for such documentaries. These are places that can already amaze you on a screen, but they manage to blow your mind in reality. Think of the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina which I spoke about in an earlier post. There is however one place that is simply the highlight for any nature and wildlife enthusiast, scientist, biologist and therefore also for nature documentaries, the Galapagos Islands. An archipelago consisting of 18 major islands and many small ones totally disconnected from the mainland by more than 1000 kilometers. These islands are so remote that all plants that grown here were taken here by winds, and all land animals came here by accident floating around on the sea for over two weeks. This happened so long ago that in the meantime these creatures evaluated to something unique, and witnessing this is what Charles Darwin brought to establishing the Evolution theory. Since I heard about this place for the first time some bunch of years back in time I’ve been wanting to see it, so I guess you can imagine that I have a smile on my face while inviting you along in our journey through… the Galapagos Islands.
Except from a few small escapes to Chile here and there, Argentina managed to keep us within its borders for almost 6 weeks by now. How and why would you ever leave a country with so much beauty which makes shooting breathtaking post card/screen saver worth pictures so easy, and describing it in words somewhat challenging. I have to apologize for again, some excessive usage of words such as Stunning, Beautiful and Amazing. I hope you can forgive me, but you just have to name it what it is. These words definitely also apply to our latest destinations, El Calafate and El Chalten. We spent about a week in El Calafate, during which we explored the town and visited the stunning Perito Moreno Glacier. Afterwards, we headed for El Chalten where we hiked through the beautiful national park for 5 days. We challenged ourselves with 65 kilometers of hiking through the mountains, and were lucky enough to find the famous Monte Fitz Roy high up in a blue sky during this adventure which took place in a mix of rain and sun. It has been amazing. Hit Continue Reading.
After the 8 days that we had spent in Buenos Aires, we knew it was about time to continue our journey. Between two weeks back and now, we cover about 4,000 km to the south. First, as to escape the city for a bit and to try out our camping gear, we chill for a few days at lake Chascomús which is just a few hours south of Buenos Aires. Then the more interesting part starts. We travel all the way down to Puerto Madryn. This is where we rent a car and visited a colony of half a million Penguins at Punta Tombo and saw many other animals such as Sea Lions at the Valdes Peninsula. Next up is Ushuaia, “Fin del Mundo” (The end of the world) or the southern most city of the world. Here we do a three day trekking through the beautiful Tierra del Fuego (fire country). All in all, a whole lot to write about again. Hit “Continue Reading” to read more!
Continue reading “Argentina: Seals and Penguins in Puerto Madryn & Trekking in Ushuaia”
The capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires, is called “The Paris of the South”. Having lived in Paris for half a year a few years back and having visited it frequently as its only 4 hours driving from our home, I could not wait to finally visit this city and figure out what this whole comparison is all about. In hindsight we can say; yes, it definitely does have a lot of characteristics in common with Paris. It is actually incredible how many times during this week we compared it to something we experienced or know of Paris. The beautiful old buildings in every other street, the passion for food and drink, the careless driving of the inhabitants and the abundance of green in the city. And in addition to what there is to compare, Buenos Aires has so much extra to offer, let alone the friendliness of the people. I am going to try to take you along during our week in Buenos Aires, and maybe, I will be able to convince you to put this city on top of your bucket list (you should). Press “Continue reading” to read about our experience!
We have just had the most incredible week and I am so excited to tell you about it. When we were still back in the Netherlands, I was going through some Columbus Magazines that we still had at home. I found an article which listed 25 “green journeys” of which number 19 was in Guatemala. The title: “Save Turtles”. The article said that Guatemalan people collect sea turtle eggs for consumption and therewith endanger the 8 existing sea turtle species. As a volunteer at this project, you would patrol the beaches at night and protect the eggs from being taken by people with bad intentions. I immediately sent a picture of the article to Anne and from that point we have been looking forward to contributing to this great project. After a month of travelling in Guatemala, we set out to join ARCAS. It was such a great experience; exhausting but rewarding. I hope you will enjoy the read and if you know of any other such projects on our route to the south, feel free to tell us!
It keeps surprising me how many beautiful places we encounter on our journey that I never even heard of before we left the Netherlands. Since the start in Havana, we have covered about 3600 km through Cuba, Mexico and Guatemala (Polarsteps). and time seems to fly by. Often we only find out about a place because other travelers told us to go there, which is especially true for some of the things we have seen in Guatemala. Even though we are far from the first travelers getting to this country, it feels like a beautiful hidden gem to us as there are barely any tourists on the most beautiful places. Probably because we are travelling in low season. We are not leaving Guatemala yet but I felt like I already had more than enough to share. On our mission to the south, we have learned Spanish on the lake-island Flores, visited the astonishing Maya city Tikal, took many and another dive into the waters of Semuc Champey, and found our next stay to be in Antigua.
After a great start in Cuba, next up on our journey is Mexico. We decided to limit ourselves to south-east region of Mexico. A reason for this is that this region is much more safe than the north; another is that our plan is to continue travelling south afterwards through Guatemala and more of Latin America. For some reason, we both always have wanted to go to Mexico. During our journey, we find that the country does this desire more than just; it is incredible how much it has to offer! The nature is amazing, we have been swimming with whale sharks, explored the old city of the Mayas and much more. I know my writing about Cuba was very positive, but Mexico is definitely a great destination. It is fascinating how different both experiences were.