Saturday, December 20, 2008

"Hasta luego" or "see you again next year"

Hey there,

today I will do my last shopping here in Buenos Aires and have my last party here, tomorrow I will pack my backpack and give away my laptop. On Monday I finally leave Buenos Aires and my big trip will start. I just booked my flight to Cuba yesterday and now I am really excited to start my trip. I will be travelling from the end of December until April, so I am having about 3,5 months to travel. I will start in Costa Rica and will make my way through all the countries up to Mexico. So far the only fixed things are my flight to Costa Rica and back and one from Costa Rica to Cuba and back. Everything else I will figure out when I'm there. I didn't want to plan to much as things used to change while travelling. To those of you that are interested in my trip, I did a small animation :-)

My trip:

So for me it's time to say goodbye! Thanks for those that were reading my blog. From time to time I might post some news stuff but I don't know if it will work out. I would just like to concentrate on my trip and I won't have a laptop with me. With other words: Merry Xmas, a happy new year and hope to see you all again in April.

Hasta la vista!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Trip to Santiago de Chile, Valparaiso (Chile) and Mendoza (Argentina)

Hey everyone!

Last week I had to leave the country again (because I'm living here on a tourist visa and every 3 months I have to leave the country to get another stamp in my passport that allows me to stay for another 3 months). I decided to go to Chile because I've already been to Uruguay (which is a lot closer though) and I wanted to see something new. And I loved it!
Last thursday I had my last exam (my professor gave me 8 points out of 10 and recomended me to think about studying in Mexico or the USA :-) , so I was extremely happy!) and a few hours later I found myself sitting in a bus going to Santiago de Chile. Duration: 22 hours. I was travelling alone, I saw it as a test for myself and for my new 60 liter backpack I just bought. It's was not the first time I was travelling alone, but it was the first time travelling alone in Southamerica to a country for that I haven't had a guide book. I've never been to a country without any guide book so I was a little afraid to find everything I was looking for. The only thing I had was the direction of my hostel that's it. But as usual everything turned out well besides a little inconvenience: After a little 2 hour break in the middle of the Andes, because the motor of the bus broke down, we had to wait for another bus to pick us up. The border crossing was not complicated at all, checking passport, argentinian leaving stamp, chilenean arriving stamp and checking the lugguage.
Luckily in Santiago de Chile the bus terminal was right at a metro station so I just jumped in to get to the hostel. The hostel? Was really great! I had such a good time there! During the day I walked all around the city and luckily I found out that right at the time there was a doble exhibition of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera (mexican artists) , so one of my favorite painters! It was really great to see their art in real! And nights, we had asado at the hostel (barbecue) and went out. In my room was a groop of Irish girls and a English guy and we had a really good time hanging out together and going out with the staff.
After two days I took the bus to Valparaiso, it's a city at the coast and famous for its UNESCO site. The houses are all built up on hills and are often only connected by stairs. I almost felt like I was in San Francisco, deep hills, up and down... With the staff from the hostel we climbed up the hills and found out that on the same day there was an art festival. So many trolleys of the city were changed into moving stages! See here for the video I made. It was really funny. I really think that the city is one of the most creative cities I've seen so far.

Here the first video: A small band playing:

Here the second video: some kind of a drag queen :-)

The next day I met Steffi, a friend of Dani, my German friend here in BsAs. She came to BsAs last week and we found out that she was going to be in Valparaiso the same date so we decided to meet up again there. We did a small harbor tour and made again our way through the city. Unluckily I had to leave the same day to Mendoza. I wish I could have stayed a little longer there, I really liked it. The only bad thing was the cloudy weather.
Arrived in Mendoza I did the obligatory thing: A wine tour! 75 % of the wine in Argentina is produced in Mendoza and surroundings. So I didn't miss the chance to try out some wine there! On my last day I was walking around the city - and - suddenly somebody was screaming my name! I turned around and who was there: Steffi! Steffi from Augsburg! So funny, I knew that she was travelling also, but she had a totally different route and so I never thought about that at some point our routes would cross again :-) What a coincidence!
Now I am back home in BsAs, I'm really exhausted and I am sick again (I hate the stupid air conditioning in the bus - it always makes me sick! I'm sitting in the bus with a sweater and a jacket and outsite its about 35 degrees! this can't be right!) but I still have some days to get all my stuff done.

What do I learn from my little trip to Chile:

1) My backpack is great! Test approved!
2) I can't help myself but somehow I found people in Chile a little more friendly than in Argentina.
3) Travelling is not only relaxing but can also be pretty exhaustible.
4) One night only at one place its too stressfull. I rather stay at least 2 nights!
5) I love travelling and meeting new people!
6) I can't wait to leave!!!

That's from now so far! The whole album of my trip see here.