A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: jillandloic

This is it

Santiago, and guess who's coming back home ?

sunny 21 °C

Our last five days we have spent in Santiago, Chile, where I got to meet and Loic got to reconnect with a friend from his university. We stayed with Jeremy and have been amused by his pet parrot Lorenzo, and two lovebirds. Our first evening we tried slacklining and actually did decently at it. Saturday we visited the main market to check out how the locals shop, and hiked up a hill to visit the virgin statue and take in views of the city. Sunday we visited a local winery where we helped harvest the last of the grapes, and enjoyed a great BBQ with a group of both expats and Chileans. Monday we wandered around the city and explored a few more parks, but mostly, this time has been spent catching up with and making a new friend. It was a nice way to end our journey. We could not be more excited to return home, as we miss our friends, hobbies, city and being able to talk to family with a decent phone connection! This has been an amazing journey and we are so glad many of you have shared it with us through this blog. Thank you to those who are reading this who hosted us at some point. We hope you will allow us to return the hospitality to you one day. We are so blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family. We can't wait to see you all soon!

Pour notre ultime lieu de vacances, nous atterissons a Santiago, Chile, ou nous retrouvons un ami de Loic. Nous restons chez Jeremy et apprecions la compagnie de son perroquet et de ses deux Inseparables (oiseaux). Pour notre premiere soiree a Santiago, nous essayons la slack-line, et apres quelques efforts, arrivons a faire quelques pas d'une longueur respectable. Samedi, nous visitons le marche, decouvrons le coeur vivant de Santiago, et montons en haut de la montagne du parc municipale vers la statue de la viereg Marie, et sa vue a 360 sur Santiago. Dimanche, nous visitons un vigneron a l'ouest de Santiago, ou nous aidons a rammasser les raisins sur quelques pieds de vignes en echange d'un barbecue tip-top. Lundi, nous visitons la ville, et quelques uns de ses parcs, mais surtout passons du temps a socialiser avec Jeremy. C'est enfin la fin du voyage, et ce dernier stop est un parfait point de ponctuation a l'aventure. Nous sommes impatient de rentrer a la maison, revoir nos amis et nos activites ! Merci d'avoir partager cette aventure avec nous, merci a ceux qui nous ont accueillis quelques jours durant ce voyage, cela nous a fait plaisir de vous revoir ! Nous esperons vous retourner la faveur dans un futur proche !
Merci les amis, et a bientot !

Santiago from the top

Santiago from the top

Santiago's mountainous parcs

Santiago's mountainous parcs

Loic on a slack line

Loic on a slack line


Jill pickings grapes

Jill pickings grapes


Meeting a new friend

Meeting a new friend

Posted by jillandloic 12:47 Archived in Chile Comments (1)

The Atacama Desert in northern Chile

lakes, mountains and llamas

sunny 20 °C

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After an eight hour bus ride across the Chilean border, followed by another long day of flights, airports, and renting a car, we drove to San Pedro de Atacama, a small town in the Atacama desert. Here we spent 2 1/2 days checking out the sights. Day one we visited Cejar Lake and two other smaller lakes, one of which was as salty, if not more, than the Dead Sea. If you've had the pleasure of swimming in the Dead Sea, this little lake is much better! So clean, nice and cold in the hot desert, and easy to access without all the sand and mud. We liked it so much, that after visiting another lake and hiking around it, we returned just to cool off! We ended the day visiting Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley), to hike through a canyon,
view sand dunes, and hike to a lookout.

Apres un voyage en bus de 8h, nous traversons la frontiere du Chili, puis prenons un aviopour Santiago, puis, enfin San Pedro de Atacama en voiture de loc'. Nous y passons 2 jours et demi, plus ou moins au milieu de ce haut plateau desertique. Le premier jour nous visitons le lac Cejar, et ses deux acolytes (lacs) situes dans le desert de sel. Nous nous baignons dans un des lacs, et profitons de l'experience salee. Comparable a la mer morte, l'experience est bien plus inteerssante, intime, et la vue est definitivement a couper le soufle. L'eau est tres agreable. Nous y reviendrons nous baigner en fin d'apres midi. Nous finissons la journee dans la Valle de la Luna, pour profiter de la vue (touristique) epoustouflante, a travers canyon, dunes de sables, et une couche dsel omnipresente.

Most streets in San Pedro were dirt

Most streets in San Pedro were dirt


Random lake

Random lake


Another lake surrounded by salt

Another lake surrounded by salt

Jill floating in saltwater

Jill floating in saltwater


And on the stomach

And on the stomach


Jill doing a lotus in the salt lake with an amazing background

Jill doing a lotus in the salt lake with an amazing background


We used eachother to float like an inflatable mattress

We used eachother to float like an inflatable mattress


Lots of salt to rinse off after

Lots of salt to rinse off after


Only a few flamingos remain this time of year, but there is a whole flamingo reserve nearby

Only a few flamingos remain this time of year, but there is a whole flamingo reserve nearby

The cavern in Moon Valley

The cavern in Moon Valley


Moon valley

Moon valley


Moon valley sand dunes

Moon valley sand dunes


Salt on the ground and snow on the peaks

Salt on the ground and snow on the peaks


Lizzard

Lizzard

The second day we traveled south to visit two more alpine lakes, surrounded by gorgeous mountains. On the way we passed a fox, llamas, and plenty of lizards. We were impressed by the many contrasting colors. In the afternoon we relaxed in the thermal waters of Puritama. A kind of oasis in the red cliffed desert, this warm river has eight pools and waterfalls in between. Though the water wasn't hot, it was clean and the waterfalls made for a nice massage.

Le second jour, nous voyageons a 2 heures en voiture, au sud-est, pres de la frontiere, pour visiter deux lacs alpins, perches au milieu des montagnes, a 4000m d'altitude. Les couleurs, les contrastes sont a couper le soufle (ou bien c'est le manque d'oxygene, qui sait...). Nous y voyons un renard local, des llamas, plenis de llamas, et aussi des oiseaux rares :). L'apres midi, nous remontons au Nord, et allons nous relaxer aux sources thermales de Puritama, une vraie oasis dans le desert, avec ses 8 points de baignades au long d'un ruisseau presque chaud. L'eau est claire, et l'experience du massage par la chute d'eau, agreable.

Mountains and llamas

Mountains and llamas

Fox

Fox


Laguna Miscanti

Laguna Miscanti


Laguna Miscanti (3)

Laguna Miscanti (3)


Laguna Miscanti (2)

Laguna Miscanti (2)


Us and Laguna Miscanti

Us and Laguna Miscanti

Waterfall in Puricama

Waterfall in Puricama


Thermal waters of Puricama

Thermal waters of Puricama


The valley with the thermal river and waterfalls

The valley with the thermal river and waterfalls

Our last day we visited some petroglyphs, mostly of llamas and dogs, and also enjoyed watching some live llamas in the area. We drove back to Calama, where the airport is, and relaxed the last afternoon. Last stop for this trip, Santiago!

Notre dernier jour, nous visitons des petroglyphs, voyons des llamas, des chiens, des hommes , et des llamas. Dans la pierre. Sinon, il ya aussi des llamas en vrai, dans les champs. Bref, ils aiment leurs llamas, llabas. Nous retournons dormir pres de l'aeroport, car demain, direction Santiago !

petryglyphs of a dog

petryglyphs of a dog


Petroglyph of 3 flamingos

Petroglyph of 3 flamingos


Now we know why pinatas have the colored ribbons on the ears

Now we know why pinatas have the colored ribbons on the ears


Cactus valley

Cactus valley

Posted by jillandloic 11:58 Archived in Chile Comments (2)

Bariloche and San Martin de los Andes

.. I was hungry

semi-overcast 10 °C

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We flew to Bariloche, a swiss-like town, known for its lakes, hikes and mountains. Our only day here we rented bikes to ride the Circuito Chico, a bike ride that goes a long a pine forested road and a few lakes. It was only 30 kilometers, but always either up or down from the mountainous terrain. We were exhausted after! The next day we rented a car and drove along the seven lakes road to San Martin de los Andes. Along the way, you can stop and view seven different lakes with mountain backdrops, and we passed many people biking the road. We stayed two nights in a cabin in San Martin de los Andes, and really enjoyed feeling like we had a home again. We made homemade pizza for dinner and enjoyed the company of a long haired cat, who, being the softy I am, enjoyed many treats: yogurt, bacon, and pate. The cat seemed quite at home with us and slept on the couch in between snacks. Our full day in San Martin we did two short hikes. The first to Lago Rosales, and the second to a mirador (lookout) with great views of the town and the lake. We've really been lucky with weather, and seem to have rain on travel days, and gorgeous sunshine when we're hiking! Tomorrow we head back to Bariloche for one night, and then we take a bus and cross the Chilean border to Puerto Montt. Our last country this trip!

Nous arrivons a Bariloche, Argentine le mardi 28 Mars. C'est une petite ville de montagne, un peu comme un gros village suisse, avec son lac et ses montagnes. Le premier jour, nous louons de velos et suivons le classique 'Circuito Chico' aui nous emmene faire un tour dans la partie ouest du lac, sur route, a travers les forets et points de vue du coin. C'est un petit circuit de 30 km, avec ses deniveles frequents. Bref, on arrive epuises (au bar du coin). Le lendemain nous louons une voiture pour suivre la route des 7 lacs vers San Martin de los Andes, un petit village dans les montagnes au nord. Sur la route, sineuse, nous passons les lacs glaciaire, perches aux creux des montagnes. Nous passons plusieurs touristes/voyageurs a velos, qui semblent faire la route en mode camping. On les plains (gros deniveles) :) Nous restons deux nuits a Saint Martin, dans une cabine/duplex tout equipee. On a l'impression d'etre dans notre propre chez nous, en comparaison des multiples chambres d'hotels que l'on a connues :) On se fait une pizza maison, et profitons de la presence d'un chat qui s'est attire les faveurs culinaires de Jill :) Il etait deja gros avant qu'on passe par la :) Nous profitons du beau temps pour faire deux petites marches, la premiere vers le lac Rosales, un petit lac perdus dans les montagnes, et la seconde au point de vue a l'ouest de la ville. Le point de vue couvre a la fois la ville et son immense lac. Super vue. Nous repartons pour Bariloche, avant de prendre el bus pour le Chili ! Dernier pays sur la liste !!!

View on the circuito chico

View on the circuito chico


View on the circuito chico bike route

View on the circuito chico bike route


Riding the circuito chico

Riding the circuito chico

Too much Mexican food and margaritas in Bariloche

Too much Mexican food and margaritas in Bariloche

One of the 7 lakes

One of the 7 lakes


Hidden Lake.  In case you're tired of our usual selfies

Hidden Lake. In case you're tired of our usual selfies

Cooking in our cabin

Cooking in our cabin

View from the lookout

View from the lookout

View from the lookout of San Martin de los Andes

View from the lookout of San Martin de los Andes


San Martin de los Andes from the viewpoint

San Martin de los Andes from the viewpoint

Lake surrounded by mountains

Lake surrounded by mountains


Lake near San Martin de los Andes

Lake near San Martin de los Andes

Lago Rosales, a short hike

Lago Rosales, a short hike

I wish I could bring this cat home.  So soft, so sweet, but he ate like a horse

I wish I could bring this cat home. So soft, so sweet, but he ate like a horse

Posted by jillandloic 16:23 Archived in Argentina Comments (1)

Glacier Perito Moreno

and a whisky with ice cubes older than us !

overcast 5 °C

We returned to the town of el Calafate for the sole purpose of trekking on the glacier Perito Moreno. This glacier is special because it is one of the few in the world that is not receding, thanks to the near constant cold weather here. Our trek began with a boat ride across the lake with close up view of the glacier. We strapped on crampons and trekked for about an hour on the ice, past little waterfalls and pools. We enjoyed a scotch on the rocks at the end, using ice from the glacier. After returned on the boat, passing what used to be the arch. The glacier pushes right up onto the rocks, but water traveling underneath wears away an arch through the ice, which collapsed about 6 weeks ago. What we saw was the gap which left part of the ice on the rocks on the shore. We then drove to the viewpoint for more photos of the glacier, and we did our best to capture some of the ice falling into the lake, which happened pretty frequently. We were lucky to watch twice a massive piece break off and crash, sending waves through the lake. Hiking on the glacier was a great experience, but the cold made me glad we will soon be back in the desert!
Dimanche 26, nous retournons a El Calafate dans l'optique de faire un trek sur le glacier de Perito Moreno. Ce glacier est un des seuls au monde a etre stable (fonte == accumulation de neige), c-a-d a ne pas reculer ou avancer au fil des ans. Le trek commence avec une traversee du lac glaciaire en bateau. Puis nous nous equipons de crampons et suivons nos guides pendant une marche une petite heure sur le glacier. On y decouvrir le desert de glace, les cascades d'eau et les fissures du glacier. Vers la fin, un petit whisky "on the rocks" nous attend, avec de la glace locale, vieille de 200 ans. Plutot sympa :) Autre point interessant du glacier: Regulierement, apres quelques annees, le glacier descend suffisamment bas pour couper en deux le lac et etablir un pont de glace vers la berge opposee. Le cote Sud du lac monte en niveau (15 metres) et en pression, et finit par creuser un trou dans la glace pour retablir la circulation entre les deux parties du lac. Cela cree un pont de glace, qui s'ecroule generalement apres quelques semaines. La derniere occurence etait il y a 6 semaines ! Nous pouvons observer le reste du pont sur la berge opposee.
L'apres midi, nous allons au point de vue, et tentons de filmer la chute des pans de glaces. On observera plusieurs ecroulement, mais pas de peau pour vous, rien sur la camera :) Il faudra y aller vous meme ! Au final, on a vraiment apprecier la sortie, mais bon, on aurait preferer un peu plus de soleil... il faisait _froiiid_ :)

Us and the glacier

Us and the glacier


Hiking with crampons on the glacier

Hiking with crampons on the glacier


Us on the glacier

Us on the glacier

A deep pool of water on the glacier

A deep pool of water on the glacier


A small waterfall

A small waterfall

Scotch on the glacial rocks

Scotch on the glacial rocks

Perito Moreno glacier is 250 sq kilometers

Perito Moreno glacier is 250 sq kilometers


Perito Moreno glacier

Perito Moreno glacier

This is where the arch collapsed, leaving the ice on the right

This is where the arch collapsed, leaving the ice on the right

Beautiful scenery

Beautiful scenery

A fox that hung out in the parking lot in the national park

A fox that hung out in the parking lot in the national park

Posted by jillandloic 12:10 Archived in Argentina Comments (1)

El Chalten

Lots of Hiking, Cerro Torre, Fitz Roy...

sunny 10 °C

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Tuesday morning we said goodbye to Buenos Aires and flew to Patagonia, beginning with el Calafate. Here, we rented a car and drove through what looked like New Mexico with slightly more dramatic mountains, to the small town of el Chalten. This is the gateway town to several beautiful hikes, including the base of Mount Fitzroy, famous among mountain climbers. We spent our first three days hiking Laguna Torre, Laguna de los tres, and Laguna del desierto, all hikes with fabulous mountain views that lead to emerald green lakes. we met a lovely couple from California who we shared dinner with one evening, and a couple of Basque guys who we gave a ride to for the third hike, as they were continuing on from there to cross the Chilean border.

Mardi 21 Mars au matin, nous quittons Buenos Aires pour le sud, la Patagonie, et atterissons a El Calafate. Nous louons une voiture et traversons la pampa jusqu'a El Chalten. Ca ressemble au Nouveau-Mexique, mais avec de l'eau et plus de montagnes. El Chalten est le point depart des treks locaux en direction des sommets tels que Fitz Roy, Cerro Torre, et autres pics magnifiques celebres par les grimpeurs du monde entier. Nous passerons les prochains jours a marcher, tous les jours. Lagune Torre (6h), Laguna de los Tres (8h), Lago del desierto(4h), sont les trois sentiers majeurs du coin, qui s'achevent tous sur des lacs de montagne et respectivement sur les pics de Cerro Torre, Fitz Roy, et le chemin du Nord vers le Chili. Les vues sont splendides, le temps est parfait-nickel-chrome. Pas un pet de pluie. A Chalten, nous passons un diner super sympa avec un couple de californien rencontres le jour meme, et passons un bout de temps avec deux espagnols basques qui remontent a pied vers le Chili avec 25kg sur le dos.

Where in the world is el Calafate

Where in the world is el Calafate


We're not that far from home now, respectively

We're not that far from home now, respectively


Llama crossing!

Llama crossing!


El Chalten is located in the national park

El Chalten is located in the national park

We start with Cerro Torre and Lagune Torre.
On commence avec Cerro Torre et le Lac Torre.

Resting at the river on the way to Laguna Torre

Resting at the river on the way to Laguna Torre


On the trail Laguna torre. Fitzroy is the tallest peak on the right

On the trail Laguna torre. Fitzroy is the tallest peak on the right


Waterfall

Waterfall


A huemul, an endangered Andean deer.  Only 1000 left

A huemul, an endangered Andean deer. Only 1000 left


Us at Laguna Torre

Us at Laguna Torre


Fitzroy

Fitzroy


Glacier at the back and ice chunks up close at Laguna Torre

Glacier at the back and ice chunks up close at Laguna Torre


Laguna Torre

Laguna Torre

Fancy restaurant where we tried tongue and enjoyed the company of a Californian couple

Fancy restaurant where we tried tongue and enjoyed the company of a Californian couple

Then we launch ourselves into the Fitz Roy track and the lagunas de los Tres.

Puis nous attaquons le gros morceaux, le trail de Fitz Roy, et le lac des trois pics

Varied terrains on the Fitzroy track

Varied terrains on the Fitzroy track


River crossing on Fitzroy track (Laguna de los tres)

River crossing on Fitzroy track (Laguna de los tres)


Laguna de los tres

Laguna de los tres


Fitzroy from Laguna de los Tres trail

Fitzroy from Laguna de los Tres trail


Us at Laguna de los tres

Us at Laguna de los tres

Andean condor

Andean condor


A lake on the Fitzroy track

A lake on the Fitzroy track


Laguna Capri on the Fitzroy track

Laguna Capri on the Fitzroy track


Loic on the Fitzroy track

Loic on the Fitzroy track

The third day, we go for a lac visit at the Lago del Desierto track.

Le troisieme jour, nous suivons le chemin du Lac Del Desierto.

Waterfall on the lago del desierto trail

Waterfall on the lago del desierto trail


Us and the lago del desierto

Us and the lago del desierto


Lago del desierto

Lago del desierto


Lago del desierto trail

Lago del desierto trail


Lago del desierto trail (3)

Lago del desierto trail (3)

Our fourth day in el Chalten was meant to be a rest day, but since there's nothing to do here but eat or hike, we hiked to two lookouts for view of the Andean condors, but, we had much better luck back on the road. We also did a very short hike to a beautiful waterfall.

Le quatrieme jour, nous voulions nous reposer, mais comme il n'y a rien d'autre a faire que marcher, boire et manger, nous marchons sur deux court sentiers et leurs points de vues. Nous prenons le temps de photographier les Condors des Andes.

View from Mirador los condores

View from Mirador los condores


Beautiful el Chalten from the lookout

Beautiful el Chalten from the lookout

6 condors

6 condors

El Chalten itself consists of hostels, lodges, restaurants, and a few supermarkets with very few food options and many empty shelves, as this is a pretty remote town to get to. We learned it will shut down completely April 1st and reopen again next summer. We count ourselves lucky to have had such gorgeous weather, with no chance of rain and warm enough temps to hike much of the day in a T-shirt. In spite of the distance to get here, I hope to return one day, more prepared to do some backpacking, as well as hike the W in Torres del Paine national park in Chile, only a few hours from here.

La saison a El Chalten se termine le 1er Avril, et ca commence a se sentir. Nous somme vraiment privilegies d'y avoir passer la fin de saison, sous le soleil, tous les jours. Le coin, (et le parc Torres del Paine au Chili) valent definitivement le coup d'y faire un tour, ce que nous ferons certainement dans le futur!

Posted by jillandloic 14:50 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

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