Talking about straydogs … Last night we bumped into a Dutch guy who had been wandering the streets all day, confused and in shock because he had been robbed of absolutely everything but his clothes. They even cut his pants to take things out of his pockets. We drank coffee and borrowed him some money. Gradually he calmed down and started to tell us the amazing story of his life. He turned out to be full of amazing stories. One of them is that he´s a footbal fanatic and he invited us for a famous match in Buenos Aires in the Holy Boca-stadium. I don´t know much about football, but I have heared enough about the Boca-stadium (it breathes, trembles, people can sing scarying softly for 20 minutes) to know that its´s an the experience of a lifetime.
His biggest problem right now was: how to arrange money. His family is transferring money to my bank now. So later today we can ‘pin’ it from the cashmachine (thanks heaven for internetbanking!).
Driving back south, we saved the best route for last (Cafayate to Tafi del Valle). A great route through big valleys and canyons, with hairpinroads and that sort of stuff. After a few cactusses and hairpins, we drove into a huge cloud of fog. Besides an occasional cow suddenly appearing on the middle of the road, we saw nothing but grey mist. Aaargh!
Next morning we appeared to be in a beautiful area, reminded us of a rainforest. Luckily, the rest of the ride was beatiful after all (with a bit of fog, but hey…that is extra cool in a rainforest!).
Right now we are in Cordoba. The couple that wants to buy the car is really sweet! Tomorrow they take us out on a little trip. They like the car!
Had a great hike to some waterfalls (near Cafayate). A place you could only reach by car or a tourguide, so it was nice and quiet. The trail was totally unclear. Jumping on and from rocks, climbing, and jumping over water and avoiding huge cactusses it felt like an awesome adventure. Especially, because a stray-dog followed us all the way!! When we parked the car for the hike Maurice gave him some chunks of bread. The dog probably thought he would be with us from there on 🙂 He climbed even the steepest slopes. Sometimes he slipped into the water after bravely jumping on a wet rock. But he didn´t make one sound, just kept on going. We gave him the name ‘Peligro’, which means ‘danger’ in spanish. Back at the car, five hours later, we gave him a whole bread and plenty of hugs. The poor dog begged us to get into the car. Our hearts tore apart when we drove away cause the dog ran after us, faster and faster, like the car …. I can still see his face with his ears flapping in the wind. Eager eyes. Aaaaaaaaaah …. Maybe we should have kept him, and sell him eventually with the car.(flashback to`Sophies choice`). We feel bad …. (and hope he is not still running).
Geee, our blogs are so old! We already hit te northern town Humahuaca (yup, still with the Fiat Uno!), and are back on our way to Cordoba. A couple there mailed us they are seriously interested in buying our car. Wel, whatever happens, we are planning to paraglide in Cordoba. And if the car doesn´t make it, we´ll take it paragliding with us and sell the video (ha ha, thanks Like!).
So what happened in the meantime? After El Bolson, we camped in a national park full of blue lakes and mountains (I still don´t uderstand why some people use a noisy generator to burn a lightbulb in front of their campervan …) . Then Bariloche, a place where some nazi´s made their new home after the War (they say). That could explain wy it´s full of chocolate, St. Bernhard dogs, and wooden cottages. At night really great performances (for free) at the square.
Then we drove to Mendoza (something like driving from Holland to Spain), but chose the alternative route, hoping to see some volcanos. We slept in obscure litlle towns (again, the movie U-turn …). And a big part of the road turned out to be a ride in hell; the concrete was falling apart, leaving big holes (sometimes filled with rain). High speed was 30 km an hour …
In Mendoza Maurice got robbed of his bag. Luckily no passports or expensive stuff in it. But we lost our chargers and handy accessoires (iPods, camera, phone, etc.) . (and ofcourse that made it extra difficult to upload photo´s on the blog..). Besides the robbers, Mendoza is a great city! They have the best icecream so far, and the best pasta, and the best wine (it´s ofcourse full of ex-italians). We did an ehm… experimental winetour (long story). And there was a parade with beauyqueens who threw fruit and vegetables to us (even a pumpkin!) .
After that up north. In Tucuman I did a tai chi lesson (from the brother of the Latin-American champion Kong Fu!). Finally Maurice experienced that Tai Chi is not a dull girls sport, and a master can really throw you on the floor (oops, did it hurt honey?). Humahuaca was the most northern town we reached. It looks and feels like a town in Peru. Lama´s, dark people, more indian looking (with big heads), shops with coca leaves, coloured blankets, panflutes …
We left for Yujuy (great pizza!). Then Salta (nothing special, but nice to see locals relaxing in the park on a sunday afternoon). One of the best expriences was a night in a nearby town (ALWAYS try to spend the night in the middle of nowhere!). A few gaucho´s drove by and saw a few guys with a guitar (next to us, while eating at the pub). They hit the break, got out of their car and started to sing, clap, shout, laugh, and all of that gypsy-stuff. More and more beer came on the table. More and more people gathered around them (we, as foreigners, were especially invited, and they even dedicated some songs to us). We tried some coca leaves (cool!). And we all clapped like experienced flamenco-gypsies. When the place closed, a dramatic goodbye followed (a big speech of the singer, aplause, hugs, kisses from everyone to everyone). They explained us a night like this is quite a normal thing in the north, wow!
El Bolson was a town we almost drove thru. But we stopped the car and I had a feeling we should check the place out. Im glad we did. Had a great time at the hippie festival there. It can be compared to a goa trance festival back home but at a very nice spot in the woods next to a beautiful river where people bathed and kids played. People were really into the lunar calendar there. Makes sense to go with natures cycles instead of that ticking clock speeding you up. If you wanna know more about that go here: www.tortuga.com.
Here´s a pic of Lo, a former manager who worked with top tech companies and decided to quit and do what he wanted to do most: write books and make music. He lost all of his possessions when his house burnt down. All of his writings were gone so he literally had to start from scratch. I surely like his writings!
BTW, can you try to sms to this number? Hope it works….
(You can try to use http://sms.ac for free sms´ing but that too might not work)
0054 92944 596 001
Its the direct number to call us too, but calling might be expensive…check with your phone company
Im kicked out now!!!!
Yes we are alive and still driving, even tho I managed to drive the car off the road after we got back from the Torres del Paine trip. Yes, it was me again, having done over a thousand kilometers on dirtroads I managed to lose control over the wheel on a strait part, just 2 km before the pavement would start again.
But this blog is dead as hell if I´m goin to back track our days, so let me do a quickie:
We saw penguins at last somewhere on the eastcoast, which gave us an insight into the weird ways of nature. Chek it out on this blog, its from a guy we met there. He does a 140 km p7h with his bike on the dirtroads 😛
After that we went back to the west coast (still avoiding dirt roads ofcourse) and visited the loveliest town so far called El Bolson, a true hippie village for the free minded spirits. I got told at some gasstation I should be able to buy some grass there (even tho I didnt ask for it but hey I´m Dutch). I asked the tourist info ´hey where are the hippies´and this girl took out a map and said ´here!´. So the same night we ended up camping a weekend long at some hippie trance festival. WOW!
Shite the internet shop closes again. I just did my insurance thingies cause they broke into our car, so thats for a next time. Stay put and come back more often, I will breathe some air into this blog 🙂
Aha, errr…where were we? So much has happened the last weeks. But we couldnt or didn´t feel like blogging, so lets try to recall some of the highlights…
After taking the ferry to Puntas Arenas we stayed there one night to go budgetshopping for more camping gear at the zona franca. Its a tax free zone were you can get imported goods. After driving in and out maybe 10 times we finally managed to get our stuff together 😛 Afterwards corine got a guy from an auto parts shop to assemble a new rearview mirror in our car. Ha, he even walked a couple of blocks around the neighborhood to got it all sorted out. If I haven´t mentioned it yet, the folks I met so far here in south america are very friendly and helpful.
But then we landed in Puerto Natales and found our hostel the Erratic Rock. It is run by Bill and Rustin, some wayback friends from the former US of A who lived their dream and started their own hostel. They do a good job at it and we gotten some nice info about the National Park were we wanted to do some hiking on the ´W´ in the national park Torres del Paine (towers of pain).
With our homemade soup we finally drove off and went for 3 daytreks, so Corine wouldn´t have to carry any stuff. (She still needs to take care of her repetitive strain injury.) After a night in the car (to much rain to put up camp) we managed to find a camping and go for the east part of the trail. But how glad we were to have bought some rain pants the day before! Many people struggled carrying fully stuffed backpacks and many people coming back showed disappointment when we got closer to the Torres. But it was beautiful anyway! What a site!
Shite, its twelve o´clock midnight and we have to leave the internet cafe…so I will finish tomorrow!
Just to spread the word: we have a mobile number (yes finally) here in Argentina. To call us at the lowest rate possible (€ 0,15 per minute), use the instructions below. They are taken from www.teledump.nl. To call from another country you have to find a similar service or dial direct.
For people calling from the netherlands first dial:
then enter the number for argentina with our number:
0054 92944 596 001
That´s it! Hope to hear from you 🙂
Its true what they say about the burocracy in Argentina. We didn’t get the papers for the car on thursday, not on friday, but after the weekend on monday at 21hrs. Luckily we already got the groceries for the journey. We also said goodbye to everybody in the hostel again. People didn’t believe we were ever getting out of Ushuaia and had already lost faith. But we did it! We finally left! But didn´t we forget something? Sure, my camera battery and charger 😛 Ashamed we turned around and I rushed in and out of the hostel as not to face people again %]
Heh, on the road at last…iPod tunes soothing our ride, nice! But then we suddenly realize we forgot our brandnew 160 pesos (44 euro´s) airbed for 2 persons with builtin pump. Not only that, we also forgot to pay for the last 2 nights. So we must still find a way to balance that with the staff. It will probably work out, since we gotten pretty close in those 2 weeks.
How about it Emilio? LOL
So we just decided to stop thinking about it. In the darkest hour we did 30 km/h on some unpaved road with enourmous potholes towards Rio Grande….pffff. But we got to sleep on the beach…in our car that is 🙂 I repeat: in OUR CAR!!
Wake up time! Lets go and do that W thing close to Puerto Natales! After all we heard about getting in to Chili, we prepared for the worst. But what a slow moving cue to get out of Argentina, unbelievable! Again
surprised looks when the officials at the border heard we bought instead of
rented our car. Every time a superior is consulted about our situation and our car papers are thoroughly checked. But then we still had to get into Chili. Strangely tho that was no problem at all!
But what a road. It seemed like the moon! Corine drove 30 to 40 km/h for a long time at first and…POOF! There we were with a smoking used fiat uno 8/ Corine immediately lifted the hood ofcourse, and started to fill every possible reservoir with water. And it helped! Then I could have a go (despite my driverslicense still being in the mail). Luckily for us the road got increasingly better and I could go as fast as 80 km/h. That way we also didn’t feel the bumps and potholes as much 🙂 It was so exciting! I finally regained my Colin McRae rally instincts 😛 I do have to say that the rearview mirror fell off after 2 hours….
to be continued