S: south american adventure 2011
BC: photos by disa and jim weinheimer
FC: South American Adventure 2011
1: our trip began in pittsburgh, and after a short road trip, we found ourselves in d.c., waiting in a VERY long check-in line to board our first of many flights. once we survived the security lines, the next few hours played out like this: d.c--> san salvador, el salvador--> lima, peru --> montevideo, uruguay -->punta del este, uruguay
2: a little less than 24 hours later, we arrived at carrasco international airport in montevideo. we happened to be the ONLY people in the airport, looking to pick up our rental car at 6:30 am. our adventure as foreigners had officially begun, and luckily europcar was feeling generous. about an hour later, we had managed to gain a discount, and an upgrade on the car. we were set, and ready for the road trip to coastal punta del este! (opposite page) this was only our first taste of what was to come on the main roads of uruguay.
4: we survived the roads up to punta del este, and FINALLY (after a few wrong turns) made it to 'posada de los pajaros', our hotel, and home for the next three nights. we took advantage of something not seen too often, while waiting for our room to be cleaned - the ocean...and the sun! (opposite page) jim's necessities for a successful first night in punta!
7: although the waters were frigid, the scenery was amazing. a walk along the waters, admiring the incredible architecture and landscape, was enough to make anyone speechless. it was the perfect start to our two week journey across south america.
9: (opposite page from clockwise) 'the hand in the sand', the ever-famous chivito, and the puente ondulado, (this page) an evening view around posada de los pajaros. we spent every night out on our balcony, chilling with good music, good conversation, the sound of the waves, and an excellent bottle of wine.
10: dinner and drinks at 'pura vida': this place had amazing crepes filled with pretty much anything you can think of. it also had, BY FAR, the most challenging menu for us to translate. it was pretty much a guess, aside from the meat, what might be inside our crepes, but luckily, they were all delicious!
11: just a 30-minute drive up the road, we walked around the small, but chic, beach town of jose ignacio. below is the lighthouse of jose ignacio
12: we all took advantage of another beautiful afternoon in punta del este, and headed to the area of 'la barra'. we made sure to stock up on all things uruguyan, including wool scarves, and dulce de leche.
15: sadly, we had to leave punta del este behind...and EARLY! we packed up and headed out at sunrise, driving back to montevideo. after a slightly stressful, and very confusing trip back, we managed to make it to the ferry station in plenty of time to board. next destination...buenos aires!
16: we arrived in buenos aires after a 3 hour ferry ride, complete with the loudest sound system EVER, aboard a public transportation vehicle. here's jim inside the buquebus terminal, standing aside a larger than life 'homer'. (opposite page) walking around the streets of buenos aires, in the villa crespo neighborhood, where we would be staying for the next three nights. it was a transitional neighborhood, close to many shops, restaurants, and public transportation. better yet, our hosts, and owners of the 'querido bed & breakfast' were amazing, and able to give us excellent advice about where to go and what to do.
18: drinks and dinner at '878', and a few candids after.
19: cementerio de la recoleta. above is the tomb where 'evita' was once buried.
20: (this page) avenida del libertador (opposite page) iglesia del pilar, and surrounding parks in the late afternoon
22: after a long day of sightseeing, and an almost equally long wait for dinner, we sat down at 'la cabrera', one of the best steakhouses in buenos aires. by far, the most steak we've ever eaten in one sitting, paired so well with a few bottles of vino tinto. the walk back to our bed & breakfast was much needed after such a meal!
23: it seemed like we walked for miles upon miles this day, and it was SO hot out. we slowly made our way to the plaza de la republica, where we snapped a few photos, including el obelisco, a national historic monument built to commemorate the fourth centenary of the first foundation of the city.
24: more views around the plaza de la republica, including the casa rosada
27: our last day in buenos aires was spent shopping for souvenirs, before heading out on a 13-hour overnight bus to mendoza. by far the nicest bus, included meals, a bathroom, and a seat that folded down into a complete bed. we arrived in mendoza very early that morning, made our way to the hotel, then out to find food. this was easier said than done, as mendoza's downtown is small...it also didn't help that it was sunday. tired of sightseeing, we spent the ENTIRE day eating and drinking, many hours of which were spent sitting outside a convenience store, drinking vino out of little plastic cups; six bottles of wine in all that day. that did not make for a successful next morning, but we eventually survived the AM, and the awful bus ride, to arrive at the base of the aconcaguas in the andes, for a day of hiking.
28: hiking around the base of the aconcaguas in the andes
30: another stunning view of the aconcaguas (opposite page) more of the aconcaguas, and the ubiquitous mate mugs
32: leaving mendoza, and argentina, we passed through immigration into chile, and found ourselves at the top of this mountain...on a double decker bus...on the second level. each time we hit the next pass, the bus teetered around the corner, then rocked back toward the road. by far, one of the scariest moments on the trip!
33: after NOT dying on our way to santiago, we decided to celebrate with a night out! (top right) a view from atop our apart-hotel, which provided a 360 degree view of santiago.
34: hanging out at the second highest point in santiago; cerro san cristobal (opposite page) statue of the blessed virgin mary
37: new friends, angelica and andres showed us to a good time on our second evening out in santiago. here, we enjoyed our first pisco sour, and one too many bottles of wine!
39: day trip to vina del mar and valparaiso
41: more stunning views of valparaiso
43: a little more meandering through the streets of valpo, before heading back to ultra-urban santiago
44: another amazing view of the andes in the late afternoon light, and then again as night fell (opposite page)
46: celebrating brian's birthday out at 'pata negra' in santiago, complete with tapas and cerveza!
47: our last night in santiago...we'd seen and experienced so much over the last two weeks. words can't perfectly describe what an awesome experience it was to travel with such great friends. this trip was about more than getting away from the normal day-to-day - it was about taking a snapshot in our minds, that we can forever remember, look back and laugh on, smile, and talk about for years to come!
48: "traveling is a brutality. it forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. you are constantly off balance. nothing is yours except the essential things - air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky - all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it" -Cesare Pavese Walt Whitman | "travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living" -Miriam Beard | "the use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are" -Samuel Johnson | "once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. the mind can never break off from the journey" -Pat Conroy