Monthly Archives: March 2014

Hip and Cool Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires Obelisk

Buenos Aires Obelisk

I survived the 22 hour bus ride. With the help of two travel sickness pills, which completely knock me out for around 8 hours at a time, I managed to sleep for 16 hours! We paid for an upgrade on the bus so we could be more comfortable and it was good as they had reclining seats, gave us a hot meal, some wine and a lot of biscuits. I am definitely loving the Malbec in Argentina, which is even better than what I have tried in London. The good news is that I like Buenos Aires…more than I did Santiago as it has a nice, hip, artistic feel about the city. Continue reading

Bariloche, Argentina – Home to Stunning Views and a lot of Chocolate

Bariloche's main plaza, Argentina

Bariloche’s main plaza, Argentina

Bariloche is another town located in the lake district of Argentina with a much bigger lake than in San Martin de los Andes. In the main plaza of the square, we had our first insight into Argentina’s sad history about the disappeared youth under the military regime, as there were lots of white bandanas painted on the ground with the names and the dates of the disappeared, all in the late seventies. I know something about this because of my twin sister’s debut animated documentary called Abuelas (BAFTA nominated with around 70 awards from International film festivals!) which tells the story through a grandmother’s eyes, so I was interested to learn more about this during my time in Argentina. Continue reading

Lakes, Volcanoes and Hikes in Chile and Argentina

Villarrica Volcano, Pucon

Villarrica Volcano, Pucon

Pucon, Chile

The next stop after leaving Santiago was Pucon, Chile after a long but surprisingly comfortable overnight bus ride. Alas, the weather here was just like England – cold and wet…very wet! It pretty much poured with rain the whole three days we were there and there was a permanent layer of cloud surrounding the mountains but I thought this added to the picturesque scene with the Villarica volcano in the backdrop. I have not really packed for weather colder than 20 degrees but was glad that I had one lightweight jacket and a mac with me at least. Continue reading

Chile: Santiago, Valparaiso and Viña del Mar

Santiago, Chile

Santiago, Chile

I’m now in Chile ready for the second leg of my trip – a month-long road trip starting from Santiago, Chile and going through Argentina, Uruguay and ending in Rio, Brazil. I had a three hour flight from Cancun to Panama City and then a 6 hour flight down to Santiago. The distances are pretty big in this part of the world! Continue reading

Mexico has it all…Playas

Tulum Beach

Tulum Beach

The last bit of my trip in Mexico was spent mainly on the beach having some down time before heading to Chile. We ended up first of all in Playa del Carmen which is my idea of hell! I had heard it was a loud and brash resort-like place near Cancun but I did not realise how loud and brash they meant! It was full of bars, café, restaurants, big screen TVs, cheesy clubs with a whole load of alcohol and tequila served by the litre. I tried to embrace it for a night at least – when in Rome and all that. Sadly, no good Mexican food to be found here either. Continue reading

I’m Ruined

Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza

Aside from all the natural beauty Mexico has, it is a country oozing with history, culture and historic ruins. In the last year, I have been lucky enough to visit Teotihuacan, which are the pyramids outside of Mexico City, the Templo Mayor archaeological site in the centre of D.F, Mitla in Oaxaca, Monte Alban, also in Oaxaca, and it was now time for three more major sites in the Yucatán Peninsula, home to the Mayan civilisation. Continue reading

Mexico has it all…Cenotes

Cenote near Merida

Cenote near Merida

After surviving vomit-gate but having a fairly quiet time in Palenque, we were back on the road to Merida, the capital of the state of Yucatán and home to Mayan culture. One of the best bits of my Mexico trip was checking out the cenotes near Merida. A cenote is basically a large hole in the ground where the sinkhole opens up to water at the bottom. The Yucatán area is famous for its many cenotes. Visiting one was on my list of must do’s for Mexico but I was warned that the ones near Playa del Carmen are really touristy whereas these ones were more unspoilt and private, so we went on a half day trip to explore two in the area. Continue reading

Mexico has it all…Waterfalls and Jungle

Mountains on the way to Palenque

Mountains on the way to Palenque

Warning: This post makes reference to projectile vomiting.

After San Cristobal de las Casas, we upgraded to a private van for our group tour so that we could drive to Palenque but have the day to stop off at some waterfalls en route. After my first trip to Hierve el Agua in Oaxaca where I was fighting off travel sickness, I made sure I had my anti-nausea pills at the ready as we were warned that it would be very windy roads for the first 4-5 hours of driving. I have no idea if I did not take the pills early enough or what happened but the other trip was like one straight road compared to this! The road quite literally wrapped around these mountains and on top of that, there were speed bumps all along the way which the driver was just zooming over. So it was a continuous, windy, mountainous and bumpy ride for the first two hours before we stopped off for breakfast at about 9am. Continue reading