Stunning flamingo lakes
To catch up on part 1 please click here
The evening before had been extremely cold, we slept at just under 16,000 ft in every piece of clothing we had with us and just about managed to stay warm. So it was with great relief that we saw the sun coming up on day 3. It’s not every day you get to sleep on top of the world on a vast tundra with a fair few flamingos toughing it out in a nearby pink lake so it was all worth it!
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The stunning Laguna Verde with Licancabur Volcano in the background
When you’ve been travelling continuously for as long as we have you start to get a little complacent with what you’re seeing every day. It becomes normal to be exposed to jaw dropping scenery and new cultures on a daily basis and you feel like you’re always striving for the next travel high. I had high expectations for the Bolivian South West Circuit but all of those expectations were blown completely out of the water by the real thing. It proves that no matter how long you do this for some places can still completely take your breath away. We travelled for 4 days across rugged terrain without seeing a single road, we covered just shy of 1000 km and saw the most varied scenery you could hope for. This trip goes down as one of the greatest experiences of my life.
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Iguazu Falls from the Argentinian side
Argentina was a bit of a shock to the system in terms of budget. Having come pretty much directly from South East Asia where we could live like kings for very little money it was a big transition to see prices not far off what we’d seen in the early parts of our trip in Canada and the USA. You can spend less than we did of course, I’ve made it pretty clear that we’re past dorm rooms and being really uncomfortable on transport just to save a bit of money, but it’s still an expensive country to travel in. Inflation in Argentina is currently at 30-35% meaning that the price of even milk and bread in the shops is changing on a daily basis.
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Our spectacular road trip through Cafayate Gorge
Today the North West of Argentina is by no means off the tourist radar but it still gets skipped over by a huge amount of people on their way from Bolivia or Chile to Mendoza and Buenos Aires. We had limited time in Argentina so decided to head due west from Puerto Iguazu and base ourselves in Salta Province for a few days. It was a great trip and the first time we felt like we were experiencing the Argentina we had hoped for.
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Paul looking fairly at home in the saddle given it was his first time
Chatting to an American student when we were in Salta she said that everyone at home thinks of two things when they hear the word Argentina – tango and gauchos. Now this isn’t reflective of actual life in Argentina at all but we were determined that during our time in the country we’d experience both tango and what’s it’s like on an estancia, the home of the gaucho.
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The beautiful tango
The longer we’ve travelled the easier it has become to predict what our reactions to new places will be. We’ve come to realise that whenever we arrive in an entirely new culture it can take a little while to find our feet and become accustomed to a different way of life. With this in mind (and because we were knackered after our busy week at home) we decided to rent an apartment in Buenos Aires for a full week and take it easy while adjusting to the continent we would spend the next 3 months exploring.
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