Spread your wings

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Set your eyes to the sky, spread your wings and soar into your dreams.

For once I am living my dreams and learning so much already about myself and other people. Travelling has been the best decision I have ever made. I must admit it was nearly 8 years ago when I decided to travel however I let myself get caught up in life as we know it, the cycle of working to constantly stay ahead and be able to afford things we like.. last year I decided that I wasnt happy in the cycle I was in, I was slowly decomposing but thought meh this is easy, I know what I am doing and its comfortable.. when I chose to change I was able to see more clearly that there were many things I didnt need and I realised I could save so much more money than I was.

It really didnt take too much effort to change my spending habbits and save. I really think anyone can do it. It doesnt have to be travel, it could be anything.  Saving for something you like or changing some bad habits.. I went all out and sold most of what I own, maybe a mid life crisis already? Who knows? I just felt I needed a fresh start..

I hope you all enjoy reading my blog and I hope it helps with your travels or in someway on a more personal level. I would love to update more often, I just find myself busy most if the time, and again im just a bit lazy..

I will be updating my spendings in each country to give an overview of my spending habbits etc

3rd february. Wow the adventures just dont stop.. right now i am sitting on a mountain relaxing with the views here in El Chalten. I decided to do a very short hike today on my own because my knees and feet are still giving me trouble from the epic hike at Bariloche. I just havent given my body enough time to heal between the walks, its been many years since i have hiked this much. Right now I have no money in my pocket and only one packet of biscuits for the day to eat. The one and only cash point in town has been empty for the last two days. I went to take money out in Chile Chico, Chile but just as i went to insert my card the machine said it was down.

Since leaving Esquel, Argentina I have been travelling with Marc who is from Barcelona. We met couchsurfing in Bariloche. It has been great travelling together, we have a lot in common and there is no dicking around. We both know where we want to go and what we want to see.

From Esquel  we left our couchsurfing host Sebastian and we bought some supplies to keep us going as we tried to hitchhike into Chile to make our way south with some different terrain to see. We made our way to the edge of the town . It was a super hot day and no one seemed to care to give us a ride. After a couple of hours a bus with Telefuetu, Chile drove past so we hailed it down and asked if we could join them.  

It wasnt long before we arrived into Chile and crossed the border with ease. It was nice to see some difference in the mountains, they were shear cliffs which seemed to have trees higher into the mountain than in Argentina.

We were really lucky to have a lady  pick us up after a short time and drive us around 70kms .. then another guy picked us up a short time later. We thought this is amazing.. things are going so well and we will make it through Chile in no time.

The guy dropped us off in Santa Lucia which is a dirt road and there were 6 other people along the road looking to hitch hike south also. They had been waiting 5 hours for someone to pick them up with no luck. We were set because the same guy who dropped us off said he just needed to do some work in town and if he saw us waiting on the road when he finished he would pick us up and take us further.

Well after around one hour a small bus came by and picked up the couple before us and they hailed us down to come along. It was a family driving the bus and they were going to La Juntawhich was just before Coyhaiaki where wer were going. Along the road we picked up 7 other hitch hikers and they dropped us off before we go to the town.

We were all looking to save money and someone managed to find the football field and said we could stay there!  Anything to save some money….well Marc and I were starving and had no Chilean money and no atm until 300kms away.We set off to look for a place we could use our cards.. after asking around we managed to find a family restaurant, it was a grandmother and her family running the restaurant out of their home. It was amazing. Such good people and we had an amazing 3 course meal. It was a great way to finish off the day.

We made our way back to the soccer field to make camp. I was happy to set up my sleeping bag under the pine trees. I slept well but woke to raid at 5:30am however it wasnt dripping through the trees so I went back to sleep. I woke up two hours later to find that finally the rain had worked its way through so I grabbed all my things and headed to the grandstand to pack.

It was quite a cold day but we made our way with two other guys to the main road to try hitch hiking again… well no luck and with the weather we were over it by lunch time. Again we made our way to the little restaurant for a beautiful lunch. Askingaround we were told there was a bus at four pm to Coyhaiki. So we made our way to were it was to pick everyone up. We saw a few of the others who slept at the soccer field. We found a shop that took card and bought some snacks and wine to wait out the bus.. Finally the bus came, but it was full and didnt even stop.. hmmm what to do now?  How do we leave if we have no money?

We knew there was a bus that would leave in the morning at six am so Marc went out to buy some tickets but with the same problem.. they wouldnt take card. After a little mucking around he thought to go to the family restaurant and ask if it would be possible to take money out there. It took a little  persistance but the grandmother agreed. We were saved, but now where to stay for the night? It was still raining and very cold.

A few of the others went out to see if they could find somewhere to stay. They came back and said the President of the town had a  bbq room where we could all stay with a fire and a toilet! We took the oppertunity..We bought him a nice bottle of wine and made our way to his house. It was a cosy shed but we had fire and wine so we chilled and then hit the sack ready to get up for the early bus..

Well the time came that the bus should be picking us up however an hour went by and nothing… they called on of the girls and said they couldnt find the house and we needed to walk to the centre of thetown. It was pouring rain and freezing.. finally on the bus to Coyhaiki i fell asleep very fast….Only to be waken in Puyaiki to be told the road was closed due to landslides… it was really  early and nothing in town. We needed to wait one hour before the information centre was opened to which we could spend time in the hall with WIFI. All we could do was wait as we watched trucks drive past filled with the biggest boulders I have seen. It was quite a beautiful town and the weather was sunny.

We made the most of it and went to another family restaurant for some fresh Salmon. It was great, then we went to the park for a siesta in the sun.. Finally we heard the road was open but the bus company didnt want to send a bus until the next day due to the cost.. we all made our way to the office then finally they said they would send a bus.

7pm the bus arrived and we all boarded to finally head to Coyhaiki.. we arrived around 12am and walked around to find a hostel that wasa good price however they were all quite high so we made our way to a childrens park and set up our sleeping bags to sleep under the stars.. It was a fresh night but i slept well. We were woken to the sound of the army marching and singing their songs at the military base. Finally we found some cash points where we could get some more money. We were over hitch hiking and thought we would take the buses from here.

The next bus to Chile Chico was not until 4pm so again we found a restaurante  for some food and some drinks… the good things about saving money on sleeping is we could spend it on something better and not feel guilty. The bus set off at 4pm. We were driven to the lake where a ferry was to take us to the other side. Our bus driver was starting to fall asleep as we drove on the windy roads with shear cliffs on the side. It made me nervous and Marc started to speak with him to keep him alert. He was quite a large guy and was eating the skin of a lemon.. first I have seen anyone do that.. Well thankfully we made it safe and made our way to the ferry to cross the lake.

In Chile Chico we found a cheap hostel. It was great to sleep in a bed and take a fresh shower after a few days of nothing. From Chile Chico we were to make our way back into Los Antiguos Argentina. A few people said it was pretty close se we started walking and after a few kms a guy picked us up and drove us a few kms to the border. He left us there and we began to walk… well nearly 3 hours later we made it to the Argentinian border, checked in and walked the final few kms into town. We made our way to the bus station and purchased a bus ticked to El Chalten. We went into town and found the best lunch… a beef asado, it was the best beef I have ever had in my life. So tender and the best flavour.

Onto the bus we went ready for a 12hour overnight trip, we met up with Vladamir who we met at the soccer field. As usual the bus wasnt very comfortable, the best part was we got two seats each but one minute it was freezing the next minute super hot.

Arriving in El Chalten in the morning was amazing.. super fresh air and beautiful mountais. I fell in love right away. We made our way around town and found a hostel that was 70 pesos per night. We had to wait until 10am for the manager to arrive.. we were lucky that three girls were leaving and the three of us could stay. We stayed 3 nights and madea couple of walks into the mountains.  We walked a  near 4 hour walk to Lomo del pliegue tumbado with the best weather ever that gave us the clearest views of Mount Fitz Roy! It was superb and we all spent some time taking photos. Once to the top of the walk we had some lunch then slept under the warm sun to get some energy back after the bad nights sleep on the bus.

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I will definately be back because there is some great mountains to climb and heaps of rock climbing. I even wrote to a company who do mountaineering courses. I would love to do one now but dont have the money for it.

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From Chalten we were heading to El Calafate and gave it a go hitch hiking in the morning. Again no luck so we took the bus. What sucks is some buses are rediculously expensive for the time..

In El Calafate we found hostel and went into town to see how much it was to take a bus to see Perito Moreno Glacier. We met a girl Merel from the Netherlands and decided it was to much to pay and we would try to hitch hike.. the day later we had no luck and took the bus!! Where did our luck go? Wet thought we would be set. Especially with a girl with us.. well not to worry we took the bus and made our way to the Glacier where we spent three hours walking and just gazing at the beauty of this amazing ice…Its beautiful blue colour and the noises it makes as the ice cracks and falls into the water.. there is nothing like it…a must see if you are down south.

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Next we made our way to Porto Natales  the entry point int Torres Del Paine Chile.. however we were not there to head into the park as we were all walked out.. next time. We found an amazing hostel named Nataly. The owner was Willy and loved what he did. One night he made and asado of half a lamb! It was superberb! We also had Melvin. A drink made from a melon cut open and with some white wine and sugar..it was also amazing..

We were so far down south we wanted to make our way to Ushuaia the southern most city in the world. We knew it would be expensive but we made the decision. We took the bus and made it. It was nice city, bigger than I expected. We made a walk into the mountains and ate some nice meals. We really didnt do much else.. We made sure we got a stamp in our passport from the information office and sent some postcards to family..

Well that was it, time to move north…we decided this was it! We were going to hitch hike north. It was super cold and the wind was horrible.. we gave it a go and after a couple of hours a guy took us around 30 minutes.. then we were picked up by another guy who was driving a postoffice van. He drove us to Rio Grande where we tried for the afternoon to get to Rio Gallegos where we knew the buses were a little cheaper… we had no luck and made our way into town..we jumped on couchsurfing and managed to find someone who could host us for the night. We were saved again..

The next morning we head back out of town and tried again in the furious winds for 6 hours and only making it 20kms out of town..we managed to get a ride back into town and bought some food and decided to sleep in the bus station for the night to catch the bus to Rio Gallegos in the morning. It was becoming super cold and we were not going to make it through the night. Marc received a messaged from the prevoious day from a couchsurfer who said we could stay at his house so we sent a message back and a few hours later he was able to pick us up and take us to his house.

Its been amazing to see the hospitality of the people here. It really opens your  eyes to some great things. We were even offered a lift back into town to the bus terminal in the morning… Well here we go!! Onto a 48 hour bus ride and way to much money back north to Cordoba .We are staying in Villa Carlos Paz just out of Cordoba with Marcs friend Luis.Again his hospitality is eye open.. its been great to spend my birthday here with someone i know. We went out for some food and drinks then just chilling out together.

Now its onto planning the next phase of the journey. It hard without internet and needing to go to the internet cafe. Things are changing due to costs of buses etc.. I think next I am heading to tucuman..

Well off i go and will  update again soon!!!

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2 thoughts on “Spread your wings

  1. Love reading your updates and so freaky with the bus driver…..
    Looking forward to the postcard too, love you Brenden, when you write it really feels like I am there with you… one day I will have to make the trip…

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