Last Tuesday, I took a long haul down south to the beautiful country of Argentina for a minature sebatical. This was not a sponteous trip, actually it is one of my life dreams. I put a lot of time and planning into this trip and am so glad I took the first step (with a lot of encouragement and inspiration from close friends).
I was very fortunate to be open and honest with my host family about the south bound trip. I specifically told Mirna and Jorge exactly where I was going without feeling 100 percent guilty that I was going to spend X amount of $´s for travel. They were very supportive and helped me mentally prepare for my journey solo. It was actually a little emotional for me to leave my family for a week and half, we shall see how December goes!
This picture was taken on M. Roque Alonso as I got on my bus heading out of Paraguay. It was such a beautiful afternoon for traveling with the flag hanging high and the sunsetting behind it.
I had to stop in Buenos Aires to catch my bus down south and at first did not think that I was going to have enough interest to spend a full day there, but when I made my way down to the center of the city and found a Starbucks, Chinese food and diversity within the population, the city made it very clear that I was supposed to be there. I left at 6 am to do a 7 hour recorido for the city. Followed a lot of honey mooners that wanted their picture taken, therefor have one too many photos of myself as a ¨Thank You¨for taking their photo. =)
So, here I am 22 hours spent on an Argentine bus in the nautical town south of Buenos Aires, Puerto Madryn, Patagonia. I stress the word Nautical because Paraguay is land locked and the last time I got a good look at a flowing body of water it was called the Confused River. Mirna and I decided to go fishing one day and caught no fish, she said because the river was confused. Here in Puerto Madryn there is no confusion as to what there is the the Atlantic ocean. After getting off my long bus ride, I found myself with my 34 pound pack at the harbor GAZING in AWE at 7 Austral Right Whales. If you had pinched me at the moment I would not have flinched. I was in love. It did not even occur to me that it was 40 degrees out and that I was totally underdresed. The Ballenas (whales) are in there mating season right now, so they are all very active and playful. It is sooooo beautiful! The little sea lions bobed playfully amongst the Ballenas with pink flamingos flying over head, everything is breathtaking. It is like all of the native wildlife at the tips of your fingers.
Below is a whale wading beneath the rays of the morning sun.
Everybody I have crossed paths with have been exceptionally friendly. I met a friend along the way and we set off on a 16 km bike ride begining in a yuppie part of town, training into an industrial fatory (begining to question ourselves WHAT we were doing there) and up one too many dirt hills and down a couple of hills we found ourselves at the most breathtaking coast. There were whales in the distance and birds occupying so much of the air. The coast had many hidden caves making us completly loose track of time until the rain clouds came in and the 16 km bike ride haunting us to get back to town. That bike ride kicked my butt.
And the adventure is just begining! In 2 days I head west (towards the Chilean border) to the quaint little town, El Bolson. I am going to go on a hunt for 7 different organic gardens and to just go hiking on the rolling foothills of the Andes.