A Travellerspoint blog

Auckland, New Zealand

rain 20 °C

The flight on Air New Zealand was probably the best flight I've ever had. The air stewards were continously filling up our glasses with wine, the food was excellent and lots of legroom for our tired feet.

Once we landed in Auckland it was raining.

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But we got to stay in a 5 star hotel because of Robert's reward points that he got for his work in New York. We rocked up at the hotel at 4.30am in the morning and were prepared to sit in the lobby until 2pm in the afternon. But the receptionist checked us in immediately. At that point I decided that New Zealand is the best country in the world and I haven't changed my mind since :)

The room at the Westin's was awesome and it had an amazing rain shower. (You start valuing little things in life after your travels). It was nice to be in an English speaking country as well. :) We explored the city and had some lunch.

The next day we got picked up by the guy from the van rental company. We got our van that had Happycampers signs all over it. We decided to call the car Veronica. :) We also did some shopping in local supermarket and then started driving towards Tairua and then Whangamata.

Posted by Laima 22:08 Archived in New Zealand Comments (1)

Miami, USA

sunny 27 °C

After South America, Miami was a shock to our system. We were waiting for quite a while to speak and order food in English and to spend some time on the beach.

We stayed in a hostel in South Beach. The whole place was a construction site and while we were trying to sleep, they were cutting tiles next door. The next day it didn't get any better as the whole process started at 7am and that night I had to share the room with 3 guys. :)

The beach was nice though and pina coladas helped to sooth my pain. I was really missing South America.

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After couple days we went to San Francisco and stayed again with Robert's friends Doug and John. Their house is amazing and they were so kind to look after us. We spend the whole day trying to buy a hard drive as the first super duper one that we got in London stopped working after two times.

The next day we hopped on the plane to New Zealand.

Posted by Laima 22:01 Archived in USA Comments (2)

Mereno Glacier, Argentina

sunny 3 °C

Next day we took a trip back into Argentina to see Mereno Glacier. The whole trip involved crossing the border and back again on the same day, so it took about 14 hours. We were quite worried as we experienced 3 hours delay on Argentinian border before. However, the border was a little hut in the middle of nowhere, so we crossed it really quickly.

Once we got to the entrance we each had to pay, however, locals could see it for free. discrimination or what?:)

The glacier looked stunning. It is 5 km wide and at mouth it freezes the last peace of the river every year and then in the spring the water breaks through - we just missed the ice bridge collapsing by a few days. The cracking sound was very loud and it kind of felt that the whole glacier is going to collapse any second.

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We had an amazing time and after taking tons of pictures, we headed back to Chile.

The last night at Mama Teresa's was a nightmare. It was so cold that I couldn't sleep. The heating seemed to be working downstairs, but not upstairs where our room was. So I got up swearing and couldn't wait for the sun to come up.

That day we caught the flight back to Santiago. One more night at hostel London and then we were flying to Miami and then to San Francisco. Our cheap wine days in South America were over.

Posted by Laima 21:50 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Patagonia, Chile

semi-overcast 6 °C

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After landing in Puento Arenas we found a great local restaurant and had another set lunch menu. We had no idea what we were ordering but this time we ordered pastel de chocolat, a traditional oven baked dish in a claypot, which was very excellant. After lunch we jumped on the bus to Puerto Natales - our base to explore the region.

We stayed at a little hostel called Mama Teresa's. It was run by this friendly old lady who spoke no English and we spoke little Spanish, but all ended up well. It was like a stay at your granny's, though for the braekfast you would always get the same thing - bread, jam and coffeee. :)

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The next day we did a tour to Torres del Paine. We were debating whether to spend a night there or not, but the weather was very cold and we would have to camp in a tent, plus we would have to have walked for 7 kilometres to get to the camp site and it was already 5pm, so we decided against it.

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The trip was wonderful with so many contrasts - birds, lamas, wild horses, rainbows, glaciers and mountains. It was the most incredible site that I have ever seen. I didn't want the day to end!

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Once we got back we were wandering around the town. It didn't have too much going on. But we found this incredible restaurant that was roasting lambs on the spit. The lamb looked good, but the restaurant was completely empty, so we weren't sure if we should eat there. However, the owner told us to come back at 8pm. We were the first ones to show up and then the crowd followed, the doors didn't stop - it was packed. The lamb tasted out of this world and we don't even like lamb that much.

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Posted by Laima 19:52 Archived in Chile Comments (1)

Santiago, Chile

sunny 30 °C

We got back to Santiago Chile later that day after another 12 hr bus ride including a 3 hr delay at the border crosssing.

It was nice to be back in a city that has a metro system. Though we got a bit lost around University de Santiago stop (we actually needed University de Chile stop ;))

The hostel was called London and it was in the middle of the city and had a huge room. I was screaming with joy seeing white clean sheets.

We walked in the centre of the town hoping to find a nice place to eat. But they all had junk food stalls and gelato stores. After ending up in the red light district and seeing a huge lady in the pink dress, we had enough and went to KFC.

Next day we explored the city a little bit more. The streets were extremely wide and communist looking all to do with Pinochet's regime. We found a nice place for lunch that offered a set menu which included pisco sour, a glass of wine, soup, salmon and a desert - for only $6.

After eating our food we asked for a bill. To our surprise it was more than we expected. I went to the board to check the price and it was increased to $7.50. They did it while we were having lunch! The digit was changed in huge bright red crayon and really stood out. That's gringo fee for you. Anyway, this time we didn't argue too much. It must have been that wine :)

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We then took a cable car up the hill to enjoy some views over the city.

For that night's dinner we had some wine and salad at the hotel. We had an early flight to catch to Patagonia next day.

Posted by Laima 19:41 Archived in Chile Comments (0)

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