Thursday, June 23, 2011
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
The Villarica Volcano climb was amazing. This is an active volcano that you can climb (and ski in the winter). Not technical, but definitely difficult. If you are slightly out of shape, you may struggle a bit on this climb, especially if the weather is less than optimal. The guides will tell you you need a "basic level of fitness" for this climb. What they don't tell you is that only about 60% of the recreational climbers make it to the summit, which is at 2847 m, 9340 feet. Our group started out at the base of mountain at around 8 am and we summited around 2 pm. If the ski lift is running you can save yourself a couple of hours by taking it from the base. The lift wasn't running the day I was there. Even though it would have felt like cheating, I would have taken it to better my chances and save myself a few blisters.
Here's a little video of the crater...too windy to hear what anybody is saying
I asked Ricardo (our guide) how it is possible that he has a large gut when he climbs the volcano 2-3 times a week. He said: "Dos cosas...Pan y cerveza"
This is how you get down the glacier
Photos are in reverse order
So that's why my heel was hurting for the last 6 hours...
Geared up for the descent.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I recommend spending no more than 3-4 days here. In that time you can see everything there is to see. All of the lodging here is small, bed & breakfast, family run stuff. Nothing fancy. There is really only one decent beach for swimming/snorkeling. I didn't have the chance to scuba dive there - but I've heard it's pretty good. Our itinerary was something like this:
Day One: rent a car - drive around the island, see all the Moais (stone head carving), checked out Anakena beach. Ate some fish. Took lots of pictures of the Moais
Day Two: Horseback riding excursion. Saw several caves along the coast. Nice scenic ride.
Day Three: Rented ATVs. Absolute blast. Where else can you ride ATVs over sacred archeological sites. In the afternoon we checked out the largest of the volcanic craters.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Friday, December 26, 2008
The first leg of our trip was to Iguazu Falls. If you don't know anything about Iguazu Falls, it is located where the Argentine, Brazilian, and Paraguayan borders meet. There are 2 major rivers that come together there and it creates some spectacular waterfalls.
The coolest part was taking a powerboat up the river right up to the base of the biggest waterfall, la 'garganta del diablo' (devil's throat). Everybody gets soaked, which is good, because it is jungle, crotch-pot cookin' hot there!!
The second leg was a day trip we took from Buenos Aires to Colonia. Colonia is a little Spanish/Portuguese colonial town that is directly across the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires. To get there you take a high speed ferry boat (cool). The town itself is rather sleepy, with lots of antiques stores, tourist shops, and old architecture. Cool if it's just you and your spouse enjoying a nice meal and shopping for antiques, not so cool if you have three kids in two. We went with our friends the Gibsons (2 kids). All told, Colonia was just OK for me, but at least I can cross Uruguay off of my countries to visit list.
Buenos Aires is great city. I'd been a few times before, but this was the first for Tiffany and the kids so we did a city tour. We took in the full flavor of the capital, including a little neighborhood called La Boca, which is really a lower class neighborhood made famous by it's colorful houses, tango clubs, and artists.
Gringos en la Boca
Here I am showing off my mad tango skills...
As you can see, I have some serious moves...
this Argentine girl was blown away.
Tiffany got so insanely jealous...
that she started to tango with this rico suave tango maestro
Have you ever had the desire to sneak up behind a 400 lb sleeping tiger and pat him on the belly? How about putting your little children into a cage full of lions? No? Then the Lujan Zoo in Argentina is just not for you.
I heard about this place from a co-worker. Only in South America (or perhaps Africa) could a place like this exist as a legitimate business. They actually let you physically interact with wild beasts...under the supervision of teenagers who probably make about 3 dollars an hour and receive about 3 hours of formal training. The place is AWESOME!! I won't lie, sidling up to the big cats scared me...(visions of Siegfried...or was it Roy?).
"He's gonna kill you"
2 chicks holding chicks
nice monkey...please don't poop on me