One Month

I was thinking of the Barenaked Ladies’ song “One Week” with the title of this post.

It’s been one month since I boarded a flight in Atlanta bound for Santiago.

Twelve days since I first set foot in Buenos Aires. I’m back in BsAs, btw. See, Buenos Aires is a massive city, with several vibrant and distinct neighborhoods. San Telmo is the oldest part of town–I stayed there for three days. Recoleta is like its own city within Buenos Aires–I stayed there for three days. Now I’m in Palermo, and because Palermo was the area most highly recommended to me, I’m staying here a whole week.

Since I’ve already seen a good chunk of Buenos Aires, I’m in no real rush to get out the door. This seems like a good time for a recap of my journey in South America thus far.

In hindsight, I could have planned Chile better. I spent too much time in Santiago because I met a great group of people and decided to hang around a couple of extra days. While that in itself is nothing to regret, I didn’t do enough homework on the rest of my travels. Rancagua could have been skipped. Talca was a better base for exploring the Central Valley.

I should have found a way to visit Altos de Lircay (Google “el enladrillado” to see why). I could have made it into the Lake District. Maybe even Patagonia, though the winter temperatures dissuaded me from that idea.

Valparaiso wins out as my favorite stop in Chile. The vibrant colors and seaside setting make for a memorable city. I have to mention Luka and Nina, the Slovenian couple who ran the B&B I stayed at, and their dedication to especially the “breakfast” portion of B&B. The day trip to Isla Negra was a highlight, for so many reasons.

And getting two ski days in July is hard to beat. Even though one of them involved travel adventures. But I got to stay in my first AirBnB in Chillán, where my host took me to an excellent local restaurant where we drank beer, listened to live music, and ate longaniza, a Chilean sausage dish.

I wish I had known sooner that Brazil was waiving its visa requirements because of the Olympics. Not that I needed any more pictures of Iguazu Falls, but for the sake of completeness it would have made sense to visit the Brazilian park. Alas, the cold I caught in Buenos Aires scuttled any ambitions I had for making that trek.

Argentina is famous for its steak. No one told me about the desserts. I’ve eaten some delicious cakes, pastries, ice creams, brownies, and combinations of all of the above.

Unrelated note: I started a bodyweight training program.

It’s kind of like I’m living here. I rented an apartment for the week (that’s a thing I can do in Buenos Aires). I went grocery shopping (a frustrating adventure in trying to get Argentineans to take my money). I found a way to stream the Olympics on my laptop (through the BBC, where basketball commentary is, sadly, not like this). The last two mornings, I’ve eaten my standard at-home breakfast–scrambled eggs and veggies–along with cups of real coffee.

I’ve got almost two months left on the road. A little recharge was definitely in order.


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