A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: moonflower

Random thought II

Only to let you know that I am still alive and - well! Nur zum euch säge, dassi no läb und dass es mer guet goht!

I know, I got very lazy, or better very busy with traveling. This entry is only to let you know that I am still amongst the living people and happy traveling. Right now I am in Montañita, on the Ecuadorian coast an on June 8, I'll cross the big blue sea to start the North American part of my trip.
As soon as I have more time in one place, I'll let you know about my "adventures" in the rest of Argentina, Peru and Ecuador.
Hasta la vista!

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Jo, ich weiss, ich bin sehr fuul worde - oder wohl ehnder flissig am reise gsii. De Iitrag isch nur zum euch drüber z'informiere, dass ich no läb und dass es mer guet goht und ich witerhin jede tag in volle Züg gniess. Jetzt grad bini in Montañita, an dr Ecuadorianische Küschte. Am 8. Juni goht's denn ab in d'Staate, zum de Nordamerikanisch Teil vo minere reis azfange.
Sodeli, sobald ich mehr Ziit an eim Ort verbring, wirdi euch über mini "Abentür" im Räschte vo Argentine, Peru und Ecuador in Kenntnis setze. Bis denn wünsch ich euch e vergnüeglichi Ziit, me hört oder liest sich!

Posted by moonflower 18:49 Comments (1)

El Calfate

Gateway to Parque Nacional los Glaciares - really nothing else! Portal zum Nationalpark los Glaciares - und wirklich nix anderes!

I left my beloved Bariloche Friday afternoon. Well, not really as smooth as you think now because I missed my bus... Which means I would have been ready to leave my teachers (Rosana and Riens) home on time but they realized that they don't have a pic of me yet. So Rosana, Caroline and I had to pose for those f... pics and of course I missed the right (which goes straight) bus to the terminal. So we had to wait... and wait... and wait for one which only went to the center where we had to take another one. Anyway - on the way to the terminal I saw my Don Otto bus to Comodoro Rivadavia leave... Nice! Out of the local bus running to the Don Otto office telling them what happened. Fortunately they could call the driver to ask him to wait for me at the next stop. Yep, I was greatful for the invention of taxis for once!;-)
The bus ride was ok, though not very comfortable and we only got one really small sandwich (of course with white toast bread, cheese and ham - bah, I just can't see it anymore!) and nothing to drink for a 12 hours bus ride but fine, I luckily had my sandwiches and water. On this bus was a couple from Comodoro Rivadavia. They were very nice but he kind of freaked me out with his idea of "you should start to think of building a family - you're in your mid twenties now and especially - ha - your parents won't get any younger. And they want to see their grandchildren grow up, I'm sure of this." Yeah well, so am I - but I just believe that they can wait some five years with "leaving this place" until I feel ready for this!! Really...! In Comodoro Rivadavia many people left the bus and I had to change seats and soon off we went to Rio Gallegos. The bus ride was spectacular (definitely better than the movie - "The son of the mask" in Spanish - yeeeeeeeha)! Pampa as far as you can see, which means: soil with some grass and bushes (more than in the steppe) and clear blue skies, in the beginning we even drove along the sea shore... yes, I liked what I saw. In the late evening we arrived in Rio Gallegos and now the best part of that trip begun. I called the TAQSA office (bus company, like Don Otto) Thurdsay night before I left Bariloche to ask if it would be possible to make a reservation by phone for the busride Rio Gallegos - El Calafate. The answer was "no, but there will be enough space on the night bus at this time of the year, for sure." Ok, I thought... I went straight to the TAQSA office at the terminal to get my ticket but: no way, the bus is full, next one next day in the morning! Great! At least they put me on the waiting list after I told them my story. While I was waiting I startet talking to some people - four Irish girls I already saw in the bus in Bariloche, an Australian lady and a couple from Bristol. We all wanted to get on this bus but in the end, the groups decided to stay one night in Rio Gallegos (waaaaah, never ever in my life!) so only the Australian lady and I were waiting... and worrying... and then, at 20:25h I got my ticket!!! What a relief! I already had my reservation for the hostel in El Calafate and I didn't wanted to call there to say I won't be able to make it that night.
In El Calafate, the Aussie lady and I took a taxi to the hostel. The taxi driver told us that the Perito Moreno Glacier is supposed to break for good (the "tunnel"/bridge that connects the glacier with the land) tomorrow. What great luck! The last "big bang" was as well around mid March in 2004 and before that, Perito Moreno didn't break like this in 16 years! The next day I booked a tour to see this spectacle. There were two more girls from the same hostel on the tour bus - yes, I finally could speak some German! Alex, Gesa and I walked along the paths together and at one lookout, a camera team of Canal nueve asked us to answer some questions. Well, sure... when it was my turn, the conversation went from "why did you come to Argentina/Patagonia?" to "do you ski?" So I had the great honour to tell whole Argentina that NO, I DO NOT SKI! And yes, I am Swiss anyway!! At least since then, nobody ever asked me again...;-)
At the next lookout we were lucky to see one bigger crash. It's amazing: first you hear a low grumble, then a cracking noise, then you see the peace of ice falling and then, after two or three seconds you hear an enormous BANG, thanks to the echo from the tunnel. We were standing there, taking picture after picture, like madwomen.
Well, the big crash didn't happen and the next day, when some other people from the hostel went on this tour, we secretly hoped that they wouldn't be lucky as well. Mean, sure - but we were successful. The tunnel finally broke that night around eleven! Only very few people were still there... Yes, that's justice!;-))
Later that week I went horseriding for the first time in my life! Toghether with an other German girl we participated in a tour to Cerro Frias and Estancia Alice. Wow, I can tell you, I was terrified. I saw those horses and the first thought was: How on earth will I ever be able to climb on this "monster". Well, with some help of one of the guides, it was easier than expected. As soon as all participants were on top of ther horses, we started the trek. I was like "why are you moving worse than a nutshell on the open ocean, could you please shake less or I fall off" but the horse wouldn't listen or understand. So I did my best to stay on top and just tried not to think of what might happen when... Ok, after some fifteen minutes I felt quite sure in the saddle and started to relax. Maybe a bit too early because soon, my horse wanted to do what the other horses do and started to - yes, gentle, but imagine me - trot. I almost started to yell, I was so afraid. But then, as soon as the horse walked again in a normal pace and the adrenaline in my blood stopped rushing through my veins, I was like "well, actually, you could do this again, this was fun - so please do it NOW". Well, once again no "anwer" of any kind from my horse. Anyway, we walked and trotted and above all enjoyed the countryside. Amazing - that's what I loved most about Patagonia: vast fields of grass and little bushes, rolling hills, low mountains (which are for me mountains under 2500 meters over sea level) and a little river. Perfect! So I was enjoying the invironment and having some chats with one of the guides who found it sooooooooo funny that I almost died when the horse started to trot for the first time when the horse suddenly startet to fall from marching into galloping! I was prepared for many things by then but not for this sensation. I yelled out "WWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" and laughed histerically. After the first milisecond I just loved it!! Yes, galloping is THE way to ride a horse! After more or less two hours, the excursion was over and we had the dinner to look forward to. The whole group was sitting around a table, drinking some wine and waiting for the announced meat and veggies to come. Ah, what a delicious smell... and taste.
On the way back - we had wonderful weather that evening, nice sunset - we drove along Bahia Rodonda and could see the silvery moon reflecting in the dark water. Wow... very romantic... the "real" Gaucho live (only that we drove in a car and not rode a horse).
Yes, and the next evening I was already on my way to El Chalten - Mt Fitz Roy, I'm coming!!

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Ich han am Fritig Nomittag vo mim heissgeliebte (nur liecht übertriebe) Bariloche müesse Abschied neh. Naja, nit ganz so schnäll wie's villicht tönt. Ich han nämlig de Bus verpasst - und s'isch nit wirklich mini Schuld gsii! Dr Riens het plötzlich s'Gfühl gha, sie hätte jo no kei Föteli vo mir also händ mir drei Fraue, d'Rosana, d'Carolnie und ich, dörfe vor de Kameras posiere. Juhuiii. Wo d'Caroline und ich denn endlig bir Bushaltstell acho sind, isch dr 20er-Bus zum Terminal grad abgfahre. Also hämmer müesse warte.... und warte.... und warte, nur zum denn e "Notlösigs-Bus" z'neh, bi dem mer im Zentrum händ müesse umstiege. 6 Minute - und dr Busfahrer het sich alli Ziit vor Wält gnoh, sich im Bus iizrichte. Chum simmer bim Terminal verbii gfahre zur Haltstell vo de Region-Büs, hani min Don Otto Bus usem Fänschter gseh. Jesses, chum usem Bus dusse, simmer grennt, grad an Schalter vo Don Otto, denn Iihole isch unmöglich gsii. Gottseidank händ die Lüüt dört grad chönne em Busfahrer funke, dass er bir nächschte Haltstell uf mich wartet. Ich is Taxi und wäg!
D'Busfahrt isch ok gsii, allerdings nit wirklich bequem (semi cama) und grad mol eis Sandwich (natürlich wisse Toast ohni (!) Rinde und Schinke/Chäs - ich chann's nümme gseh) und nix z'Trinke für 17h!! Guet, ich han natürlich scho so was dänkt und mis eigene Züg mitgnoh, aber gliich. In dem Bus isch au es nätts Ehepaar vo Comodoro Rivadavia gsii. Mir händ uns sehr guet unterhalte - bis dr Ehemaa mich total schockiert het mit: "Du bisch jetzt au scho in dine Mittzwanziger - langsam söttisch scho dra dänke, e Familie z'gründe, denn - und das isch's bescht - dini Eltere werde au nit jünger. Und sie wänd ihri Grosschinder sicher gseh ufwachse." Jep, sicher, doch ich dänk und hoffe, dass sie no chli uf das Ereignis chönne warte (Mami, Papi, bitte säged, dass das so isch!!)...
In Comodoro Rivadavia hani de Platz müesse wächsle - in die erschti Reihe obe bim Panoramafänschter! De Teil vor Fahrt isch Landschaftlich spektakulär gsii - Pampa so wiit wie's Aug chan gseh und am Afang sogar no s'Meer uf dr rächte Siite. Pampa, das heisst Ärde, vill Gras, es paar Büsch und ganz wichtig: knallblaue Himmel! Doch, ich han definitiv gnosse, wasi gseh han.
Gege die viertel vor Achti simmer in Rio Gallegos acho und do het s'gröschte Abendtür vo minere Busfahrt agfange. Vo Rio Gallegos fahrt ei Busgsellschaft z'Obe uf die halbi nüüni nach El Calafate, TAQSA. Ich han extra zwei Täg vorhär bi dene aglüte zum Frooge, ob's möglich sigi, e Reservation per Telefon z'mache. Nee, aber: zu dere Ziit sige saisonbedingt nümm so vill Lüt unterwägs und es sigi kei Problem (!), eifach am Schalter verbi z'goh und es Billet z'chaufe. Ok, han ich dänkt, denn mache mer das doch eso. Und prompt isch doch de Bus voll gsii!! Nach 28 Stund imene mehr oder weniger nit sehr komfortable Bus, chum gschloofe und no schlimmer mit enere Reservation in El Calafate in dr Täsche seit me mir eifach - nee, kei Platz. Guet, ich han dene Lüt am Schalter denn mini Story verzellt und sie händ mich uf d'Wartelischte to. Wenigschtens bini nit die einzig gsii in dere Situation. E Frau us Australie het au e Reservation im gliche Hostel in El Calafate gha und es Pärli us Bristol hetti au uf de Bus welle, het sich denn aber dänkt, dass es wohl besser wäri, grad es Billet für de nächschti Tag z'chaufe. Immerhin isch d'Warteziit so schnäll umegange und tatsächlich: am 20.25h hani mis Ticket in de Händ gha!!! Juhuiiii!!!!
In El Calafate acho händ d'Australierin und ich uns es Taxi gnoh für zum is Hostel goh. Dr Taxifahrer het uns drüber informiert, dass dr Perito Moreno-Gletscher am nächschte Tag sötti bräche - das heisst, de Tunnel vo d'Gletschermasse mitem Feschtland verbindet. Was für es Glück - isch doch de letscht söttig Bruch erscht im 2004 gsii und vorhär für 16 nix! Am nächschte Tag hani also e Tour zu dem Gletscher buecht. Vom gliche Hostel sind no zwei anderi "Meitli" mi uf die Tour und ich han endlich mol wider chönne dütsch rede! Mit dr Alex und dr Gesa bini denn au vo Ussichtspunkt zu Ussichtspunkt gange. Bi dem mit dr wohl beschte Panoramasicht isch au en Argentinische Färnsehsänder gsii zum Ufnahme vo dem Spektakel z'mache. Dr Sprächer het uns gfrogt, ob mir nit möchte es paar Frooge beantworte, so es chliises Interview. Naja, wieso nit?! Guet, bis ich an dr Reihe gsii bin isch d'Unterhaltig vo "Werum sind ihr nach Argentinie cho?" bis zu "Tuesch du Ski fahre?" gange. Super - jedefalls weiss jetzt jede Argentinier dass ich NIT tue Ski fahre und trotzdem e ächti Schwiizerin bin - und mich au nit grauehaft tue schäme, wie's de Fährnsehfritz vo mir erwartet het.
Guet, mir sind denn wiitergange und am einte Ussichtspunkt hämmer denn s'grosse Glück gha, e grosses Stück gseh abezgheie. Doch s'gewaltigschte isch nit mol d'Mängi vom Iis wo abbricht sonder mehr de Lärm wo das macht. Z'erscht ghört me nur es liechts Chrose, denn "Krack" und denn "Plaaaaaaatsch" in einere Luutschtärki, will s'jo in dr Nöchi vom Tunnel bricht und s'Echo das no ohrebetäubender macht, als es eh scho isch. Jedefalls hämmer eis Föteli nach em andere gmacht, in dr Hoffnig, eis z'ha, wo me was gseht usser Rugge und Kaputze vo de andere Lüt.
Jedefalls isch de Tunnel an dem Tag nit ganz iigschtürtzt und wo anderi usem Hostel am andere Tag gange sind, hämmer ihne heimlich gwünscht, dass sie au kei Glück händ. Fies, aber so isch das halt. Und effektiv: dr Tunnel isch zwar am andere Tag broche, aber z'Nacht uf die elfi und es sind fascht keini Lüt mehr dört gsii - das isch doch mol gerächt!;-)
Spöter in dere Wuche bini mit enere andere Dütsche s'erscht Mol in mim Läbe go ritte. Patagonie isch unter anderem au für sini Estancias (Schoffarme) bekannt und die meischte biete hützutags näbscht dr Besichtigung und emene Ässe au Usritt und ähnlichs aa. Guet, dört acho hani die Rösser mol so chli agluegt und mich eifach nur gfrogt, wie ich bitteschön dört sött uffe cho. Mit dr Hilf vom einte Guide isch's denn gar nit so schwer gsii und sobald alli uf ihrem Ross gsässe sind, isch's denn au grad los gange. Ich han so Schiss gha, will das Ross so mega gwagglet het und ich bi jedem Schritt gmeint han, dass jetzt, jetzt haut's mi denn usem Sattel. Aber nix isch passiert und glii hani mi beruhigt und an das Schaukle gwöhnt. Mir händ e huffe Hase und Raubvögel gseh und au landschaftlich isch's eifach herrlich gsii. Nach emene Wiili het mis Ross denn s'Gfühl gha, es müessi das mache, was alli andere mache und het ohni Vorwarnig eifach agfange trabe. Na dankschön - ich bin fascht gschtorbe und han mi grad no so chönne zrugg halte und nit luuthals um Hilf rüefe. De eint Guide het's jedefalls super amüsant gfunde... Immerhin hani chum isch's Ross wider normal gloffe, gfunde, dass ich doch no es bitz mehr Trab chönnti verträge, will's nämlig Spass gmacht het. Ich han mich immer wie wohler gfühlt und de Usritt richtig agfange gniesse. Doch ich han wie immer d'Rächnig ohni mis Ross gmacht. Ich bin grad so entspannt im Sattel gsässe, han mi chli mit em Guide unterhalte, do het's plötzlich agfange galoppiere! Jetzt hani kreischt und glichziitig glacht und soooo Angscht gha, dassi jetzt wirklich abeghei. Aber nei, alles beschtens und ich han plötzchlich en richtige Gschwindigkeitsrusch gha. Ich han de Guide bätte, mir biizbringe, wie me em Ross Befehl erteilt - aber das het nit so rächt welle klappe. Egal, ich han e tolli Ziit gha und nach zwei Stund simmer denn wider zrugg gsii und s'Znacht het scho uf uns gwartet. Mmmhhhhh, Fleisch und Gmües und Rotwii - köschtlich (oder ich han eifach nur Hunger gha - nei, es isch wirklich fein gsii)!!
Uf dr Heifahrt simmer an dr Bahia Redondo verbii gfahre. S'Wätte isch dr ganz Obe über super gsii (tolle Sunneuntergang) und mir händ de silbrig Mond chönne gseh sich im dunkle Wasser spiegle - richtig mysthisch und sooooooo romantisch. Scho fascht chli z'vill...
Jo, und am nächschte Tag bini denn z'Obe wiiter richtig El Chalten. Mt Fitz Roy, ich chume...!

Posted by moonflower 16:17 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Bienvenidos en Suiza - Hä??

The city center of Bariloche looks like a Swiss village somewhere in the Alps - no wonder I feel like at home! S'Stadtzentrum vo Bariloche gseht us wie es Schwiizer Bärgdörfli - kei Wunder fühl ich mich do wie dehei!

rain 15 °C

Saturday afternoon I arrived in Bariloche. Now I can really say that I LOVE Aerolineas Argentinas! Why? Well, I had a restricted ticket and was only allowed to check-in one piece of luggage weighting 15 kg. I was so afraid that I'd have to pay a fortune that I made several people working at ARA completely crazy with my questions and in the end for nothing. The girl at the check-in counter looked at my passport, smiled and asked:" Schumacher - cómo Michael?" I said "Sí." and she didn't look at the scale a second time. Ha, in that moment I as well LOVED my last name! Thanks, Papi!;-)
Anyway, already from the airplane I could see the mountains and lakes and I felt like I did in Iceland - very happy.
The busdriver took me downtown to a "Remises" (Taxi "station") and there I realized that I am not in Spain. "blablablaautobla?" - "Hä?" "Blablablaautobla?" - "Hää??", "Blablablalbalbalbalbaauto, autoblabla?" - "Cómo?????" and finally a friendly "Taxi?" - "Sí, por farvor, un taxi." Now I know that auto means the same as at home and coche doesn't exist and Taxi is only written on those cars. Yep, my first lesson in Argentinean slang went not so well, but I survived and after a 20 minutes Taxiride, I arrived at the Sin Fronteras-house where I am going to spend the next two weeks.
Rosana, one of the teachers of this Spanish school was very surprised to see me but fortunately her husband Riens remembered that I would arrive that day. Obviously many people say they'd come but in reality never show up... Well, I was there and the room I got is just perfect. A huge and very comfortable bed and enough space to make a mess.
The first night I was alone in the guests part because the two other students, two Dutch girls, went to El Bolson for the weekend. This was just fine with me so I could have dinner infront of the telly. Rosana was so happy to show me that they even have a German channel - so I could watch some German stuff. Well, it was a News-only channel so I never watched it.
On Sunday I did the Circuito Chico by bike. Ok, I have to admit, I didn't ride all the time because the streets were just too steep. Nevertheless, back at home I was very proud of myself.;-) I enjoyed doing something outside and the scenery was just magnificent. On the way I visited as well the Colonia Suiza, but I was pretty dissapointed. Nobody spoke Swiss German or French and the only two buildings which really reminded me of home were one with all the "Wappen" (Flags) of the different Cantons (States of Switzerland) and an old cable car cabin. Oh yes, and the staff fas pretty unfriendly - like you can find it sometimes in Switzerland.
The Punto Panoramico though was just beautiful!! Looking down on the Hotel Llao Llao and the lagoon/lake/bays... yep, pretty romantic.
On Monday finally was my first proper Spanish lesson with Rosana. We started with an evaluation to see in which level I belong. Well, the first two pages (level beginners and intermediate) were sosolala, but the third (progressive) - no idea! I was pretty down but in the end I answered 50% of the questions correctly. We decided on a mix of grammar (different times like indefinido/imperfecto, subjuntivo, discurso indirecto etc.) and Argentinean slang. Hopefully after those two weeks I might be able to talk to the people here without making them realize that I am not Argentinean.
In the afternoon of that day I went downtown to check out the city center. This was when I realized how Swiss this city actually is. Many wooden buildings, some parts with cobblestoned pavements and a lot of stores that sell chocolate products! Though the chocolate here is not so good - but it doesn't have to be because they have alfajores.;-) Geez, what a delicious invention! I have to be careful not to eat to many of them. Alfajores are sweets made of some kind of dough filled with dulce de leche (caramel cream) and mostly covered in chocolate. Oh, I get hungry by only writing about them...
Later that week I went up the Cerro Campanario, one of the peaks around Bariloche. From there I enjoyed a wonderful view of the lakes, the Hotel Llao Llao in one direction and Bariloche in the other. Yep, I went up and down in an "aerosilla" and when I told this to Rosana the next day she looked at me in astonishment:"You went up there on the aerosilla?? I would never do that since they had an accident there last year where 9 people got injured." Nice to know now...
On Wednesday left the Dutch girls and on Friday arrived an other girl, Caroline (USA), at the house. It's good to have company for once...
On Saturday I went to El Bolson, THE hippie market in the area. Although I am not so much into hippie culture (I don't smoke and I don't wear too many batik clothes), it was a great market but as well the only attraction this little town had to offer. I bought some very nice things at a very good (cheap) price.
On Sunday, Caroline and I went on the Circuito Chico on foot, intenting to climb/hike up Cerro Lopez. Hmmm, we didn't get that far because the weather got very bad. Unfortunately...
That evening arrived Bart, a firefighter (yes, Camila, a firefigther!;-)) from Belgium. Now all the guestrooms are occupied.
Yesterday, Caroline and I went to the Puerto Pañuelo to ask for the prices for the ferry crossing to Isla Victoria... Great - although it's fall/autumn now, the prices are still the ones of Summer (high season). Anyway, we walked along the trail to the Lago Escondido and enjoyed the last sunshine.
At night it started raining and didn't stop until now... Hopefully it will soon. I don't want to spend the time until Friday afternoon at home! So... Friday afternoon I will leave by bus to Rio Gallegos to catch another one that should bring me to El Calafate! Mt Fitz Roy, I am getting closer!

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Samschtig Nomittag, 25.02.06, bini in Bariloche acho. Scho usem Flugzüg hani Bärge und Seeä gseh und han mi grad wie dehei oder in Island gfühlt.
Jetzt chani uf jede Fall säge, dass Aerolineas Argentinas DIE Airline isch! Ich han es Flugticket mit dr Iischränkig vo 15kg Reisegepäck gkauft (isch super-günschtig gsii) und gwüsst, dassi mit ca. 23 kg wird unterwägs sii. Super - ich han einigi Agschtellti vo ARA in Wahnsinn triibe mit minere Angscht, dassi am Ändi nitemol me is Flugzüg törf, aber alli händ mi beruhigt: "Si pagas, no hay problemas!" Ach wie schön, wenn me Gäld het. Guet, mit de Tarif woni für's Übergepäck becho han, isch die Lösig immerno die günschtigschti gsii, drum hani mir denn au kei so grossi Sorge me gmacht. Am Flughafe in Puerto Iguazy het die nätti Dame am Check-in-Schalter min Pass agluegt, denn mich, denn uf d'Woog und denn wider mich:"Schumacher - como Michael?" - "Si." Und scho sind mini zwei Rucksäck wäg gsii, ich han mini Boardingcharte becho und sie het mer en anghähme Flug gwünscht. Das isch wohl s'erscht Mol gsii sit seeeeeeeehr langer Ziit, dassi glücklich gsii bin, de Nochname z´ha. Danke Papi!;-)
Chum in Bariloche glandet, bini per Mini-Bus is Zentrum zunere Remises (Taxizentrale) gfahre. De Herr am Computer het mich gfrogt:"Blablablablaautobla?" Ich han ihn nur mit grosse Auge agluegt. "Blablablablablaautoblalba?" - "Hä?" - "Blablalbaautoblalbalbaautobla?" - "Hää?" Und endlich es erlösends "Taxi?" Na und ob! Jesses, ich han dänkt, ich chönnti Spanisch, aber das het mi wider es paar Johr zrugg versetzt. Immerhin weissi jetzt, dass auto Auto heisst, dass coches nit exischtiere und dass Taxi bloss uf dene Fahrzüg druffeschtoht (für Touris wie mich...). Sehr schön - Lektion Nr. 1!
An dr richtige Adrässe acho het niemert öppis vo minere Akunft welle wüsse. Naja, jedefalls nit grad. Ich bin zimlig verlore vorem Tor gschtande und han glüte und glüte bis d'Rosana (mini Spanischlehrerin bi Sin Fronteras) cho isch und mich ungläubig agluegt het. Was ich denn do miechi? Na ich han mitem Riens abgmacht, dassi hüt achume... Ok, froge mer de Riens (ihre Maa). Gottseidank het de das beschtätigt und churz drufabe hani es tolls Zimmer mit emene schön grosse Bett und gnueg Platz zum es Chaos veraschtalte becho. Juhuiiii!
Das Wuchenänd bini allei gsii, denn die zwei Holländerinne, wo no Kurs gha händ, sind bis am Sunntig z'Nacht in El Bolson gsii.
Am Sunntig Mittag hani mi mitem Velo ufgmacht, de Circuito Chico abzfahre. Haha, ich han au mol gmeint, ich hätti es gwüsses Mass an Kondition. Naja, guet, ich han ihn fertig gschafft, aber an einige sehr steile Stellene hani wohl oder übel müesse s'Velo stosse. Lektion Nr. 2! Hügel in Argentinie sind nit eifach nur Hügel... Egal, d'Colonia Suiza isch e riesigi Enttüschig gsii. Niemert wo Schwiizerdütsch redet oder wenigschtens Französisch und die einzige zwei Gebäud wo an d'Schwiiz erinnere, sind es Hüsli im Alphütte-Stil (Bärner-Oberland, nit Wallis) mit de 26 Wappe und e alti Seilbahn-Kabine. Immerhin isch die heiss Schoggi fein gsii. Nach es paar downs (Räge, Enttüschig) denn endlich DAS wo die ganzi Müeh glohnt het: dr Punto Panoramico! Was für e Ussicht! So schön... Doch, im Hotel Llao Llao würdi gärn schaffe - und sig's au nur wegem Standort!
Am Mäntig Morge hani s'erscht Mol Unterricht gha. Nach emene churze Examen us emene Mix vo de drei Niveaus (Afänger, Mittel und Fortgschritteni) bini wider mol uf d'Wält cho. Ganzi 50% hani richtig gha - und das nach 3 Johr Spanischunterricht und 5 Mönet Gran Canaria!! Jesses... Aber sehr vill isch vom Fortgschrittene-Level gsii und ich han no nie richtig de Subjuntivo, Condicional, dr Imperativo etc. glehrt, drum het mich das nit sooooo us dr Bahn gworfe.
Am Nomittag bini denn s'erscht Mol is Zentrum. Doch, Bariloche isch scho seeeeehr Schwizerisch. Vili Holzhüser, s'Trottoir in dr Hauptiichaufsstross isch Kopfschteipflaschter und alli die Souvenir- und vor allem Schoggiläde - unglaublich. Allerdings isch d'Schoggi do nit so dr Hit, aber das macht gar nixt - schliesslich händ die arme Lüt Alfajores! Mmmhhhh, was füre Erfindig! E Art Blätter-/Mürbeteig gfüllt mit Dulce de Leche (Karamelcrème) und oft mit Schoggi überzoge. Es Gedicht - ich krieg Appetit scho nur vom drüber schriibe!
Am Zischtig bini ufe Cerro Campanario mit em Sässellift. E ganz e tolli Ussicht uf die umliegende Seeä, s'Hotel Llao Llao und Bariloche. Am andere Tag het d'Rosana nur gmeint, als ich ihre vo dem Usflug verzellt han: "Was, du bisch ärnschthaft mitem Sässellift dört ufe? Ich hätti Angscht, sit sie letscht Johr e Unfall mit 9 Verletzte gha händ." Guet, jetzt weissis...
Am Mittwuch sind d'Holländerinne abgreist und am Fritig isch d'Caroline us de USA acho. Endlig es bitz "richtigi" Gsellschaft...
Am Samschtig bin nach El Bolson, DEM "Hippie-Märt" in dr Region. Ich han es paar tolli Sache gkauft - alles handgmacht und sehr günschtig.
Am Sunntig sind d'Caroline und ich z'Fuess ufe Circuito Chico, will mer ufe Cerro Lopez händ welle - zumindescht bis zum Refugio. Leider isch's Wätter immer wie schlimmer worde und mir sind nach rund 15 km wider umgkehrt.
An dem Obe isch au dr Bart us Belgie acho - jetzt sind alli Gäschtezimmer bsetzt.
Geschter sind d'Caroline und ich nachem Unterricht mitem Bus zum Puerto Pañuelo gfahre und händ uns nach de Priise für d'Fährüberfahrt zur Isla Victoria erkundigt. Nätt... Obwohl's scho Herbscht isch do, sind d'Priise immer no die vor Summer- bzw. Hochsaison. Naja, mir sind denn emene Wanderwäg entlang zum Lago Escondido und spöter no is Zentrum. Ich bin jetzt stolzi Bsitzerin vomene Paar Argentinische Jeans!;-)
Hüt isch's Wätter eifach grauehaft - Räge, enorme Wind und richtig gruusig... Ich bin an Busbahnhof gfahre und han mer es Ticket füre Fritig nach Rio Gallegos gkauft. Dört stiegi um und fahr witer nach El Calafate! Mt Fitz Roy, ich chume nöcher!!

Posted by moonflower 11:53 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Cataratas de Iguazu

This is the reason why words like magnificent were invented... by Kelly-Anne Das isch dr Grund werum Wörter wie herrlich/grossartig erfunde worde sind... zitiert Kelly-Anne

After a mildly spoken awful night in the bus (why do certain people always think they are the only ones in the world AND what they have to tell cannot wait until the next morning??) I arrived pretty tired at the Rodoviaria (main bus station) in Foz do Iguaçu. Now I had to find the right bus to bring me to the Center where I had to take another bus to cross the boarder to Argentina to go to Puerto Iguazu, where my hostel is.
Well, I did find it but how I got on the bus is still a miracle to me. With my whole luggage through those narrow doors... Anyway, at the Brazilian border I had to get off to get my exit stamp, then wait for another bus to take me to the Argentinean border. Luckily I wasn't the only person waiting there and the guy I was waiting with could give me some information about the South of Argentina, which made me wanting to head South immediately. So, after getting the entry stamp for Argentina, the bus took me to the main station in Puerto Iguazu. On the way there I fortunately saw some signs of the hostel I booked a bed in and so I started wandering off as soon as I was out of the bus. What a terrible place - so many people trying to sell you something just because you're a tourist. Well, I just didn't react and almost missed the guy from the hostel who was there to take me to the hostel.
Finally there I was sweating like a pig - it was so hot and humid, I felt very dirty. At least I had the 4bed dorm for me for the morning so I took a long shower (haha, shower without any curtain and in the same room as the toilet and sink - that much about adventure) and got dressed in fresh clothes.
Soon after that I saw a girl having the same guide book I unfortunately sent home. So I asked her if I could have a look at it. When I returned it, we started talking and immediately connected. I was very relieved because it was the first place where I wanted to do things but nobody around that I already knew. So we went for dinner together that night and on the next morning to the Argentinean side of the Falls.
Short after we entered the National Park, we heared thunder rolling and later we could see lightning in the sky. Well, what a wonderful start! Though it didn't start raining until we were savely in one of the restaurants to have lunch. Before that, we walked along one trail to a small waterfall. We saw many huge ants and a few lizards but no snakes, spiders or even mammals.
After this trail, we took the little train to take us to the "Garganta del Diablo" ("The devils throat"). To see this part of the falls, we had to cross the water over a slippery metallic catwalk. Finally at the garganat, we soon were wet like after a shower because of the mist from the water. But what a feeling seeing those masses of water dissappear into a big misty nothing. Just amazing.
Later we took the train back to the stop before the visitors center to start the trails next to the falls. WOW, this was when Kelly-Anne said those words in the sub-heading. And they are true: We both saw the Niagara Falls but those were at least one size bigger! Just amazing and so beautiful! Unfortunately it started to rain harder than it did over lunchtime and as soon as we hit the Isla San Martin in the middle of the falls, we were soaking wet. First we thought we could finish the Lower Walk and maybe even try the Upper one, but no way! So we headed for the train an then for the bus - we just wanted to get home.
Although the weather was bad, we enjoyed the whole day. In the evening we went for dinner to a restaurant the receptionist at the hostel recommended us. After I ate the chorizo and we left, I felt so sick... I still feel kind of sick (5 days later). But they had musicians there who sang and played the guitar and the flute/drums - just the perfect ending for such an amazing day.
The next day Kelly-Anne left to go back to Buenos Aires so I went to see the Brazilian side of the Falls on my own.
Again the whole procedure at the border and then I had no idea where to get off the bus. I heard the driver say something about cataratas but I didn't know if he was talking to someone or just to himself. Now I know that he was talking to me... Anyway - so I drove to the main station in Foz and took a bus from there.
The Brazilian side is smaller, means that there are less trails to walk but the panoramic view of the Falls is just breathtaking! I tried to take a pic with the majority of the walls - forget it! They're just too many! But it was nice to see so many butterflies and birds - even one of those mammals who would grab your food from your hands if you're not careful (no idea how they're called).
That night I went to bed early because the next day in the morning I had to catch a flight to Bariloche.

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Nach enere gelinde gseit grauehafte Nacht (werum händ gwüssi Lüt s'Gfühl, sie sige die einzige im Bus und was sie z'verzelle händ chan nit bis am nächschte Morge warte??) im Bus vo Joinville nach Foz do Iguaçu, bini an der Haupt-Bushaltstell in Foz acho. Sache zämesueche und de richtig Bus is Zentrum finde... Guet, gfunde - im Zentrum de richtig Bus nach Puerto Iguazu finde... au gfunde. Denn an dr Gränze vo Brasilie usstiege, Usreisestämpel in Pass, ufe Bus zur Argentinische Gränze warte. Gottseidank bini nit allei gsii und de Typ wo no gwartet het, het mer chli was über de Süde vo Argentinie chönne verzelle - am liebschte wäri uf dr Stell nach Bariloche oder sunschtwohi gfloge. Jo, denn isch au endlig de Bus cho - an dr Argentinische Gränze usstiege, Stämpel inkl. 3-Monetsvisa (Chribel "3 meses") in Pass und wider in Bus bis zum Busbahnhof. Dört eifach nur so schnäll wie möglich wäg vom Züg, ohni uf alli die Lüt z'achte, wo mer öppis händ welle adreie. Jo, so hätti no fascht de Typ vom Hostel verpasst, wo uf mich gwartet het zum mich zum Hostel begleite.
Endlich dört acho - nassgschwitzt (jesses, die Temperature...) und müed, hani im zu dem Zitpunkt leere 4-Bett-Zimmer e langi Duschi (haha, Duschi ohni Vorhang und im gliiche Ruum wie's WC und s'Brünneli) gnoh und mich suber azoge - was für es Gfühl!!
Gli drufabe hani eini kenneglernt wo de gliich Reisefüehrer het wie ich (nur dass ich ihn dummerwiis scho hei gschickt han) und nachdem ich en ihre nach churzem uslehne wider zrugg geh han, hämmer uns unterhalte und sehr guet verstande. An dem Obe simmer zäme go z'Nacht ässe und am nächschte Morge go die Argentinisch Siite vo de Fäll go aluege.
Chum im Park acho, hämmer Donnergrolle ghört und Bliz durch d'Blätter zucke gseh... Was für en Start! Mir sind trotzdem losgloffe und z'erscht zumene chline Wasserfall cho. Ufem Wäg dört hi hämmer e huffe riesigi Ameise gseh und es paar Eidächse - aber keini Schlange, Spinne oder Raub-/Sügetier.
Wider zrugg hämmer s'Zügli zur "Garganta del Diablo" ("Rache (Hals) vom Tüfel") gnoh. An dem Teil vo de Fäll acho het's uns fascht d'Sproch verschlage. So iidrücklich! Die Wassermasse wo eifach is praktisch bodelose falle - denn d'Oberflächi vom Fluss und het me wege dem ganze Näbel nit gseh - gigantisch! Jedefalls simmer nachethär sehr erfrüscht gsii... Also Dusche bevor me dört ane goht isch absolut überflüssig, wenn nit sogar dumm!
Zrugg bim Zügli simmer bis zur Station vor em Bsuecherzentrum gfahre und händ dört mitem untere Wanderwäg agfange. Wow, die Wasserfäll sind eifach traumhaft schön! Als mer nöcher zu de Fäll gloffe sind, het d'Kelly-Anne die Wort im Sub-heading güsseret, und sie het absolut rächt. Me chan de Ablick chum in Wort fasse! Chum simmer uf dr Isla San Martin, dr Insle zwüsche de Fäll, acho, het's agfange schütte - schlimmer als während mer z'Mittag gässe händ (im Schärme) und gli drufabe simmer pflotschnass gsii. Schueh, Hose, Rägejacke, alles! Nach churzem Abwäge hämmer beschlosse, dass es gschiter isch, diräkt hei z'goh und kei Wäg me uszprobiere.
Z'Obe simmer ines vom Receptionischt empfohlenigs Restaurant gange mit Live-Musig - super, dr perfekt Abschluss! Leider fühli mi sitem Ässe dört (dr Chorizo isch's gsii, ganz sicher) nümm so ganz wohl...
Am nächschte Tag isch d'Kelly-Anne abgreist und ich bin allei die Brasilianisch Siite go erkunde. Sie isch chliner, aber s'Panorama wo me vo dört us uf die ganze Fäll het - meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeega! Ich han versuecht es Föteli vo de meischte Fäll uf's Mol z'mache - kei Chance! Drfür hani villi Schmetterling, Vögel und sogar es Sügetier gseh, eis vo dene, wo der s'Ässe us dr Hand chlaue, wenn de nit vorsichtig bisch - kei Ahnig, wie sie heisse.
An dem Obe bini früeh go schlofe, denn am andere Morge isch's uf nach Bariloche gange - und ich han kei Bock gha, de Flug z'verpasse!

Posted by moonflower 13:41 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Joinville

Visit Pomerode - the Suicide-Capital of Brazil! Bsueched Pomerode - d'Sälbschtmord-Hauptstadt vo Brasilie!

On the way from Floripa to Joinville lies Blumenau, one of the better known cities with a lot of German influence (the biggest Octoberfest outside Munich, I heard). Because Camila and I wanted to visit it, we made the short detour. But the most impressive thing was the "Neumarkt Blumenau Shopping Center" - sad but true. Or maybe because I am from Europe it didn't really blew me out of my flip-flops, I don't know. At least the food was ok. Back in the car, Camila told me about Pomerode, another town influenced by Germans, is known to be the town with the highest suicide rate of Brazil. After making some jokes, we headed off to visit this place. Well, after about 10km driving AFTER the "Pomerode" sign, which usually indicates the beginning of a town, we still didn't find any kind of city center. So we assumed that this might be the reason why so many people kill themselves - no church to mark the center (mainly because there is no center). But luckily our patience finally got rewarded: We found the real entrance! A nice gate between two towers marked the entrance and the exit of the town. On the floor were even two signs, saying "bem-vindo" and "Willkommen" (Welcome in Portuguese and German). So if you want to see a place with German influence - don't go to Blumenau but check out Pomerode instead! Just be careful on the street: People don't kill themselves, this is only a gag to conceal the real reason why so many people find death there, it is because people drive like crazy!!;-)
Joinville turned out to be a very calm and safe city. Actually the first I saw (lived in) in Brazil where I could have imagined to live (longer) (if necessary). Everything is easy to find and crossing the street doesn't automatically imply the possibility of getting hit by a car. So I felt pretty safe and almost at home. On Tuesday, Camila celebrated her 26th Birthday and I was the first person to congratulate in flesh and blood - juhuii!
Yes, and Tuesday night I left on the bus for Foz do Iguaçu/Puerto Iguazu, my next stop.

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Uf dr Strecki Florianopolis - Joinville liggt es bitz absiits Blumenau, die wohl bekanntischt Dütschi "Kolonie" in Brasilie mit em anschienend gröschte Oktoberfescht usserhalb vo Münche. Ich han unbedingt dört hii welle und drum hämmer de chli Umwäg gmacht. Doch was für e Enttüschig! S'Interessantischte isch wohl s'"Neumarkt Blumenau Shopping Center" gsii... Sicher, es het scho es paar Hüser mit Holzverzierige im "Schwarzwald-Stil" gha, aber so richtig us de Socke ghaue het's mi nit. D'Camila het denn vomene andere vo Dütsche beiflusste Ort verzellt, Pomerode. Das sig anschienend au dr Ort mit dr höchschte Sälbschtmordrate vo Brasilie. Na das wämmer uns doch wirklich mol go aluege - wer weiss, villicht hämmer jo sogar "Glück"?! Nach guet 10km fahre NACH em "Pomerode-Schild" wo jo eigentlich de Afang vom Ort sötti kennzeichne, isch immer no kei Chärn/Zentrum ersichtlich gsii. Mir händ drum eifach agnoh, dass das dr Grund für die hochi Sälbschtmordrate isch: kei Chile wo es Zentrum bildet (haha, und das usgrächnet vo mir)! Aber hey: unsi Geduld het sich uszahlt! Nei, kei Sälbschtmord (ich säg jetzt nit "Schad", sunscht wäri wohl chli zu morbid), aber es ganz es härzigs Stadttor! Am Bode vornedra het's sogar zwei Schilder gha, eis uf Portugiesisch und s'andere uf Hochdütsch mit "Willkommen" druf. Also, wenn ihr in Brasilie es "dütsches" Städtli wänd gseh, göhnd nit nach Blumenau, sondern nach Pomerode! Aber Achtung uf de Strosse: das mit de Sälbschtmord isch nämlig glaub nur e Fake zum de wirklich Grund für die hochi Stärberate z'vertusche - die Lüt dört fahre wie gschtört, schlimmer no als in Sao Paulo!;-)
Jedefalls Joinville... E nätti, ruhigi Stadt - die einzig woni in Brasilie uf dere Reis kenneglernt han, in dere ich mir chönnt vorstelle, für es Ziitli z'wohne (wenn nötig). D'Stadt isch eifach organisiert und wenn me über d'Stross lauft bedüted das nit grad, dass me Freiwild für Autos isch - die halte nämlig für gwöhnlich a!
Am Zischtig isch denn no dr Camila ihre 26. Geburtstag gsii und ich bin die erscht Person gsii, wo ihre persönlich het chönne gratuliere. Juhuii!
Am gliiche Obe bini denn witer mitem Bus Richtig Foz do Iguaçu/Puerto Iguazu.

Posted by moonflower 12:58 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

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