I have wanted for us to go beyond our borders, farther than our regular vacation spot in Mexico, and head to Europe (Spain), Central America, or South America, so we could explore the areas, experience different cultures (and food), and also have opportunities to practice Spanish.
After much discussion and debate, we decided that South America is next. At first, we settled on only visiting Argentina. But soon realized we could add in Santiago, Chile – but at the sacrifice of seeing Iguazu Falls – for a simpler first trip to the southern hemisphere. So our itinerary looks like this:
- Santiago, Chile. We have 5 days here, including the day we arrive and the day we leave. My bullet list of things to see and do is long, and I’m sure we won’t pack it all in. But I have a strong desire to visit Pomaire for the pottery and empanadas. Friends have given us a few must see and must eats, and to me this is the most exciting part!
- Mendoza, Argentina. There was much debate about how to get to Mendoza from Santiago. Mendoza is just over the Andes mountains from Santiago, there are frequent busses that are very reasonable in price, and the drive is beautiful. Check out the photos HERE. I can’t believe I passed this up. But it’s also 7-9 hours, depending on the lines at immigration. And with my motion sickness, I would have had to sleep through it all or be miserable. We decided to fly, which in essence gave us an extra day in Santiago to explore instead of riding on a bus. Mendoza is wine country, but also boasts olives and chocolate. We plan to relax in the many plazas and bike the countryside. If the stars align, we’ll do a gaucho tour (horseback ride) with asado (Argentine barbecue). We also spend Christmas in Mendoza.
- Buenos Aires, Argentina. We get a full week here, including New Years Eve. The city of full of architectural domes, numerous parks and plazas, plus the Ricoleta Cemetery, the botanical gardens, and too many restaurants and ice cream shops to mention. I want to take a trip to Uruguay to escape the city craziness for a day as well as head up the Tigre River delta. And while we have never done a crazy New Year’s Eve celebration, I doubt that can be avoided in Buenos Aires.
What else do we do every time we travel? Geocache! It takes us to places we would never have visited otherwise. We have some light-weight goodies to share from the US and a few Love Rocks to leave in caches as well as at favorite parks or other places we want to share a smile.
Between work, school, and trip preparations, none of us lack of things to do. Nonetheless, we are getting excited and a bit nervous about this adventure. My mind is racing with questions like: What is Christmas like in the southern hemisphere where it’s summer for the holidays? Do I have enough books on my Kindle? Will we get fed on the airplane? What can we do our first day in Santiago when we are all sure to be exhausted from an overnight flight?
Next post – Santiago!