24 Februar 2010

red red wine

In Mendoza, we set out with a bike through vinyards and olive tree plantations to get a taste of the local produce.

Stopping every now and then along the road we visited a couple of wineries, got a tour with explanations about how the wine is produced and - of course - lots of samples of the locally produced wines.

For lunch we had a picknick in the middle of vines full of grapes (harvesting starts next week!) and shared sandwiches as well as a bottle of Malbec.

The Malbec grape, that was imported from France and adapted extremely well to the desertic conditions in the area around Mendoza, immediately became my favorite.

After several stops, including a very nice terrace restaurant with a great view over the vinyards, we concluded the day with some sweet chocolates and then returned to a good night's rest in the city.

17 Februar 2010


arriving in Pucon late at night I only got a glimpse of something glowing red in the air in the distance - apparently the top of the volcano

the next morning everything was covered in clouds and rain....like a moody diva the volcano kept hiding from us for the next 2 days behind her white and grey veil!

only when we boarded the bus to leave Pucon the volcano finally showed us a little bit of the snow-covered summit and the white slopes in the evening sun...

(sorry for the poor quality but that's the best shot I was able to get with my camera from the bus)

12 Februar 2010

lost in time

Chiloé's island of Mechuque seems to be part of a different timezone.
It feels like travelling back at least a 100 years and if it wasn't for the TV antennas on the roofs of the shingled houses and some random kid with an electric guitar on his way to I-don't-know-where, you wouldn't know it's the 21st century.

For a short afternoon we enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere and took in the slow pace of life, wandering around the tiny town before the boat took us back to the bigger island of Chiloé, on first sight similarly last-century-like but reality hits quickly once you´re back on the busy streets of Castro.

08 Februar 2010

end of roadtrip

So....our great roadtrip ended in Bariloche!
And while we were all happy to leave the dust and gravel roads behind us, it was also a little sad to let our tiny, but brave car go; and say goodbye to lonely roads, wide skies and the feeling of endless freedom.

After more than 2500km and 11 amazing days together with two wonderful new friends, Hannah and Oded, we celebrated our sucessfull arrival in Bariloche with tons of perfectly grilled steak, piles of local chocolates and loads of delicious icecream, and got used to being back in the city life...

Piltriquitron Challenge

The city of El Bolson is surrounded by many mountains which are great for hiking. I really wanted to climb one of them and so we decided to give the Monte Piltriquitron a try.

From the trail you have a great view towards the city and the panorama, but the last part of the hike was really really steep and over tons of loose stones.
The biggest challenge though was the superstrong wind and the very low visibility as we were in the middle of the clouds.

Nevertheless, it was great being up there and when the wind blew away the clouds for a few seconds we could actually see a lot of the mountains just under the cloudcover!

(credits to Oded for the best pics!)

06 Februar 2010

A Day in Jurassic Park

Leaving Coihayque, the Carreterra Austral leads through Valdivian rainforests into the Queulat National Park with its huge trees and enormous ferns.
The jungle is so thick that you can´t see the ground and only hear the noise of the almost constant rain and the birds hiding in the green.

In this landscape you totally wouldn´t be surprised if an ancient dinosaur would suddenly appear on the narrow road in front of you and even the birds´cries resemble the noises that we all know from certain movies....

After hours of driving up and down, passing waterfalls and glaciers, we reached little Puerto Puyuhuapi on the fjord and I was glad to be back with some more humans ;)

02 Februar 2010

General Carrera

The second day of our road trip we spent driving around a huge lake in a beautiful landscape. In Argentina it is called Lago Buenos Aires, but after crossing the border into Chile, they call it Lago General Carrera.

The gravel road is quite narrow and winds up and down along the shores of the lake, so you get very pretty views from a lot of different angles.

After hours and hours we finally reached the Carreterra Austral and left the General behind us to get to Villa Cerro Castillo - but before we left, we got a beautiful rainbow as a goodbye...