worldwide walkabout the tiniest bird takes a walk.

11May/100

beautiful madrid, spain

in all seriousness, i often couldn't decide which way to walk in madrid: the roads changed names often, if there was a system of roads i completely missed it, but most of all it was gorgeous in every direction!

in my short time in madrid, i was able to make it to the centro de arte reina sophia, home of picasso's guernica, among other famous modern artists and work. surrealism! the magnetic fields! cubism! installations! i felt so lucky to see such amazing art. very inspiring.

because i had an early morning flight to paris, i thought it'd be a good idea to overnight in the airport. if it wasn't the rumbling voice of the man talking incessantly for the entire night, it was screaming children so that i slept for about half an hour in total. for me-bad idea to sleep in the airport, although apparently it seems to work for many people...

11May/101

isla pasqua/rapa nui/easter island! chile

strange mysterious island for various reasons! the volcanic isla pasqua is famous for its gigantic stone moai carvings-many theories exist about the moai carvings and the purpose they served; however because histories were orally communicated, there exists no written explanation of why these sculptures were made, how they were made, who made them...mystery. also, isla pasqua is one of the most isolated inhabited islands on the planet and has an interesting history of civil war, colonialism, slave raids, and near deforestation.

we arrived on the island late in the evening so that i was surprised the next morning at sunrise (roosters crowing away at dawn!) by the gorgeous palm trees, flowers, and lots of green! i moved to a campsite in the morning-i had my big bag and the first truck that went by picked me up! so kind. i was so happy in my little tent on the coast, except when the rain leaked in...

mark and stephanie, my new french friends, and i rented a car to explore the island for two days. isla pasqua is tiny but just big enough to need transportation. i missed out on the quarry site: as luck would have it the ticket price changed for the first time in 20 years just 2 days before we visited! it was no longer $10 to visit...it was $60! mark had wanted to visit easter island since he was a small child and he was going to do so in style. while mark and stephanie were inside i took photos from the fence (sad muppet).

we also visited the beautiful white sand beach with palm trees, an enormous crater lake where we got blown the hell away by the insane wind, and perhaps my favorite-some amazing caves and lava tubes.

the last day i visited ahu tahai in the early morning and thought it'd be a quick stop at the bank to change money. i was running late and therefore jogging back to the campsite and another local on a scooter stopped to pick me up! so nice, until we got going and i could smell that he was completely hammered...considering the smell he drove very straight! we made it.

Filed under: chile, Uncategorized 1 Comment
11May/101

stay at hostal vermont! osorno, chile

on the way back to santiago i had the intention of seeing some lakes, volcanoes, hot springs...but ended up relaxing with the cool cats of hostel vermont! i highly recommend this place!

http://www.hostalvermont.cl

the place is run by sirce and mike, a lovely and very welcoming chilean/american couple. also great company: their two cats lauchin and hazelnut, tiny dog juno, and also three super nice residents of the hostel! the first day i had a much needed nap before going thrifting and getting a haircut (seriously-half the places in osorno were either thrift stores or cheap barber shops...i was in absolute thrift heaven) and the second day mike and i visited the weekend market for lunch fixings. mike cooked up a yummy seafood pasta dish with tomatoes!

the city of osorno itself doesn't have many tourist attractions, however, i found the people here to be exceptionally kind. while walking to the bus station i dropped a mitten and one of the locals, judging by the shortness of her breath, probably ran a few blocks to return it to me! wow!

Filed under: chile, Uncategorized 1 Comment
1May/100

hitching to el chalten, argentina

i'll admit it i'm not always the best planner. if plans are made i usually want to change them. so instead of buying a bus ticket to el chalten, i figured i'd just turn up at the station...no problem.

i missed the 8 am bus (got the time wrong!) decided to hitchhike instead of waiting ten hours for the next bus. made a sign, walked to what seemed to me a logical place to catch a ride and was confused when drivers kept pointing forward (and not picking me up). continued walking until i reached the police checkpoint 3 km out of town (from there the drivers still pointed forward to that magical place they were all going) and was relieved to find the police didn't mind hitchers. in fact, there were two others there already: an older man who ended up returning to town, and rodrigo, a funny brazilian guy. after waiting for some time, felix, a charming german guy showed up too. (luck would have it that felix was also going to el chalten). he and i caught a ride to the junction where we threw rocks into a trash bucket to entertain ourselves. eventually we made another sign to return to town to catch the bus and were trying to catch a ride in either direction...finally! after waiting for many hours we were picked up by a very sweet french family who brought us the whole windy 188 km to chalten!

the next day felix and i hiked the laguna torres trail in some crazy wind and rain. we got a glimpse of the cerre torre, lake torres, and glacier but the fitz roy peak was completely shrouded in clouds! perhaps felix will someday show me his photos of the fitz roy. it was a lovely day trekking but i think my hands were too frozen to take more photos...

1May/100

el calafate and perito moreno glacier, argentina

in el calafate i was surprised to reunite with ed and sebastian, two guys i had met at a hostel in mendoza, over 2,000 kilometers north. along with our new friends preehya and geher, we rented a car to journey to the perito moreno glacier and surrounding areas.

we arrived in the afternoon and were lucky to see a few substantial pieces of ice break off the face of the glacier-what extraordinary sounds and sights! i especially liked the jagged peaks and deep blue colors of the ice. wow wow wow. amazing experience and it became obvious why the perito moreno glacier is so famous!