February 12, 2011

Chile: Adios

{ we might have bought a few too many llama sweaters }
Adios South America! We are packed and bound for the US of A - Hola!

(p.s. everything is more fun in Spanish)

February 11, 2011

South America Backpacker Guide: Hostels

Below are a few hostels I found worthy of a second night from when I backpacked South America.
 
Ecuador 
Quito - The Secret Garden
Montañita - Tiki Limbo Surf Hostel
 
Peru
Mancora - Loki Mancora
Cusco - Loki Cusco
Lima - Loki Lima
Arequipa- Bothy Hostel
Puno - Bothy Hostel
 
Bolivia
La Paz - Loki La Paz
 
Chile
Ritoque - Ritoque Raices Youth Hostel
Viña del Mar - Che Lagarto Hostel
 
Argentina
San Martin de los Andes - Bike Hostel
Bariloche - Los Troncos
Mendoza - Mendoza Backpackers
Puerto Madryn - Chepatagonia Hostel
Buenos Aires - Pax Hostel

February 9, 2011

Chile: With a capital R, Ritoque


{ Ritoque Raices Youth Hostel }
{ Laura and I walked out to the point for a view back at the beach }
Now we hit the beach... Ritoque for our last week. Ritoque is unlike any place I have ever been. It is a beach with two restaurants and a hostel. There are no supermarkets, Internet cafes or even a tv in the living room of the hostel. It is a place to read, lay in the sun, eat ceviche and relax.

Turns out after five days of no internet and no town to waste away the evenings in, a hostel with only 14 guests can get a little boring. We played a lot of games. Game #1- I would hum along to a song I was listening to on my headphones and Laura would try and guess it. Game #2- Laura would read The Poisonwood Bible, out loud. After day three we were saved by a few very awesome guests. A couple from Canada and a couple from England... by far the best people we have met on our trip so far. Ritoque Ritoque!

{ hitching a ride into the "city" }

February 3, 2011

Chile: Viña del Mar

{ completos }
Entering Chile is never easy but with only one suspicious backpack (mine) we made it through. Chile, again and completos again! We had two weeks left before flying home and decided to spend it on the beach. First stop Viña del Mar, a coastal town about two hours west of Santiago. We stayed at Che Lagarto Hostel which was up on the hill. The closest beach ended up being packed full of Chilean holidayers so Laura and I spent most of our time sitting at Starbucks in the air conditioning, eating sushi at a restaurant close to the hostel and taking collectivos to Valparaiso (Valpo is another coastal town just a short bus ride away).

 
{ Viña and Valpo are famous for street art }
On our last day in Viña we took a collectivo up to Concon and did a little sand boarding. Since we had no idea how to stand up on a board we ended up doing most of our sand boarding sitting. Might have been helpful to try snowboarding before backpacking Chile. After a few runs we were pretty much wiped out. Turns out there are now convenient chairlifts to take you to the top. After we officially had sand everywhere we headed back to the city checking off one more thing from our South American bucket list.

{ Sand boarding }