Friday, December 9, 2011

Fruits


One of my favorite things about travelling is eating and trying local dishes or fruits I have never tried.
Here we have been eating this fruit.  I dont think its local to Chile but its very tasty fleshy orange fruit with a peel that can be eaten though some prefer it peeled. I have not idea what this fruit is but its delicious.

hike around the station

video
Beautiful ride from the city to hornopiren

daily view

view of village

waterfall by the cabin

sunset at the cabin with volcanic ash making it hazy so we couldnt see the fiord very well

The ash clears the next morning

view of the village (see the small colorful houses)

An alercerce tree which is endangered



we climbed a little further so we reached the snow.



sunlight peeking through clouds

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Nature

The nature here is so wonderful.  I see lots of vultures and two kinds of cormorants. I even saw a beautiful falcon and lots of hummingbirds and other types of birds, one with a beautiful yellow breast.  I see sea lions and dolphins in the water almost every day.  As well as some frogs. There are lots of mussels and seaweed as well as small crabs and anenomes.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Beautiful Day!

Its a beautiful sunny day, which is so wonderful after about 5 days a torrential downpouring.  I heard that it was well more than average. 
Today I saw a pod of around 25 dolphins jumping out front today then went to see some bee boxes being maintained and split.  I even saw a swarm that was put into another box.  The beekeeper said he started with 2 families about a year ago and now has 7.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Excursion

Nov 11 - Excursion to the Island of Liliguapi.  A small island that used to have a penguin colony a few years ago.  The penguins may have moved to a better nesting ground since dogs appeared on the island around the same time they disappeared.  We walked around for a while but didnt find any penguins but saw signs of a dog. We saw the shell of loco which is a Chilean Abalone which is possible endangered but highly prized in Japan.  The island was covered in mussels on the sea line and had little crabs and anenomes in the tidal pools.  Then walked around Hornopiren a small town.  We saw a large colony of cormorants with a rarer species some pelicans and a large sea lion colony of around 800 sea lions.  There are so many salmon farms here.  

Nov 13 - Went on a walk along the river and crossed the river in a kayak with no paddles just pulling  a rope strung across the water.  There is a tree here called tepa with fragrant leaves. Another tree here is the canelo which has berries that were used to prevent scurvy and the bark is also used as a pepper substitute.  They use mosqueta (rosehip) here to make marmelades and sweets alot. Nalca is a huge leaf and the stem can be eaten raw.  We were bitten by tabanos which are horseflys on our walk.  There are so many hummingbirds and very big turkey vultures, called jotes here. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hike

I am completely exhausted today.  Yesterday we went on a hike up the mountain that was supposed to take 2 hours but the trail needed cutting back since its spring that trail probably hadnt been used much over the winter. I was glad I wore pants as I had to brush small leeches on my pants which I hear are abundant here due to the large amounts of rainfall.  We left just after 6pm and made it to the top around midnight. It was beautiful and peaceful up there.   There was a large waterfall and the moon was bright enough you could see the other mountains and the sea clearly which had a beautiful glow around it in the clouds and a wonderful reflection on the sea. Some clouds moved in for a little while covering the sea the moved on.  I could only pick out Orion which was upside down.

On the walk were ornithologists and herpetologists who were studying frogs so they found a number of frogs on our walk even in the dark as it got dark before we arrived at the top.  I was amazed how they could find these small frogs only an inch or less long and well camouflaged.  We had some mate (fermented tea) and sandwiches at the top in a small hut.  Then hiked down.  We got back after 2AM.  A truly beautiful hike!  I want to do it again before I leave in the day to take some pictures.

I finally saw dolphins off the beach today. I have heard they are here all the time but today was the first day I have seen them.  There were at least 6 of them.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Argentina Photos

Guanacos at Punto Tombo

Southern Right Whales Pto Piramide

Hike where I am staying

Bariloche

sunset

from the bus

the Andes coming from Mendoza, Argentina to Chile

Penguin Colony Megallan at Punto Tombo

Toninas at Rawson

Friday, October 21, 2011

Patagonia and Argentina

I started my vacation by going to Puerto Montt.  It has an area to walk around by the water, a large artisian market and a large fresh fish market with small places to eat.  Tons of eating cheap eating options and people asking you to come to eat at their small restaurants with only a few tables. I tried raw sea urchins.. probably tasty but couldnt quite get used to the taste and texture. Homemade cheese shops were abundant too.

Then I went to Puerto Varas also in Chile.  There it was a very European town.  We got a kilo of clams for $1USD.

Then we went to Argentina to the Lakes district.  First to Bariloche which is very Swiss German with fondue places everywhere and chocolate shops on every corner.  We stayed at an amazing place with a view of the lake.  It was on the 10th floor of an apartment building and a balcony and lots of windows looking over the lake.  At little challenging to find since but worth it for the view.  One day on the elevator up to our place an older woman says in Spanish ¨Goodbye black woman¨ as a black woman leaves the elevator.  Then she turns to us and tells us in Spanish that she is a prostitute.  Not sure if it was true or not but it was funny.  The next day we went on hike up a mountain and around a park.

The next day we headed out to El Bolson a smaller town also with a bit of a European feel where we went horse back riding in the hills and walked around the local park and craft market. 
Then another bus to Puerto Madryn.  Where we went to Puerto Valdes to see the penguins and the elephant seals as well as to see some wale watching where its guaranteed to see southern right whales.  Then the next day we went to Punto Tombo to see the Magellan penguin colony of over 400,000 penguins during their mating and nesting season where you could see eggs in their nests.  We also took a boat trip out to see Torono Franciscana dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei) dolphins one of the worlds smallest dolphins.  It is threatened by being a by catch in fishing nets. Overall the tours in Puerto Madryn were very expensive and all day long.  If I had more time I would probably take a bus out to Puerto Valdes and stay a night there and save the money on the day trip.  The also had rain the night before and we were not able to see all of the park as the roads were closed. We actually got stuck and had to have someone tow us out of the mud. 
Now in Mendoza for some wine tasting. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

River hike

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day which is rare here in rainy season.  Went for a hike along the river yesterday.  It was beautiful the water is completely clear in some areas.  We ate nalca an edible plant.  It has a huge leaf and we cut the very large stem and at the stem with salt.. raw.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bavarois de Lucuma & mote con huesillo

I just had this for dessert.  Lucuma is a fruit from northern Chile. It was liked a whipped creamy dessert with a frothy foam top.  The one I had also had almonds in it. 

Below is a recipe I found for it.

Ingredientes:
- 3 lucumas maduras
- 5 claras de huevo
- 5 cucharaditas de gelatina sin sabor
- 5 tazas de azúcar granulada 
Preparacion:
Forme un almíbar, con el azúcar. En otra olla, vierta la gelatina a disolver. Forme un betún con las claras y le agrega el almíbar.  Una vez bien mezcladas eche las lucumas trituradas y la gelatina. Pongalo en el refrigerador.

I also tried mote con huesillo, a dessert popular during the summer in Chile which combines dried peaches soaked in a light syrup and served over barley grain

Patagonia

I made it to Patagonia.  I spent a day walking around Santiago.  The city was beautiful and the people were welcoming.  One man stopped me when he saw me looking at a map and offered to help me in English.  Then said welcome to my city I hope you enjoy it. I hiked up to this castle at the top (Cerro Santa Lucia) of the park in the city and it had beautiful views of the city and the surrounding mountains. (Video posted below) Then walked around a little and went to the artisans market and got some empanadas which are sold everywhere. I navigated my way a day and a half journey here to Patagonia where I look out onto the ocean and snow covered mountains.  The weather is cool here which I am enjoying.  To get here I had to take a 3 hour ferry and then have  launch come meet me at the ferry.

The people in El Salvador went out of their way to be friendly and helpful. In El Salvador a man gave us a ride and told us he wouldnt accept money for gas and that it was a privilege to drive us to the bus stop.  We met many people who wanted to help us and make sure we had a good time and were so sad to hear how the rest of the world has such a negative view of El Salvador.  Its a beautiful country with lots of nature and we were there during low season so we didnt meet many other travellers.

One of the funny experiences I had was a German traveler saying oh you are from Boston, I want to go there for the view from the toilets. I  had no idea what she was talking about at first.  I was trying to think of a skyscraper that maybe had toilets with a view.  Then finally realized she was talking about the round public toilets that I have never been in but heard they are one sided glass so you pay like $4 and you can see people walking around on the streets while you go to the bathroom.  I never knew Boston was famous for this!!!  I have seen them and always just scoffed at the price.. apparently its a tourist attraction.

video

Thursday, September 29, 2011

tacumba

Made it to Tacumba and went hiking in Impossible national park.  The view was beautiful and of course on our way back the clouds came in.  The hike wasnt too hard.  We saw the national bird and lots of picaya and coffee plants.  Picaya is a huge produce out here.  We were sad to see our guide was paid $8 for a tour which we paid $25 each for.  Its sad to see.  Today we woke up early and went to lake coatepeque which was very pretty.  Then on the way back we stopped to go shopping at the market in anhuachapan.  A wonderful few days.  I am sad to go and see my trip through central america cut short but excited to go to my next stop.. Patagonia Chile.  It is going to be a long weekend of travel starting early tomorrow morning and hopefully arriving afternoon two days later.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ataco

Arrived in ataco yesterday. Cute little town. Heading to Tacoba and park impossible and mama y papas today. Hopefully hiking next couple of days.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Juayua

Went on a 6 hour hike to waterfalls today. About 7 of them. We are really trying to learn to not ask leading questions. We asked if we could leave at 7 am. The person said yes. Well we were ready at 7 but the guide didn't come till 8am. It was a fun trek through trails and coffee farms. We walked through waterfalls and streams as well as up and down them. They didn't even tell us we would get completely soaked.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Juayua on Ruta de Flores

Made it to juayua today for their weekend food festival. Had fun walking around tryin food. We tried corn pancakes with sting cheese. And corn on the cob they call crazy corn (elote loco) that has mustard ketchup and cheese on it. Getting up early for some waterfall hikes tomorrow. Just tried some hot chocolate I bought from a lady at the market that made discs of chocolate right in front of us and wrapped them in paper. I will try again but with milk this time as I think it will be better. The weather up in the mountains is so nice. It gets nice an cool in the evening. Bumped into a couple I had met earlier in the trip. She recognized me as the girl from the states who looked Asian but had a fence name. I had already bumPed into someone else from that same night recently. It's interesting to see how many people you keep seeing on the gringo trail.
On another note I met a German couple with 4 kids travelling the world.. On bikes no less. Their website is globalmobilfamily.com

Saturday, September 24, 2011

San salvador

Went to the modern art museum today and the museum popular a small museum that has exhibits on these clay sopresas "surprises" they started as clay eggs with figurines or surprises inside the eggs. They are really adorable. Also tried tamarind ice cream from the ice cream guy today and it has strawberry sauce on it. Took the chicken bus from the beach. Yesterday when we went to the market at la libertad we did see a woman with a chicken on the chicken bus. The market was so much fun to walk around. I bought hot chocolate that comes in thes soft discs and a papusa that was excellent. Papusa are from el Salvador thy are sold on almost every street corner. Tomorrow we had for the lakes.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Antigua

Antigua is a cute town. I went on a hike up another volcano today.  Volcan Picaya This one had steaming fumeroles. We toasted marshmellows over the holes. It was beautiful.

Some interesting observations.. a family I was staying with put sugar in the baby formula in the bottle. Things have so much sugar here. Also for some reason here they say after a meal in Spanish Bon appetite instead of before. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lago chikobal

I hiked lago chikobal this weekend. It was beautiful. There is a fresh water lake in the middle and when you get to the top you can look down at it as it's a deep crater then there are around 300 steps to get down to the lake in the middle. A fog rolls in at 11 everyday so when we hike to the top again we couldn't even see the lake anymore.
The bingo game the kids play here include pixies and a word describing the picure. I had to laugh when the little girl called out drunk man as one of the space and then again later when she called out kittens black man. I can't imagine a game inthe states like that.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Xela

It's independence day here so we have been celebrating here. There are parades and bands and fireworks and lots of people.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Xela

Woke up early yesterday for a hike up indian nose for a sunrise view of the lake. Then took the bus to Xela. Arrived at Spanish school and settled into a casa with a guatemalan family.  Then went with the school to a fair with rides and games and food.  Today had my first class.  There are many festivals and activities here as its independence day here tomorrow and this is the city where the celebrations are biggest. I really like this city and dont want to leave already. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

San Marcos and tzununa

Walked to the market today in San Pedro. Then to a boat to another town across the lake called San Marcos which is a Colleen town with yoga a massages and is believed to hold some special energy. Then hiked with another couple to the next town called tzununa where we had some amazing views of the lake and took the boat back to San Pedro where I am staying. Leaving tomorrow xela.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Lanquin, sumac champey, lake atitilan

Tikal was great then headed to lanquin were I stayed in an amazing place with a wonderful view of the mountains. Took a day trip to go hiking and into the caves and waterfalls in sumac champey. Now am in lake titian and it is a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

tikal

animals in tikal



fox







locust

allspice leaves and berrys. the berrys can be eated and the leaves can be rubbed on skin as insect repellant

cicada

Tikal.. beautiful ruins





Posted by Picasa

Cenote and flores

we couldnt see this cenote from the bottom cause we missed closing time by 10 minutes

road trip to vallodalid and cenotes

vallodalid

vallodalid roadtrip

church in vallodalid

cool chair in vallodolid

baby racoon trying to excape from its box on the boat from Caye Caulker

Flores Guatemala



watching to the sunset at lake at flores

flores lake

flores lake

lots of tuk tuks in flores

finally found some street food

watching boats on lake in flores

some kind of childrens show

children in costumes asking to be photographed

wild turkey

can you see the clear path to the right.. its leaf cutter ants that cleared the way

tarantula
Posted by Picasa