A Travellerspoint blog

U cannot run from carnaval, even running is a type of dance


View Travel Around the World with Elyse and Stal on reimstal's travel map.

Oh man oh man oh man oh man. Holy shit brazil, you just keep blowing my mind.

Anyone planning a trip in the near future? Think you should be going somewhere other than brazil? Well, you're wrong. I'm not even sure how to write how I've felt for the last 3 weeks; with each new place came so much ridiculous beauty, people and culture (note: the ridiculous part is also attached to both people and culture as well). 

I suppose for brevity sake I'll choose to focus on Rio, my new second home. A place where I did not shut up about how much I loved it to anyone who would listen. Of course, I understand such love is also a product of timing, experiences, and people but even if all three of those failed it would be hard to ignore the beauty that is Rio de Janeiro.  I mean, do you live in a massive city that has miles of beautiful beaches and is surrounded by jungley mountains? In fact when was the last time you experienced a city of 10 million, not including the surrounding areas, that had any nature at all? 

Yes, being there during Carnaval had an impact, I agree (nothing better than a good excuse to wear ears of some sort on my head). But honestly, we tired of street parties and samba music so quickly it's hard to imagine that was the only reason. What we did manage to do was spend multiple evenings at the Rio Music Conference (for musical details please inquire within, but know that you should be listening to live shows by Felix da housecat and life is a loop), making real friends who we felt at home with (and getting some much needed girl time...finnnnaally) and having some of the best nights of my life. And no, DAD, that statement isn't wrought with hyperbole, it's the honest truth. Oh, and checking your shirt at the door- apparently a policy in any good electronic scene. 

See you again very soon Rio, very soon.

As a quick side note I should add that there was also extensive love and happiness in iguazu, florianopolis, paraty and pretty much everywhere we went with the exception of you, seedy Sao Paulo (rio's more serious brother). And despite a plan to head to Salvador post carnaval, extreme exhaustion and crime post-police strike halted those plans (as our friends coming from there so lovely suggested - just don't bring out anything you want to come home with at the end of the night). So instead we're sleeping it up in Buzios before hitting Brazil's motherland - Portugal- which, in all honestly, will no doubt be outshone by her daughter.

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Posted by reimstal 10:56 Archived in Brazil Comments (2)

Punta Del Weirdo


View Travel Around the World with Elyse and Stal on reimstal's travel map.

So obviously I've been slacking on blogging, but anyone who's ever shared quarters with me knows I'm the queen of procrastination. The blog has become a kin to unpacking, and since my boxes from undergrad are still in my basement, you can only imagine how difficult it is for me to keep up with this. Although I have quite missed having the opportunity to talk about the thing I love most, well, namely, myself. Ugh.. I mean..traveling.

But seriously, it's been hard to keep up given some of the amazing places we've been. Just when I thought Mendoza had blown me away, along came Buenos Aires. As I referred to in my last post, I fell in love with this city like no other (well, not exactly no other- only to be rivaled by tel aviv and moshi, where I left my African heart). Between our biking of the city, shopping, celebrating Stally Wags 30th (happy birthday Stally wag) and dabbling a bit in some of their cheeseball electronic scene (think rihanna and Calvin Harris to the power of ten) I think we both just generally felt both happy and at home in BA.  Not much else to put in words really.

Beyond that, we adventured in Uruguay, Argentina's less known, much less frequented neighbor. This was a treat for us coming from the Milhouse hostel where we hadn't heard a word of Spanish spoken in days. As much as I'd love to bore you with every detail, I think it's best to pick the most ridiculous place, of course, though I'm not sure words will do it justice.

The place is called Punta Del Diablo and if you want to fall out of touch with reality, this is the place to go. Or, perhaps if you've ever felt like you couldn't maintain face in society, this might be the town for you. Between the surfer hippy inhabitants, the unorganized lay of the land (I'm talking houses wherever you feel, no street names, etc), and the sand roads, you could feel like you're at a permanent music festival. It's cultish vibe will suck you in so quickly you'll be drinking matte (an earth like tea requiring both the carrying of a special cup, straw and thermos) on the beach before you know it (and believe me, this drink has no place on a beach by any other countries standards). An example of a semi typical inhabitant is pictured below when Stal and I had the pleasure of jamming with the town drunk. Not only did he weigh 80 lbs (take note ladies- alcohol may have lots of calories but if it's the only thing you consume you can be as skinny and old looking as this dude), but he proceeded to throw up next to his chair multiple times during our "chill". I should probably note that he was hanging out with a somewhat younger surfer crowd selling fish, which is how we ended up with our precious invitation into this experience. 

There are about a million other hilarious experiences I'd love to mention but this is probably getting long for most, so here's a few highlights: hanging with a group of 20 Indian travellers who were dropped in Montevideo with no spanish to do software engineering consulting (yes, even Uruguay is outsourcing to India) and hearing the hilarity of such a large group of quite obvious outsiders attempting to fit in and diving in florianopolis brazil where I quickly learned whatI had in Thailand was a dream (with its 15 m visibility, warm waters and most importantly not massively huge fins that require extreme vigilance to keep on your feet).

Tomorrow we head off to Iguazu, where I will hopefully be better at maintaining my promise to blog and won't have to write endless posts which by now most of you have stopped reading.

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Posted by reimstal 04:16 Archived in Uruguay Comments (1)

8 Days in Buenos Aires

And I'm in love.

My apologies for the lack of interweb communication, you know how it is when you're in the honeymoon phase.

Posted by reimstal 05:33 Archived in Argentina Comments (1)

Ode to the Dog

While I am aware that this blog mainly serves as a connection with our home lives, it is also the only writing I am doing for the trip (I am sans journal for the first time travelling). Therefore my readers (narcissism at its finest) will have to put up with a few of these- posts meant more for my recollection of specific events or memories.

With that note, I am posting this Pablo Neruda poem (oda al perro, ode to the dog) in honor of a few things- my having fallen in love with Neruda's house in Valpairiso, as well as his lifestyle and poetry, our departure from Chile, and having met some amazing Chilean friends who so openly invited us into their home (in a not unlike walmer ap fashion).

P.s. I could only find it in Spanish; I swear I'm not just trying to be eccentric.

P.p.s. as an update on where we are- after a very white bus ride (thanks a volcano on the Argentina/Chile border that erupted in June and is continuously spewing ash and sand) we arrived in Bariloche, Argentina. Tomorrow we continue on to Mendoza. More info on these things to continue.

El perro me pregunta
y no respondo.
Salta, corre en el campo y me pregunta
sin hablar
y sus ojos
son dos preguntas húmedas, dos llamas
líquidas que interrogan
y no respondo,
no respondo porque
no sé, no puedo nada.

A campo pleno vamos
hombre y perro.

Brillan las hojas como
si alguien
las hubiera besado
una por una,
suben del suelo
todas las naranjas
a establecer
pequeños planetarios
en árboles redondos
como la noche, y verdes,
y perro y hombre vamos
oliendo el mundo, sacudiendo el trébol,
por el campo de Chile,
entre los dedos claros de septiembre.

El perro se detiene,
persigue las abejas,
salta el agua intranquila,
escucha lejanísimos
ladridos,
orina en una piedra
y me trae la punta de su hocico,
a mí, como un regalo.
Es su frescura tierna,
la comunicación de su ternura,
y allí me preguntó
con sus dos ojos,
por qué es de día, por qué vendrá la noche,
por qué la primavera
no trajo en su canasta
nada
para perros errantes,
sino flores inútiles,
flores, flores y flores.
Y así pregunta
el perro
y no respondo.

Vamos
hombre y perro reunidos
por la mañana verde,
por la incitante soledad vacía
en que sólo nosotros
existimos,
esta unidad de perro con rocío
y el poeta del bosque,
porque no existe el pájaro escondido,
ni la secreta flor,
sino trino y aroma
para dos compañeros,
para dos cazadores compañeros:
un mundo humedecido
por las destilaciones de la noche,
un túnel verde y luego
una pradera,
una ráfaga de aire anaranjado,
el susurro de las raíces,
la vida caminando,
respirando, creciendo,
y la antigua amistad,
la dicha
de ser perro y ser hombre
convertida
en un solo animal
que camina moviendo
seis patas
y una cola
con rocío.

P. Neruda

Posted by reimstal 18:46 Archived in Chile Comments (2)

Punch You in the Eye

It has been a while since I have written, but looking back on the last week, I figured it's most important to update about what was probably the most ridiculous experience we've had.. maybe ever. 

I am referring to our climb on Villarica, an active volcano in Pucon, Chile. While there are no questions asked at the time of booking regarding your climbing skills or fitness level, as our newly made friend Dror (whose name we did not know until after we almost died together, don't you love travelling) said during the climb- they should punch you in the face 3 times, and then ask if you like it.. If you do, you are ready for Villarica.

In all honesty, part of the mistake was in our misunderstanding of what 5 hours straight up a mountain would entail. I suppose I should have known when the crampons and ice picks came out. Or perhaps part of it was having done it at 430 am (add in the creepiness factor of being the only group climbing at that time), the gale forced winds (of which were any stronger the guides would have made us turn back) or the provided one-size-too-big hiking boots (add in the increasingly massive blisters with every step). 

Well, whatever it was, there definitely came points where I may have even wished to be in class (though I quickly replaced this with dreams of biscuit dancing in my head).

Now while people tend to say that experiences like this were worth it after, I think I shan't forget to mention the most ridiculous part of all... The part where you clip on your ass pad (seriously) and slide down. 

And maybe that, was worth it all.

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Posted by reimstal 18:41 Archived in Chile Comments (1)

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