Chile & Argentina – San Pedro de Atacama to Buenos Aires

When I was planning my trip I was adamant, it was to be Peru, Bolivia and Brazil. I had a rough itinerary and I was pretty much set. That was until I met a few Brazilians along my travels, who gave me even better recommendations! After hours staring at the map, researching planes and buses and looking at my bank account I decided to put the brakes on Brazil. It was budget blowing, time consuming and I’d still never do it justice. Brazil, I’ve decided needs to be it’s own trip.

Instead I opted to cross northern Chile and Argentina. I’d spent some time here last year when I embarked on my ‘fu*k it’ trip to Patagonia and was keen to see a little bit more. Incidentally, it appears that this has been quite the ‘fu*k it’ year.

After 3 days of desert crossing, San Pedro de Atacama was a backpacker haven with many cafes, restaurants and a lovely little market area. It was the perfect place to recuperate for a couple of days and take advantage of some of the activities that the region is known for. Although, cheap South America was now very much behind me! Moon Valley was quite spectacular, especially at sunset! And star gazing in the desert was pretty incredible. Learning about the constellations, the science behind the stars and seeing some of the incredible sights through a telescope all while being wrapped up in a blanket at 2am was quite the experience! Note: Laundry day in the desert meant I had to resort to wearing my zip off hiking trousers. The only photographs acceptable for viewing are those taken above the knee…

4 hours sleep, a pretty 10 hour bus journey and 1 border crossing later and we arrived in the beautiful city of Salta. Malbec anyone? Salta was lovely, and of all the places I’ve visited I would’ve loved to have spent an extra day here. The free walking tour is fabulous, very informative and takes you through several neighborhoods. Of which my favorite was a hipster-esque place on the fringes of the city which is such a new neighborhood that it doesn’t have a name yet.

Located about 1 hour out of the city is the most incredible ranch. Never mind the glorious settings, they hosted a lovely BBQ with all you could eat meat and all the Malbec you could drink. I was in bed with the onset of a hangover by 9pm! I wish I had some pictures to share but I was too busy over indulging. Photographs were not a priority!

From Salta, it was to Buenos Aires. Having spent a week here last November it was actually lovely to be on familiar territory. When a friend managed to cut out of work, and meet me on their lunch break in the center of Buenos Aires it made me realize how lucky I am to know people across the globe with different backgrounds, cultures and languages. I’ve taken this for granted in the past but it is pretty amazing.

Palermo remains my favorite district in Buenos Aires, and so with an afternoon to spare I ventured over for a stroll and window shop. Then there was just enough time for more steak and more Malbec before saying farewell to Argentina once again…until next time!

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