This trip was quite different than our last one when we depended on our BMW motorcycles to carry us to Ushuaia. Return to SAm 2012 used airplanes, boats and buses to get us where we wanted to go. Fourteen flight segments on three different airlines (American, LAN, and Aerogal) covered most of the miles. We lived on a large yacht for a week in the Galapagos, and took a bus across the Andes twice on our visit to Mendoza. Two major items, the Galapagos and Easter Island, were removed from our bucket list.
I replaced my small Asus laptop on this trip with an iPad 2 and a small bluetooth keyboard. The Blogsy app for the iPad worked very well and when I had a problem with the blog the Blogsy team was very helpful is getting things rectified. Photos are very easy to to manipulate on the iPad and the touch screen along with the bluetooth keyboard are very complementary. The only problem I had with the 16GB iPad was running out of memory due to the number of photos I wanted to store. It will be replacing it with a new 64GB unit before our next trip.
Last year when we visited Buenos Aires and rented an apartment we discovered the best way to explore a large city: rent an apartment in a good location and use it as your base for exploring the city. You have the use of a kitchen to cut down on eating costs, a comfortable living room usually with cable TV and wi-fi, and of course, your private bathroom or two. The cost per night is usually much cheaper than a big hotel and often is competitive with an nice hostel. The two sites we used for this trip were www.vrbo.com and www.homeaway.com There are many sites on the internet catering to travelers looking for lodging, but we were quite happy with these two.
We visited many interesting places during our seven weeks south of the equator, but two in particular stand out: Easter Island and Mendoza, Argentina. We were on Easter Island for the end of Tapati Rapa Nui which gave us a real insight into the history and people of this remote Polynesian island. Mendoza is the wine capital of Argentina and we found it to be a very comfortable city after time in the capitals of Ecuador, Peru, and Chile.
We are in the process of planning SAm 2013 to (re)visit some places that intrigue us. On the list: Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Bahia Bustamante, Argentina, Chilean fjords, Valparaiso and Santiago, Chile, San Pedro de Atacama in northern Chile, and Mendonza, Argentina. It promises to be another interesting journey.
Thanks for coming along on Return to SAm 2012; we hope you enjoyed the journey and will come along again next year.