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My Journey Round The World » South America

My Journey Round The World

279 days on the road…

Journey feedback’


Today 15 December 2010, it’s been 6 months since I came back from this amazing adventure… 6 months of routine life, more or less back to normality, that I somehow still enjoy. 6 months with up & down experiences as life always gives you…

I would have never imagine to be so glad to come back after such a journey but believe it or not, I was!!! What a release to be in the plane from Sydney back to London - I can tell you I didn’t miss this one! I enjoyed very much Australia & met wonderful people – as said I’ll probably go back to visit them again! - however during my travel back to Europe – during which I could hardly sleep! – I enjoyed every single minutes – even if I was a bit jealous of my neighbour sleeping like babies: remembering my travel, watching the earth from the sky: seeing fire rings between Australia & Singapore – by the way, if someone knows what is it, I’ll be happy to know! – sunrise on the Caspian Sea, crossing Poland, missing Berlin, Germany & Belgium as I finally fall asleep just before the breakfast, having a great view of London which I felt so good to see: back home! Back to Europe!!! Two weeks to meet family & friends before going back to work in Germany and meet my colleagues again, do a job I know & enjoy to do, being useful again, going back to “normal” life after 9 months of wandering… I was overwhelmed by happiness! Glad to be back & happy to have realize a dream I had since more than 10 years.

First month back to “normal” life was paradise! Pure happiness! Such a good feeling to arrive to a known environment. Great to know what I do next morning, next week, next weekend… No more planning: just go to work, come back, enjoy the summer evening on the terrace with a wonderful view, have dinner, go to bed… It even felt hard to organise meeting people at the weekend…

Lucky me, when I came back, I was welcome in a big home as a princess – I could hardly dream better place after being homeless for a year! – I enjoyed very much this peacefulness & serenity after such a long trip. Insidiously, step by step, this paradise became hell… It seems that I wasn’t still really back to hearth and between work & facing routine life again, I hardly had time to realize what was happening… – I can tell you that landing was really painful! – Today, I’m still wondering what really happened & still feel really hurt, disappointed & sad about this last adventure. Losing someone you trust & love, especially when you don’t really understand the reason why, is extremely hard, and also difficult to let go when you see each other nearly everyday.

Anyway, you cannot feel sorry for yourself all your life unless you want to miss it… Good and bad experiences allow you to grow up. I’m intimately convince that things happen for a reason – sometimes I’m really wondering why, but hey I need to find a reason to reassure myself! – and that life always put you through things you can handle… Sometimes it’s pretty hard though! As my dear friend Tanya advice me: “Feel sorry & hug yourself no more than 2min per day & keep going”. Luckily, even if they are sometimes far away, I have wonderful friends all around which helps a lot and as I already learned before, you’re the only person who can really make yourself feel better.

When I think about it, this travel was a wonderful opportunity. I took it. I won’t say it was hard, as it really feels as a continuity, as something which meant to be, everything seems to call for it: working contract ending and not being extended, wanting and a need to escape routine life rather than settling down after such 2 difficult years, money saved to buy a new car… I would imagine this was the time, as every project you can have in your life such as creating your own company, building a house or having kids. I guess as I didn’t want or hadn’t the possibility to realise this ones, I found another project to keep going and I’m glad I did it!

This 9-months travel experience in Latin America, New Zealand and Australia allowed me to develop my open-minded and outgoing personality, as well as my eagerness to meet new people. I’ve enjoyed discovering new countries, culture, and environment. I’ve also enjoy so much being back to work, even if it was sometimes hard & exhausting! All these experiences, from work to travel, taught me to respect a different way of thinking, to take common decisions and come to compromises.

So now, what’s next?! I didn’t finish to discover the world!!! :)I guess you need more than a life for that! – I still have to experience Asia, North America, Alaska, Africa, more deeply Latin America… Or shall I settle done now and move around from here? As this is such a nice feeling to have a cozy “home” where to come back to – a place where I feel safe & secure. Let see what life brings… Canada, Asia, Europe… All open possibilities, just a matter of opportunities and what I want to do… One thing I would advice you to do – and everyone can do it! Even for the smallest little thing: try everything you can to realize your dreams, it can be hard sometimes but when you feel you’re on the right path, and achieve it, it makes you feel unbelievably good & happy! That’s worth it believe me…

Something I learned & experienced during this journey is that life is a matter of knowing what you want. When you know that and put all you have to achieve it, you feel so good and life seems so much easier, even if sometimes you don’t succeed you learn a lot out of the experience. Life is also a matter of choice out of the opportunities you have in front of you. You always have the choice, then it’s a matter of what you want… ;) Good luck!




Thanks to this journey, I met an incredible number of great people… Hope to see you again one day!


Feedback Chile

2010-02-chili best

Better later than never… Little feedback about Chile where I unfortunately didn’t stay long enough and where I wish to go back!

Even regarding the sad earthquake event – where I’ve never been so scared of my entire life! - Chile stay one of my best memory and I’ll come back for sure.

Not only the landscape – which I didn’t see much! – is amazing but people too! From the Don Baldo crew where I spent 4 days, cruising for free with Anna & Laia on the Routa Cordillera to the friendly bus driver from Valparaiso to Santiago as well as the lady to whom I gave my last postcard to post – no mailbox as the airport was upside-down. I’ll never forget:

  • Juan Carlos who picked me up in the middle of nowhere as I missed the bus stop to Puerto Varas and arrived in Frutilla!
  • Carlos who kindly hosted me at his place on the Parque National Puyehue where I was desperate to find a place for the night! I’ll definitely come back to enjoy the hot water natural pool while watching the stars :)
  • Victor-Hugoone of the bus drivers from Osorno to Valparaiso during the terrible earthquake – that I was so glad to meet again and spend some time with in Valparaiso the next day. Pity I missed the chance to go back to Santiago with him!
  • The Couchsurfer ambassador who make sure that all travellers he could find on the website where safe! Thanks to him Cesar - a peruvian guy leaving in Santiago – kindly hosted me before I could get on my flight for NZ from the devastated airport.

I also keep in mind my nice meeting with franco-chilian couple Regis & Veronica I met at Entre LagosI hope to see you in Europe this year! - as well as Felipe which I was really glad to help with my spare change at the airport. Thanks for the postcard Felipe!

Who said that Chilean people aren’t friendly? It seems it’s the reputation they have and that I also heard from time to time… NO WAY! I’ll never met so friendly people as well as their Argentinean neighbour  :) I look forward to beeing back soon…

Santiago and tonight – hopefully! – fly to New Zealand…


So I missed my flight… But this time this isn’t my fault! ;) I reached Santiago on time but couldn’t go to the airport: closed! No way to go there… I ended up standing in a queue in front of LAN office in order to get information about what to do… When I could finally speak to someone, she said to me that I needed to go to Qantas but they are now close, wait until tomorrow 9am.

I needed to find a place to sleep, didn’t feel like doing anything, kind of waiting for a miracle… Thing is, miracle never arrive when you need it! So I went to internet and sent a message on CouchSurfing – CouchSurfing is a worldwide network for making connections between travelers and the local communities they visit. http://www.couchsurfing.org/ – after one of the Ambassador sent me a message, asking if I was safe and giving me a link to the Chile & Santiago groups if I needed help! What a surprise and realease to receive this message!!! So I sent my request and after not even 2 hours I got 2 replies and one really close from the Qantas office I needed to go the next day… Ceasara Peruvian living in Santiago – welcomed me and helped me to get info for my flight! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I’m suppose to leave tonight – Tuesday March 2 – for New Zealand!

What an adventure… I have to say that beeing alone during this travel was sometimes hard but manageable… Yes, I was missing a lot Ariane & Gregoire after they left Perou but nothing compare to that… Beeing all alone after my first – and I hope my last!!! - earthquake was the hardest thing I experienced so far - hopefully nothing worse would happen! I never felt such a fear in my life! I guess I can even say I was absolutely terrify! Such a weird feeling!!! As I said, I didn’t feel the earthquake, even if we were so close from the epicentre - lucky me! – I was sleeping. Waking up in the bus with such anxiety was strange, seeing cracks on the road, houses and bridge completely destroy was impressive but somehow fine… I was more worried about what the media would say to scare the rest of the world as I couldn’t contact anyone…

However the next day was a nightmare, even if I was safe!

  • Feeling the aftershocks at 8am and later on during the day & night, in a house with all the cracking sounds was scary,
  • finding out that I might not be able to travel was alarming,
  • beeing in the city bus when someone scream that a tsunami is coming was absolutely frightening!!!

At one point, I found myself not beeing able to do anything else than crying… Crying for what?!?! Don’t ask! I’m still wondering… The only thing I wanted was to see a face I know… I was so glad to meet the bus driver
- Victor! It was a realease!!! When he was called to drive back to Santiago on that evening, he even offered me to come with him! An angel in a middle of this mess!

Where I was, nothing too bad happen, mostly materials problem. However all around Concepcion city is a disaster area! And I can tell you that medias are the same everywhere… Informing yes and alarming too…



Short night under a roof… Finally I felt more secure in the bus! What a strange feeling to feel the aftershock - as this time I felt it! – even if it’s not much compare to 8.5… I just don’t know what to do… Don’t feel like visiting the city, even if I forced myself a bit after lunch. I was happy to visit the market, see people living as if… and find a comedor as in Peru and Bolivia but even food didn’t help to feel better… The only thing I wanted is to meet a face I know… So when I saw one of the bus driver from yesterday, at the bus station, I just went to speak with him, such a release for a few moment… We are supposed to meet tonight, for me not to be alone! The airport is supposed to be closed for 72 hours… I’ll see tomorrow if I can get there…

Valparaiso – todo bien… por ahora!


Valparaiso – Chile… After 24 hours stuck in the bus… But hey, better than stuck underground! It seems that we were really close from the epicentre and it moved  quite a lot… but I didn’t feel anthing… I was sleeping!  Still it was impressive to see that…

Hope to be able to leave Santiago on Monday for New Zealand!

Chile última visita: Puerto Varas – Saltos Del Petrohué & Lago Todos Los Santos


With all that, I didn’t had time to show you this… But you cannot miss this amasing view of the Osorno Volcano who remind me so much of the Fujisan in Japan – what do you think about it my Japanese trip partners? :)Puerto Varas is a lovely city – it seems that they felt the earthquake too! – and the nacional park next too it is also beautiful. Only thing is that it’s much easier to go there if you have your own car!


Carretera Austral


Believe it or not but thanks to Anna & Laia, we went on a 3 days cruise along the Routa Cordillera from Quellón to Puerto Chacabuco for free… Invited by the Capitain of the Don Baldo and his officers, we could stay in the cabin as much as we wanted and even had diner in the Camara Oficiales with them from time to time! Unfortunately weather wasn’t really good for the view of the fjords – and the second night my stomach gave up after more than 2 hours of wind intensity 8 as I didn’t want to take a pastilla… - but still, it was really interesting to see the life of a boat going to pick up or bringing people in the middle of nowhere or only bringing food or any other valuables to small villages on the way. We could even see dolphins – too quick to take a picture!

Well I have to say that after 3 days, I was happy to be on terra firma and to reach Puerto Varas, even if I had to take shortly another ferry to escape Chiloé island :) Ok, I missed Puerto Varas stop – 3nd rules: always ask the driver where you are instead of a passenger… – and went up to Frutillar. Lucky me, I didn’t even had a chance to reach the bus stop – in the middle of nowhere! – that someone picked me up and brought me back to Puerto Varas! Who said that Chilean arent’t friendly?!

Argentinean’s Mate


Wikipedia’s Mate definition: Mate is a traditional South American infused drink. It is prepared from steeping dried leaves of yerba mate in hot water. It is the national drink in Argentina, though Paraguay and Uruguay also happen to claim nationality over the beverage, and drinking it is a common social practice. The drink contains caffeine.

Mate is served with a metal straw from a shared hollow calabash gourd. The straw is called a bombilla in Latin American Spanish. The straw is traditionally made of silver. Modern commercially available straws are typically made of nickel silver, called Alpaca, stainless steel, or hollow-stemmed cane. The gourd is known as a mate or a guampa. Even if the water comes in a very modern thermos, the infusion is traditionally drunk from mates or cuias. However, “tea-bag” type infusions of mate (mate cocido) have been on the market in Argentina for many years.  As with other brewed herbs, yerba mate leaves are dried, chopped, and ground into a powdery mixture called yerba. The bombilla acts as both a straw and a sieve. The submerged end is flared, with small holes or slots that allow the brewed liquid in, but block the chunky matter that makes up much of the mixture. A modern bombilla design uses a straight tube with holes, or spring sleeve to act as a sieve.

Drinking Mate is a common social practise, so famous that the journalist Adrián Robledo wrote the below article:

Argentina feedback


Argentina is definitely a country where I want to come back! I still need to visit the North and the famous South with the glacier and Ushuaia.

I don’t know exactly why I so much enjoyed it… Maybe because it looks a bit like Europe – with European’s cars, Carrefour shops, clean streets… – and I was happy to find this atmosphere again after 4 months of travel in countries far different than what I new. And definitely because of the friendly Argentine I met! From Alejandra to Maxi, without forgetting Pablo and lovely couple Eze & Flor, as well as most other people I get to talk to.

Still Argentin is for sure different than Europe! They have this famous Mate tradition, where you see most of the population walking around with their special cup and hot water… Shops where you need to ring to come in and/or where shop assistants are asking you what you are looking for before you even had a chance to have a look at anything! Or in some shops, you even have to take a ticket to have a look and an answer… Funny! People without helmet, even if here – not as everywhere else in Latin America! – this is compulsory or even beeing able to be at the back of a pick-up car – which is fun but not really secure… I also loved the fact that in all menu del dia there is a dessert :)

Argentina is definitely a country where I could live for a while… – Ok, only in region under 25 degrees! ;)