Unknown ParaguayApril 5, 2018
The green hellApril 16, 2018
Slow travel through Argentina
Argentina is the place where we wanted to go always. We heard stories about mountains, rough landscapes, football, tango and Patagonia. Ten months after starting our world trip we arrived in Buenos Aires and stayed eight months in this enormous country. We travel slow through the country and cycle past unknown places, following authentic culture and see some touristic highlights. Now and then we leave the bicycles behind and take the backpack to explore more of Argentina. We learn everything about the people and have seen more than most of the Argentinians themselves.
In El Chalten we changes the bikes for the backpacks and hiked seven days in the Andes. One night we camped next to Lago Torre and had a wonderful view on the famous Cerro Torre.
We meet many local people while travelling on the bicycle. This gaucho is a traditional goat shepherd and lives next to Ruta 40. We could pitch our tent in his humble garage and he invited us to warm up and drink some maté. We learned about the harsh environment where he lives, but also learned that he his happy in the place where he lives.
Purmamarca is well known for the Cerro de Siete Colores, the mountain with the seven colours. Especially in the morning and the evening the colours are beautiful.
The hike to Fitz Roy is the most famous in El Chalten. Our camping spot definitely wasn't. We found a beautiful spot and were completely alone all night with a spectacular view on Fitz Roy.
There are glaciers and there is Perito Moreno. This is one of the things you have to see when you come to Argentina. If you're lucky you can see the wonderful event where the ice bridge between the two lakes collapses. The last time was in March 2018, so you will have to wait two more years for the next one.
Argentina is the eight largest country in the world (after Russia, Canada, USA, China, Brazil, Australia en India) It is 92 times the size of Belgium and 67 times the size of the Netherlands.
After the busy Brazilian cities, Buenos Aires is pleasant to ride the bicycles. It feels like a mix between New York and Madrid with many parks and a southern atmosphere.
Hidden behind the mountains of El Chalten lies an enormous mass of ice, consisting of 49 glaciers. We hiked the Circuito Huemul, a four day hike where you pass this beautiful ice cap.
This view on Lago Desierto is unique. The border crossing between Chile and Argentina is only accessible for hikers and bikers, who get rewarded with this spectacular view in the end.
San Martin de los Andes lies idyllic at the Lago Lacar. After all the cold days on Ruta 40 we finally had a first warm day in spring and enjoyed an asado and a canoe ride on the lake.
We cycle past the most desolate places and are surprised to see some houses here. This farmer has only two neighbours in the next 50 km, but he never speaks them. We got some fresh water after a pleasant talk. Off road you will find the true Argentinian culture.
The highest mountain of the American continent is in Argentina, the Aconcagua. It is 6962 meters high and one can reach the summit in a three week expedition.
After the tough and windy days on the Ruta 40, we finally arrived in the Lake District of Argentina. Suddenly there were cold mountain rivers and deep blue lakes everywhere.
The Salinas Grandes lie in the North West, in the Juyjuy province. It is less impressive than its Bolivian neighbour, Salar de Uyuni, but still worth a visit, especially at sunset.
Argentinians have some strange superstitions. This one is Guachito Gil, a type of Robin Hood but then a Guacho. Everywhere along the road a little red houses to honour this 'saint'. Especially the truck drivers believes in this.
Agriculture is an enormous industry in Argentina, with meat industry as one of the biggest parts. Argentines love meat and eat a bbq at least every Sunday. Every year there is a huge fair in Buenos Aires where the best cows are crowned.
Parque Nacional de los Cardones is a beautiful park with thousands of cactuses and stunning valleys. We took our backpack and hiked some days in the park. In the night we slept at 3.000 meter high with a sky full of stars.
Everywhere in Argentina you will see sign 'Las Malvinas son Argentinas'. The Argentinians still consider the Falkland Islands as their territory and keep on fighting to get it back.
The provinces of Cordoba and San Juan are favourite holiday destinations for the Argentines. There are beautiful mountains with a pleasant climate. We enjoyed the beautiful asphalt roads through the mountains after all the straight roads in the pampas.
Hidden in an old theater is a beautiful book store in Buenos Aires. The old theater has been reformed completely and some of the balconies now serve as a reading place, where you can read for days and days.
In Parque Nacional de los Cardones there are thousands of cactuses. The Cardones cactus was used as building material in the past and almost extinct, but nowadays they grow abundant in this beautiful park.
Ruta 40 is a mythical route in Argentina, just like the Route 6 in the USA. The road is more than 5.000 kilometers long and follows all the Andes.
Argentina has a land border of 5308 kilometers with Chile. Also with the Chileans they don't have a good relationship, thanks to the Falkland War where Chile supported Great Britain.
Fly fishing is an enormous touristic attraction in Argentina. Especially in the lake district there are some top locations to demonstrate your talent.
Parque Laguna Blanca is the start of the Lake District in Argentina. It is abundant in water birds and in certain seasons there are flamingos.
Everything in Ushuaia is the most southern in the world, just like this lighthouse. Ushuaia has doubled in size the last five years, but that doesn't make the surrounding less beautiful. It is a stunning place at the end of the world.