Salar de Uyuni & Bolivian Altiplano

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Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Javier!! Hace mucho calor! No! Hace demasiado frio!!!” – Muchas gracias to you brazilian “girl” who couldn’t decide whether you’re having too cold or warm and kept thinking it out loud even when dreaming. You gave me and Lutz a lot to laugh about!

So, after ascending myself to 3,669 meters in Uyuni and spending the Christmas there with two great Porteños eating chicken, drinking a lot of vino tinto and making some good music I got myself on the three-day tour across Salar de Uyuni and the Far Southwest of Bolivia. Continue reading

W (a.k.a. Torres del Paine)

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The southermost Patagonia in Chile
Three days of hiking; all together ~60km
Carrying one’s tent, food, everything
The most beautiful national park in the world
Only one letter:

W

So, I decided to hike this legendary hike in the Parque Nacional Torres del Paine which is known as W while the route reminds in a way the letter itself.

After Ushuaia I got myself to Puerto Natales, Chile and sat on the breakfast table with this French guy Bertrand. I had my plan of going to see the famous Torres but after quick chat with Patou I decided to go for the W.

After renting all the stuff (tent, shoes, pants, jacket, cooking stuff, etc.) we got to the gates of Torres del Paine on Wednesday 7th of December and oh boy what a VIEW it was!!!

Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

Las Torres rise 2km almost vertically from the lake below them. The view is undescribable and no picture can ever make justice for what can truly be witnessed only over there.

The most beautiful national park, however, offers so much more than these famous towers: also Los Cuernos del Paine are a stunning creation of erosion not to mention the whole park itself with its crystal clear (REALLY crystal clear, one can drink the water from them) lakes and rivers and glaciers.

Cuernos del Paine, Chile

Even though we had planned on doing the trip in 4 days we decided to skip the last day and Glaciar Grey while Bertrand had already seen Glaciar Perito Moreno and I was heading there next and the weather was to be really bad. Can’t say I regret the decision after having one of the best massages in my life on Saturday after the hike and drinking amazing local beers (Austral, you took my heart with that Indian Pale Ale of yours).

The best hike in my life, even though it was very very challenging and I did think many times why the heck am I doing this… Eventually, when you make it, the feeling is so incredible, the views are so astounishing, and the experience so incomparable that you know you will come back there just to get the feeling again of over-accomplishing yourself and witnessing something you could have never imagined to exist nor to see.

Tired and muy buena ondas from El Calafate

Something about Beginning and Ending an Era

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It is 4 months since I left Finland.

I’ve truly experienced Buenos Aires, I’ve chewed coca leaves in Jujuy, I’ve tasted vino tinto in bodegas of Mendoza, I’ve witnessed the roaring noise of Iguazú falls, had asado in Rosario, walked in the boheamin alleys of Valparaiso, seen whales in Peninsula Valdés, danced tango, drunk maté, partied all night in boliches, got stolen in the craziest party ever in Creamfields Buenos Aires 2011, eaten bife, got friends, and most importantly – I feel like I have lived.

My exchange period is coming close to the end. Yesterday I had two of my final exams after which we celebrated the 21st birthday of my good friend Damian. Day after tomorrow I will head to Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, to the southest point of this immense continent and this journey marks the beginning of my South American Odysseia. After the two weeks in Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia I will head back for the one last time to the city I’ve begun to love before continuing to Bolivia for Christmas.

Now writing this blog for the first time, I honestly have no clue where this journey will take me. I have a “plan” and the book of Lonely Planet to guide me but I sincerely hope that I will meet people who will in some way encourage me to go further and see what I could have never even imagined to see. Now after writing this little cliché-sounding beginning I can start to concentrate in the essential: travelling, experiencing, and living. I’m excited, bit afraid, but still eagerly waiting where I will find myself during these following months of my travel.

Mucho, Mucho, Mucho buena onda.
Miikka
Iguazú Falls