Many many thanks to all those who helped us in our travels and made our South America Trip the most memorable!
Local Lodging and Learning
Mariana was in Regina last summer and it was great to visit her family in Argentina. They were very kind to us and taught us tons about the culture. We met all their friends that weekend, moving from house to house eating and talking.
Looking lost and confused after entering Aregua, Rachel, who worked for the US Peace Corp and working with community development in, grabbed us and said we could stay on her floor for the night. We of course used that opportunity to find all the details about Paraguay and local culture.
We had no idea who the Barkley’s were when we entered Sao Paulo, but after our visit they are definitely very special. They gave us all the information we wanted about Brazil and the work that they were doing there. We will never forget the churrascuria and the pizza meals!
Thanks Juliana for taking us to a wild Brazilian local soccer game. Go Palmiras!!!!!
Jake and Dorothy Fehr really went all out for us in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. It was great timing because they were house sitting for these Americans who had the best, biggest house in the city (and we got to stay in it!!). It was great picking their brains about everything from Bolivian life and culture to missions and the radio ministry. There is something special about down to earth Canadian connections too.
We have to say thanks to Juan, Maria, and Ilvia. This local family took us in on the island of Amantani in Lake Titicaca, Peru. They cooked for us and suited us up for a traditional night on the town!
We again showed up in Piura, Peru not knowing anyone and the Falks took us in and treated us like kings. We played soccer and even got a game of ultimate going! Nothing like sipping Inca Cola or the purple corn juice and eating northern Peruvian specials like Ceviche (fish ‘cooked’ in lemon juice).
Cala Cali may just look like a little nothing town outside of Quito, Ecuador. The boys here and many others run a mountaineering, adventure, and wilderness camp called El Refugio (the refuge). Paul and his buddies let us crash and make exotic pasta dishes as we relaxed and listened to tunes all day. Oh and then we noticed the blender and had a smoothy night.
David took us to his farm outside of Salta, Argentina and taught us the life of a Gaucho. We learned as much history as we could handle and we ate as much steak as we could pack in. Then we went on a wonderful horse ride over the hills.
Luiz casually led us through the drug lord run shanty towns (favelas) of Rio! Don’t be a gringo, be a local!
Santos led us through the Potosi mines and helped us explode dynamite. I think his theories on coca leaves are a little far fetched but we still love him.
Epi was our guide in the southwest Bolivian salt flats. He had the best collection of English oldies and Bolivian hits playing in the jeep all hours. He mades some great food, treated us well and didn’t bat an eye at our sketchy photography requests.
Well friends, Alfonzo, for example, was our guide in lake Titicaca, Peru. I don’t know what was more interesting, lake Titicaca, or listening to Alfonzo talk about it. Anyway, the weather was great on the lake that weekend and we had a great time island jumping, dancing, eating and playing soccer.
I think we have winners for the best guide and cook in the world. Guido is probably the only guide that can outhike us and Julio is a genius. Seriously, who makes double-decker cakes over the fire and who swings deals with the locals to get guniea pig on the menu? Julio is all about presentation. Several course meals with garnishes and the works are essential before relaxing with a cup of coca tea.
Carmen, our first female guide, led us to Colca Canyon to get a glimpse of the condors
Our trek in the Pantanel wouldn’t have been complete without our English comerades! Hey, what’s up Pippa, Jen, Lucy, Phil, Will!!! Now do we need a new category for that animal or does it fit in the general birds category?
We just couldn’t get away from Penny and Nicola (from England). First we met them in the Pantanel in Brazil, then we saw them in Corumba on the border, then Sucre, then Uyuni, then again in La Paz. By that time we thought that it was about time we started hanging out. So we did just that for a couple days – eating way too many fruit salads and drinking too many fruit shakes. If we all would have got into the San Pedro prison, it may have been the best experience ever! Anyway, it is good to find a couple of girls that travel around rating things on predefined, thought out scales. They rate people and cities and we rate fruit shakes and various bodily outputs.
Anne happened to meet up with us on the border of Bolivia and Brazil. In addition to the Canadian connection, we spent a 30 hour bus ride together. After that we hung out for a couple days. We swore that we would meet up again in Bolivia somewhere but it never happened!
Simon and Hugo were about as crazy as us. We got the best photos of the entire trip on the salt flats of Bolivia I think. Late night card games… Great oldies playing in the jeep… need I say more? Simon had a sweet pirhana scar too!
What would the inca trail be without Fredrick (the French plant guy), Suzanna, and Hobe (never could understand him but I knew he was always making jokes). I have to hand it to these 3 because we hiked really fast and they were pretty much right with us the whole way. I think we will all never forget the great food that Julio made (like the cake and guniea pig!!! yeah!!).
Our first week in Argentina, our favorite waiter, Jorge, helped us order through everything on the menu in the course of 2 days.
Topo and Christian took us on a great hike around Cordoba, Argentina and we had the best barbeque after.
Mario, Brian, and their other buddy took us under their wing in central Chile. They drove us around and payed for us and showed us many sights all day before dropping us off at Fray Jorje National Park.
Richard definitely has the cheapest and best hostel in Salta, Argentina. He helped us book everything we wanted from hanging out with Gauchos to Bungee Jumping. He even gave us free internet, breakfast, and kitchen use!
Man if these boys didn’t have a rope, we would have never been able to scale the back of Pan De Asucar in Rio! Thanks boys, and maybe next time we will take up your offer and sneak back into the bushes to smoke pot with you 😉
He found us bored in a park in Curitiba, Brazil and took us to his home for supper and then to church.
You know you are on a bus too long with people when you meet all 30 of them and get to know them. Hi to our French Guiana and Brazilian friends!
This is it! The results are in! After combing the continent for the best fruit shakes (taste, variety, thickness, cost, etc…), we have made our decision. For 2 Bolivianos, the best fruit shakes can be found in La Paz, Bolivia. This lady also whips up a mean fruit salad! When really lucky, there is the possibility of the “special” cup!