Monday, 23 June 2014

The Travelling Miles Incredibility Awards - South America

While I've got some down-time here in Melbourne now I'm jobhunting and sorting my life out, I thought a bit of a reflection of my three months in South America was in order.

I loved my time there, and I can't put my finger on the best bit, so let's try for best bits

I can only comment on where I've been, so the following delightfully TMI Awards will be allocated to Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia and Chile, and cities/places within. 

Best cities: 

1. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

The sun, the sand, the parties. I miss it already. 

2. Valpara√≠so, Chile. 

A vivid graffiti-infused seaside culture bomb. 

3. Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

Sexy tango dens mixed with European-style glamour. 

Worst cities: 

1. Uyuni, Bolivia. 

The only reason to go is the salt flats. 

2. Ciudad del Este, Paraguay. 

The only reason to go is to get the passport stamp. 

3. Lima, Peru. 

The only reason to go is to leave. 

Most impressive natural wonders: 

1. Iguassu Falls, Argentina-Brazil border. 

Unforgettable sights at every turn. The Devil's Throat is unmissable. 

2. The Amazon Rainforest, Peru (for me). 

A wonderland of natural beauty, calm waters and life as you've never seen it. 

3. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia. 

A pure, surreal landscape dotted with glowing mirages. 

Most impressive manmade wonders: 

1. Machu Picchu, Peru. 

Not original, but nothing else beats it for me. 

2. Rio Carnival Samba Parade, Sambodromo, Brazil. 

The most colourful, insane night of my life. Stay til sunrise to get the most out of it. 

3. Humberstone, Iquique, Chile. 

A deserted mining town now half-reclaimed by the world's driest desert. 

Best beach: 

Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

Hands down the best. Watch sunset from the rocks - absolutely gorgeous. 

Best mountain scenery: 


The volcanic colours were fantastic, against a backdrop of pure blue sky. 

Best landscape: 

Valle de la Luna, San Pedro, Chile. 

Watch sunset over the smoking volcanoes and watch the yellows turn to reds and purples over the pockmarked desert valley. 

Best sunrise: 

Machu Picchu, Peru. 

It's an unconventional sunrise, but the shafts of golden light illuminating the city on the mountaintop was a sight to behold. 

Best sunset: 

Middle of freakin' nowhere, Bolivia. 

I don't need to add anything to this photo. 

Easiest Spanish to understand: 

Peru. And everyone loves the Colombian accent. That's where I'm going to study it, in my dreams. 

Hardest Spanish to understand: 

Chile. Like, seriously. 

Most welcoming people: 

Chile. Like, seriously. 

Least welcoming people: 

It's a toss-up between Peru and Bolivia, which I think is linked to the poverty levels. 

Safest country: 

Chile. But still watch your stuff. 

Least safe country: 

Peru. I felt unsafe in Peru more than any other place. Just exercise caution. 

Easiest country to get around: 

Peru. Extensive bus network, and you can book online with ease if necessary. 

Hardest country to get around: 

Brazil. Foreigners can't book buses online, and also the country is massive, but that's not Brazil's fault. 

Places that most deserve a re-visit: 

1. Argentina. I want to explore so much more of that beautiful country, especially Patagonia in the south. 

2. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. What can I say? I fell in love with that place. 

And 3. The whole damn continent.

#TMIawards #TMI

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