Wrapping up our adventures in the north island of New Zealand, we set off to Wellington, the spot where you cross by ferry to the south island. There, we parted ways with a big group of our newly-made friends. We were a little sad and a little excited; most long-term travelers get used to parting ways with new friends, who you’re likely to never see again, by hugging and smiling as you appreciate the special time and memories you shared.
These were our favorite stops in the south island:
As we mentioned in our last blog post, to get around New Zealand, we decided to go with Stray, a hop on / hop off “tour” bus. After doing some price comparisons with renting a car or camper van, Stray, at about $500 USD each for 3 weeks of travel, turned out to be the most cost-effective way to see both islands. (Worth noting: this is an even better deal if you have more time, as the Stray pass is valid for 12 months, you can hop off and stay in a spot for as long as you’d like, and you can repeat the loops as often as you’d like).
Happy New Year, everyone! We are writing from Sydney, Australia right now. We came over to celebrate this special day with the rest of the world, but more on that in a future post.
A month ago, we left Argentina to spend 4 weeks exploring New Zealand, a country (and whole region) we had never set foot on before. At first glance, 4 weeks seems like a long time, but as we started discovering what was available in that vastly adventurous country, we realized it was going to be close to impossible. With that in mind, we flew into Auckland in a relaxed mood, expecting to make the best out of our time without rushing around or stressing out about our lack of time. What we managed to see, we would enjoy. What we didn’t manage to see would be left for a later adventure.
After talking about it for a few years, we finally had the time to visit the northwest of Argentina. We spent 12 days, rented a car the whole time and managed to visit Salta, Purmamarca, Tilcara, Humahuaca and Cafayate and loved every bit of it.
For the last few years, Santi has talked about taking a trip to the north of Argentina, particularly the provinces of Jujuy and Salta. Native culture is deeply preserved and celebrated here, whether in the folkloric music, regional cuisines of locro, quinoa, and stews of llama and lamb, colorful artistry and customs and celebrations. It’s quite different from the middle and southern parts of Argentina, heavily influenced by Europeans immigration in the 1800s, and it can feel like you’ve arrived in another country.
About a week ago, we said goodbye to the US for the next 6 months and made our way down to Rosario, Argentina. Since we arrived, it has been nonstop catching up with Santi’s friends and family while eating way too much postre (dessert) and pan (bread). I swear, even though this is my eighth trip to Rosario, I will never understand how the “Rosarinos” are so beautiful and fit, given all the carbs and sweets they consume. What also eludes me is how people don’t seem to be tired ever, though it’s common to go to bed at 1am, wake up to be at work by 9am, not nap, and eat facturas (more sweets) at 6pm. Ahhh, to be Argentinian.