Day 111 – Goodbye South America

I’m feeling very sad today as its our last day in South America but at the same time excited to be heading to a new country, New Zealand. I love this region and I’ve had an amazing 3 and a half months! Right now, I can’t think of the words to describe how fantastic my journey has been so far, from climbing up a volcano and cartwheeling across the salt flats to white water rafting in Mendoza and eating the best steak of my life! I feel so lucky and grateful to be on this journey and fully recommend South America to everyone.

With a relaxing day on the cards, we headed into the centre and sat in the park soaking up the sun and reading. With prices in New Zealand being similar to home, John had another haircut. Haircuts are always funny; again we had to use books in the hairdressers to show the hairdresser what he wanted. It came out well and only a couple of pounds, see the results below.

We then decided to treat ourselves with a meal in the posh area which is north of the river near to the student area. We went for Chorrillana which we had seen a young lady in Valparasio attempt to eat.

A new hair cut and a huge beer!

A new hair cut and a huge beer!

A huge pile of chips with beef, onions and eggs on top! Not healthy but damn good!

Chorrillana, and we ate it all

Chorrillana, and we ate it all

We packed up at the hostel and had a snack before our flight. Keeping in line with our willingness to use public transport, we caught the bus to the airport which was much cheaper than a taxi. We jumped on a tube to the stop and then onto the bus.

After 5 minites we hit traffic. After 10 minutes in traffic John started to become a little nervous. We had about 3 hours before the flight but the traffic was enough to cause John to panic. He was there just saying to himself “I knew we should have got a taxi”.

We then started to see people walking and running down the street with scarves over their faces and gas masks. It was the student protests. We had to to be diverted from the main road as up ahead the protesters were throwing Molotov cocktails and trying to set anything alight. The police were responding with tear gas. At this sight, John started to panic thinking we would miss the flight and trying to think of an alternative to getting to the airport.

We turned off the blocked road, then left and onto the motorway to be at the airport in 20 minutes flat – I knew that we would be fine! Panic over and  time to buy some more wine at the airport.

We stocked up on a couple more bottles of red then used the last of our Chilean pesos at Dunkin Donuts which felt just plain wrong but the change was perfect for donuts and a drink each.

There was a slight tear in each of our eyes to be leaving South America. Our first backpacking destination had lived up and exceeded our expectations. We already knew that we would like to return to explore more of Argentina in the far South and get further up north in the continent to experience more of this amazing region.

But for now, we boarded the plane ready for continent number 2 and country number 5, New Zealand.

About Julia Chan

I’m Julia and I've just returned from the adventure of my life. I went travelling around South America, the South Pacific and South East Asia for 12 months, and I'd do it all over again if I could! Julia on Google+
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