New Zealand for Tourists – South Island

If you’re following my route from the North Island, you’ll arrive at Picton on the ferry and continue heading south.

After a brief stop at one or more of the vineyards around Blenheim (The Brancott Estate was nice, but felt a bit posh for us – we preferred the Jackson Estate and – more casual yet – Allan Scott), head to Nelson. It’s a cool town with some great places for beer, including the Craft Beer Depot and The Free House – a converted church, very much to my liking!

From there, westwards to Abel Tasman National Park. This is a relatively unusual national park for NZ, as it’s less about the mountains and more about the beaches and sea. You can hire sea-kayaks, take a boat trip, or just take a walk along the coastline path, possibly using a boat to get there and / or back.

Further south, and you’ll reach Nelson Lake’s national park, confusingly not particularly close to the town of Nelson. There are some huge lakes that you can take in from the roadside, but you will be missing out if you don’t take the overnight hike to Angelus hut.

From here, you have a long old drive down the west coast, with not a lot of people or sights along the way. There are some not-too-exciting glow worm caves in Hokitika, and two major glaciers, Franz Joseph and Fox, further south. Some people rave about these, but we were unimpressed. The standard trail stops several miles (perhaps slight exaggeration!) away from the glaciers, so you can’t see a great deal. You can pay your dollars for an (admittedly reasonable value) helicopter flight onto the glaciers themselves but my advice would be that if you want to see glaciers, come visit us in the Alps and you’ll get a lot closer for a lot less money!

Onwards to Wanaka, where you should visit Rachel Sidda, (if you know her!) chill out by the lake, and climb either Roy’s or Isthmus Peak – both offer spectacular views of lakes and mountains. Next, Queenstown: probably the most trendy place in New Zealand, with lots of cool restaurants and bars; you must take part in the obligatory huge queue outside Fergburger. From here, an optional trip along the lake leads you to Genorchy and the trailhead of the Routeburn Track – I’m not usually a fan of there-and-back walks, but this one was well worth the trudge of the first 5-10km.

From here, it’s a long drive round to Milford Sound, so many people take a day trip by bus. As a spectacular must-visit destination, it’s a bit of a shame to only spend a few hours there, but it’s not easy or cheap to stay in Milford Sound itself, so the bus is probably the best option. We extended our time in the valley by walking the Greenstone-Caples track, but still only spent one day in Milford Sound itself.

Your journey is nearly at an end and, to be honest, you’ve left the best bits of New Zealand behind. Round off your trip with a drive over to Dunedin, which felt like one of the more normal towns, and then up the coast, possibly via Penguin spotting in Oamaru or Timaru. If you need one last dose of mountains, pop inland to the innovatively-named Mount Cook Village. Apparently this place is mostly covered in cloud, but if you show up on a clear day, you’ll get some spectacular views of New Zealand’s highest mountain – a great way to end your trip.

Finally to Christchurch, where you’ll inevitably partake in a bit of disaster-tourism as you check out the ruins from the 2011 earthquake – yes, many buildings still haven’t been fully repaired. From here, you’ll fly back to the real world. Many months later, it may feel like a surreal dream. Do people actually live permanently in this beautiful, isolated land?

New Zealand for Tourists – North Island

I didn’t write my blog with the intention of providing useful information. However, quite a few of my friends have asked for advice on New Zealand so I thought I’d add a couple of retrospective posts.

This first post will give a general overview of the main sights that New Zealand has to offer for tourists. I will follow this up a second post aimed at people who are keen to exploit the amazing array of walking trails and mountain huts that the Department of Conservation maintains.

I will list this as a five-week itinerary – an epic tour of the whole of New Zealand. If you’re making the 24-hour-plus journey from the UK, I think you should seriously consider spending this long there, but if you wish to do it in less, just cut out parts that interest you less. My route starts in Auckland and ends in Christchurch, but the reverse route would work just as well.

Auckland – Welcome to North Island! The the largest city, we didn’t even go there because cities aren’t really my thing. If you’re a city person, try it, but if you’re a city person, you probably won’t really enjoy NZ!

Bay of Islands – Sub-tropical islands and beaches north of Auckland. Again, we didn’t go there (not a great start advice wise!) because I’m not that in to beaches, but there are also some culture and history in the form of important Maori sites. It’s a long way off the route, so will add 7 hours to your already long drive.

Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove – This was our northernmost destination and I was shocked by how spectacular (and tropical-feeling) these beaches were. Dig yourself a natural hot-tub, fed by underground thermal rivers, then take a walk through Cathedral Cove. You can comfortably do both in a day, but may wish to stretch it out… take note of the tide times, which affects the best time to dig your hole.

Hobiton Movie set – again, we didn’t go here, but I thought I should mention it, as I’m sure some LOTR fans will not want to miss it.

Rotarua – We didn’t like this town much, but it’s the best place to see geothermal New Zealand in action; ie. lots of expensive spas and a foul stench of sulphur everywhere. We did stay in a great campsite about 30 minutes away: The Waitangi Valley Thermal Pools: as the name suggests, there is an on-site spa and entry is included in the price of your campsite.

From here, you have three options: to travel down the West, Centre or East of the Island. Of course, you can incorporate parts of both, but it will make for a very zig-zagging route over small, poorly maintained roads – we did this, but we had 3 months!

Eastern Route:

Taupo – We went here for a Parkrun and to cheer on some friends, who we met in a mountain hut, in an Ironman race. The town seemed nice enough, but not that exciting otherwise.

Napier – Famous for its vineyards, it’s one of the warmest and driest parts of NZ. We stayed at a really great AirBnB with Malcolm and Liz, who felt like our parents by the end of our stay. As well as the vineyards (Black Barn was our favourite), there was a great farmers’ market and scenic views from Te Mata Peak. The coastline is also famous for its surf: for us, the beaches were not as scenic as elsewhere, but if you like long, straight beaches, there is plenty of sand here. The town of Napier is also known for its art-deco style buildings, mostly built after a huge earthquake levelled the town in the early 20th century. The town houses a museum with a thorough exhibition all about this disaster.

Central Route:

Tongariro National Park – Passing ‘Mount Doom’ from Lord of the Rings, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of the most spectacular day walks in the world. It took us around 5 hours – leave up to 8 if you’re not so fit. It’s not a loop, so you need to organise transport from one end to the other (From here, you can leave your car and get a shuttle to the other end, or local hotels can organise transport to the start and from the end.

Western Route:

Taranaki – We spent a week in the Taranaki area and I personally loved it. We had great views of the volcano from pretty much everywhere we went, including the main town of New Plymouth. It’s known as an arty town and we particularly enjoyed the Govett-Brewster art gallery, as well as the great views from the very short but very steep climb to Paritutu Rock. Nothing, though, can surpass the views from the top of Taranaki itself. If you’re reasonably fit, you can walk to the top and back from North Egmont visitor centre. When I visited in mid-December, crampons were advised but not necessary; however, there was a significant amount of snow and ice for the final 500m, so I wouldn’t have been comfortable without solid walking boots and poles.

Whichever route you choose (perhaps add a week or two and do all three), your next stop will be Wellington. A hip, hilly city, it’s probably the place that we’d most like to live in New Zealand. Home to our favourite peanut butter Fix and Fogg (visit their little counter to taste and buy) and probably our favourite restaurant from our whole trip, the Aro Cafe, we enjoyed the feel of this place. Whether you cafe hop along Cuba street or walk up to the Mount Victoria lookout, it has a bit of something for everyone. It’s also the place where you will take a ferry to the South Island…

End of the Road

I’ve read tales of people returning from long trips and finding it very tough to return to normality. I should reserve judgement, but I doubt that will be the case with Alice and me, especially as our life will be quite different post-travel.

As I think back over the past 9 months, I have a huge number of great memories. I have learned on this trip that I have a strong tendency to remember the positives of travel and forget the negatives. Just this morning I was fondly thinking back to jogging around Brisbane, fondly remembering the sense of space and the freedom to run about cities with no time limit or commitments. At the time, I was pretty bored of Australia.

As I’ve written before, I don’t regret one day of our three months in NZ and I feel that we’ve had the right amount of time in Patagonia too. A key lesson is not to rush a country. In retrospect I would have learned some Bahasa and spent all of the first two months in Indonesia; this isn’t to say that I don’t have amazing memories of snorkelling in the Philippines, a country I found rather unpleasant at times, or Vietnam, which had food that I loved but made me sick(!)

Overall though, I have scratched just 6 new countries off the map that my Highgate colleagues bought me when I left London. It can be very tempting, especially for someone with my slightly aspergic personality, to see the map as a target and plan accordingly. I’m glad we generally didn’t fall into that trap (ok, two days in Uruguay was indulgent). This is my number one piece of advice: don’t try to visit too many countries. Instead, think carefully about which countries you really want to visit and why.

So apart from a shaky start, I feel that our overall plan was pretty good, but even so, Alice and I both missed home (partly friends and family, but partly just the comfort and stability of not moving around all the time) quite a lot at different times. In future, I doubt we’ll ever travel for 9 solid months again; instead, we would prefer three 3 months stints, with some time at home to relax in between. If you’re planning a year of travel and you can afford this approach (and I don’t think it would cost much more than ours), I would seriously consider it.

Driving through the outback in Australia.

I almost don’t want to write this because it sounds snooty, but when I think back over the 9 months, I feel a sense of privilege. To have been born in a country and at a time where world travel is so easy and affordable is very lucky. For even my parents’ generation to have undertaken such a journey would have been much more adventurous and arduous.
But just to be able to take nine months off work is a luxury that so few people in history have been able to afford. On top of seeing a lot of new places, I’ve read books, listened to hundreds of podcasts and spoken to an even greater number of people in foreign languages, learned to appreciate my family more, improved my empathy and ability to compromise (a bit!), made friends who I hope to stay in touch with for life, and written this blog. It’s been great.

The Small Print

We set ourselves a budget of £60 per day, excluding flights. This was fairly arbitrary but would mean that we could last 2 years without earning if necessary. And despite a flourish of luxury at the end, we have actually stuck to it, thanks to being under-budget for most of the trip.
In total, we spent £18063. We didn’t splash out on many extravagances but we also didn’t really rough it; we only spent about 10 nights in dorm rooms. How did we do it?

Planning:
I used several spreadsheets to consider alternative routes around the world, trying to visit countries at the optimum time of year to get good weather but avoid the worst of peak season. Another tab on the same spreadsheet shows some of my research as to how to get cheaply between the places we visited.

The x’s represent ‘best’ months to be in a country, with green cells showing a path through these. This was the final plan we went with, cut short by getting a job that started in April!

One key point is that we were flexible: other than the vague targets of Oceania and Patagonia, we had no must-see places, so we allowed flight prices to guide our trip.
One strategy which saved some money (and a lot of hassle) was to travel hand-luggage only until we needed camping gear. If you don’t want to camp/hut in NZ and Patagonia, then you’re missing out, but it means you could do hand luggage only for the whole trip.
Alice was amazingly dedicated in recording every single expense along the way; you can read the gory details here.

Accommodation:
Airbnb. The wonders of the sharing economy mean that a double room is now as cheap in Australia and New Zealand as it is in the Philippines.
We did spend about 15 nights camping in places where we could have paid for accommodation, in Australia and NZ if there were no cheap Airbnb’s and when we stayed with friends who had hired a campervan.
We spent 21 nights staying for free with very kind people along the way; from our past Airbnb guests and old university friends to a lovely couple we met in a NZ hut.
On that note, we also spent 30 nights in NZ mountain huts (total cost £50pp with an annual pass) and 10 nights camping in the Patagonian Mountains. Many people may see these nights as ‘roughing it’ but when you wake up to views like this and a cabin all to yourself, I class it as luxury.

The aptly named ‘Sunrise Hut’ in New Zealand.

So, if you’re not into camping, hutting and don’t have any generous friends to host you around the world, you’d need to budget for another 75 nights of accommodation: around £1000pp.

Food and Drink
We ate out 3 meals a day, every day in Asia, as food is so cheap and kitchens hard to come by. After that, we were glad to be able to cook most of the time when we got to Australia and NZ. For those five months, we ate out about once a week and in Patagonia about every other night. We tasted around 80 beers in Australia, but rarely more than 100ml of each! If you want to eat and drink out more in Aus and NZ, you’ll find it really hard to stick to our budget.

Obviously we lived different lifestyles in different countries, so this chart doesn’t intend to give an idea of the relative cost of living in these places, and is affected by our changing attitude towards the end of our trip.

Flights.
I mostly used kiwi.com, which is particularly excellent for finding bargain single fares when you have flexibility about where you want to go. Skyscanner and Kayak are better if you have fixed departure and destinations, with the latter more useful for return flights with a few days flexibility either side.
These days, most short haul flights are very cheap (<£50 if you are flexible on day, except for Aus-NZ which is heavily taxed) but long haul bargains are harder to find. With kiwi, I found good value flights from Dubai to Manila for £90 (yes, hard to believe) and Buenos Aires to London for £300, so we planned our trip around these. We had to stump up £460 each for Christchurch to Santiago, one route which has not yet been reached by low-cost carriers.

With kiwi.com, you can draw departure and arrival circles, if you’re flexible about where you want to travel.

Overall, I’m certain that buying 18 single flights was significantly cheaper than buying a round-the-world ticket. We usually booked one country ahead, because of the need to provide proof of onward travel, but this still gave us some flexibility to change our plans depending on how we were feeling.
If you wish to follow my advice on taking a few shorter trips rather than one big one, the fact that long haul returns often don’t cost that much more than singles is in your favour.

Other Travel.
We hired a car in NZ for the full three months and it cost £12/day. Cheaper were available and I regret not choosing them, as most rental cars seem equally old! Between two people, the value of this freedom was probably worth it but if you’re on your own, hitchhiking is very easy.
In Australia, we took advantage of camper-van and car relocation deals to drive the whole country. If you want to see the outback, this is a great idea, but be aware that the fuel for such long journeys is not an insignificant cost!
Elsewhere, buses dominated, except for a few choice train rides in Vietnam, Indonesia and Australia, which we did for (geeky) fun rather than budget reasons.

Activities.
You’ll see that we spent relatively very little on ‘Sightseeing’. Mostly, we climbed and looked at mountains, which is conveniently free in most parts of the world. In cities, we tasted beer and visited museums and galleries.
Particular (free) favourites were tours in Perth’s botanic gardens and Melbourne’s main art gallery, a gallery of traditional Vietnamese dress in Hoi An and the Welsh history in Gaiman, Argentina.
We don’t have a bucket list, nor do we particularly enjoy organised fun, which meant that we didn’t spend the money on the expensive tours in Asia (more fun to rent a scooter for around £5/day) or bungee jumping in New Zealand. It’s hard to strike a balance between being tempted by FOMO and later regretting not doing something.

Overall, I didn’t find it hard to stick to the budget as I’ve got my grandad’s thrifty genes, but Alice often wanted to spend more and this sometimes led to conflict. Part of me thinks that 10-20% higher budget would have made things significantly easier but I’m not sure; it may be that whatever your budget, you always feel restricted.
If we’d known that I was to be starting work again in April, we’d have spent more. This may have led to more type I fun, but I don’t think it would have affected the levels of type II fun. Above all, I love good value. I hope you’ll agree that our last 255 days have been a bargain.

Argentina vs. Chile

Durante los últimos dos meses, hemos cruzado 5 veces la frontera Argentina / Chile. Cada vez, había una pista de ripio, demostrando, quizá, la animosidad histórica entre los Países. ¡¿Entonces, que están las diferencias y cual preferimos?!

Tecnología: En Chile se puede subir en bus con la boleta en su móvil. En Argentina, reservamos una vez por internet y cuando llegamos al terminal, nos enviaron al imprenta al lado. Se puede pagar con tarjeta con más frecuencia en Chile y hay un banco que no carga para retirar moneda. En Argentina, se debe pagar entre 6-10 Euros cada retiro.
Chile 2 – 0 Argentina

Ciudades: En el sur, las ciudades de Argentina (El Calafate y Ushuaia) son más desarrollados, con mejor restaurantes, cervecerías y supermercados, que los de Chile (Punta Arenas y Puerto Natales). En el Norte, nos gustó mucho Santiago y Puerto Varas en Chile. En Argentina, Bariloche está ubicado perfectamente entre los montañas y los lagos, pero era ruidoso y es muy turístico, de manera similar a San Martin.
Chile 3 – 1 Argentina

Parques Nacionales: En Argentina, visitamos Los Glaciares (dónde se encuentra Cerro Fitzroy), Tierra del Fuego, Nahuel Huapi y Lanín. Todos los cuatros tienen vistas magníficas, no cuestan nada para entrar y se puede acampar con libertad. En Chile, en Torres del Paine se debe reservar por adelantado y pagar mucho. En Volcán Villarrica no nos permitieron subir sin guía, pero hicimos un sendero interesante circa de Volcán Osorno. En Chile, hay más lluvia así que es más verde, y en general, no había tanto viento e hizo más calor
Chile 4 – 5 Argentina

Precios: Son generalmente más barato en Chile. Alquiler de coche era carísimo en Argentina: Pagamos 70 Euros por día en Puerto Madryn y 50 en Bariloche. En Chile, cuesta la mitad (¡y en Nueva Zelanda, 15 por día!). Otras cosas especialmente caras en Argentina: vuelos internos, avena y buen yogur.
Chile 5 – 5 Argentina

Gente: No puedo distinguirlos. Tuvimos buenas experiencias en ambos países. Si habla un poco de Castellano, todo el mundo aquí es amable.
Chile 5

Chile 6 – 6 Argentina

Comida: Ambos son bastante limitados a carne con papas o puré. Hay también pasta, gracias a la influencia italiana, pero no se encuentra comida de otras partes del mundo. Sin embargo, comimos unos bifes y corderos excelente en los dos. Pero, al contrario de la reputación, el bife en Argentina era generalmente peor que en Chile. A menudo, era demasiado cocido. ¡Aun cuando hice gran esfuerzo explicar cómo cocinarlo!
Chile 7 – 6 Argentina

Por tanto, el ganador es Chile. Pero si venís en América del Sur, no podéis echar ver Fitzroy o la vista desde Cerro Campanilla a Bariloche.

Eight Month Update

Our eighth month started with a 12 hour bus journey to the “fin del mundo”, Ushuaia. The southernmost city in the world may only be on an equivalent latitude to the UK’s Lake District, but it’s far south of anywhere in New Zealand or South Africa, so maybe it does deserve the title.

Looking down over Ushuaia

Climatically and Geologically, it’s more like central Norway than northern England. The cold south Pacific currents that affect Fitzroy’s climate are here too, but fortunately(?!) gas prices are ridiculously low so the poorly insulated buildings are kept toasty warm.

We ventured out into our tent for a beautiful, if chilly three day trek, which saw the first true wild camping of our trip. After the first night, on which we had a lake to ourselves, the second and third days brought fast changing scenery from farmland to native forest and a bushline campsite with glaicer views to a rocky, barren mountain pass.

Looking back to Laguna del Caminante, where we had camped the night before.

The knowledge that we are soon to regain an income has changed our attitude towards money, and this has definitely made life easier. We’ve remained relatively controlled but haven’t tried to stick rigidly to our budget. I’m looking forward to seeing the final addition and how much this effects our spending.

We’ve just finished a ten day stint with Alice’s parents. We were very keen for them to visit us at some point but it took until now for them to find the free time. It was Jane’s first trip outside of Europe; Martin’s only previous long haul trip was to California, so quite an adventure for both of them.

Argentinan culture isn’t quite as foreign as they expected but vast deserts, penguins and the Andes gave them some new experiences. I love planning holidays so was delighted to act as tour guide, but it was slightly more tiring than I expected.

Now for two weeks rest and relaxation before the end of our trip and a return to (a new) normality.

Looking out over what Martin described as the ‘best view ever’. I agree, it’s pretty hard to beat.

Pas de Bucket List pour les Français

Lorsqu’on fait une voyage autour du monde, on entend souvent parler des ‘Bucket Lists’: Les gens vous demande de ton Bucket List où ils vous parlent de les siens. Ils parlent de ‘Bucket List Experiences’ comme si tout le monde veut faire les mêmes choses.

Moi, je n’aime pas l’idée.
Pourquoi pas ?

Au début, parce que tout le monde ne veut pas faire les mêmes choses.
Une amie, Ilana, m’a envoyé une message après ma première blog, dans lequel j’ai porté plainte qu’il est difficile d’échapper la route touristique en Asie. Elle était d’accord que beaucoup de gens suivent, comme les moutons, ce qu’on est ‘censé’ faire. Elle a ajouté que cela le rend difficile de vraiment connaitre les pays qu’on visite ; ça peut sentir comme on visite une forme de Disney.

L’idée de faire un ‘repas de famille’ au Vietnam était intéressant, mais la réalité nous a déçu.

Une autre raison, c’est que si on attend une chose avec tant d’impatience, on sera souvent déçu. Je critique souvent ma mère, mais je me souviens de quelque chose qu’elle disait régulièrement : il ne faut pas avoir trop de expectations, car la vie n’arrive pas à les satisfaire.

Nous n’aurions jamais trouvé cet endroit si nous avons suivi seulement les routes touristiques en Nouvelle Zélande

Je préfère arriver dans un endroit nouveau et découvrir ce qu’on peut y faire. Nous n’avons réservé ni les ‘grands chemins’ du Nouvelle Zélande, ni le ‘w trek’ de Torres del Paine et c’était la bonne décision. Soit, ça marche au dernier minute, soit on trouve des autres choses à faire, qui s’avèrent être meilleur qu’on pourrait jamais estimer.

En écrivant ce blog, j’ai demandé aux deux Françaises l’équivalent de l’expression anglaise ‘Bucket List’. Elles m’ont dit qu’elle n’existe pas. Tant mieux que je déménage en France !

Ok, J’admette qu’il y a des expériences ‘Bucket List’ qui vaut la peine !

Como Viajar Alrededor del Mundo

Ultimamente, unos amigos míos me han preguntado sobre lo que hemos aprendido durante tanto tiempo viajando. Pues aquí voy a escribir unos consejos y deciros unos errores que hemos hecho, para que no los hagáis vos-mismos.

La cosa más importante que aprendimos durante las primeras semanas era que siempre vale la pena pasar mínimo de 2 noches, idealmente 3 en cada lugar. Empezamos descubrir nuestro plan como, por ejemplo, “3-1-2-1-2”, en que cada número indique la cantidad de días que íbamos a pasar en un lugar. Descubrimos rápidamente que 3-3-3-3 es mucho más relajante que 5-1-5-1. Puede ser que unos lugares tienen más que hacer que otros, pero hay siempre algo y a veces, las sorpresas te gustan más que lo estimado.

Otro error de los primeros meses era que planeamos demasiado por adelantado. En particular, ya habíamos reservado nuestros vuelos entre los países de Asia, dejándonos solamente 2 semanas cada una. Eso quería decir que no tuvimos tiempo para cambiar nuestros planes, cuando descubrimos nuevas cosas que quisimos hacer.

Después, fuimos en Australia donde Intentamos hacer demasiado sin suficiente tiempo: un error bastante clásico. Si, vimos mucho del país, pero nos habríamos gustado pasar más tiempo en Sydney y Melbourne. En Nuevo Zelanda, las cosas pasaron mejor y la idea de alquiler un coche durante todos los 3 meses era bueno. Si tiene más tiempo, valdría la pena comprar un camper, pero la alquila de coche es muy barato y más fácil.

Mi último consejo se trata del plan grande del viaje. Elegimos la ruta, Asia, Oceanía, América del sur, porque los vuelos eran más cortos (y así más baratos). Sin embargo, habríamos apreciado visitar los países de Asia, con sus precios baratos de comida y hoteles, después de Nuevo Zelanda. Así, nos habríamos descansado mejor entre las montañas de NZ y América.

Planeando un viaje alrededor del mundo y tiene más preguntas? Dígame.

Deutsche Deutsche Über Alles

Meistens, will ich diese Artikel schreiben, weil ich die Idee der Titel hatte, und ich glaube, dass es ein gutes Wortspiel ist. Was meine ich? Ganz klar: Es gibt Deutsche überall. Während unser Reise, haben wie viele andere Reise getroffen und es scheint mir, dass die Hälfte von ihnen Deutsche gewesen sind.

Neu Zeeland ist bekannt als Lieblings Reiseziel der Deutschen und ja, gab es viel dabei. Ein Deutscher hat mir eine Geschichte erzählt: er war mit zehn Freunden bei ihm und sie redeten über Neu Zeeland. Er war der einzige, der niemals das Lände besucht hatte.

Aber nicht nur NZ. Überall haben wir Deutsche getroffen. (besonders wenn wir auch Deutschsprachiger enthalten) In Asien, gab es weniger, aber immer noch in Malaisen und Indonesien waren sie da. In Australien, gab es vielleicht eine große Dichte von Deutsche als NZ und hier in Südamerika, sind sie am häufigsten, die wir getroffen haben.

Wir haben diese Mensch viermal getroffen!

Also, warum reisen Deutsche so viel?
Einige wollen ihrer Englisch verbessern, da es ist oft wichtig für Arbeit in Deutschland.
Kommt es von den Tagen, als es Wehrdienst gab, daher viele Deutsche die Zeit und das Geld hatte, so zu reisen?
Generell, sind die Deutsche scheint mir offene Leute, die gut mit Menschen von anderen Ländern auskommen und wollen anderen Ideen kennen zu lernen. (Natürlich ist es nicht immer so!)
Es wird jetzt verändert aber haben die Deutsche bis vor kurzem lange studiert, oft bis 25 oder älter. Die Studenten in Deutschland können sich vielleicht das Reise leisten, wegen der Uni kostet fast nichts?

Aber natürlich, es könnte sein, dass wir eigentlich nicht mehr Deutsche als andere Nationalitäten getroffen haben, aber sogar habe ich sie öfter bemerkt.

Da sind ein paar meiner Theorien. Was glaubt ihr?

Mit eine Deutche und eine Schweize (und ein Australier)

Seven Month Update

Our seventh month started with a week in Santiago de Chile which left me asking ‘why am I not enjoying cities?’ It’s true that I was mopey and didn’t explore anywhere near as much as I could have, but we still liked Santiago. It has lively atmosphere with good restaurants, great beer and wine and near-perfect summer weather. Alice says she could live there. For me, it’s too big and noisy! Our AirBnB hosts were also really friendly, though I probably enjoyed my two nights in a hostel more. For me, cities are much better when you have a group of people to enjoy them with.

From Santiago, Alice flew south, whilst I took a slightly crazy five-day trip to Europe. A week of separation after sixth months ‘alone together’ is probably healthy. A few people have asked recently how Alice and I are getting on. The answer: pretty well. If you plotted our level of conflict over the trip, it would look something like a bell curve; it’s nice to be on the downwards sloping section! Mostly, we’ve got used to our differences and learned to accept them.
I felt a little bad for Alice, who would probably have appreciated the opportunity to see friends and family even more than I did. She really impressively ploughed on with our plans to camp for 3 nights in Torres del Paine.

I arrived back in Argentina on Friday night and on Saturday we set off on a four-day camping trip in Parque Nacional los Glaciares, near the spectacular mount Fitzroy. It was beautiful and we were blessed by unusually great weather which encouraged us to get up for sunrise on two mornings. No time to rest, the way I enjoy travel.

That said, after another walk with a friendly French couple, we’ve enjoyed a few lazy days in the Patagonian towns of El Calafate, Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas. I’ve been quite easily entertained by bus rides through the huge, stark, slightly repetitive scenery, but I’m looking forward to getting back out into the hills when we reach Ushuaia.

I’m really happy to have found a great job in Geneva, but it does mean that our trip will be coming to a premature end in April. Just one and half months to go, better make the most of it.