My husband and I love traveling. We have it as one of our priority, so we have been to more than thirty countries; however, one of our most interesting trips was one we did to Argentina ten years ago. We spent two months driving round-trip from home in Petropolis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil entering in Argentina from the north of the country to the extremely south, in a place called Ushuaia, but also known as “Tierra del Fuego.” For the whole trip, we drove about nineteen thousand kilometers in a varied landscape with mountain, ranges, lakes, blue water rivers, glaciers, natural parks, big cities, and small welcoming places.
The trip started in our city Petropolis after my husband bought a new truck. He loves driving, so the new car was the perfect reason to go on the trip he was thinking about since many years before. From our city, we drove for almost one week passing by some of Brazil’s cities that we did not know before until arriving in the first city on Brazil and Argentina’s border where is located the Cataratas do Iguacu Park. The falls are impressed bigger than I had imagined. Not so far from the cataratas is located the Itaipu Dam where part of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay’s electric power is generated.
After that, we crossed the north of Argentina from east to west to go around the mountain range in the direction of the south part of the country. We saw many beautiful places until we arrived in the charming Bariloche, which is one of the most famous Argentina’s cities for its skiing, hotels, and restaurants. The other less famous but not less charming places around such as Villa Angostura and Junin the Los Andes have very good restaurants and cafes where people can enjoy not only the local food but also the international food. Argentina is known for its delicious wines and its tasteful and tender red meat. Wherever we went we could found and enjoy both.
Some more kilometers to the south we stopped in a city called Al Calafate where we could live one of the most exited experience. We went to visit Perito Moreno Glacier which is part of Argentina’s Patagonia. It is a 250km2 ice formation with a light blue color that has a place with a structure of decks where we can stand to watch the spectacular natural show. Large pieces of ice collapse in the water from time to time, producing a loud sound and an impressive image. Perito Moreno is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.
Most to the southwest we crossed Chile’s border because there is no way to go to Ushuaia without doing it. There is no road inside Argentina to go straight. There we went to Puerto Natales, the city where we travel to pass by to go to Torres del Paine Park which is another impressive place. It is perfect place for who likes hiking. There people can find several trails to go and enjoy. There are some hotels and restaurants inside the park and camping to enjoy in the summer. It is also part of the Patagonia. The three ice covered granite towers from which the park takes its name reflecting the sunlight, produce an inexplicable coloring and an unforgettable scenario.
To arrive in Ushuaia, the southernmost tip of the South America, we had to cross Chile’s board twice, show passports to be stamped, and so on. The region is so windy that if, when you open the car’s door and do not hold it tight, is possible that the door could be thrown against the car damaging it. The city is very beautiful with the Beagle Chanel view and the Martial Mountains on its back. The Beagle Channel, the Straits of Magellan, and the open-ocean Drake Passage are the three navigable passages between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans around South America. In Ushuaia city, we could appreciate the fantastic seafood they offer. They have the famous “centolla” which is a giant crab that taste delicious. I am a little bit frustrated because I have no pictures from there. As I said, the region is too windy, so one day I set my camera and laid it upon the stone to take our picture. The wind blew so strongly that my camera fell and broke. At that time, we had no IPhone or something like that to replace our camera; consequently, we lost our pictures.
We started the trip back to the north by the Atlantic coast to Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital direction. Although the east side was not so beautiful, we had some fun. In Puerto Deseado city for example, we could stay close to penguins and other animals we never had chance to know before. In Buenos Aires, we met our two sons who arrived, one from Australia and the other from Brazil. That time, my youngest was living in Australia for more than one year, and we were missing him a lot. It was very good having them with us there. We spent some days in Buenos Aires and places around. Buenos Aires is a beautiful city and people there are very friendly. They have many art fairs on Sundays, tango dance shows at night, and excellent restaurants to appreciate their typical food. From there we drove to Uruguay and visited Colonia del Sacramento which is a colonial and charming city that we loved.
Back to Brazil, we stopped in some places such a Ilha do Mel, Florianopolis and Curitiba. Ilha do Mel is a paradise with its sandy streets, small hotels, and clean beaches. There is no car circulating, so, besides its natural beauty, the place is very peaceful. We thought it would be a good place to retire. Florianopolis is a city that in fact is an island linked to the continent by two long bridges. It is a very popular destination to whom want to surf or enjoy beautiful beaches and scenery. Curitiba is a city colonized by Italians with many attractions to enjoy such as a Wire Opera House, Botanical Garden, and excellent Italian restaurants located in the Italian community.
At the end of the trip, we felt grateful for the opportunity to spend those days in such beautiful and relaxing rides through cities and places which we will never forget. The images of each park, river, glacier, beach, and mountains will stay with us forever.
By Luiza L.