The third in the series of random photos from 11 months in Latin America comes from National Park Los Alerces in Chebut Province, Argentina. The park takes its name form the Alerce tree, which only grows in this part of the world. These trees are some of the oldest living trees in the world, some being over 3,000 years old.
Aside from the Alerce trees, the park has numerous lakes and rivers, and an abundance of trails for hikers. Well worth a trip if you are in this part of Argentina.
Click the photo to read more and see the rest of the photos from the park.
My first experience of the real Mexican taco came at about 9pm on 1st October 2005 in Guerrero Negro, a dusty town in the middle of Baja California, famous for salt production and whale spotting.
Having spent the previous 12 hours on a bus from Tijuana, I badly needed sustenance. My day had been spent in a state of perpetual worry, as I had managed to walk across the US-Mexico border without completing any formalities at all. I was illegally in Mexico. Not the best way to begin my first solo traveling experience! On top of this, I didn’t have any local money, and I had a hangover.
Luckily, as I stepped off the bus, I saw a shining light, my deliverance from hunger, in the form of a taco stand, or Taquerilla. I sat down and asked what was cooking. Taco’s. Came the reply.
I had three. And a can of coke.
From that point, until I left Mexico about 6 weeks later, I ate countless tacos from a lot of different street stands, market stalls, and restaurants. I ate tacos for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And some snacks in between!
The second in the series of photos highlighting good trips in Latin America comes from Torres del Paine in Chilean Patagonia, where I trekked the “W” route for 5 days. The park is a world biosphere reserve and is home to a huge amount of plant and animal species, as well as snow capped mountain peaks, rivers, lakes, glaciers and waterfalls.
During the week, Yami invited me to spend a day with her at her clinic, in the tiny hamlet of Toabré in the hills outside Penonome. In order for dentists and doctors to receive permission from the government to work as medical professionals in Panama, upon completion of their degree/doctorates, they must complete two years as an intern, which basically involves working for the Ministry of Health in the ‘interior’ of Panama (i.e in the country, away from Panama City). New dentists and doctors are assigned clinics in which they will work, and are provided accommodation.
Days 282 to 293 – Wednesday 28th June to Sunday 9th July 2006
I arrived in Panama City in mid afternoon, and didn’t want to travel out to Penonome that same day so I checked in at Zuly’s, the hostel I stayed at back in February, and caught up with goings on in the World Cup, before heading to Penonome to see Yami the following morning.
Days 265 to 281 – Sunday 11th to Tuesday 27th June 2006
I flew back to Panama, spent a week with Yami and returned to Cartagena. I then tried to go south to Medellin, but the buses were a little bit of a problem due to the FARC in the region, so I decided to take another route, via boat from Colombia back to Panama. The trips are organised regularly, and sailed whenever there were enough people on-board. I called the Captain of one boat, arranged my ticket, and as luck would have it, we sailed the next day (Thurs 22nd June).