Sunday, December 30, 2007

Time to catch up...

We're at my parents' house in Maryland right now before heading to Russ and Beth's new house for NYE with the usual crew. So i figure this is a good time to finish recapping our time spent in South America.

After Iguazu Falls, the three of us snuck through Brazil illegally (45 minutes in a car en route to Paraguay) and finally got to Ciudad del Este on the hottest day of our trip--100 degrees and humid. After a six-hour bus ride (sans air conditioning, sigh), we found ourselves in Asuncion. On the right you see us in the room where their Declaration of Independence was signed in 1811.

After touring around the city (the slums are located literally in the shadow of the president's enormous palace, no more than 20 yards away), we drove a few hours south to Ybycui National Park to do some hiking. There are 620 species of butterflies in that park, but amidst the waterfalls and streams, we only saw about 25 different types. Some were as big as my hands, some were the size of a thumbnail--all with strikingly vivid colors. Take a look at the one on the left with black and turquoise markings.

After we bid farewell to Rachel, we took a bus south to Encarnacion (where we had excellent sushi, thanks to a large Japanese (and Korean) importer influence). There we saw ruins of a Jesuit mission from the early 1700s. Set in a tropical forest, th ruins looked like something out of an Indiana Jones movie. See pictures below and note the monkey we saw at lunch right after the mission...

We crossed back into Argentina and made our way down to Buenos Aires to catch the boat to Uruguay, where we bussed over to Punta del Diablo. This great sleepy beach town would be our home for the last two weeks of our trip, so we rented a great house right off the beach. Below is the house and the view from the deck.

Stay tuned for a few more videos and a recap of our 4.5 months in South America. Happy New Year everyone! See you in '08...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"I'm going back to New York City, I do believe I've had enough"

We arrived safely this morning at 7:30am and went straight to Tom's Diner for a wonderfully decadent "down home" American breakfast with backpacks still in tow. Plans for the rest of the day are to get reacquainted with our couch and HD tv, and to eat as much Asian food as we possibly can. I (Deanna) no longer have a cell phone, so for the time being, if you'd like to contact me call Aaron's cell or email me. Hope to get in touch and see everyone soon.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Welcome to the jungle (finally!)

So we finished off our two-week run in Buenos Aires and visit of the Estrogen Crew (Lauren, Randi and Bari) with a fun night of clubbing in the swanky Palermo neighborhood. The week with the girls was a blast! Tons of shopping--laughing more at Argentine current fashion (think of your worst memories of late 80s/early 90s "fashion") than buying things. I (as the guy) now have extensive knowledge of BsAs's best chairs and couches in trendy shops. At the right is the five of us at Cafe Tortoni watching a very fun tango show.

On December 1, the two of us flew up to Iguazu where we met my old roommate and travel buddy Rachel for a week´s visit. The national park was incredible--there were 3 different circuits that led us to different vantage points of the breathtaking waterfalls. The lowest circuit got us really close to the falls which served as a really nice treat while hiking in 95 degree weather. The upper circuit gave us an insane bird's-eye view. The last trail led us through a network of catwalks so we were able to walk right over the precipice of the gushing water. Below are some of our favorite pictures.

OK, so here's the deal. We're spending our last two weeks of South America in a sleepy beach town in Uruguay called Punta del Diablo. Internet hardly works here (which is fine because who needs a computer when you have a hammock overlooking the ocean?) so I will post the rest of the Iguazu pictures and the whole blog about Paraguay when we get to a decent internet connection in Buenos Aires or back in NYC.

Speaking of NYC, we land on Dec 26th in the morning. Let me know when you're around so we can meet for a drink and catch up!

Saturday, December 8, 2007


Hey everyone... just spent a wonderful week in Paraguay where we were the ONLY tourists around. Literally, we did not see a single other backpacker or even a businessman. Pretty crazy but pretty sweet.

So here are some videos from the last month or two that we hope you enjoy:

Penguin waddling towards us

And another couple of penguins waddling

Perito Moreno glacier calving in (make sure to listen for Deanna asking me if I captured the moment)

Homage to Patagonia (sorry Lemon Jelly, but we were listening to Mocean Worker at the time)

Deanna doing the tango (sorry it's sideways)

Me doing the tango (sorry it turns sideways a few seconds into it)

We're stuck in a bus station at the Argentina/Paraguay border for a few hours so hopefully we'll have time to post some more pictures. Check back soon!