And the journey goes on…

We got back home nearly two months ago, but our big trip hasn’t finished yet. We still meet people, whom we first met over there, over the ocean. And so, our paths crossed again with…

  • Silvia and Rodrigo, who hosted us in Mexico City in November 2014 [read about it]


  • with Kasia, whom we first met in Leon [read again]


  • with Ben, who (together with Kasia!) spent Christmas with us on the island of Ometepe [more about it]


  • and Su Ji, who stayed in our hostel in Cusco in February this year [read the old post]


Such meetings are always very friendly and inspiring. It’s good to recall the memories and also to dream on…

We wonder, what’s going to happen next!

So… this is for real – Part 2

3. April, 1:40 am

We get on board of the plane from Santiago de Chile to Panama City. We have an emergency landing in Guayaquil, Ecuador. One of the passengers feels really badly, medical help is needed. We get to Panama with a delay, but not a big one, so we make it to catch our next flight – this time from Panama City to Frankfurt, with a planned landing in Santo Domingo.

4. kwietnia 5:50 am, which is almost a whole day after we took off for the first time (if you take into consideration the time zone changes)

We get to Frankfurt according to the plan and also according to schedule we take off for Warsaw at 7:30 am. We arrive on time, at 9:15, very tired. Our luggage is not there though. Both big backpacks went missing in action. We fill a number of forms in the Lost and Found office and go towards the exit. And there’s a surprise! 🙂

Welcome home   łelkom hołmWrocili 1 Wrócili 2

So … this is for real… 
It doesn’t seem that long ago since we published so… this is for real – Part 1

We’re back home.

PS. k.’s backpack gets found very quickly and is equally quickly delivered to … ł.
It turns out that our luggage tags got mixed up and k.’s backpack got ł.’s sticker… Anyways, we assume ł.’s luggage is currenlty on its way to k.’s place.

Chile – chilling before going back home

30. March – 2. April

Monday is the beginning of our way back home…
We get up at 4 am and whom do we meet in the hostel’s hall? Christopher! He got us specially for us, to say goodbye! 🙂

Our bus to Punta Arenas in Chile leaves at 5 am. Again, unpaved road, the ferry, hiding carrots on the border. We spend the whole day on the bus, we get to our destination around 6 pm.

It’s cold as in Alaska. The wind is cold and it’s not very pleasant outdoors. We take a taxi to Sebastian’s house. Our couchsurfing host has other visitors too – a German girl and a Belgian guy, who have been travelling across South America for over a year now. On bikes!

We leave our backpacks and go to see the city before it gets dark.

PA 1 PA 2
PA 3 PA 4 PA 5 PA 7
We get home really quickly, as it’s really very very cold. Sebastian cooks dinner and we make a great bowl of fruit salad for dessert. We spend the evening talking about philosophy.

PA 6

Tuesday is another travelling day. At 11 am we take a taxi to the airport in Punta Arenas to catch a flight to Santiago de Chile. Around 6 pm we get to the city centre of Chilean capital city by bus and then by underground we get to Mijail’s- our last couchsurfing host during this journey.

Mijail lives with a few friends on the 18th floor of a block of flats by Andres Bello. We get there just after the sunset…

SdC widok z okna

We go for an evening walk and go to sleep pretty early.

On Wednesday the alarm clock goes off at 7 am. We go on a trip to Valparaiso, a port town declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Val 5 Valparaiso portValparaiso 2 Valparaiso

The city is famous for it’s architecture, street art and 42 funicular lifts (just like the ones in Lisbon) that transport people to the top of steep hills.

val 3 val 4
Val pion 2 val pion 3 Val pionVal widok Valp 3
From Valparaiso we take a bus to Viña del Mar, to spend a few moments on the beach. It’s nice and warm, unlike in Poland, where winter returned and it’s cold and snowy.
We return to Santiago late in the evening.

Thursday is our last, 188th day of the journey. We have the last journey-scrambled-eggs with a view like this:
Santiago widok 2 Santiago widok

And then we go for a walk in Santiago…

santiago park Santiago poczta Santiago rzeka Santiago 2
In the last episode of “Surprising Encounters” – we visit Claudia, a girl ł. first met in our hostel in Lima!SdC z Claudią 

We get home late in the afternoon to take a shower, finish packing and say goodbye to our couchsurfing host. We take underground to get t o La Piojera (which means a place full of lice), a 99-year-old bar which is a must-see when visiting Santiago.
La Piojera

At 8 pm the bar is full. We find the last table in the dining room, which is ok for us, since we’re hungry. We attract a lot of attention, especially that the local people are already kind of tipsy.

ł. orders a piece of meat and k. the only vegetarian food – chopped tomatoes and a portion of French fries and it really is a BIG portion of fries, so in the end we don’t make it to eat them all. We order terremoto (earthquake) to drink, which are cocktails with wine and pineapple ice-cream.

Piojera bar Piojera frytki
We play cards and observe what is going on around. There is a man playing the guitar by the table next to ours and everybody in the room sings national Chilean songs.

[VIDEO 1]   [VIDEO 2]

In excellent mood (after the terremotos) we take the underground to the bus terminal and then by bus to the airport.
So… this is it.


28. – 29. March

On Saturday morning after breakfast together with Christopher we go sightseeing – to visit the southernmost city in South America.

fotografowanie fotografowanie 2
We buy our bus tickets to Punta Arenas (for Monday) and then we pop into the Tourist Information Office, where you can get a passport stamp from the end of the world. There are four different stamps to choose, so we make our minds and get our passports stamped. Christopher does not choose one stamp – he takes them all! And then it’s time for a photo session by the board Ushuaia fin del mundo. First of all, the three of us:

Chris k l

Later on, another one – with ł. and k. wearing the T-shirts that we got in Alaska, at the Barrow radiostation, on the other end of the world!

w koszulkach z radia barrow
We have lunch at a local place – Martinita, where we order very healthy Patagonian meal, three huge hamburgers (for k. the vege option – without the meat).

Later, Christopher goes on a yacht trip to watch penguins…


… and we keep enjoying the city. We visit the National Radio Ushuaia, where we get to talk to the employees. We learn, among others, that there are 34 radio stations in the city!
Radio Nacional Radio 2

Ushuaia is the only city in Argentina located on the other side of the Andes. Although the day is cloudy, at times we get to see the snowy peaks.
Ush 7 Ush 6 Ush 1 Ush 2Ush 8 Ush 9Ush 3 Ush 12

In the evening we cook at the hostel – salmon, potatos and salad. And wine. Yum!

Ush kolacja
We stay up late talking about travelling.

On Sunday morning it rains cats and dogs so we just hang around in the hostel. In the afternoon, when it gets sunny, Christopher goes on another trip – this time to see the lighthouse. And we walk the city, buy souvenirs…

Ush 11 Ush 10 Ush 4 Ush 5
… and as part of the “surprising encounters” programme – we bump into the Canadian guy, with whom we were crossing the Peru-Bolivia border a couple of weeks ago!

As these are our last hours in Argentina, we have delicious dinner in a restaurant. Cod!

Later we return to the hostel to pack our stuff. We have a bus at 5 am tomorrow morning so we don’t want to make too much noise at such hour.

And we don’t make it to go to bed early. We spend the evening talking about travelling with Christopher and Ramonsito from the reception of the hostel. And so, maybe a bit of publicity – if anybody plans to visit Ushuaia – we do recommend this place: Patagonia Pais.

Patagonia Pais Patagonia 2

PS. Getting to the end of the world has not been the only touching moment in the last few days. There was another one: Natalia (from Traveling Tree) sent to k. a photo of a birthday card made by Maks.* Thank you!


* Dear Kaja, I wish you all the best for your birthday. Lots of love.

The road to the end of the world

26. – 27. March

Thursday. We start the day with going to the bakery. Last night somebody ate our bread from the hostel kitchen. Later we find a nice spot by the exit road from El Calafate. We are the first ones today. The next hitchhikers go past us, we wish each other good luck, they walk far behind us to wait for the ride. So there we are. There is quite a lot of traffic but nobody stops. After 1,5 hours we notice a familiar renault. It’s Nicolas, Veronique i Emmanuelle! They stop for us and we cover together the next 90km to a junction with a road towards Puerto Natales, where the Swiss family is going. We get out of the car and wait for the next ride. There are no cars at all, we can only hear the wind.40 1 40

One and a half hour later a taxi stops (!) The driver gives us a lift to Esperanza, 70 km further south. For free.

Esperanza is … a couple of houses built in the middle of a junction. The roads go towards El Calafate, Rio Gallegos and Chile. Theoretically, there should be more traffic. In practice – there isn’t. So there we wait. Bored.
40 5 40 4 40 2 40 6

It’s late, so we already know getting to Ushuaia today would be a mircale unless we stop a car that is going directly there. We still do hope to get to Rio Gallegos, a city 140km away, from which we could take a bus further south the next day.

40 3

After an hour, Gustavo stops. He’s a teacher, who is driving to Rio Gallegos, but needs to stop on the way at one of the schools, where he works. We go with him to Escuela No. 26 Las Vegas, beautifully located far from absolutely everything.

Profe 40 7
escuela escuela 2

We get to Rio Gallegos around 6 pm. Gustavo takes us to the bus terminal where we buy our bus tickets to Ushuaia for tomorrow…

autobus do Ushuai

… and then he gives us a lift to the hostel and waits until we’re all set. We are very grateful for him having taken so much care of us. We say goodbye and then walk to the supermarket to buy things for dinner and for the journey tomorrow, as that is a 12-hour-ride. We buy a lot of fruit, tomatoes, bread, cheese and cookies.

On Friday morning we’re at the bus terminal 15 minutes before the planned departure. It turns out the bus will be 1,5 hour late, but… we have recently got used to waiting.

dworzec w RG

At last we’re on the bus. The first stop is the border with Chile.

Tierra del fuego 2 granica z chile 2
Everybody leaves the bus for the passport and luggage check. It turns out that you are not allowed to bring any food to Chile. We wrap the bag with food around our coats and leave on the overhead shelf on the bus. The border guards enter the bus with dogs (!) In the meantime the hand luggage is being checked in the border office. All snacks, apples, bananas and sandwiches end up in trash.

granica z chile

The dog doesn’t find our food (!), we return to the bus and off we go, totally aware we have smuggled goods on board.

Our next stop is the ferry ride to the Isle of Tierra del Fuego.

Chile 2 autobus na promie  Patagonia promtierra del fuego
Then we leave Chile and enter Argentina again, which means even more stamps in our passports. Now, completely legally, we can make our sandwiches with cheese and tomato and then fruit for dessert. One hour ride to Rio Grande, where some people end their journey and some (including us) change buses and go on to Ushuaia.

Chile koniec Argentyny    TDF 2 tdf

In Rio Grande we meet Christopher, whose luggage got lost while changing buses. The situation is stressful, ł. helps communicating to the drivers. In the end it turns out a lady took Chris’s bag by accident. Luckily she had realized that early enough to swap it again. Christopher gets his suitcase back. We spend the last leg of our ride talking. The three hours to Ushuaia fly really quickly.

We get there after 10 pm. It’s dark. We get picked up by Perla, a very friendly woman working for Patagonia Pais hostel. She takes us to the hostel, we leave the bags and together with Chris go out to get something to eat. And then we take a walk by the water.
It’s such a weird feeling to get to the final destination. Exactly 6 months ago we were in Barrow, Alaska. And today, we’re already in Ushuaia…

The beginning and the end

El Calafate

24.-25. March

On Tuesday morning after breakfast we take our backpacks and walk to the exit road from El Calafate. We’re not the first ones. We are actually the third ones in the queue. It’s a beautiful day.
El Chanten 17

We don’t wait for too long. When there are no cars passing, k. plays her ukulele and probably because of this (curiosity) a car stops, having passed the two first hitchhiking groups. We go together ca. 190 km to a junction just before El Calafate.

El Chanten 15 El Chanten 13
El Chanten 12
We get off the car and almost immediately catch another ride. The last 30 km we go at the back of a pickup truck.

El Chanten 16 El Chanten 14
Fifteen minutes later we’re in the centre of the town and walk into the first Hospedaje we come across. The prices are written on a poster: 120 peso crossed and changed into 100 peso (!) Even though the rooms are the size of an elevator with only a bunk bed fitted inside, we take it. We can use the kitchen, wifi and there’s hot water all the time.

We leave our backpacks and go to check our the town, which turns out to be exceptionally uninteresting.

Calafate 2 Calafate
We spend the evening catching up with internet activities, blogging, skyping, e-mailing.

Our plan for Thursday is Perito Moreno, one out of a few glaciers in the world that is constantly growing. The glacier is 80km away from Calafate so we walk a bit further from the centre to catch a ride. A white renault passes us by, but returns after a while. It’s a family from Switzerland: Veronique and Nicolas with their daughter Emmanuelle are on their way to visit the glacier too. So we jump into the car and off we go.

PM 1
Just by the glacier there is a 4km track built out of metal crates, so you walk comfortably and safely. The tourist season has almost ended, there are some Argentinians with their termic bottles and mate, but there are not that many foreign tourists.

PM 2 PM 3
Perito Moreno, the 2-million-year old glacier is located just by the Argentino Lake. It’s 5 kilometres wide and 30 kilometres long. It’s surface is just about 250 square kilometres, which is like 10 times more than our hometown – Siemianowice Śląskie 🙂
PM 6 PM 10
The walls of Perito Moreno stick out of the water at the height of 50-55 metres.

PM 5 PM 9
It’s hard to imagine without a point of reference, so just below there is a photo with a yacht on the right.

PM 4

Every now and then pieces of ice fall into the lake, but the sound effects are much more spectacular than the visual ones – even small ice cubes make a lot of noise falling down.
PM 8 PM 7

It is impressive. Perito Moreno.

A few hours later we meet the Swiss family back at the parking lot and we return together to El Calafate. We cook a delicious dinner and go to sleep relatively early. Tomorrow morning we want to try to hitchhike to Ushuaia – our final destination…

El Chalten

23. March

We get up in El Chalten, a little town that is younger than us. Founded in 1985 to secure the border with Chile is now the national capital of trekking.

El Chalten 12
We start the day moving to a different (meaning: cheaper) hostel. Here too the Internet does not work, just as anywhere else in El Chalten. The nearest city is 220 km away, so they only get satellite Internet, which is slow (forget facebook) and the connection often breaks.
After our breakfast and coffee we set of for the trail. It’s a beautiful day, sun, blue sky, you can easily hike in a t-shirt. The views are breathtaking, also because the autum colours.

El  Chanten 2 El  Chanten
We choose the longest trail: 10 km and 4 hours one way. We have a good map and the trail is well marked.
El Chalten 4 El Chalten 5
El Chanten 3
El Chalten 6 El Chalten 7
Our destination is Laguna de los Tres with the view on Mount Fitz Roy. The last kilometre is the hardest. You walk for an hour very steep up the hill.

El Chalten 8
But it’s definitely worth the effort as you get to see this:

El Chalten 9

El Chalten 10

By the lagoon we meet John, a businessman from Atlanta with whom we return to El Chalten. John has been travelling across South America with his 19-year-old son for a couple of months now, so we exchange opinions and tips as we hike back.
El Chalten 11 El Chanten 4
We get dinner in a restaurant on the way back to the hostel, we’re just too tired to cook. Back in the dorm we meet a British couple whom we had already met on a bus from Ecuador to Peru (!) World is small 🙂
We go to sleep very early, as tomorrow morning we will continue our hitchhiking trip through Patagonia.

Thumbs up

20. – 22. March

Hitchhiking – Day 1 – 803 km and 6 drivers

Friday. In the outskirts of Bariloche we say goodbye to Wim and start thumbing our way south. The first car stops just after 10 minutes. Ignacio, a retired professional skier, in his perfect English tells us about his career, olympic games, visits to Europe and then his company Rio Manso Expediciones.

40 1 40 2
He leaves us after 68 km in at very picturesque junction. Thumbs up!
40 3 40 4

After half an hour we get a ride from Christian. He’s 30, he’s got a pink t-shirt and techno playing really loud in his car. We go with him 206 km and luckily the music changes on the way. We get to listen to some Argentinian rock, too.
40 5 40 6

Juan Antonio Lopez stops for us at the crossroads before Esquel. On the 85-kilometre-ride to Tecka we talk about politics and economy. The views change from mountains to desert.

40 11 40 840 10 40 940 12 40 7
In Tecka we also do not wait long for the next ride. We spend the next 5 hours and 424 km (!) with an elderly Argentinian in his even more elderly car. We talk, it’s nice, time flies. Outside there are fields, cows, sheep, vast spaces changing its colour in the sun.

40 13 40 krowy 40 owce 40 1740 15 40 1640 14 40 18 40 21 40 19
We stop to take some photos just before the sun sets. Empty route 40 ahead. It’s the last day of the summer in Patagonia…

Patagonia - ostatni dzień lataWe get to the crossroads 21 kilometres before Perito Moreno. It’s the last town that is on the way for all of us. It’s 9 pm. Deep inside we hope that the driver will not leave us but will give us a ride to the town. Especially that it’s already dark and cold. However, it turns out that he wants to drop us here. Luckily, we manage to stop another car even before we unpack our stuff from the previous one. We get to Perito Moreno in 15 minutes, find a hostel and get something to eat. Just after midnight k. gets a birthday hug from ł. together with a Kinder Bueno bar and a pink Swatch (beautiful!). We fall asleep within 30 seconds. It’s been a long day.

Hitchhiking – Day 2 – 343 km and one driver

Saturday. We get up early, get a coffee and some facturas, typical Argentinian cakes, and we go out to wait for our next ride just by a military base.
40 pion 1  perito moreno nic nie jedzie

Actually, there are no rides, there isn’t any traffic at all. An hour passes, then the second one and the third. We’re bored. Books, ukulele. We eat all our food supply. Time goes by but no cars do.  A few metres behind us another hitchhiking team (two guys) are also waiting and also with no luck. The forth hour passes and the fifth one. k. loses her temper. It’s not really the way she wished to spend her birthday.
perito moreno nic nie jedzie 2A car goes past us and then returns after a while to take us. They are a married couple with a little daughter on their way to Gubernador Gregores, where they will stay with their friends. The town is 343 km away from Perito Moreno. It’s a long weekend in Argentina. In Gubernador Gregores there are the the days of the village celebrated (fiesta del pueblo). The good thing is – we’re going south. The bad thing is – there are no places to stay in GG anymore. Everything is booked out.

40 day 2 5 40 day 240 day 2 2 40 day 2 340 baja caracoles 40 baja caracoles 2
On our way we see a lot of guanacos and ostriches cross the road in front of the car a lot of times:
40 day 2 4 40 day 2 6
At last we get there.

GG 1 GG 2

It’s 6 pm. The family drops us at the campsite, our only chance to stay overnight. The thing is, we have no tent. Besides, our backpacks are not warm enough to sleep outside. We manage to convince the manager of the campsite to let us sleep in the reception on the floor.

GG recepcja GG pole namiotowe
We find out a couple of cool things about this place:

  • there is a shower with hot water,
  • there are bathrooms with toilet paper
  • there are a few barbecue places and a spot for a campfire (and free wood),
  • the campsite is free of charge (there only is a box for tips in the reception).

What is more, the two hitchhikers from Perito Moreno are already here. They are two French guys – Rhodrig (31) and Teddy (26). We go together to the supermarket to do the shopping for our own barbecue.


We buy a lot of vegetables and fruit, a lot of meat for the boys, some wine and some sweets. It’s a birthday party after all. Teddy builds the fire and all of us, very hungry, watch the tasty bits getting grilled. And then the feast. We share everything following Teddy screaming with his French accent, compartir es vivir! (which is: sharing is living).

Happy and/because full we go out to the centre. In the village cultural centre there is a big party going on – the queen of the region is going to be chose. There are a lot of people, all of them overdressed: men in suits, women in high-heels and very old-fashioned dresses. The girls stand there on the stage smiling and waving, while the host is intruducing them: name, surname, age, size, favourite colour, favourite singer and the message to the youth. During the breaks there is music and dancing, colourful lights blinking here and there, there are crowds on the dancefloor. In no time Teddy dances with a lady, who is at least three times as old as he is. It’s surreal, like at a school disco in the 80s, just the people around a bit older.

We return to the campsita after 1 am, Teddy and Rhodrig party until 4 am.

Hitchhiking – Day 3 – 343 km and two drivers

Sunday. We wake up early. ł. gets up and takes photos of k., now 31 years old, who just cannot get out of bed. Five more minutes, please…

GG spanie

We go out to have breakfast and then we return to pick our backpacks. Our French friends are already up, packing their tents in awesome moods. We all plan to go in the same direction today, so chances are we will meet somewhere on the way. However, as we are ready to go and they are not, we leave earlier to find a nice spot on the shoulder of the road.

GG hitchhikers

We walk across the bridge on the other side of the river to the road that leads out of town and we thumb our way again.
GGhitchhiking GG hitchhiking
Just after 20 minutes a car stops. It’s a police officer going to Piedra Buena. It is south-east. El Chanten, our destination is south-west. Apparently we realize this when we’re already in the car. Anyway, it’s not that bad. After all we’re going south. We’re going! It’s good news after yesterday 6-hour waiting. 40 day 3 2 40 day 3

About 1 pm, after 117 km, our driver drops us at a junction in the middle of nowhere. There is some traffic on the road towards Gubernador Gregores, where the village fiesta is going on. In the next two hours only two cars go towards Tres Lagos and El Chanten. Both full of people, so they don’t even stop. The weather changes. Every now and then we can see the sun, otherwise it’s cloudy and windy. Books, ukulele, kicking stones.

40 day 3 4 40 day 3 3
At last, two old tumble-down cars stop by our mini-base. A huge number of people jump out of them (there are more of people than the cars can officially take, that’s for sure). The driver of one of the cars runs towards us without his shoes on (just white socks!) and asks if his band could take a photo with us. We can hardly believe what we hear but we agree, so the musicians instantly take a big keyboard and a loudspeaker out of one of the cars. They gather around us and take shots. Then they pack it all back to the cars. Before they leave we ask them to take one more photo with our camera. Just in case one day we start doubting if this really had happened.

40 day 3 5

The musicians leave towards Piedra Buena, leaving us all alone with our confusion. Another hour passes. We consider other options – returning to Gubernador Gregores or going to Rio Gallegos. We have to get somewhere, because there’s no way we’d sleep here.

At last a big renault approaches with only two adults on board. The car slows down to enter the dirtroad. A moment of hesitation, as they probably had not planned picking up hitchhikers on the way. k. makes the begging face (just as the cat in Shrek) and the car stops. It turns out the people not only go in our direction, they go exactly where we want to get – to El Chanten! We’re saved.

Miguel, a man with a peaceful job (anesthesiologist) travels to El Chanten with his wife to see a concert organized due to the Trekking Festival. They are very friendly, they share their cookies and mate with us, they joke, it’s a really nice ride. The road is not paved, so we ride the first 150 kilometres pretty slowly, which is really good if you want to admire the views. We see many ostriches and guanaco and even one armadillo (but unfortunately somebody has run it over).
40 day 3 8 40 day 3 6 40 day 3 9 40 day 3 7   40 day 3 10 40 day 3 11

We get to the asphalt road and here uncle Miguel really speeds up towards the mountains!
40 day 3 12 40 day 3 1340 day 3 14 40 day 3 15
Suddenly, two incredible mountains turn up on the horizon:

40 day 3 16
Just before entering El Chanten we take a photo-break and then we’re dropped off in front of the tourist information office. We say goodbye, find a hostel, do some shopping for dinner. We get to bed early, leaving the sightseeing for the next day.

Cerro Torre i Fitz Roy za nami

Within these 3 days we travelled 1489 Patagonian kilometres with 9 different drivers. Thumbs up for all of them!

Our drivers’ most interesting maneuvers on the route 40:

  • shifting back, just to see an ostrich,
  • driving 130 km/h at the speed limit of 30 km/h,
  • overtaking a police car at double yellow lines.

Ruta 40


17. – 20. March

On Tuesday morning we go for a walk downtown, 4km one way. The centre is rather uninteresting, but the weather is so nice that there’s nothing to complain about. We return to the hostel to make lunch and then we take another walk in the other direction, towards Cerro Otto, a hill nearby.

Below: a view on Bariloche, the city centre, swings in a sailing centre and Cerro Otto.

Bariloche miasto w tle Bariloche centrum Bariloche huśtawka Bariloche Cerro Otto

We spend the late afternoon by the lake. Books, ukulele, sunset.

Bariloche jezioro Bariloche jezioro 3  Bariloche jezioro 2 Bariloche czytanie ukulele cover Bariloche żaglówka

We spend the evening talking for a long time to Anja and Wim, a Dutch couple who moved to Surinam and who have been travelling by their Lexus through South America for 1,5 years.

On Wednesday morning we take a bus 20 km outside the town no walk a bit in the forests around the lake Nahuel Huapi. Again, the weather is just perfect: there are almost no clouds, the sky is blue, it’s warm and there’s no wind.
Bariloche spacer Bariloche pole golfoweBariloche spacer 3 Bariloche spacer 2  Bariloche spacer 4 Bariloche spacer 5

We hitchhike back to the hostel (as we run out of credit on the bus-card) and in the evening we continue our conversations with Anja and Wim. We talk about serious and less serious matters and these are very inspiring moments. We also wait for Natalia, Mariusz and Maks who are travelling to Bariloche from the south. We hope our paths will cross for the third time after Cayos Cochinos, Honduras and then Leon, Nicaragua. Unfortunately, they don’t manage to join us tonight.

On Thursday morning ł. doesn’t feel very well, so he stays in bed. Wim is busy working and k. together with Anja walk to the city centre for a cup of coffee and to get some postcards. In the afternoon everybody has something to do – ł. sleeps and Wim, Anja and k. sit in the dining room with their laptops.
At last, around 5 pm. k. spots Natalia, Maks and Mariusz walking down the road. They made it!

Mariusz and k. go to the supermarket to do the shopping. We are about to cook a big dinner on Anja and Wim. We buy potatoes, vegetables, meat, wine and cakes. And we talk all the time until the dinner’s ready!

bariloche kolacja Bariloche kolacja 2
After the meal it’s time for dessert and even more stories, not only related to travelling. Maks plays dominoes with Alejandra and Mariano, the owners of our hostel. The atmosphere is excpetional. It feels like home, with family. It’s really touching.
Bariloche kolacja 4 Bariloche kolacja 5

We go to bed really late although we plan to set off early tomorrow.

Friday morning means packing and saying goodbye. Wim offers to give us a lift to the outskirts of Bariloche from where we will be trying to hitchhike as far south as possible. But before we get into the Lexus – we exchange hugs and best wishes: travel safely.

Bariloche trzy rodziny

From the left: Natalia, k., Anja, Wim, Maks, ł. and Mariusz.

And here’s our hostel:

Bariloche Solentiname

And a bit of publicity:

Hitchhiking Patagonia

16. March

We wake up really early. It’s bright outside and we still have a couple of hours on the bus ahead. The landscape hasn’t changed much since Buenos Aires. It’s flat. Like in central Poland.
wyjazd z Buenos 2 wyjazd z Buenos wyjazd z buenos 3 wyjazd z buenos 4
We get off the bus shortly after 9 am at the bus terminal in Neuquen. We have a quick breakfast and then, together with Messi, we take a local bus to Senillosa.

It’s 11:30 when we get on the road. We put some sun screen, as the sun is high, and we start thumbing. There are 397 km from here to San Carlos de Bariloche.

The first car stops just after 10 minutes, but we get a ride only to the road fork, 3 km. We’re quickly picked up by two technicians. Electricians working in a hydroelectric power plant 35 km away. The driver drives fast, we talk, it’s nice. We get to Villa el Chocon, famous for the hydroelectric plant and a dam and also for huge fossils and footmarks of dinosaurs!

Autostop - woda Dinozaur
It doesn’t take long for the next car to stop. We get into an old Kia belonging to a Chilean lawyer, who’s just returning to Chile from his biking holiday in Neuquen. The car is super-old and shabby. The rubber seals fall apart, the windows are impossible to close, the right side of the car dented and with no polish, speedometer and odometer – not functioning. The driver goes extremely slow. He does head towards the same city, but with this speed we will cover ne next 350 km in 7 or 8 hours…
Autostop - chilijczyk droga z adwokatem 2 droga z adwokatem kaja z tyłu

ł. sits in front, k. on the back seat, fitted between both big backpacks and covered with the raincoat to hide from the sun. The conversation languished so we are all silent most of the time. After an hour the driver decides to talk: “And… changing the subject… do you believe in God? Because I do.” Somehow the attempt is unsuccessful, the conversation does not even start. Eventually, we split in Piedra del Aguila. The lawyer wants to take a rest and we want to go on.

We are being observed from the parking lot by Pablo in his dark blue Citroen. He asks us where we’re heading. We are still 200 km away from Bariloche. Pablo goes there too and then even further south. We get in.

The air conditioning works, it’s a comfortable car. Pablo drives well and sometimes even a bit too fast.

autostop Pablo Autostop Pablo 2
At times we drive through clouds of dust – that’s volcanic ash from the recent eruption in Chile.Autostop Pablo 4 Autostop Pablo 3
We can see guanaco and ostriches by the road. It’s getting less and less flat. The landscapes of Patagonia are more and more beautiful.
Autostop Pablo 5 Autostop Pablo 6 Autostop Pablo 7 Autostop Pablo 8
Autostop Pablo 10 Autostop Pablo 9
On the way, the “Service” light starts to blink in the Citroen.

Pablo Auto 2 Pablo - Auto

On shoulder Pablo diagnoses the problem: air filter. Using the penknife borrowed from k. he removes it from under the hood and then puts it to the trunk. Problem solved. The “service” light goes off. We go on.

Autostop Pablo 11 Autostop Pablo 14Autostop Pablo 12 Autostop Pablo 13  Autostop Pablo 15 Autostop Pablo 16

We say goodbye to Pablo around 6 pm at the bus terminal in Bariloche. We find a fantastic hostel – Solentiname, do shopping in the supermarket nearby and then cook dinner. A really good one – it’s our first evening in Patagonia after all. We have wine and strawberries for dessert. And a wonderful view of the Nahuel Huapi lake.

kolacja Bariloche 2 kolacja Bariloche