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South America

Chasing waterfalls

Beauty can appear in many ways. I really love mother earth and think she without doubt is the best architect ever. Usually I find mountains and beaches the most interesting, but the place I’ve been visiting the last two days is indescribable. I have literally been chasing waterfalls for two days.

Iguazu Falls are located on the border between Argentina and Brazil and consist of 260 different waterfalls. It’s the not highest in the world but by FAR the largest when it comes to the amount of water passing by. I think that people sometimes abuse superlatives like «breathtaking» – but this place really can live up to it. The sight, size and sound of all this is just unbelievable and pictures can’t justify the size of it.

80 % of the falls are in Argentina and 20 % in Brazil (this is as far as my mathematic skills go btw). The first day I spent in Argentina where you should be prepared for a whole lot of walking. I estimate I walked at least 10 kilometers. There are so many waterfalls to see and there is a «lower walk» and an «upper walk» and both offer great views of the falls. As always when visiting touristic areas you should be there early. I was there at 8 AM when opening and stayed until 14.30 which was enough I think. I would say this is one of the «tourist traps» really worth visiting just like Machu Picchu.

Day two I spent on the Brazilian side which is smaller and just takes around 2 hours to see. Here you see the falls from a little more distance and get a good overview look.

That’s it that’s all folks!

Iguazu Falls

Netflix and Montevideo

My travel has changed a little bit the last time. The first 5-6 weeks were full of amazing adventures both high and low – warm and cold. Of course the areas I visit offer different things and the since east coast of South America (Argentina, Uruguay and next Brasil) are not in the Andes – there is not the same amount of really unique adventures. But that’s really fine for me now. In the beginning there were almost an adventure every day either waking up in the desert or super early in a mountain village to catch a bus to some radical place. Last time week has been more about Netflix and hitting the gym – and it has been great.

Even though I’m traveling I like doing the things I do at home too. Sometimes I meet people questioning why I exercise when traveling. “You are on vacation – relax!”. Well, the fact is I relax when I work-out, perhaps not physically but mentally and that’s what matters to me. A hobby or need doesn’t just go away because you are in another country. Hitting the gym, watching a tv-series or/and going on Tinder-dates are just normal things for normal people nowadays. It’s also a good way to meet the locals in their everyday situations and with long blonde hair, tan skin and tight tank-top (believe it or not) a lot of people are eager to exchange a few words with this “gringo” in the gym.

In a total I spent 4 full days in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. Two of those were sunny and nice and then it’s a lovely city where you can go to the beaches and enjoy the parks along the beach walk. The other two days were cloudy and grey – and then there is pretty much nothing to do here. To say it straight out: it’s dead boring and not very beautiful either. On the other hand it has the highest standard of living in South America so it’s actually the perfect place to kill some grey days just relaxing, working-out and enjoying the good food it has to offer.

The hostel I stayed in was the first in South America where it was possible to stream video. I’m not traveling the world to watch TV, but since there were a couple of grey days I used it to watch season 2 of Narcos. Amazing production and since I will be in Colombia in about 3-4 weeks I found it really interesting. When in “Netflix-mode” I also went through another Netflix original series; Stranger Things. Well produced, cosy, unique and exciting! Well worth seeing.

No Netflix for a long time now – I’m off chasing waterfalls!

Montevideo

Peaceful Punta del Diablo

My Spanish skills has increased a lot since the start of my travel in South America. Perhaps not the biggest of achievements since it was pretty much limited to: «Hola! Una cerveza, por favor.» Even though my vocabulary has grown a lot, there is a big difference in knowing the meaning of a word – and to know what it actually means. Compare it to hearing someone speak – and listening to someone speak. You get me? Anyway, there is this one word the Latin-Americans use a lot: tranquilo. The meaning is easy to find in Google Translate, but the real meaning of it I first understood when I arrived to this place.

Punta del Diablo means «Tip of the Devil» – a dramatic name I must say and not describing the place at all. Tranquilo means peaceful and I would say that the devil has a pretty peaceful holiday resort here in Uruguay. Punta del Diablo is a small fishing and surfing village along the coast of Uruguay. When I write small, I really mean it – about 300 people living here. Only dirt roads and not even a ATM / cash machine. Having spent the last week in Buenos Aires and Montevideo (both big capitals) the contrast of coming here was huge. As big as the contrast was, as good it felt.

It’s still low season here, so there are almost no tourists. I was lucky sharing hostel with a guy from Hungary on the same age as me. We spent the days relaxing, exploring some of the ( what seemed like) endless beaches and I finally also got to surf a little. Seven months since last time on a board I was a little rusty and the waves were a little too fast for me, but it felt good being back in the water again and I can’t wait to have some more surf in Brazil in a few weeks.

Growing up in a really small place myself, I definitely know how it is to have stressless surroundings. But living the last 11 years in Oslo, you get a different kind of life and I must say I prefer living in a city – but I also prefer leaving as often as possible. In search of what I found in this particular spot; tranquilo.

Punta del Diablo