AirBnB has been absolutely pivotal in making our trip affordable and practically possible. All but one of our 18 different accommodations so far have been booked through the site.
Not only are hotels (and indeed often hostels) far more expensive but without the kitchen facilities available in our AirBnB properties feeding Amber and ourselves would be impractical / impossible.
AirBnB has also give us the chance to meet local people and experience neighbourhoods and properties that would otherwise have eluded us. That is not to say it’s all been plain sailing. Putting your stay in the hands of a random punter instead of the professional services industry can lead to problems, some more serious than others. In this post we’ll look back on our accommodation for 2016 and pick out the best and worst that AirBnB has offered.
Award: Biggest property
Winner: Luna Azul, Punta Ballena, Uruguay
For our second week in Uruguay we stayed at this vast 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom detached holiday home (only affordable as we stayed here way out of season). It even had its own name. In a predictable reaction to its size and the quietness of the neighbourhood overall we decided it was haunted. At least we didn’t feel quite so alone if we imagined a ghost making use of the third bedroom.
Amber helps give a sense of perspective in front of Luna Azul (ghost can be seen in top left window)
Fact: Argentina is utterly brilliant.
We have covered our 2 and a half months in Argentina in other postings (see links dotted throughout this post), so our aim here is to simply round it all up and jot down a few of our highlights. I say ‘simply’. We had some of our most precious moments of our trip so far in Argentina, so summing it up in a few short words is no mean feat.
But I’ll give it a go.
Playing at Museo de los Ninos in our first week in Buenos Aires
When we made the decision to go as far south as possible on the South American continent (and indeed the world, Antarctica aside) one inevitable question was what happens after that. What goes down must come up, as they (don’t) say. What we noticed while planning the trip was a direct flight from that most southerly point, Ushuaia and Cordoba, Argentina’s second largest city located in the central / north of the country.
Saying goodbye to the end of the world before our 4 hour flight north to Cordoba
In what would be some of the most incredible days of our trip so far, during November we spent nearly 4 weeks in Argentinian Patagonia. We travelled to Bariloche, El Calafate, El Chalten and completed our Patagonian adventure at the end of the world, in the town of Ushuaia. For us, it is impossible to describe in words the wild beauty of this part of the world. So we won’t try. Instead we have compiled a photo diary showing some of the highlights from our trip. Enjoy.
The views on our first few days were hindered by typically unpredictable weather. Here we are on the outskirts of Parque Llao-Llao
It was the early hours of Sunday morning and the mockingbird soared high above the Rio de La Plata. From that vantage point it looked like the continent itself was trying to swallow the ocean. Mouth wide open, the upper lip the coast of Uruguay, the lower lip Argentina’s eastern flank. As the mouth of the river narrowed, the bird, like many of the people below, felt the magnetic pull of the city that appeared down to its left. Looking from up high the lights of Buenos Aires stretched out along the coast and far inland, like a patchwork of tiny bonfires. The grids of light were occasionally interrupted by darkness where the city’s green spaces breathed air into the congested centre. Vast avenues that cut through the patchwork of roads were dotted with occasional traffic, mainly yellow and black taxis, straddling eight, nine, sometimes ten lanes.
We are now 11 days into our month long stay in Buenos Aires and it’s safe to say we love it here. After changing destination every week since August 26th when we left Rio we were looking forward to the relative stability of an extended stay in a city with a global reputation. So far, despite the fact our explorations have been cut short by Amber’s first illness since being away, we are very happy to be here – the city has met all of our expectations and in many cases surpassed them.
The obligatory photo of the BA sign in front of Obelisco de Buenos Aires (built by Germans in 1936 in just 31 days)
Here’s what we’ve learnt so far.
As well as numbers I also love a good plan and this trip gives us plenty of opportunities to scour maps, AirBnB and flight / bus schedules in order to arrange the next phases of our trip.
With 2 weeks in Rio behind us (see Claire’s blog here) we want to lay out what we have planned over the next few weeks as well as quickly comment on the week just gone.
26th August – 2nd September: Barra da Lagoa
This week we have been in the fishing village of Barra da Lagoa (not quite as small as it sounds with the plethora of hostels, surf schools and restaurants around but that said it is still very quiet and relaxed) near Florianopolis. This is a tranquil, serene and beautiful place that sits at the southerly point of a seemingly endless beach on the east side of Isla Santa Catarina. Our days here are simple – playing on the beach with Amber, drinking Brahma beer, keeping our costs down and trying (sometimes succeeding) to make meals that Amber will eat (more on this to come but it’s been emotional to say the least).
Barra da Lagoa