Posts tagged: high prices

Argentina: San Carlos de Bariloche

By , January 6, 2011 6:04 am
View Of Llao Llao

View Of Llao Llao

We have been very fortunate to have friends and family join us along the way. It does take a little more planning and coordination, but it’s always wonderful to see familiar faces.

Getting to San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina was a bit of a pain as two of our flights got cancelled. While the airline did hook us up with 5-star accommodations, all expenses paid, we were just eager to get to Bariloche because our friend, Amy, from San Francisco was meeting us there. Two days later than planned, we finally arrived.

Cooking Together With Old Pal, Amy & New Buddy, Hannes

Cooking Together With Old Pal, Amy & New Buddy, Hannes

Our first reaction to Bariloche was not so positive. It is a very popular holiday spot among the fortunate Argentineans. The city has all the first world amenities and English is well understood so we felt right back at home. Because we have been accustomed to travelling in 3rd world countries, we were taken back a bit by the high prices and how easy everything was.

View From Our Bedroom At 1004 Penthouse Hostel

View From Our Bedroom At 1004 Penthouse Hostel

Boris & Hannes Enjoying A Beer And The View

Boris & Hannes Enjoying A Beer And The View

One of the great perks of traveling with holiday-goers is because of their limited time, everything is well researched before arriving. With Amy, we just took the backseat to planning. She found a great hostel, 1004 Penthouse. It was on the top floor of the tallest building in Bariloche so that meant amazing views. The vibe and the people of the hostel were awesome so we highly recommend this place.

Every night, we either cooked at the hostel or dined out. If you like meat, Bariloche is your city and parillas are a great way to try wonderful meats like bife de lomo or chorizo; we especially liked the lamb.

Dinner With New Friends

Dinner With New Friends

Lamb, Our Favorite

Lamb, Our Favorite

At the end of the night, we always did a supermarket run for wine. Wine was inexpensive and it was nice to chill out with new friends while sipping on a new kind of wine. We were most impressed with the Chilean wines and overall, Malbec was good.

To explore the popular El Circuito Chico (the Short Circuit), we rented bicycles for the day. It was just refreshing to be in the outdoors and be wowed by the picturesque landscape around Lake Nahuel Huapi. It took us about 5 hours to bike the loop. I admit it was pretty tough for me. I got so tired of pedaling that whenever we went up hill, I walked it up. Boris, however, was a super trooper and pedaled the entire way. If you have time, make a tea stop at the super luxurious hotel, Llao Llao, and say hello to Paola for us.

Me & Frenchie

Me & Frenchie

Lookout Point

Lookout Point

Mountain Ranges All Around Us

Mountain Ranges All Around Us

Along with the folks we met at the hostel, we hiked Cerro Catedral, but didn’t make it all the way to the Frey refugee because it started to snow. It was still a very nice easy hike. Thanks to Hannes for redirecting us on the way back as Boris and I started to take the difficult path into the bushes.

Hikking @ Cerro Catedral

Hikking @ Cerro Catedral

Panoramic View

Panoramic View

Cerro Catedral

Cerro Catedral

Bariloche ended up being a very relaxing spot for us. It was a great stop before heading out to the active city of Buenos Aires. Also, don’t forget to try the chocolates.

A Carancho

A Carancho

Lake View From El Circuito Chico

Lake View From El Circuito Chico

Alpine Church

Alpine Church

Lunch At Lago Perito Moreno

Lunch At Lago Perito Moreno

Beautiful Views Everywhere

Beautiful Views Everywhere

What We Paid: Argentine
Pesos
USD Euro
– Triple @ 1004 Penthouse Hostel
[shared room, shared facilities, great views, great vibe, friendly staff, highly recommend]
47/pp 11.85 9
– Public Bus
[bus 20 To Campanero For El Circuito Chico, bus 26 To Cerro Catedral, bus 72 for airport]
6/pp 1.50 1.15
– Parilla At El Boliche de Alberto [highly recommend] 51/pp 12.85 9.80
– Splurge For Dinner At Tarquino 133/pp 33.50 25.55

Flickr Photoset | Slideshow

Peru: Machu Picchu

By , December 20, 2010 4:00 am
Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

After a 4-hour train ride from Cuzco, we arrived in a small village called Aguas Calientes. Besides being the gateway to Machu Picchu, there is not much else going on in this little place.

As we walked around, we were always approached by locals who tried to entice us to eat or drink at their restaurants with promotions. Prices are so ridiculously set for tourists that we got specials like 4 drinks for the price of 1 or half off for food. Just remember to look at your final bill and the additional service charge written is not required.

A few pisco sour drinks later, we had to call it an early night for our ascend to Machu Picchu at dawn.

Me&Frenchie On The Train To Aguas Calientes

Me&Frenchie On The Train To Aguas Calientes

Having to wake up at 3am for anything is never nice and being welcomed by the rain, makes it even harder to get up. However, we got out of the hotel as planned and began our hike. About twenty minutes later, we arrived at a locked gate to learn that it doesn’t open until 4:45am.

By the time the gate opened, there was about twenty of us waiting in the pouring rain. It was uphill the entire way. Surprisingly, we reached the gates of Machu Picchu in an hour or so.

As we made our grand entrance with soaking wet clothes and grey cloudy skies above us, it all didn’t matter anymore when we were standing in front of the famous Inca ruins. We have seen so many pictures of this one spot, but in person, it was priceless.

First Sight Of Cloudy Machu Picchu

First Sight Of Cloudy Machu Picchu

The point of waking up so early is that they only allow a maximum of 400 people a day to have access to Wayna Picchu. This is a strenuous uphill hike that is supposed to give the best view of the valley. When we reached the top, the views were stunning even though the weather didn’t get any better. The only problem was we couldn’t really see through the thick fog that was covering up the ruins.

Ash & MuiMui Showing Beautiful Machu Picchu From The Large Peak Of Wayna Picchu

Ash & MuiMui Showing Beautiful Machu Picchu From The Large Peak Of Wayna Picchu

Waiting For The Clouds To Burn Off

Waiting For The Clouds To Burn Off

I was optimistic that the weather was going to change so we hung out on the top of the mountain for some time and to dry off our clothes. At 10 am exactly, the sun started to come out and we could see a little bit of the ruins as some of the fog moved away. At this point, we were all very happy that we were going to have some decent photos. About 30 more minutes, Mother Nature did her magic and the fog was all gone. It was just amazing to be staring down at this ancient Inca village and all of its grandeur. As we stared on for another hour, I tried to understand why this ancient city is so much more popular than the others as it is not the largest. I guess because of its unique location on top of a mountain and being surrounded by large peaks and its terrace landscape, it made it more gratifying to the eye.

Yay! We can see some of Machu Picchu

Yay! We can see some of Machu Picchu

Me & Frenchie

Me & Frenchie

We then made our way to the smaller and closer Wayna Picchu. When the view couldn’t get any better, we had a dead on view of the ruins.

Machu Picchu From The Small Peak Of Wayna Picchu

Machu Picchu From The Small Peak Of Wayna Picchu

We left the tour of the ruins for last.  As we walked around, it seemed like the lamas were set there on purpose to entertain the tourists.

Inside Machu Picchu

Inside Machu Picchu

MuiMui Taking A Classic Photo Pose

MuiMui Taking A Classic Photo Pose

Despite the rain, the tourists, the early wake up, we were very impressed by the sight of Machu Picchu and had an awesome day.

Famous View Of Machu Picchu

Famous View Of Machu Picchu

MuiMui In A Sea Of Trees

MuiMui In A Sea Of Trees

Me & Frenchie Waiting For The Fog To Burn Off Completely

Me & Frenchie Waiting For The Fog To Burn Off Completely

Ash, MuiMui, And Boris

Ash, MuiMui, And Boris

Ruins At Machu Picchu

Ruins At Machu Picchu

City Of Machu Picchu

City Of Machu Picchu

Pretty Flowers At Aguas Calientes

Pretty Flowers At Aguas Calientes

What We Paid: Peruvian
Soles
USD Euro
– Roundtrip Train From Cuzco To Aquas Caliente
(Backpackers class; 4-hours one-way)
270 96 73
– Private Double Room with private bathroom 40 14.20 10.80
– Entrance To Machu Picchu 126 44.80 34
– Bus From Machu Picchu To Aguas Calientes (one-way) 20.50 7.30 5.55
– Lunch In Aguas Calientes 12 4.25 3.25
– Dinner in Aguas Calientes 10 3.50 2.65

Flickr Photoset | Slideshow

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