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Iguazu Falls / Argentina · 2014   forever falling 

  

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   Fueled by cheap fine wine, the four of us paddled from vineyard to vineyard to vineyard under the wealthy Mendozan sun. The day was as green as it was warm and our sleeves were short and our worries less than a few. And then, some two thousand miles later, we were neck-deep in winter jackets, our eyes clinging to a glacier that knew all hues of all blues. Down there in Patagonia it was autumn in spring, Mt. Fitzroy all dressed up in kaleidoscopic foliage, and everything reigned by harsh winds. Along those endless highways, inching towards far horizons, we found our way just fine, ever south, through prairie lands and the smallest towns with the best empanadas. And when we reached the end of the world in Ushuaia, we turned around and made our way back up, upper and then some, until we reached Iguazu falls, where the water fell, fell, fell fantastically.

After traversing the country from top to bottom and left to right, we settled in Buenos Aires for a bit, living another one of these little short-term lives with the weeks dissolving fast. Our puny apartment in San Telmo had it all, except for windows, and right at its doorstep flea markets with tango, pizza with olives, and the Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur. We dipped out toes into the nightlife, percussion, jazz and parties, strolled among the dead at Recoleta cemetery and among the living along Avenida 9 de Julio and Avenida de Mayo and in a thousand flavorful side streets. It was one of the harder goodbyes this one, home-bound planes for three of us and a 48h bus ride to Rio for me.

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a glimpse

autumn foliage and snow in Argentina

glimpse: AUTUMN SNOW | But winter wasn’t early, nor was autumn late; it was simply a different place, a moody place, where, unbeknownst to him then, snow fell whenever it so pleased.

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all those sub-destinations en route

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El Chalten, Patagonia / Argentina · 2014   towards heights

a whole lot of destination

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Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia / Argentina · 2014   icy tongue

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places / stories

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Buenos Aires / Painless Predictability

Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires / Argentina · 2014   bridge between centuries

 

 

 

 

Buenos Aires was most unsurprising, but somehow its predictability was not in the least painful. In fact, I believe that was the only thing that really surprised me. Everything was an affirmation of some accurate cliché that had formed in my head, an entanglement of conscious and subconscious assumptions, that was spot-on beyond the benefit of hindsight: San Telmo’s Sunday flea markets with tango performances, the old apartment buildings that could have been straight out of Paris, the penthouse pinnacles à la New York, Mediterranean vibes somewhere between France, Italy and Spain, mega-avenues, liveliness, grime, arts, nightlife, and the Latin Americaness that tied it all into a pretty bundle. It all made good sense.

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Monserrat, Buenos Aires / Argentina · 2014   European ghost

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Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur, Buenos Aires / Argentina · 2014   pinnacle parade

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Recoleta cemetery on a grey day was good and the Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur on a bright day better.

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Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires / Argentina · 2014   ghost town

It wasn't just another park that was an escape from the city. It was clearly an escape that happened to be a park.

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Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur, Buenos Aires / Argentina · 2014   towers in the wild

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bench and autumn foliage

 

Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur, Buenos Aires / Argentina · 2014   falling without haste

 

 

Under a tree in autumn, I fell with the leaves without haste,

 

until we hit the bottom with our griefs so tightly embraced.

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Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires / Argentina · 2014   brick and glass

 

 

 

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Iguazu / Invisible Stains on Your Soul

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There is only one thing I really know about waterfalls and that is that nobody hates them. And I can see why, to say the very least. It’s obvious, every time. Iguazu was like a waterfall made of waterfalls, an acapella group of harmonizing water voices.

Iguazu Falls / Argentina · 2014   somewhere under the rainbow

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Of course the crushing force of a waterfall seems excessive, but it’s all good fun to watch from behind a railing that someone like you put there, the same anonymous stranger you always trust with your life.

Iguazu Falls / Argentina · 2014   between sides

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Iguazu Falls / Argentina · 2014   curtains closing on another day

 

 

 

The mist left invisible stains on your soul that wouldn't come off for a while. ​

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Iguazu Falls / Argentina · 2014   feeding the jungle

 

 

 

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Patagonia / Be, and Be There

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Mt. Fitzroy, Patagonia / Argentina · 2014   frayed

 

 

 

 

You didn’t need to be a mountain lover to fall for Fitzroy. You didn't even need to be any kind of lover. All you had to do was be, and be there.

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Patagonia / Argentina · 2014   runaway runway

 

 

 

 

Just how easy it is to recognize the right way. I know you see it too.

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Patagonia / Argentina · 2014   the sweet toll of a long road

 

 

 

No matter how much humanity turned up the heat, it was one of the few glaciers that didn't retreat. Of course that didn't keep us from trying. 

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Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia / Argentina · 2014   blues are my favorite hues

 

 

 

 

Exile me on a floe and shove me into the lake and I'll be on my way to warmer shores.

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Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia / Argentina · 2014   cradle of floes

 

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related

reads | travel

The Super-Ultimate Zero-Item Packing List of a 6-Year-Traveler

 

the distilled truth about packing after 70 months on the road

We have mustered the privileged courage to wave our comfort zone goodbye, so why are we so afraid of making puny packing decisions? read more

countries | South America | Chile

Patagonia / Hitchhiking Chronicles & Mundane Waiting

why waiting doesn’t feel like leisure

 

Just why do moments of waiting feel so dull and wasted? Why do we have to “kill” that time? explore

photos | landscapes

Americas

wilderness heart

The glaciers looked like petrified tsunamis, and the psychedelic lagoons like glitches, and that altitude canyon like an abyss in the sky. see more

photos | urban

South America

brick beauty & street art, color & glass

From Medellin to La Paz to Rio, the hills bled bricks. The street art wasn’t born there, [...] urbane installations mixed with flamboyant Pacha Mama spirituality that formed a fairly tame and countenanced link between dyed colonialist old towns and glassy capitalist new towns. see more

 

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elsewhere

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in South America