Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you are all stuffing your faces with enough mashed potatoes, squash, and pumpkin pie (my 3 favorite Thanksgiving foods) for me! I treated myself to a delicious 15 peso (a little less than $2) hamburger that I bought on the street today as my Thanksgiving meal. While it wasn’t the fanciest Thanksgiving meal I have ever had, I at least had an incredible view to make it all okay. I spent a considerable part of the day hunting down something pumpkin-flavored but to no avail, unfortunately. I am considering hunting down some mashed potatoes later, though.
May not be turkey and mashed potatoes, but I can’t complain about the view or the beautiful weather.
I found a chocolate turkey!
In other news, I am in Bariloche, Patagonia! Some gals from IFSA and I arrived here on Monday afternoon after a lovely 18-hour bus ride. I say lovely because it was actually awesome. We didn’t realize that our seats were executive seating, meaning they were fully equipped with wide, comfy seats that reclined 180 degrees, a TV screen, meal service complete with wine, and beautiful views! Not a bad surprise. The true highlight, though, was playing Andesmar Bingo. (Andesmar is the bus company.) I had a stroke of luck and won us a bottle of wine! Woo!
I am absolutely in love with this city. It sits right on the edge of a beautiful lake with mountains all around. There is also divine chocolate EVERYWHERE. I have no shame to admit that I have gone around at least 4 times now just to get the free samples. That was the other part of my Thanksgiving meal I failed to mention. I feel transported back to Geneva, Switzerland (where I was in January) with all these lakes, mountains, and chocolate! Oh, and they have St. Bernard’s everywhere too!
Chocolate for dayzzz
On Tuesday, we rented bikes for an absolute deal and did a 27 km bike circuit that was single-handedly the most beautiful bike ride I have ever done in my entire life. I feel like I am in an incredible mix of Switzerland, Jackson Hole, Pinedale, and heaven– all coming together to create a place that never ceases to take my breath away. I then made a delicious pasta and steak meal with the Bingo wine back at the hostel which was a perfect end to a perfect day.
Obligatory bike-over-the-head shot
On Wednesday, we decided the best way to stretch out our sore muscles from the bike ride was to do a 20 km hike! As I sit in my hostel bunk bed writing this, I can say that I am still incredibly sore, but it feels great. I am so excited to be outside and doing some of my favorite things again. We hiked up to a refugio (refuge). Every step was more beautiful than the one before. A lot of it reminded me of my beloved Wind River Mountains. This is where I said goodbye to my lovely traveling companions, though. They spent last night camping while I came back to the city. I head South to El Calafate tomorrow before they come back from camping. I am so glad that the first few days of our travels lined up so that I could share some more time with 4 of the most amazing friends I have made throughout my semester here.
Today, I have spent a lot of time planning the next part of my trip and walking around the city. It is pretty windy and a bit chilly today, so I am glad to have the time to just relax. Tomorrow, I will get on a 28-hour bus to El Calafate where I will spend just one night before heading to El Chalten, the trekking capital of Argentina. I will basically be spending the next week+ seeing the glaciers and mountains that you always see in photos of Patagonia. I can’t wait! On this day of thanks, and every day, I am so grateful to all of the opportunites I have had–especially this semester. I owe a big shout out to my parents for providing me with the skills and chance to do such amazing things. Thank you for being the absolute best, Mom and Dad! I also want to send a big thanks for all the amazing friends and family in my life. You are all so important to me, and I am so glad to have you. I love and miss you lots, but I will see you before you know it!