Sobriety of our Existence: Backpacking Adventures in South America


Solidarity in Action representatives Jenna Canning and Natasha Farrugia continue to explore the many wonders of South America.  Here is the next chapter of their journey…

Upon last writing to you all, Jenna and I were leaving Brazil behind us and crossing borders to Argentina. The Brazilian side of Cataratas, as mentioned was a soaking experience. Our spongey minds and bodies absorbed every moment of the breath taking views with our friends from France. The Argentina side, as advised, was stunning.  We had a much more tangible experience IN the falls on the Brazilian side and the Argentinian side proved to be a visual appreciation of our existence.  A woman we met on our tour in Puerto Iguau (the Argentina side) captioned the views we were taking in that day with the expression “sobriety of our existence”. It stuck with me and has so much truth to it. The beautiful sights Jenna and I have been observing truly serve as sobriety to our existence and appreciation for our visual and auditory existences. 

That fast-forwards us a day to our arrival in Buenos Aires (B.A).  We embarked on a self guided tour of Palermo, the city where our hostel was located, and found a patio to sit on and enjoy lunch. It was lovely to see many locals enjoying each others company on a patio, even in the early season of their winter. We went back to the hostel with high hopes of dolling ourselves up for an elegant evening at a Tango show. Some may think we were crazy but we navigated our way through the city streets bus system. We were pretty excited about our tango lesson and show, so we had arrived quite early.  Our tango certificates are proof that we successfully completed our lesson with excellency. With the rhythm still pulsating within us, the show had us mesmerized and tango’ing our way home that evening. The rest of our evening was spent exchanging Canadian tourist locations with some Uraguay men.

 We successfully located our American friend that we met in Puerto Iguacu, Colin,who had made his way back to B.A. for the final leg of his adventure.  We spent Sunday walking, what felt like the entire city of Buenos Aires touring popular locations.  Continuing our walk to San Telmo for the 2km long market of artisans and food vendors, paired with local musicians, made for a very culturally rich afternoon.  While at the market, we had asked a tourist looking individual to take a photo of us which led us to adding another person to our group and having him guide us to Cementario de Rocoleta. This is a cemetery with large room-like graves containing notable people like Eva Peron.   We said goodbye to our new friend shortly after getting some guidance to a restaurant that came highly suggested. La Cabrera was suggested to us by some Canadians we had met at our tango lesson.  Jenna and I shared a well needed and deserved steak dinner with yam, rice, onion, fries and a fried egg…oh and of course a bottle of wine.  Our new hostel, Milhouse, was very large hostel had many people from all over the world with many amenities. Here we would meet up with two Brits, Will and Dill,  that we had previously met in Foz de Iguazu. The night was filled with exchanges of British and Canadian accents. 

 Our bus for Mendoza would depart in the evening so we took it slowly on Monday, visiting La Boca, having lunch and returning to the hostel. La Boca is known for its colourful streets and Caminito where many tango performances can be enjoyed while eating. We remained at the hostel until we would leave for the bus terminal where we would purchase our bus ticket for Mendoza. Our friend Colin came to see us off. We spent some time at the bus terminal after purchasing our ticket. 

 This morning we arrived in beautiful Mendoza. A city known for its wine and scenery. We drove into the snow capped Andes mountains and are staying at a beautiful hostel called Mora Idiomatic Hostel.  We visited a couple of plazas or better known to us as parks in the area. While walking around the Plaza de Indendencia, the scent of one of our favourite snacks led us to a street vendor who was selling peanuts covered in sugar. We were fortunate enough to have him tell us how they are prepared as we cooked them. It was such a wonderful cultural experience. Of course, we purchased our creation and enjoyed the warmer sun Mendoza has to offer. This evening we cooked our own meal and enjoyed the complimentary glass of wine. We were able to participate in a free Mate class, introducing us to the presentation and culture of this tea drinking ritual originating in Argentina. We are spending a couple days in Mendoza to make sure we don’t rush the beautiful scenery and wine, of course. Tomorrow we will head to some thermal pools and Thursday we will do a bike tour to some local wineries. Updates in the next blog on whether we make it back on our bikes or not.

 Thank you for taking the time to be apart of our journey. Despite the difficulty of describing the colours, tastes and sounds of South America, we hope you can get a glimpse of our experience. Please take a moment to reflect on features of your daily lives that reflect a sobriety of your existence. This is such a powerful reflection, I am so thankful that travelling the world helps me have a better grasp on what this means for me when I see things that many people dream of seeing and/or may never see in their lifetime. We can do this daily in our neighbourhoods and within ourselves without having to step outside (although, I believe true sobriety lies within mother nature’s finest assets).

Until the next time….


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