A Travellerspoint blog

3 Days till Santiago

´Training is nearly over´

sunny 18 °C

Well i´m back in Pucon. One of the nicest towns in Chile. At the base of Villarica volcano and a holiday spot for the rich, it is a really lovely and picturesque town. The passengers are all out climbing the volcano today and it just brings reminders of when I climbed it, swearing every step and having such awesome fun on the way down.

We arrived in town yesterday afternoon after 4 days on the Navimag. The Navimag is a cargo ferry that travels through the Chilean fjords. Some hints if you ever want to go on the Navimag.....take plenty of snacks, drinks and books, be prepared to go a little stir crazy, take sea sickness tablets, stay away from Marcello on the dance floor (trust me on this one) and dance like crazy after BINGO night.

The Pax and I all survived in one piece and even the 3-4 metre waves didn´t make me feel seasick. I feel pretty hard core now. Although the trip back down in a month may have me thinking otherwise.

So only 3 days till Santiago and then hopefully onto Montevideo to have 2 weeks of down time and spanish lessons.

Some shout outs....
.....Aunty Elvrae, thanks for the well wishes. Hope you start feeling better soon.
.....Sam and Mick, Congratulations on the birth of Oliver. He is very cute. Enjoy every second.
.....Mez and Matt, the house looks great.

Would love to hear news from home so don´t be shy.

Posted by Renae Jane 14:38 Archived in Chile Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Torres del Paine and El Chalten

I think Gaucho is in mourning

sunny 8 °C

Who would have thought the first 9 days of me being a tour leader would have turned out like this! Not me that's for sure.

I'm currently in El Chalten on a beautiful day when I can see Mt Fitzroy and not a cloud in the sky. The locals tell me this is very rare. Since Punta Arenas we have visited the world famous Torres del Paine and experienced all four seasons in about an hour. From snow coming at you horizontally to blue skies and howling winds. This place is certainly not for the faint hearted. One of our passengers got blown over in the wind. Serves her right for being a size 8, blond hair, blued German lass is what I say. ;)

A few highlights from Torres include cooking a mean pork goulash with Marika's recipe and whatever herbs I could find; roasting some turkeys on the fire and getting drunk with some new found friends (there seems to be a pattern here??). Luckily it is all in the name of adventure!

From here we head to El Calafate then onto the Navimag. This would all be A-OK if not for the fact that the cargo door blew off the ship a few weeks back and now they are not taking any cargo (what the.....my motion sickness brain cells kick into overdrive every time I think about it). Hence this means Col must drive Gaucho up to Puerto Montt to meet us and the PAX and I get to experience the navimag first hand.

Col and I were laughing the other night about what a crazy induction it has been for me. We think Gaucho is in mourning for Marika as he keeps developing leaks and blowing up the radiator....oh and the latest thing was a chip in the windscreen that turned into a 2 foot long crack once we came around a corner into some wind and it spread about an inch a second as we struggled against it. Nothing like thinking the windscreen is going to fall in on you whilst heading into 70km an hour winds doing about 50km an hour.

Each experience in the past week has just cemented the thoughts in my head that this is going to be one hell of a ride!

Posted by Renae Jane 10:46 Archived in Argentina Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

I've Been Promoted Already

3 weeks of training in 3 hours!

Ahhh...There's nothing like overlanding. Who said there wouldn't be suprises and challenges everyday???? Certainly not me.

Lovely people and new found friends; the persn training you getting taken to hospital trips at 1.00 in the morning; inding out your now leading the tour instead of just doing training.

Last time I was still in a relative state of bliss. Having just gotten into Ushuaia I was learning the ropes at an easy pace. We met our PAX and held the PDM, had a nice dinner and headed off to bed. Around 1.30 am we're in a taxi on our way to the hospital with Marika having complications with her baby. After spending the night in hospital with her the realisation dawns on me that i will now be running the show!!

Holy Crap!

Luckily Marika and the baby are both okay but they are spending a few nights in hospital in Ushuaia and it looks like they won't be joining us again. :( So.....after scrambling notes like a mad woman, trying to think of every question possible and checking to see who we will be dealing with the speaks English Col and I head off to great our PAX and let them know the news.
Luckily we have

Posted by Renae Jane 01:41 Comments (0)

Ushuaia at 5 degrees

Information overload has begun

sunny 4 °C

So when the pilot said 5 degrees when i was coming into Ushuaia, this is when I thought "OMG what the hell! What happened to the 28 degree Brisbane days, or even the 20 degrees and 80% humidity that I had in B.A. last night."
But alas after a warm welcome from Marika and Col all seemed to be right in the world again.

It was advantageous booking into the long Sydney to B.A. flight from Brisbane.....a Premium Economy seat! Awesome. No one beside me....even better. Although I didn't get much sleep I did get to watch some very good movies. The Hangover (we're talking a laugh out loud, tears running down face), The Time Travellers Wife which, although I didn't get the jist of the book, it made a really good movie. Tears running down the face but not in a funny way.

Looking into the mirror at the hostel in B.A. was a sight....I’ve never had bloodshot eyes due to being tired before. Not a good look. I also at this point had a crisis in confidence with my lack of Spanish. A 5am taxi ride saw me at Jorge Newberry Airport with 43 kilos of luggage with a limit of 23kg. EEEkkkk. Luckily a quick mention of the fact I had come in from an international flight saw me go through without any excess baggage.

So Ushuaia...... A perfectly clear, crisp day revealed beautiful snow capped mountains in the southern most city in the world. It's 9.30 pm and still no sign of the sun setting and after a few hours of information download from Marika we are now sitting in the hostel having a glass of red (well Col and I are; Marika’s current state- which lead to me being here in the first place, has prevented her from this), watching Col cook steak and vegies for dinner.

Somehow everything seems like it's going to be okay.

Posted by Renae Jane 15:26 Archived in Argentina Tagged round_the_world Comments (1)

Wake me when i'm on the plane

4 days till B.A. (the plane trip doesn't count)

I'm starting to wonder if the universe is telling me I shouldn't be going anywhere?

A dog who's just had an operation to remove a piece of plastic blocking her intestine (she's a retriever, they eat anything), a major crisis over cash supply (see previously mentioned operation) and not enough hours in the day to get everything done. At this point i'm thinking that an irrate passenger or the truck breaking down in the middle of nowhere is going to be like a walk in the park.

These challenges are obviously sent by the universe to test me or......i've somehow stored up an enormous amount of bad karma that is coming to bite me on the arse at this exact moment.
But then again it could be worse. I'm still alive and so are all my family and friends and thankfully my lovely Jeda and Toby.

So I guess I should start getting excited now.... but first i must book a room in B.A. and an intensive spanish course in Santiago....did i forget to mention that my spanish is a little dodgy? I know how to order beer and how to ask where the bathrooms are. What else do you need?

Posted by Renae Jane 05:09 Comments (0)

6 Days to BA

The adrenalin is pumping!

sunny

Well it's 6 days till I can relax (slightly) and open my mind to the fact that 'what ever will be will be'.
A 6am flight out of Brisbane, followed by 13 hours from Sydney to BA, an overnight there and then Ushuaia the next morning...... This is when I start to panic again.

So at the moment i'm running on adrenalin; getting about 6 hours sleep a night (not good for someone who usually requires 8 hours minimum or a grumpy Renae greets people); and i've broken my rule of not drinking red bull's/V's/any other energy drink just so I can concentrate on work. Damn it i'd survived so many years without them and now i wonder why i was rejecting them for so long.

But alas I have one more day of work before I don't have EnviroCom wings anymore. I now only have my two feet, my brain (which you all know can sometimes go off on it's own path), my wit and charm (cue laughter) and my sense of adventure.

I also keep running through my head my recently adopted life motto
'What would you do if you knew you could not fail'

So where to from here......

Posted by Renae Jane 03:46 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

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