• Steak, sunsets and the magic of Montevideo

    Montevideo was my introduction to South America and, to be honest, I was a little apprehensive about it. I knew very little about Uruguay and I’d read a few things about Montevideo, the capital, that concerned me. In particular, the Ciudad Vieja area, where I was staying, was meant to be pretty sketchy on weekends and after dark. And on a more practical note, accommodation in Uruguay was relatively expensive and I risked blowing through my budget early in my trip. Returning home so soon with my tail between my legs wasn’t an appealing thought. At this point you may be asking why I was even travelling to Uruguay in…

  • Dreams of exploration in Punta Arenas

    Stepping off the bus at Punta Arenas and into the frozen Chilean dusk, my first impression of the super skinny South American country was “wow, it’s a bit chilly in Chile”. Sorry… But when you’re almost as far south as it’s possible to go before you reach Antarctica, in a country that juts out into the stormy Drake Passage, you would expect the weather to be a little on the cold side. I ended up in Punta Arenas kind of by mistake thanks to a misunderstanding around bus schedules. However, I did half expect to be staying here at some point during my journey through South America – partly because…

  • Travelling to Ushuaia: the bus to the end of the world

      When I was planning my trip to South America, I had grand ambitions of travelling overland from Tierra del Fuego, at the southernmost tip of the continent, all the way up to Canada. After bimbling aimlessly around Asia, I wanted to undertake a grand expedition with a clear goal. However, heading straight to Ushuaia – right at the bottom of Argentina – from the UK is a lengthy and expensive journey. So my “expedition” actually started in Uruguay and I worked my way down the east of South America, journeying back north on the other side. My goal was to travel 100% overland. I wanted to really see as…

  • Welsh Patagonia: The pampas grass of home?

      I’ve always struggled with homesickness. You may think that’s strange for someone who willingly chose to leave behind all that’s familiar in the pursuit of strangeness, but both of my long trips overseas were blighted by what we Welsh call “hiraeth” or a longing for home. I’d had a tough time in Buenos Aires so I was looking forward to escaping to Argentina’s vast open spaces. My next port of call was Welsh Patagonia. Would spending time here cure my homesickness – or make it worse? My introduction to Welsh Patagonia didn’t come from history lessons or an article in a travel magazine. It came from a spoof noir…