Monday, November 1, 2010

My lakes crossing beat up your sound.

I am fully cognizant of the fact that comparisons are wrong. You should never compare this to that, because either this or that will feel badly about what you're saying, or you may later regret it, or you may be at a party and someone may disagree with you vociferously, and then drop his drink.

Look, a picture to illustrate my point (and capture reader attention):

Saltos, Volcano

I don't care much about the vociferousness, and I'm about to make a comparison, or say something unflattering about someplace I've been, and you can say what you want, and even drop your drink, but there is a reason I wasn't wowed by Milford Sound. Milford Sound is one of the "must sees" of New Zealand's south island. You can take a four day (I think) walk on the Milford Track, you can take a bus in from Queenstown (or Te Anau). And you can spend a long day (in my case, seeing "Whale Runner" (love that movie) and something about a race car that features a person from the southern part of the south island, and seems to have taken on a cult-like following in New Zealand, though it's an American movie.

And so, the Milford sound. I was game. I was also tired from a whole lot of bike riding, and so I slept and woke, slept and woke. And then we were on the boat, and the best part of the whole thing was that an Indian woman, fresh from her wedding, mehndi still fading on her hands, gasped and said, "penguins!" And I said, "really?" and she said, "no, dolphins." Which is totally understandable because they're right next to each other in the kids' science encyclopedia, and when I saw an otter humphing across the beach one day in Maitencillo, and shouted out "nutria!" I wondered if I'd accidentally instead said "morsa!" (walrus, which it was not, but hey, pinnipeds).

And I just was so nonplussed by the Milford Sound. It might have been because there were so many people, or because we got there so easily, or because the weather spat between sleet and rain the whole time, or because I'd rather have been cycling, or it could be because I have this in my backyard:

Lakes crossing, 2

Lakes crossing

Both of these on the lakes crossing between Chile and Argentina, and which I am still arguing with the travel agency about because they want to charge me more money because I stupidly handed over my Chilean ID instead of my passport when I got to the hotel (more to follow on that...). But the lakes crossing. So much bus-boat-bus-boat-bus-boat, but so much worth it, because it finally helped me to figure out why I thought the Milford Sound was just ok, though in general I loved the pants off New Zealand, and that sounds much wronger than it was supposed to, but it's a holiday weekend and I'm working anyway, so give me a break.

Also, look: kitty in Peulla (Chile).

gatito, lanchas, Peulla, Chile

And a rainbow welcoming us into Bariloche (Argentina).

rainbow through the trees

And since I mentioned NZ movies, now's not a bad time to mention I wrote up a little thing on NG about "must-see" modern Chilean movies, where "must-see" is in quotes because there's really nothing in the world you must do. Wait, that's not true. You must live your life well. Or answer to yourself why you're not.

And also, if you've noticed a kick up in my mad photog skillz, it's not your imagination. It's Ricardo Portugueis, and his CasaK Taller Digital de FotografĂ­a. Credit where credit is due. He took me out of manual and woke me up and got me to La Reina seven weeks in a row. Both astonishing accomplishments. Thanks Ricardo!


abuelita_gringa said...

I think you have forced another addition to my "Bucket List." Your pictures are fabulous.

Eileen said...

Hey Abuelita Gringa! sorry I missed you this time in Chile, and yes, lakes crossing, on the list! Way less likely to get ill than on the punta arenas trip, and with better weather it would be even more stunning. When are we going to see your smiling face down here again?

abuelita_gringa said...

Important recommendation for those of us who suffer from motion sickness!

Abuelo and I will spend our winter holiday break at the luxury all-inclusive La Casa de R-F in Pudahuel! Perhaps we will see you then.

Eileen said...

cool! hope to catch up with you then. Do I smell a bake-off? And I now remember I did see you briefly at your gorgeous granddaughter (no, it's not just you)'s birthday party. But it's just not the same if we're not cooking something. Though I'm sure you had a hand in that giant cake. See you soon!

Maeskizzle said...

Ooh! I did that crossing too, so pretty! And they tried to screw me over too, saying that although I had a Chilean carnet, I was still not Chilean or Argentinean so I would have to pay the expensive full price! Finally I found a travel agent who sold me the trip at the Chilean price!!! I did the trip reverse though, Argentina to Chile.
Saludos, Heather

Penny said...

Gorgeous photos. I'm sorry you weren't more impressed, but at least you got to experience something so amazing!

Eileen said...

Just to be clear Penny, I was totally impressed. What I was not that impressed about was the NZ Milford Sound trip that everyone and their brother swears will change your life. Thanks for the photo props.

Marie said...

We've never been that far south but are planning a trip very soon so I shall give you my impressions. I must say that I'm worried about the crowds already and we are making plans to have everything with us that we need (full-on camping gear)to stay close so that we can hang around for crowds to clear, if possible. Then, in 100 years when we've saved up money again, we'll come to Chile to compare. It's a longitudunal study.