May 31, 2019

Today we traveled from Punta del Diablo to a place near Montevideo (222 km). We had a good night on the parking in Punta del Diablo. When we were ready to travel we went for a walk along the shore to the rocks which are like a peninsula (see picture). Here we watched how the waves clashed on the rocks and huge splashes arose. Punta del Diablo is an old fisher village but many artists and dropouts live here now. In the summer it's a vacation place for people who like the low level style. There are many small hotels and hostels and restaurants which look more like shacks. On the way towards Montevideo we saw a place where they burn bricks. I have never seen this before. I think this is an old fashion method. Then we drove to a campground near Montevideo. Its name is Paraiso Suizo. The owners are Swiss and we met two other couples from Switzerland here. 

May 30, 2019

Today we traveled from La Paloma to Capo del Diablo (117 km). At 8 am a big bagger came and towed us out in no time. Franco, the owner of the campground was able to organize a neighbor with this bagger. Then we followed our normal morning routine while the RV was standing on firm ground. Then we went to visit Capo Polonio. This is a place in a National Park. The place can't be reached by car and it has no electricity and water from the country system. We had to go there by a 4x4 truck which drove over sand dunes. The place is almost empty at this time of the year (see picture). There are a lot of restaurants and hostels but most are closed now. There is a beach were a lot of sea lions live. And the lighthouse can be visited. After this visit, we drove to Capo del Diabolo. We found all the campgrounds closed. Therefore we camp in a parking area near the sea.

May 29, 2019

Today we started our day as usual. When we wanted to leave the campground we couldn't move our RV. Over night it sunk into the soft grass. With our flat tires we had no grip to move out. Therefore we tried for hours to but wood underneath the tires. But we were not successful. We couldn't move the RV and therefore needed someone to tow us out. At around 5 pm a neighbor came with a small tractor. But it was too light to move us out. The boss of the campground is now searching for a bigger tractor. He lived for 21 years in Germany and speaks fluent German. His wife is German. At least we have no language problems. But we have to stay an other night here and lost the whole day to travel.

May 28, 2019

Today we traveled from Atlántida to La Paloma (209 km). On the way we found an ATM which gave us finally money. Then we found an carwash. I had to wash the RV myself. But the tools worked very well and our RV looks quite different now. It is long time ago it was this clean. Then we visited Punta del Este. This is a very modern city. We visited the light house, the sculpture La Mano and the port. Here we went to see sea lions. And we saw quite some animals (see picture). Then we drove to La Paloma where we found a good campground.

May 27, 2019

Today we traveled from Nueva Helvecia to Atlántida (174 km). When we got up there was fog around the campground (see picture). And it stayed grey the whole day. First, we drove through Nueva Helvecia to find some traces of the people who came here from Switzerland. We found the shooting range. This is typical Swiss. Every Swiss man until 50 years old who is a reservist of the army has its rifle at home and has to go at least once a year to shows that his shooting is still ok. And is seems that the immigrants wanted to stay in this tradition. Then we found a cheese and chocolate shop in chalet style. We found good cheese there and bought some. Then we drove to Canelones. This is in the north of Montevideo. Here is the wine region of Uruguay. We wanted to try some wine. I read that the special wine of this region is the Tannat. I never tasted it. We found a winery with the name Lugano. But we couldn't taste wine there. They just wanted to sell it to us. I asked a guy from where the name Lugano comes. He said that the founders came from Italy and brought the name with them. But Lugano is a city in Switzerland. Maybe they came from there. We didn't find another winery and moved on to our next destination. On the way, we wanted to know where we want to camp next night. We found a campground which is owned by a Dutch couple. We drove there. There were three German and an Australien couples with there RVs. Someone cooked dinner for us all and we sat together and had good talks the whole evening.

May 26, 2019

Today we traveled from Guaviyú to Colonia del Sacramento and then to Nueva Helvecia (416 km). After getting up we did another session in the thermal bath before we left Guaviyú. It was quite a long drive today. Maximal allowed speed in Uruguay is 90 km/h. We saw a lot of palm trees. There are places where there are like palm tree woods. Then we saw a lot of woods for newspaper production. I saw even a sigh that UPM, the finnish paper company owns these woods. Maybe they operate a paper production plant somewhere here too. There were large grain fields and granaries. This region seems to be the bread basket of Uruguay. We saw a lot of cattle farming too. Then we saw some gauchos on their Sunday ride. Colonia del Sacramento has a nice old town which was founded 1680 by the Portuguese army (see picture). In the following years Colonia del Sacramento was alternately owned by the Spanish and the Portuguese. It only became in 1848 a part of Uruguay. After visiting Colonia del Sacramento we searched for the next campground and found it in Nueva Helvecia. We are on the campground of the Hotel Suizo. Nueva Helvecia was founded by Swiss immigrants in 1862.

May 25, 2019

Today we traveled from the campground at the Salto Grande lake to the Termas de Guaviyú (81 km). Just a few kilometers from the campground was the border to Uruguay. It is the 23th border crossing with our RV on this journey. All went very smooth. Then we crossed the Salto Grande dam. It retains the water of the Rio Uruguay. This is the border river between Argentina and Uruguay. Therefore it was an international project to build this dam and both counties obtain electricity from this barrier lake. Just after the dam we saw this flock Giant Guinea Pigs. Then we drove to Salto which is a town not far from the dam. Here we changed some money and bought some food. Then we drove to the thermal spring of Guaviyú. It has a camping and motels with some pools with hot water. The price to camp and use the thermal spring was real good so we stayed here and did two session in the hot water. We hope this is healthy.

May 24, 2019

Today we traveled from Gualeguaychú to Concordia (225 km). This morning we woke up at the Gualeguaychú river. This evening we parked at the shore of the Salto Grande barrier lake. Today we followed the Rio Uruguay without seeing it once. Just before we reached our destination is the city of Concordia. Since we had some time we searched for a carwash. Our RV needs urgently a wash. We couldn't find a carwash with was big enough to put our RV in. But we drove through a part of the city where a lot of animals were on the streets like horses, dogs and ducks. And then came this guys with the three-horse carriage towards us (see picture). This was a nice encounter.

May 23, 2019

Today we drove to Tigre which is a city in the outskirts of Buenos Aires (40 km). From here you can do boat rides into the Parana Delta. We did such a boat ride. I thought we will see a lot of nature. But there were buildings on all the islands we came by. One big building looked like a castle which was build in 1912 by a very rich Argentine and was a club for rich people. Now it is an art museum. But most of the buildings are small wooden houses which people mostly use at weekends or for vacations. But in some houses, people are living permanently. It's like a town of its one. We saw taxi boats, ambulance boats, and carbage boats. And we saw some very nice colorful trees (see picture) and some boat wrecks. After this boat ride, we drove to Gualeguaychú (216 km). On the way, we crossed the two arms of the Parana river. Here we parked in the nearest good campground away from Buenos Aires.

May 22, 2019

Today we went again to visit Buenos Aires. First, we wanted to visit San Telmo but landed in Boca. Here is the soccer stadium of the Boca Juniors. In this stadium Maradona had hes first big successes. Then we visited Gaminito which is close by. This is a small but colorful place. Maybe years ago it was the homes of port workers but today it is a place where tourists go to shop and eat. The picture shows the most known corner building. But there are more colorful buildings. In the restaurants they do Tango shows. We watched some of them. Then we took a bus and the metro and went to Palermo, which is another part of the town. We though we will find an Italian restaurant there to have dinner. But the restaurants were too far away from the subway station. Therefore we went back to the Plaza de Mayo and found there a good restaurant.

May 21, 2019

Today we visited Buenos Aries again. It was another grey day but it didn't rain. We visited the following places: Obelisk (see picture), the Colon Theater, the Cemetery in Recoleta, the Water Company Building and Chinatown. In Chinatown we had our dinner before we returned to the campground. Since we walked a lot today, we were quite tired in the evening.

May 20, 2019

Today we started to visit Buenos Aires. We took the bus from the campground to the last station with is the train station Retiro. It took about 2 hours to get there. There is the Torre Monumental which is a gift of the Argentinians of English origin. I think you can understand that this leads to political problems nowadays (Falkland war!). There were the only 5 minutes of sunlight. The rest of the day was grey. Then we walked to the Casa Rosada which is the palace of the President of Argentina. Here, it started to rain. We went to have dinner. When we were back at Plaza de Mayo all the buildings were nicely illuminated. There is the old town hall and the main Catholic church of Buenos Aires. Here was Pope Francis the cardinal. We took the subway from the Plaza de Mayo to the last station and from there a taxi to the campground. This was much faster (45 minutes) but not as cheap. But it was worth the money.

May 19, 2019

Today we traveled from Lujan to Buenos Aires (71 km). We crossed again the Basilica in Lujan and I had to do some more pictures (see picture). The weather is every day about the same now. It starts grey and in the afternoon the clouds go away and the sun starts to shine. We knew that it will be difficult to find a campground in Buenos Aires. Our travel information didn't have a place which we liked. Therefore we studied the internet and found a lot of campgrounds. We had to drive to five campgrounds. It was quite expensive to drive around in the town. We had to pay a lot of road toll. One address was wrong, one campground was closed and two didn't accept us as guest since we were not members of their association. But the last address we drove to was a hit. The people were were friendly. They gave us all we needed. One lady even gave us her Bus/Metro card, which we need to drive into the center by public transportation. We are here in a big park about 10 km outside the center of the town. It has a church and a sport building in the park. People were here today barbecuing during the day. We are the only guest who stay overnight. We didn't go into the center today. We had a lazy late afternoon.

May 18, 2019

Today we traveled from Rufino to Lujan (403 km). The night at the campground in Rufino was a bit loud since people partied all night long close to us. Our plan for today was to drive on Ruta 7 further in direction to Buenos Aires. But our navigator told us to drive on Ruta 8. I didn't understand this. Then came a man to our RV and asked us where we wanna go. He told us not to drive on Ruta 7 because for about 30 km they build a new road and one has to drive on a very bad dirt road. Therefore we drove on Ruta 8 most of the day (see picture). The weather was grey and it rained sometimes. We saw again a lot of crop and cattle farming. There were a lot of granaries. This region must be the breadbasket of Argentina. Around 5 pm the sky opened and some sunshine was the result. In Lujan we drove directly towards a big church. Later I found out it is a pilgrimage church in honor of Maria. I read that in October 2 million people pilgrimage to this church.

May 17, 2019

Today we traveled from San Luis to Rufino (371 km). It was nice to get up at the lake of Potrero de Funes. When we left we found out that there is a car racing circuit around the lake. When there is no racing it is a public road. We drove one time around the lake before we took off. The drive on ruta 7 was unspectacular. We drove through flat lands. We saw a lot of crop and cattle farming. In Rufino we park in the Municipal campground for free. We are staying in a little forest but have no Wifi or electricity and the bathroom is very old and far away. Therefore we use all our own facilities.

May 16, 2019

Today we traveled from Mendoza to San Luis (282 km). The drive was through flat land. We didn't visit anything. We parked on a camp-ground some kilometers outside of San Luis. It is a bit up the hill at a little lake with the name Potrero de los Funes. We parked our RV directly at the lake. Later on there was a nice sunset (see picture). And after the sunset the hotel on the other side of the lake had a light show on the wall of the building. The colors changed always and all basic colors were used.

May 15, 2019

Today we traveled from Mendoza to the Christ the Redeemer of the Andes monument and back (442 km). Since the weather forecast announced good weather for today we decided yesterday to travel into the Andes a last time. I thought the places we want to visit are only accessible on dirt roads. Therefore we booked a tour to these places. We took a taxi from the campground to the city. We had to be there at 7.15. It was still dark. Therefore I could take a picture of the city logo which is illuminated at the Plaza Independencia. On the tour we visited first the barrier lake of Potrerillos. This barrier lake exists since 2003 and is used for all sorts of sports. Then we visited the Puente del Inca. This natural bridge which was formed thousands of years ago by the minerals of some thermal water sources (see picture). Near the bridge was once a hotel where the guests could bath in the thermal water. The hotel was destroyed in 1964 by a stone avalanche and was never rebuilt. Today it is forbidden to walk over the bridge. Then we drove to a point where we could see the top of the Aconcagua which is the highest mountain in the Americas. Its height is 6930 meters. The highest mountain in North America is Mt. Denali with 6190 meters. Then we drove to Las Cuevas the last place before the Chilean border. From here we drove up the mountain on a dirt road. On 3800 meters there is the Christ the Redeemer of the Andes monument (see picture). It was built in 2004 to memorise the peace treaty between Argentina and Chile of 1904. The two countries had some border problems then and almost startet a war. But with this treaty the danger of a war was stopped. This monument wants to remember this treaty and requests for world peace. The monument stands on the border between Chile and Argentina. Then we went back to Las Cuevas where we had a late lunch. Then we drove back to Mendoza. The young folks in our group wanted to go for a beer together. We did that and had a very nice time together. They even did some dancing in the street.

May 14, 2019

Today we attended a wine tour. Since Mendoza is a very important wine region we wanted to see some wine companies. I thought I know everything about wine but learned new things at these two visits. And we tasted some very good wines. Malbec is the Nr 1 wine here but slowly Carmenere comes up here too (see the picture of the wine barrels). Then we visited an olive oil factory. Even here we learned new things. Back in town, we wanted to go for dinner. Since we had yesterday a very bad dinner we wanted to make sure that we have a good dinner tonight. But the good restaurants open here at 8.30 or 9 pm. We didn't want to wait that long but couldn't find a restaurant we trusted in. In the end, we visited McDonald's. I wasn't in a MacDonald's for many years, since I had some real bad burgers there. And I didn't expect anything better now. But I was very much surprised that the burger and the fries tasted very good.

May 13, 2019

Today we visited Mendoza. The city has no old town since there was an earthquake in 1861 which destroyed the city completely. There are only the ruins of a church still there. The city was rebuilt a bit outside but today the place where the old town was is within the new city. The new city was constructed with rectangular streets. And there are a lot of trees in all streets (see picture). It has many nice parks. But we didn't see any extra beautiful buildings. We attended a free walking tour through the city which ended with a wine tasting. Since two days the temperature during the day goes up over 20 ℃. We didn't have this for a long time. We like this temperature. We are able to go around in t-shirts during the day. At night the temperature falls to about 7 ℃.

May 12, 2019

Today we traveled from Malargüe to Mendoza (426 km). For the first 50 km, the road led along the mountains but then the direct road would be a gravel road for 160 km. Different to the one we drove yesterday people told us not to drive this one because it is a very bad gravel road. Therefore we followed Ruta 40 to San Rafael which is 84 km longer but we drove on good asphalt covered roads. Here we were able to drive mostly 100 km/h. Like this, it was an easy drive to Mendoza. The road did lead away from the mountains but later came closer again. But today the mountains were behind some haze. On the way, we crossed a salt lake and a rocky hill. In San Rafael, we drove through an alley with trees in autumn colors (see picture). The Mendoza region is known for its wine production. We saw already a lot of vineyards. Some are in autumn colors too.

May 11, 2019

Today we traveled from Barrancas to Malargüe (213 km). After Barrangas the road led for about 50 km upwards until an altitude of 1600 meters. Then the road turned into a gravel road for 100 km. And this is the National Street Nr. 40! The whole RV was in vibrations al the time even I only drove 20 km/h for a great piece of the distance. I think all screws of the RV get loose and the milk in the fridge turned into butter. I hate this kind of roads. But we had picturesque views to snow-capped and other mountains and rivers. In Malargüe we went out for dinner and the best place we found was a Pizza place. We could talk to the owner and his daughter and found out that the father was in Cusco the same time as we were. That gave a good relationship and the pizza was delicious. The picture shows a view to a snow-capped mountain.

May 10, 2019

Today we traveled from Zapala to Barrancas in Argentina (339 km). The drive was quite scenic today too. We saw a lot of snow-capped mountains of the Andes range. We crossed a place where a monument told us that we are halfway on Ruta 40. This road leads from Ushuaia in the south until the Bolivian border in the north. It leads along with the Andes mountain range all the time. This means we are now in the north half of Argentina. We reached Barrancas quite early but to the next campground, it was too far. We are on a small campground led by two older ladies. When I asked one of these ladies where the next restaurant is she told me that she would cook for us. She cooked us Schnitzel with vegetables. It was quite good. And she offered us to cook breakfast in the morning. And we agreed on this offer too. The picture shows a snow-capped mountain which we had to drive around not far before our destination.

May 9, 2019

Today we traveled from Bariloche to Zapala (377 km). The first about 100 km we drove between mountains and along a nice slow flowing river (see picture). For the rest of the drive the landscape was more hilly and mostly covered with brownish grass. But there were for a huge part of the drive always lakes or rivers to see. It was a nice journey on an elevation between 900 and 1100 meters. To our left in a distance of about 100 km is the border to Chile. We saw suddenly a nice mountain. I think it is the Osorno Volcano which we didn't see when we drove by in Chile. In Zapala we parked at the Camping Los Pinos. Here we met a couple from Germany who came form north and gave us a lot of hints where to go and how to overcome some difficult roads.

May 8, 2019

Today we visited the city of Bariloche. We took a bus from the campground to the city (16 km). We walked through the main road. Since it is low season everywhere they were renovating things. We saw many signs that the founders of the city where Swiss and German immigrants. I never saw as many chocolate shops at one place as here. And bakeries too. We had a good coffee with wonderful sweets. The main attraction is the Civic Center (see picture). In the description to the architecture is written that buildings in Bern, the capitol of Switzerland, did inspire it. There is a clock tower too. Otherwise I don't see much similarities.  And there was this guy with the Saint Bernard dog. He did pictures from tourists together with the dog. This is another connection to Switzerland. We had a very nice and relaxed day in Bariloche. It is a real nice place. In the evening we went to the restaurant closest to the campground and had a delicious Patagonian lamp dinner.

May 7, 2019

Today we traveled from Esquel to Bariloche (304 km). When we get up in Esquel we were under a thick fog cover and it was 2 ℃ cold. We drove about a half an hour under the fog until we were out at the sun. But later we were under the fog again. When we were out of the fog the landscape was just gorgeous. We drove through a wonderful mountain landscape. The trees are in autumn colors (see picture). In El Bolsón we found even a gas company which cloud fill our gas tanks. Before Bariloche we visited the Colonia Suiza. It is a village which was founded by Swiss immigrants but it is today only a tourist place. I found only one building which reminded me at home. The campgrounds there were closed. Therefore we drove to Bariloche and are here on a campground at the shore of Lake Nahuel Huapi.

May 6, 2019

Today we traveled from Los Altares to Esquel (315 km). For the first 50 km the road was very bad but for the rest of the day it was almost perfect. The road led along a lot of nice rocks (see picture). The landscape got slowly more mountainous. Here in Esquel we are surrounded by mountains. We are again at the foot of the andes at an elevation of 600 meters. We wanted to get gas and let our RV wash here. But we were not successful to find companies which were able to supply what we need. Since the campground is a bit outside the city we cooked our dinner ourselves again.

May 5, 2019

Today we traveled from Puerto Madryn to Los Altares (386 km). Yesterday evening we learned about another point where we could see animals. This morning we drove first to Punta Loma. And we were successful. We saw a colony of see lions. The picture shows some of the many sea lions which live at that point. It seems they stay here all year round. Then we drove to Los Altares. The first 250 km we drove through a flat landscape. Then there were hills and even rocks. The rocks sometimes looked very nice. And the road got very bad. We stopped in Los Altares because here is a campground. The only restaurant in the town was closed. Therefore we had to cook ourselves.

May 4, 2019

Today we traveled from Trelew to Puerto Madryn (170 km). We had a good but cold night at the gas station in Trelew. In the morning it rained. We wanted to drive to Puerto Madryn for two reasons. First, there is another gas company which could fill our gas tanks. Second, there is the Peninsula Valdés where one can see a lot of animals. The weather got slightly better on the drive to Puerto Madryn. Unfortunately the gas company couldn't help us. Then we drove along the coast to the peninsula. According to my information we should already see seals, sea lions, sea elephants, killer wales and other wales from these beaches. But we knew that we are here in the wrong time of the year. Therefore we didn't see any animals except birds. But the beaches as such are very nice. And since its off season we were almost the only people at the beaches. And the weather was now beautiful (see picture). We didn't enter the Peninsula Valdés since they charge an entrance fee. Do see no animal and for a closed campground we didn't want to pay. Therefore we returned to Puerto Madryn and installed us on a campground here. In the evening we walked into the town and had the best seafood pizza of my life.

May 3, 2019

Today we spend most of the day in the hotel working on our pictures and texts. But around midday we did a stroll to the lake. It was nice sunny and warm weather. On the way back to the hotel I took some pictures of the old locomotive from Germany. I attach one picture here. At 5 pm we were back at the car workshop and yes, our RV was ready. Everything seems to work very well. Hurray! And it was only half the price as the first offer. The first weekend in the car workshop we used gas to run the fridge. It used almost all gas up. Therefore we drove first to a gas company. But they couldn't fill our gas tanks. Then we drove to the gas station we stayed already one night and we will spent this night there too.

May 2, 2019

Today we stayed in Trelew In Argentina. I went to the car workshop around noon to get something from the RV. The guys there said everything works fine and they will be finished with the job around 5 pm. But at about 4 pm they called me and said that there are some problems and they need another day to finish the work. We hope now that this will become true since we sit already a week here in Trelew. After the bad message, we went for a walk. We passed the Plaza de Centenario. The obelisk there says that Trelew was founded in 1865 by immigrants from Wales and the place was built 1965 to celebrate the first 100 years of existence. The building in the background is the old train station. The founders of the city built it to transport agriculture good from the region to Puerto Madryn to ship from there. Behind the building is a little locomotive which was built 1936 in Berlin Germany.

May 1, 2019

Today we spent another day in Trelew, Argentina. Here the 1. May is a holiday. All businesses are closed. I hoped they do a parade through the town. But it was silent all day. We went for a long hike to the south of the town. In the evening we found two restaurants open in the center of the town. Both were quite crowded. But we found places and had our dinner. The picture shows an interesting fountain we found on our hike.