Weekly Photo Challenge: Letters (Signs)

Signage are very important, especially for travelers in a foreign land. They provide information, humour, inspiration and creativity.

Here are some that caught my eye on my travels…

Reminders:

Heart - written in Traditional Chinese

Heart – written in Traditional Chinese

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How to find Normalcy while Traveling!

Sifting through my receipts and ticket stubs from my 2013 Epic Journey, I came across my movie ticket for “Life of Pi”. This little piece of paper triggered a landslide of memories and emotions…

It was February 5, 2013 – I had just arrived in the city of Valdivia from Puerto Varas in Chile. The last time I was in a town or city with a McDonald’s restaurant was Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 25, 2012. Within that time I had been to Ushuaia, Falklands, South Georgia Islands, Antarctic Peninsula, Ushuaia, El Calafate, El Chalten, Puerto Natales, Navimag, Puerto Montt, Chiloe islands, Puertos Varas, Frutillar and Ralun – they are all local and authentic to their location. However, that is at least 43 days without “city life” experiences, exposure to traditional North American style fast food, shopping malls or a movie on a big screen inside a movie theatre.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections (Literal)

When I was traveling on the Navimag in early 2013, I was able to capture some photos that featured the pristine landscape Chile has to offer.

Coastline of Chile

Coastline of Chile

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Life on the Navimag

In early 2013, after my short stay in El Calafate with a hike on the Perito Moreno glacier and a day trip to Cerro Fitz Roy, I headed to Puerto Natales on the bus with my new friends to board the Navimag. The Navimag operates ferries which are modified cargo ships that travel between Puerto Natales (in the South) and Puerto Montt (in the North) of Chile. It is the quickest and easiest way to traverse between the Lake region and Patagonia – aside from getting on an airplane.

View of Navimag in Puerto Natales, Chile

View of Navimag in Puerto Natales, Chile

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My first time… Hitch Hiking!

Karen Sze - Single Woman hitch hiking in Chile

Karen Sze – Single Woman hitch hiking in Chile

On my second last day in Puerto Varas, Chile (Feb 2 2013) – I woke up with my mind and heart set on discovering a little known natural hot spring called Termas de Ralún and visiting the Saltos del Petrohue (Petrohue waterfalls). There was a brief mention of the hot spring in my copy of The Rough Guide to Chile. The hot spring is on the northeastern shore of the Petrohue river and borders the Vicente Perez Rosales National Park. Any time I hear or read about hot springs and spas – I want to go!! Let alone, this one is completely set within a forest and without any infrastructure.

How cool is that!? A real natural hot spring. Free of charge. No big crowds. A hidden gem!! I was super excited that morning. Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

Volcanoes are both creative and destructive at the same time. Beautiful from afar. Great for a nice hike – challenging at times.

When I traveled to Chile in 2013, I heard there are active volcanoes in Chile – I got excited. Then when I heard that I can hike up one, I got even more excited!! The volcano I am talking about is the Osorno volcano. It is considered one of the most active volcanoes.

The first time I got a good view of the volcano was across from Lake Llanquihue in Puerto Varas. Continue reading

Honored guest for a day in Chile…

Many unexpected, random things happen to me when I travel as a single woman. Seriously. I don’t know how or why but they just happen.

While wandering the streets of Puerto Varas in Chile in early 2013, I saw a family of 4 taking photos along the waterfront. I walked up to them and offered to take their family photo. What happened the rest of the day was like a fairy tale.

Originally my plan for the day was to explore the city of Puerto Varas and then hop onto a bus and travel to a nearby town called Frutillar – on my own. At the end of the day, I was very happy and grateful that nothing happened as planned. Continue reading