by Katherine Fiori, Glen Oaks, NY
Katherine's Dream Trip
A South American excursion
Five down, two to go. One of my life goals is to visit every continentnext on my list is South America. I plan to make this trip with my boyfriend of 10 years, Steve. South America is the perfect destination for usa rich cultural history and numerous vibrant cities that will appeal to my love of people and food, and a vast array of natural wonders that will appeal to Steve's love of animals and adventure. We would begin in Buenos Aires, treating ourselves to expertly cooked meat at the city's parrillas and taking in some street tango. After a few days exploring the city, Steve will be ready to see the whales and penguins off the coast of Peninsula Valdés in Patagonia. Then we would fly to Bariloche and indulge in rich chocolate before driving through the lake district. In Chile we would raft along the Rio Petrohué, kayak in the fjords off the Carretera Austral, go four-wheeling through the Atacama Desert, and have our fill of empanadas fritas in Santiago. Next up, Peru, with a hike up to Machu Picchu, a visit to the islands of Lake Titicaca, and a stop in Puno to appreciate some traditional music and dance. After visiting Iguazu Falls, we would end our adventure in Paraguay, where we would glimpse some of the wildlife in the Chaco before returning home. Lodgings would be as varied as the trip itselfa few pricier locales, such as the famous Llao Llao Resort nestled next to Lake Nahuel Huapi in Argentina, and more adventurous ones, such as a gaucho ranch or a home stay. Time and money permitting, my ultimate dream trip would conclude with a cruise off the coast of Ushuaia, Argentina to explore my last remaining unvisited continent: Antarctica.
Katherine's Travel Tips
• In the words of Oscar Wilde, "I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train." A travel journal is also invaluable when you are back home trying to catalog your photos.
• When you can, eat the local food and drink the local drink, be it prosciutto with melon and Prosecco in northern Italy, pavlova and "flat whites" in New Zealand, meze and frappes in Cyprus, or injera and honeymead in Ethiopia. Food and drink is often an integral, and sometimes eye-opening, way to experience and really understand another culture.
• Don't just eat the local food, eat the local food with the locals! Try to make connections before you travel to a place (e.g., perhaps your friend's neighbor's cousin lives in Athens?), or just make them once you get there. Chat up the owners of your boutique hotel, get advice from the woman at the convenience store who sells phone cards, talk to local artisans at the market. Try to get the inside scoop on where the locals hang out and go there.