The Best, Worst, and Most Absurd of 2015

The best of 2015 doesn’t include our nine-day trek in Patagonia, because we’re doing that right as you read this and this post was written on Sunday night before we left on Monday morning. This is the best, worst, and silliest of our journey so far.

I didn’t want to leave our friends and family hanging this Christmas week. We love you and miss you.

Heaviest Backpack When Fully Packed

Obviously, it’s mine.

Most Patient Fiance of a Vegan Traveler

Aaron is very patient with me in general.

Best Sunset

Patagonia’s sunsets are in slow motion.

Best Convoluted Flight

This is tough – we’ve taken a few convoluted flights so far – but I’ll say the 2 am flight from La Paz, southeast to Santa Cruz and then north to Lima, 12 hour stopover, 7 pm flight south to Santiago, layover, and 5 am flight south to Punta Arenas.

Most Charming Place

Bolivia is full of charm and as I’ve said before, Quime is one of the most charming places that ever did charm.

Bolivia is endlessly charming. I just wanted to publish this photo, although I’m not sure if I posted it before.

The Worst Stiff

We arrived at Copacabana, Bolivia, on Lake Titicaca at night. We left the bus station heading toward the water, looking for our hotel. After a few blocks, the houses petered out. We heard a whistle and, “Taxi,” so we approached a cab driver and asked him if he knew where the hotel was.

We asked how much. “Ten bolivianos,” he said.

We’ve taken one-hour cab rides that cost 20 bolivianos. “Is it far?” I asked.

The driver gestured and muttered something about a hill.

We weren’t going to find this place in the dark so we got in the cab. He started the engine, accelerated, turned the corner, went down the block, and stopped. “Here you are,” he said.

I told him I’d never let him charge me that much for a 30 second ride again.

We got stiffed on our cab ride but our time at Lake Titicaca was delightful.

The Most Misunderstood Menu and Food Order

On our first evening in Punta Arenas, Chile, we saw a promising-looking pub near the water and went upstairs. The place was completely paneled in wood, in an old factory building. It was pretty upscale with an extensive drink menu, including a list of virgin cocktails.

And to my delight, they also offered a vegan burger!

I ordered one of the virgin cocktails, and the vegan burger. The waiter was a cheerful man but he didn’t seem to know what was on the menu – we had to point everything out to him and he peered at each item as if he’d never heard of it before. When he came up with a salad we’d ordered as an appetizer, he asked us to move our appetizer plates so he could place the salad, and then shrugged and smiled as if to say, “Oh, you gringos, never been to a restaurant before.”

Boy this virgin cocktail sure tastes like booze.

My cocktail sure tasted like booze and I was awfully giggly by the end of the meal. The quinoa burger came out slathered with mayonnaise. It was a strange restaurant.

The Cutest Critter

Please don’t make me choose. I can’t and I won’t. It’s impossible. But if I had to make a list of the top 20, this baby donkey would definitely be on it.

This baby donkey, seen on Isla del Sol in Bolivia, is one of the cutest critters we’ve seen on this trip.

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