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  • Writer's pictureRob Jansen

It’s a Wild Life! – Travel Blues

In the last blog we wrote about the southwestern part of Argentina and crossing over to the Atlantic Coast where we saw amazing Rockhopper Penguins! After this we continued with our original plan of visiting many places along the East coast of Argentina all the way up to Buenos Aires. We went from one place to the other. We saw petrified trees and weird animals like Patagonian Maras, an animal that looks like someone crossed a huge rabbit with a kangaroo and a dog.

We saw huge Sea Lion colonies and got within a few meters of them. Romy found three rare La Plata Dolphins (a species of river dolphin) after 1,5 days of scanning the river! We also saw huge Elephant Seals and were able to admire them from up close! They were really funny. Making faces and yawning all the time, looking a bit human-like Don’t you agree?

However, distances along the east coast were huge (sometimes driving 250-350km a day) and the target species were found quickly. The wind was strong and the places were not too beautiful (it was the same low shrubby vegetation we were seeing for weeks/months). So every day we decided to continue to the next place. Don’t get us wrong, it was beautiful, but we got the travel blues. However strange it may seem, this is our way of life right now. And one can’t expect every day to be amazing and every place to be over the top beautiful or special. Because of this we had some trouble really living in the moment, enjoying the places and see how special it was (is) to travel like this.

Once we were about half way the coast (at Peninsula Valdes), we got some terrible news. Rob’s grandmother had gotten a cerebral infraction and was hospitalized. Even though we knew something like this could happen, the news hit us hard. We continued traveling and seeing things as we didn’t want to just sit and cry all day, but it got even harder to enjoy any of it. After a week she passed away at the age of 93. And although it wouldn’t have helped my grandmother in any way if we would have gotten back, it was hard to be so far away. Not being able to hug your family, talking about it with our best friends, having the comfort of our home. We had to watch the funeral via the laptop in our car via the Wi-Fi of a small town gas station. My grandma reached the age of 93 in relatively good health and with a mind to be jealous of. It was amazing how she was interested in all and everyone that surrounded her (and they were many!). She, for example, read all of these blogs and we could chat with her on WhatsApp. And she was always just as amazed about all the beautiful nature we saw and about how beautiful all of creation is! Such a grandma is something to be so thankful about!

But getting rid of the travel blues is not that easy, especially after all this. We continued going north and drove towards a place where lots of rain had fallen the days before. There were a lot of puddles on the road and some were really deep. It was only the next day we noticed that we lost our front license plate! Disastrous for crossing land borders or when dealing with (corrupt) police! We tried finding it back and talked to many locals in the hope they would contact us if they, or an acquaintance, found it. We encountered many people that lost their license plate, and we saw multiple hanging on the bridge. Not ours unfortunately. We tried searching all the puddles on the 5km long road with our bare feet, but only found an Argentinean license plate. Other people were searching some puddles and sometimes enthusiastically shouted they found one, but never a Chilean one. The sight of people searching, cars passing, mostly without a front license plate, was kind of hilarious wouldn’t it have been for all the trouble this would cause for the rest of our journey. We left after three days, of course after filing a police report for the lost plate.

Afterwards we went to Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. There we stayed in a hotel for 2 weeks and during that time we took an intensive Spanish Course. We were also able to arrange a lot of other stuff, like updating our website and the webshop. We also went to the Chilean Consulate to legalize the police report, authorize the company in Chile to arrange all the things in Chile etc. About a week in we got news from friends in Buenos Aires (whom we met because their car got stuck in the mud a few weeks before). They posted a message on many Facebook groups. And guess what? Someone found our license plate and got another friend to bring it all the way (300km) to Buenos Aires! I guess miracles still happen!:)

Sometimes it just takes time to get rid of the travel blues I guess. After two weeks of being in the city we are excited again to be in nature, search for new birds species, other weird mammals and take new photos. Let’s travel! We would love to hear from you! Let us know if you have ever had the travel blues and/or what your best solution against it is or would be :)

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