10 Things We Miss from South America

Posted by on Jul 22, 2013 in Bolivia, Countries, Ecuador | 4 comments

Summary: What do we miss from South America? Here are 10 things we appreciated while traveling in Bolivia and Ecuador that we’re missing now—and a few things we’re not!

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Iglesia de San Francisco La Paz

One of the good things when you travel is that you don’t only enjoy the countries while you’re traveling around—you bring back memories, feelings, experiences, tastes and smells so that your travel keeps on living in your heart and in your mind. The result is that you miss the places you’ve been to and wish to return someday.

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Sunset in Santa Cruz Galapagos

Six months in South America—half a year! That’s enough time to set up a kind of daily routine and get used to the atmosphere and unique South American way of life. Now that we’re in Europe enjoying Spain and the French countryside, we’ve found that we miss many things from South America. Here is the list:

1-The Weather

It is not very difficult to miss the South American weather, especially considering the fact that in Europe this year it is has been cold and rainy until almost the middle of June! It was even snowing around Madrid when we arrived there on the 25th of May. Nevertheless, though not every part of South America is tropical, we really enjoyed the climate—especially in the Galapagos where, despite the hot temperatures, the wind makes the weather just perfect. It might have been different if we went there in winter (June-December).

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Santa-Cruz Galapagos

2-Spanish Language

I learned Spanish when I was at school a long time ago. Since then, I’ve never had the opportunity to really practice my Spanish with native speakers. I arrived in Bolivia with a Spanish accent from Spain and I had to adjust to the South American way of speaking. I enjoyed remembering what I’d learned at school—and learning a lot more. For me, language is a very important element while traveling. Even if you don’t understand the language, it is part of the culture and leaves a melody in your memory. I love Spanish and really miss it.

3-Almuerzos

Though the Americas (both North and South) are not exactly the place to travel for food, we really enjoyed the set lunch (almuerzo) that we had at least once a week. It is very cheap and offers a complete healthy meal. We especially appreciated the soups, an essential starter of a real almuerzo.

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Trucha fish with rice in Oruro

4-Plazas/Squares

In South America, it seems that in each town or city the squares are similar. They are usually a mix between a garden and a square. People come there to rest, read, talk, play with their children, sleep and walk their dog—it is like everywhere else in the world, but it still feels different.

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Plaza in Rurrenabaque Bolivia

5-Llamas

We loved all the animals, but we miss the llamas a lot. They are just so cute.

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Llamas herd in Sajama Bolivia

6-TV Shows and Movies in Spanish

TV in South America is in Spanish, and they don’t subtitle the movies. You can still watch many of the seventies TV shows (Kung Fu, Miami Vice, etc.), but recent series and movies are also available, and they are all dubbed in Spanish.

7-Carnivals

South America without carnivals wouldn’t be South America! Though we missed the very important carnival inof Oruro in Bolivia, we got to see one in Cochabamba and also attended the training for the carnival of Rurrenabaque. We totally loved the dances, music, colors and the costumes. Through carnivals, the Andean and South American cultures are perpetuated, and the performers (who are mainly young people) bring back to life the ancestral rituals of their countries.

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Carnival in Cochabamba

8-The Laid Back Atmosphere

We appreciated very much that wherever you go, even in big cities, people are very relaxed. Even if they are living in a kind of unwavering routine, it is still better than being stressed out all the time.

9-Landscapes

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Tortuga Bay Galapagos

The landscapes and vegetation in South America are gorgeous, and also very diversified depending on the altitude. In both Bolivia and Ecuador we had the experience of going from one place to another and seeing the vegetation, the landscape and the climate changing along the way. It felt like we were going to another country. The Cordillera left unforgettable scenes in our minds with its very special enlightenment that seems to be specific to South America.

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Sajama national park

10-Hammocks

Another great invention! Well, we didn’t spend all of our time in hammocks, but I must admit that having one around almost all the time is really nice! I especially appreciated the hammock chairs that are easier to rock.

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Hostal Germania Santa-Cruz Galapagos

What We don’t Miss

1-Electric Showers

Having a shower that is never as hot as you want, and getting an electric shock (a small one, but still!) while shutting down the water every morning is how you start your day in South America.

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Electric shower in South America

2-Cheese

(God Bless France!)
We couldn’t find any good cheese in South America, but they have good recipes made with cheese.

3-Cookies and Sweets

Especially in Bolivia, what they call “postre” (dessert) will never meet your expectations.

4-Meals in Taca Airlines

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A meal aboard Taca Airlines

Have you been to South America? What did you like more over there?

4 Comments

  1. I miss speaking Spanish too. I spent a while in southern Spain and it break my heart I’ve already lost a lot of it three years later. I recently went to Mexico and some came back – I think it’s time for a South American trip myself!
    Eileen recently posted…Why not take a Spanish road trip up the Costa del Sol?My Profile

    • Spanish is a beautiful language indeed. You’ll enjoy South America for sure!

  2. I’m still in South America at the moment, but the above things you mentioned I know I’m going to miss so much when I return to Oz at the end of the year.

    I don’t know how I’m going to cope without my $2 ‘menu del dia’ or my $1 freshly squeezed juices! I lived in Sucre, Bolivia for 5 months where I studied Spanish…am sure it will be tough but very much hope I continue my language learning when I return home.

    One thing I won’t miss about many of the countries in SA is not being able to drink the water or flush the toilet paper. Life’s little luxuries 🙂
    Brigid recently posted…Sucre Spanish SchoolMy Profile

    • Hi Brigid,

      Thanks for your comment. We haven’t been to Sucre I wish we would and I hope we’ll do it next time. Good luck with your Spanish, it is a beautiful language I miss it a lot!

      All the best.

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