Tackling the Andes

I’ve always wanted to go hiking in the Andes in South America. And off I went end of March 2023 for an 8-week sabbatical. But since I couldn’t decide where exactly I wanted to go to, I opted for “everywhere”.

My eldest son Lennart and I flew from Germany to Buenos Aires, Argentina. There, our first Servas host picked us up at the airport and right away invited us to a typical Argentinean dinner. That truly was a perfect start on a continent where we have never been to before. The next day we met another family as our day hosts. Exploring Buenos Aires with them was great fun and kick-started our understanding of the Argentinean way of life. Luckily enough, we found yet another day host the following day who was completely in love with her home town and its history. At the end of the day, we left Buenos Aires really well-educated.

Lennart and I did lots of hiking and marvelled at glaciers in Patagonia, and moved on to Chile. In Santiago de Chile we stayed with a friend we had met along the way, but teamed up with a Servas day host to explore the town. What a multicultural and polyglot day we had! Since Lennart had to go back to university, I continued by myself and stayed with a wonderful Servas host out of Santiago de Chile. Since my Spanish was only developing over time, our common language there was French. It came as a pleasant surprise to me. I kept on moving north to witness the changing allure of the Andes. I was impressed by the lot of nothingness in some areas.

From Chile, I moved on to Bolivia and stayed in La Paz with another lovely Servas host. Since they were fond of hiking too, one Sunday, we booked a tour together… but unfortunately, I fell ill, and they had to go without me. After recovering, I left for Peru. At my final destination – Quito, Ecuador – I teamed up with a Servas day host who took me to the equatorial line and then dropped me off at the airport to go back to Germany. By now I could soak up all the information he gave me on his country in Spanish.

The Andes from south to north – what a great trip! And the cultures from within the families – what a great experience! Thank YOU! I'd love to welcome you here in Hamburg 😀

Mireille & Lennart, Hamburg