French/Belgian couple, Agathe and Mathieu, who go by Odyssées d’Architectures on Instagram, had their first experience of Argentina in a VW Bus and wanted to share their experience. After arriving in Buenos Aires, they purchased a T2 VW Kombi from 1983. The VW Bus was named Txapeldun. It’s quite a curious name that means “champion” in the Basque language of Northwest Spain.
Agathe recounted their trip through Argentina, “Our itinerary started from Buenos Aires and we went South along the coast to Patagonia. Then we crossed from East to West Patagonia right up to the Andes Cordillera. We went along the Cordillera by the famous Road 40 until the very North of Argentina and the desert. Again, we crossed the country, this time West to East to reach Iguazu falls. From Iguazu we went back to Buenos Aires.”
When they thought to travel to Argentina, they thought that having a VW Bus would be awesome! Mathieu shared that, “For us, it was the best way to discover this huge country and to meet the locals. The funny face of our Kombi provoked a lot of locals to approach us and start up a conversation. We didn’t speak Spanish when we arrived and ended the trip speaking fluently.”
While many fond memories have been retained from the trip Mathieu shared his highlight. “The highest point of our trip was maybe when Agathe’s family went to visit us and traveled in our VW Bus. When we were driving we had seven people in total inside! We crossed all Patagonia like this and had so much fun. I’m not sure if everyone had their own seatbelt.”
For Agathe, one of the biggest challenges of the trip was mechanics. “Before we started the trip, none of us knew about mechanics. Sometimes it was stressful when we were in the middle of nowhere because the engine was quite fragile. Luckily, the mechanics of this type of vehicle is very easy to fix, so we always found someone to fix it for a very good price.”
Agathe also recalled a funny memory. “The funniest part of our trip in Argentina was all the police control came up against. The officers were always very suspicious that we might be carrying drugs in our “hippie” bus. However, after checking the inside and finding nothing, they were always asking a lot of questions about the way we lived inside. We had to show them how we set up the bed, how we cooked, how we showered. So every control was very long but very funny at the same time.”
During their trip, they saw so many amazing locations they would love to revisit. If they had to recommend only one place though, it would be the small village of Pumamarca and its surroundings (the other village of Humahuaca and Iruya) in the North of the country. It is famous for the Cerro de Los Siete Colores, a multi-colored hill that looms in the background of this quaint village.
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t bring our VW Bus back to Europe, because of the Argentinian law. We had to sell it before leaving Argentina and we are so sad about that. We loved this type of travel so much that we just bought another vehicle to travel to other places. This time it is not a VW Bus, but a 4×4 Land Rover from 1994. Soon, we want to start traveling in Africa and visit isolated villages. While a VW Bus is so nice to travel in we felt that the Land Rover would suit better for Africa. We will document this new trip with video and written articles because we want to visit hidden and unknown architectures, cultures, and people. So, stay tuned for more updates!”
While they may not be continuing to travel in a VW Bus, it is clear that Buslife and the trip in Argentina has inspired them to keep traveling in a vehicle. Who knows, one day they might return to the faithful VW Bus! You can follow their adventures on Instagram, Youtube, or directly on their website.
If you are searching for more travel inspiration in Argentina and South America at large, check out this article, written by Buslifers Ambassadors, Vidas Rodantes. They share their top places to visit after traveling from Argentina up to Mexico!
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