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Argentina

Argentina – Parque Nacional Los Glaciares

The icy side of Patagonia

overcast 6 °C
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We had a few days up our sleeves before needing to get down to Ushuaia so we grabbed out the Lonely Planet and looked to see what was interesting further south than Bariloche. Reading about the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares ticked all the boxes – incredible glaciers, great hiking, breathtaking scenery. So after 28 hours on a bus, crossing the country to Rio Gallegos, then back over to the mountains we were in proper Patagonian landscapes.

The first stop was the town of El Calafate, just outside the boarders of the national park. It’s not overly large, but it doesn’t have much of a South American feel to it. It even has a flash new casino in town. However it is the prime location for visiting the main attraction Perito Moreno Glacier. After some shopping and washing on our first afternoon in town, we headed out to the glacier the following afternoon. There are two busses that go out to the glacier each day, however we chose the afternoon one as with the daytime sun, you are more likely to see ice carving from the face of the glacier in the afternoon.

Its an impressive hours drive out to the glacier past the massive glacial lake that El Calafate sits on. After paying the 100 peso entry fee at the national park, you get the first views of the glacier from the bus ride up to the viewing platforms. The bus stops at the boat docks for an optional boat ride to the face of the glacier. We spoke to some people at the hostel the previous day who said that the views from the viewing platform were better than the boat, so we weren’t going to worry about doing it.

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Getting to the glacier itself was incredible. We didn’t actually see it, we heard it. These loud cracks like lightning every so often. We got to the first viewing point and the enormity of this bit of ice comes to life. 74 meters high, 5km wide and stretching 30km as far as you can see up to the mountains above it. It comes from an ice cap that is the 3rd largest reserve of fresh water in the world. And unlike most glaciers around the world, this one is actually growing...

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The first viewing platform is quite high so you get to see the whole thing before going down the walkways to the point where you can’t see anything but the towering ice above you. It was really hard to get a perspective on the small bits of ice that were falling off the face. A bit that looked like it was no bigger than a soccer ball would fall off but make a really loud sound when it hit the water below.

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The glacier is quite unique in that it comes right down to a headland that is in the middle of the glacier path. The obstacle means that the glacier slows down but still has lots of pressure behind it, making big bits of ice fall off. We sat on a viewing platform for a while trying to record a clip of some ice falling off. Not much happened for a while but then there started to become some pretty regular cracking sounds. We started recording and the video below is what we got. Amazing!!

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Now you see it

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Now you don’t

After getting the video we were pretty happy so we went and got a hot chocolate to have a break from the cold. We looked around a bit more still in awe of that amount of ice just sat in front of us. The sun even came out for a bit to shine on the glacier before we got the bus back to El Calafate.

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El Calafate doesn’t have much more to offer, so we headed up to the smaller town of El Chalten which is nestled further into the national park. Our aim for the few days up here was some walking amongst the mountains. The first walk we did in the afternoon we arrived was just up a little knoll above the town. It was windy, cold and a bit of rain around, but good to get out in the air.

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Condor flying above us on the walk

We then did an 8 hour walk up to the view point for Mount Fitz Roy, the biggest peak in the area. Bearing in mind that ‘summer’ is only a few days away, it was still windy (not as bad as the prior day) and some sprinkles of snow meant we were still in our winter gear. The walk was great, it started out really cloudy and we couldn’t see the peak, but it did clear a bit as we were walking. As we headed uphill after a few hours of relatively flat terrain, we got up to the snow line and then had to walk through some pretty thick snow to get to the end. We were certainly not expecting to be walking through snow with more stinging snow being blown into our face.

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Woodpecker that gave us a show on the trail

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All we could see (Fitz Roy is somewhere in the cloud behind)

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Getting to the snow line

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As far as we are going today...

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On the way back down, it started to clear up and ended up quite nice by the time that we got down to town. We got some good shots up to the peaks from the town as we enjoyed a hearty dinner after the day of walking.

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Clearing now that we are back in town...

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The following day we went to Corre Torre which was another 6 hours of walking. The weather was a bit worse, so again we couldn’t see the peak on the whole walk. This one did finish right up at a glacier lake where we sat and had our lunch. Although the wind was pretty strong so we didn’t stay for long.

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We got back to town and waited for our bus which took us back to El Calafate where we then had to wait around for a 3am bus that would take us down to Ushuaia at the tip of the continent ready to got our boat to ANTARCTICA!!

FINAL THOUGHTS
Daniel – A great stop on the journey. The Perito Moreno Glacier was awesome. We have been to glaciers in Norway and Iceland before which were also great, but the way this glacier stops just at the headland is so unique and a great way to see such a wonder of nature. The walks from El Chalten were also great and a better place to base our self after seeing the Glacier

Tanya – The glacier was sunning, the way it engulfs the headland made for a perfect viewing platform – ideal for Dan to patiently wait for the perfect video opportunity. It was amazing to hear the glacier creaking and moaning away constantly. There wasn’t much else on offer in El Calafate so we were lucky for the tips from other travellers suggesting El Calafate the 3 hikes we did there were incredibly rewarding and very enjoyable (blisters aside).

Posted by dbgomes 09:49 Archived in Argentina Tagged argentina round_the_world Comments (3)

Argentina – Bariloche

Or is it Baril-ash???

storm 12 °C
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Another 20 hours on a bus got us down to the Argentinean Lake District. We were looking forward to coming down here as the English Lake District is our favourite spot in the UK. The drive down looked a little different though. It was blowing an absolute gale outside of the bus, and it was really hard to see. At first I thought that we were some clouds, and then I thought it might have been snow, but it wasn’t until we got into the town and someone mentioned the volcanic ash, did it make sense. You know that volcano in Chile that shut down a lot of southern hemisphere airspace including Australia, well that is just over the border.

We got to our hostel which was in a great location right next to the lake. We had also opted for a superior room (an extra $10) which was on the top floor so we had these amazing views from our bed

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The wind was relentless and the lake was full of white cap waves, but there is something quite nice about being in these kind of places when the weather isn’t great. We find the same in the English Lake District when it’s raining and dreary – The hills and lakes always look a little mystic and threatening, but still beautiful.

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The following day the wind had dropped a bit so we took the opportunity to head up the lake to where there are a bunch of smaller lakes and hills. The area is called the Chico Circuit and the way we were going to do it was on a bike. After getting the rental bikes we headed off on the road. There weren’t many cars going round given it’s just a big loop at the end of a dead end road. So we could quite easily just enjoy the scenery cycling around. We had a nice picnic lunch at one viewpoint before heading to a Swiss village. The scenery around here did remind us a lot more of Interlaken in Switzerland than anywhere else with the peaks and the lakes being very similar.

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Luckily the wind wasn’t too bad which made it a good day. The roads were really up and down, but that what makes the views over the lakes as good as they are. We found a nice spot at the hidden lake to enjoy some left over cakes from our lunch before completing the circuit with a free beer at the bike drop off point.

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Back at the hostel we soothed the sore legs by making use of the nice Jacuzzi that the hostel has. It was great to sit in the hot water looking out over the lake!

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The next day we had a day off!! We had looked into doing some kayaking on one of the lakes, but the company said to us that the weather forecast for the day was turning sour. So instead we slept in, caught up on the blog and just took it easy while the wind and rain lashed the bedroom window. The views were still great, even with the weather.

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We got an early bus the next day and drove through more of the stunning lakes on our way to Southern Patagonia.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Daniel – The lakes are really nice and reminded us of a few places we have been to over the years. We might have to come back in winter next time as the maps of the ski resort above the town made us start to look forward to snowboarding in the States in a few months.

Tanya – Aside from getting volcanic dust in my eyes quite often, the ash was quite a novelty for us. Bariloche itself had not been too badly affected compared to areas that we had seen on the way there on the bus. I really enjoyed biking through the beautiful scenery and am glad we didn’t pick a windier day for it!

Posted by dbgomes 08:31 Archived in Argentina Tagged argentina round_the_world Comments (0)

Argentina – Mendoza

For the Love of Wine

semi-overcast 25 °C
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The sole purpose for coming to Mendoza... Wine!! Argentina´s principle wine region they are famous for their red wines especially the Malbec which is particularly good from this area. We settled into our hostel after the 14 hours overnight bus from Buenos Aires. The hostel was exceptionally good simply down to their service. They showed us around the whole hostel, said that we got free wine at night, ran activities every day and were generally really friendly and helpful. After spending months in and out of hostels, its these little things that make all the difference.

We spent this first afternoon just looking at the main blocks in town which is a lot larger than we expected it to be. It’s more of a commercial centre with all the vineyards in surrounding smaller towns and villages. We got a few things from the cheap markets like new shoes for me and warmer clothes in anticipation for the colder temperatures down south. Back at the hostel I watched the Argentina vs Colombia football game in the lounge with Joe who was from England. Later on at 9 the hostel put on a Argentinean BBQ and wine evening so we enjoyed more great meat and plenty of wine. We mainly chatted with Joe and Hafsha. They have got a years travelling just in Central and South America and being 7 months in have been to a lot of the same places as us. They were really nice and were also intending to do the biking and wine tasting the following day so we said we would go out together.

Our destination was the winery town of Maipu about 40 minutes bus ride from Mendoza. Everywhere you look online and in the hostel the recommendations are to do the biking with Mr Hugo. He’s like a local celebrity now with the success of his business. Hafsha isn’t used to riding a pushbike so they were going to get a tandem bike. Tanya and i thought it would be fun to get one too. We were welcomed with a free cup of wine after getting our bikes from Mr Hugo and then shown on a map where the best wineries were.

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The first stop was just around the corner at a chocolate, olive oil, marmalade and liquor producing place. Strange combination, but they had great stuff. We then went to the wine museum which we stayed at for 5 minutes before moving on. The first winery that we intended to go to was Trapiche which is the biggest producer from the area. The town has all sorts of wineries from small traditional family run ones, new modern small vineyards right up to the industrial one of Trapiche. However we got there for the hourly tour and tasting to be told that the next one was in a couple of hours... We decided to go to a beer brewery around the corner to have some lunch instead. The beer was good, but we were a little worried that it was already getting to 2pm and we still hadn’t got a drop of wine yet.

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We headed to one of the small family vineyards and after looking around the original buildings we finally got to sample some wine. After this we headed to another couple that were close by which were both quite modern but still small vineyards. There were some really good wines and they all had a good array of Malbec’s, Cab Sav´s and Chardonnay all of different ages.

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We were still finishing off our final wines at 6.30 when the vineyards closed. We made our way back to Mr Hugo´s to be greeted with unlimited wine for the evening until the last bas leaves at 9pm. I can see why Mr Hugo is so popular :-) All in all a great day, and we had fun with the 4 of us just cruising around on our tandem bikes and drinking the good wines. Joe and Hafsha were great company and we will hopefully meet up with them when we are trekking in Chile next month.

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The next day was our treat day. Being that we were in the principle wine area and the food here is great too, we thought we would splash out on a fancy pants meal for the day. After all we are on our honeymoon right! After a search of the internet we came up with a winery a little further out of Mendoza called Ruca Malen. The online reviews we saw had everyone raving about the lunch and paired wine experience. We got taken out to the winery and luckily we were a little early so we got to have the pick of the tables. We chose the primo spot looking out over the manicured lawns, rows of vines and distant Andes.

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So the lunch consists of a 5 course meal each with its own specifically paired wine (2 with the main course even). We sat down for the first 2 appetisers before going off for a tour round the winery. The tour was good, very informative and they definitely have a really modern well run vineyard from what we saw. They were also in the process of expanding so that by the time the next harvest comes in March, they will have doubled their output to 1 million bottles.

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The wine tasters – what a job

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The meal was absolutely fantastic. Each dish itself was top class, and then to add the specifically chosen wine for each one just topped it off. We had a great day and between the meals we had those moments just looking out onto the vineyard with a glass of wine in our hand, thinking how different a normal Thursday afternoon would be. Here is a rundown of the meal, not wanting to make you too jealous...

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Small Uco Valley trout salad with Granny Smith apples and azahar crème paired with a 2011 Torrontes

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Grapevine leaf small rolls, sautéed tenderloin and Argentinean cereal with olive oil infusion, cinnamon and sun dried tomatoes. Served on a lime stone paired with a 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon.

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Roasted beetroot and fresh ricotta malfattis with a smoky thyme cream paired with a 2009 Reserve blend

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Grilled beef tenderloin medallion with smoked tomatoes, anco pumpkin croquette and spunta-sliced potatoes with onion chimichurri. Paired with a 2009 Malbec and 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon

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Citric fruits bavaroise with orange peels and season fruits paired with a Pinot Noir and Chardonnay Brut

We couldn’t have had a more relaxing and enjoyable day. It was perfect and a good way to treat ourselves to remind us that we do have to have some luxuries along the way. Getting married has been a good excuse blow the budget out every now and then anyway :-)

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I didn’t enjoy that at all...

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FINAL THOUGHTS
Daniel – Perfect wine, food and good times really made Mendoza a great stop. I think i could have spent another few days just going round the wineries enjoying the food and wine!! Our meal will be one to remember for a while. We have had lots of really nice meals, but this was a special day and it was a great way to remind us that we are still travelling on our honeymoon.

Tanya – Well I discovered how good my Spanish was when I found myself speaking fluently (or rather confidently) to some locals on the bus going home from the vineyards! Biking around the wineries has been one of my highlights, it was great fun - biking and drinking wine (not to mention tasting chocolate, olives, liquors and marmalades) a few favourite hobbies combined. The meal the next day was a great treat and soooo good!

Posted by dbgomes 05:19 Archived in Argentina Tagged argentina round_the_world Comments (1)

Argentina – Buenos Aires

The capital for great steak, intriguing history and plastic surgery.

sunny 27 °C
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Buenos Aires (BA) was a cool city! Hip, modern yet old school, historic and glamorous. It could easily be sat somewhere on the European continent. In fact the Porteños (Buenos Aireans) themselves think that they should be in Europe, not the arse end of a third world continent. This is because they are snobs according to our Porteno guide (more on this later)!! :-). After settling into our hostel in the old cobbled streets of San Telmo district we went for a walk to see the sights of the neighbourhood.

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Our first thing we figured we would do was one of the Free Walking Tours. As we said in the Santiago post, we always find these tours great. True to form, this one was no exception. They always have really enthusiastic, funny, young local guides to take you round. Here in BA the company does two different tours so the first one that we did was the 5pm tour which starts at Plaza San Martin. The guide was Gaston (as in Beauty and the Beast) and he said that this tour goes through the aristocratic areas of town whereas the morning tour goes through the historic downtown area. He said that the morning tour is much better whilst winking (he also said the afternoon tour is much better on the morning tour). It was a decent sized group, and a lot of the people had done the morning walk and came along to complete the set (more of an indication of how good the tour was than anything else)

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Gaston leading the way

We got the low down on San Martin (the liberator for Argentina, Chile and Bolivia) and how he was the only president that everyone liked according to Gaston. Down through the park we came to the memorial for the 400 odd dead soldiers from the Falkland War. It was interesting to hear the Argentinean perspective (myself being British). Basically the dictatorship military government at the time was struggling and decided to play the nationalist card to get support. After taking the islands and then getting the full force of a pissed off Margaret Thatcher who also could use some political help for her leadership, the Military government was shown up for being the inept group that it was. The casualties from the war (mostly young, ill trained soldiers) are national heroes, but with the loss of the war finally bringing down the military government and restoring democracy (the longest period in Argentina’s history), the country doesn’t have much respect for its military for entering such a silly war.

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The only president everyone liked

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The British tower – present for Argentina´s 100th birthday (they got nothing for their 200th)

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The Falklands Memorial

We then walked through the neighbourhoods of Retiro and Recoleta which is the aristocratic part of town. Argentina was the richest country in the world back at the turn of the century with exports to Europe. A lot of people had money and through the inspirations of Europe (and Paris in particular) they spent that money on building grand buildings in the Parisian styles. When we were walking through these streets we most definitely could have been somewhere in Paris!

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The Israeli Embassy memorial which was bombed in 1992

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Drinking from las Ramblas fountain gifted from Barcelona

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Gaston told us the people from BA are really friendly but they are snobs (its alright for him to say as he´s a Porteño too). He said that the Argentinean women are the most beautiful in the world but they have the highest rate of cosmetic surgery in the world to try to be even better. The country has free health care, but if you take out private health insurance you get a free cosmetic procedure every 2 years! He said that in this part of town it would be like going on Safari, you will see rich old blokes with glamatron girlfriends who have definitely used a few free operations. We would call these ´tigers´ on the safari and spot as many as we can :-)

The tour ended at the city’s famous Recoleta Cemetery. The richest people in BA lived in these neighbourhoods in its heyday and not only did they try to outdo each other in life, they also wanted to have the best tombs for their death too. By the time the tour got there, the cemetery was closed but Gaston recommended going in to see it if we had time. There is supposedly some of the best stained glass in the world in the tombs, which is a little strange given that stained glass is something that is only appreciated from the inside... hmmm

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We walked back through the city to San Telmo until 8pm when all the museums in the city threw their doors open for the annual National Museum Night. Every museum in town is free for one night only between 8pm and 3am... 3AM, that´s got to be an interesting thing to do on your way back home from a Saturday night out in town (actually the Porteños usually finish dinner after midnight and only start to get partying by 2am and finish up when the sun rises). We visited a few places which weren’t overly great, so luckily we didn’t pay for them. There were certainly a lot of people out and about though and Gaston had said that there would be lots of partying tonight.

We weren’t too worried about partying but instead were hanging out for a steak dinner. Above everything else, the number 1 thing that i was looking forward to in Argentina was the steak. The rest of South America had be terrible for steak, so I gave up on it until we got here. Right next to our hostel was a steak house that looked decent. As it turned out it was great. You order your cut of steak and how you want it cooked, then any side dish that you want with it. The steak comes out BBQ´d by itself and presented to you then the side dish separately afterwards. I had a Bife de Chorizo steak and Tanya had ribs. One word AMAZING. So worth the wait, and I think that I might go on a solo meat diet for the next month!

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Heaven on a plate

The following day was Sunday and the day of San Telmo´s famous antique markets. We strolled round the markets for a few hours and then went for lunch at a tango show. It was a free show when you had lunch, so we got another steak and enjoyed watching the performances.

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The crowded streets on Market Day

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We then headed off for the cemetery to have a look through there. On the way we stopped at one of the Freddo ice cream shops. Gaston had said that Argentina has some of the best ice cream in the world thanks to the Italian migrant influence, especially the Dulce de Leche flavour. The ice cream was amazing as promised.

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The cemetery was an experience. The rich from BA certainly liked to be extravagant. Evita´s tomb is somewhere in this cemetery, however it is very plain and reserved, especially in comparison to her neighbours. It is so dwarfed by the other tombs that we couldn’t even find it in amongst them all. We then walked out to the ‘flower’ for a few pictures and back to San Telmo for some dinner and an early night after all this walking.

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Street art in San Telmo

The next morning we walked up to the Parliament square which is the meeting place for the morning tour with BA free walking tours. It was nice to see Gaston was our guide again so he asked how our weekend was and what we got up to. This tour goes through the historic part of town and we got the low down on the 200 yr history of the city before walking down the main street between the congress and the president’s residence. We stopped on the main avenue which the Porteños like to tell everyone that it is the widest avenue in the world with much pride and snobbery. Gaston said, that if you meet a local and they tell you this, don’t tell them that actually there is one in Brazil which is almost twice as wide. At the time it was built it was the widest in the world, and the locals don’t like to move on from that.

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We also stopped at Cafe Tortoni which is the oldest coffee shop in BA. Gaston definitely recommended coming back if we had a chance as they have tried to keep it originally furnished and decorated inside and its only a couple of peso´s more expensive than elsewhere. They are famous for their ‘submarino’ which is a traditional Argentinean drink – Hot milk with a chocolate bar to drop into it. At Cafe Tortoni they even have their chocolate bar in the shape of a submarine.

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The tour walked to the square out front of the presidents building where Gaston told us about the ‘Dirty War´ and the ‘Mothers’ who were a group of mothers who lost children amongst the 30,000 people that disappeared during the military dictatorship. The ’Mothers & Grandmothers’ still march around this square every week to seek to find their lost children. The tour finished at the obelisk back at the avenue. Our bus to Mendoza was leaving at 8pm so we went back to the Tortoni cafe to try out a Submarino which was really nice before getting the underground from the Peru underground station (the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere) which is kept in the same style as it originally was.

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The symbol for the Mothers campaign

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Peru station

FINAL THOUGHTS
Daniel – Loved BA actually! Perfect weather for a few days to look around the place. Lots to see and enjoying the steak and tango shows. The two free walking tours were good ways to see a few parts of the city and Gaston was a cool guide to show us round.

Tanya – A great city, very European. We had a great few days there and would have liked to spend some time in the new port area but didn’t get the time. I wasn’t quite sure why you would want to visit a cemetery but we went to find out and then understood, it was incredible. Not sure why stained glassed windows became popular for tombs though! The antique markets were great, particularly the stalls that had stretched for many blocks away from the main square and the tango show was a fab performance while we ate our lunch.

Posted by dbgomes 11:55 Archived in Argentina Tagged argentina round_the_world Comments (2)

Brazil/Argentina – Iguazu Falls

A New 7 Wonder of the Natural World

sunny 30 °C
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Iguazu Falls are located on the Iguazu river which forms the border between Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. Paraguay lucked out though as the waterfalls are only on the Brazil/Argentina part of the boarder and are a major attraction in South America. We flew into Brazil with the intention of seeing the falls from both sides as people always recommend doing both.

The town on the Brazil side is called Foz do Iguacu and WOW, you can see the effect of the tourist $ here!! We got into town around 9pm and so went for a walk to get some food. There are lots of hotel resorts, high rise apartments/hotels, all the usual western takeout places in brand new glass buildings and several steakhouse pubs. We could have been walking down a street in the US or Australia. We didn’t mind though as a few western comforts are not a bad thing after a number of weeks in remote towns.

In the morning we got the bus out to the falls. In the nice information centre we saw some information showing how the falls were created by fissure volcanism when South America and Africa were separating. Molten lava spread out over the plain and stopped at this point forming a cliff face between the two levels. Then another lava flow spread out on top of the first one and also came to a stop a few hundred meters short of the first one creating a step formation between the three levels. Add some water to the mix and you have an impressive natural phenomena.

There is a bus that goes from the information centre to the falls. We got off at the first point where you can see the falls and with some anticipation walked down the path to the lookout. WOW, impressive indeed. The Brazil side gives a great perspective view of the falls and at this first point we were surprised at just how big they actually are. The mist that is being thrown up from the falls gives some indication to the power of the water going over the edge.

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From this first view of the falls there is a 1.2km path that goes up the falls. As we walked along the path we couldn’t believe that there was more. The first view as massive as it is, only shows about half of the total falls. We got a bunch of pictures along the way taking in the amazing thing we were looking at. We were both quite excited to be visiting the falls, but they still blew us away! The falls stretch over an amazing distance of 3km.

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The path finishes right up at the devils throat part of the water falls. Quite a lot of the water from the upper plain filters down in this part so the falls are really powerful here. This is the only part where you can walk out onto the falls via a boardwalk on the Brazil side. There is so much mist from the falls that you get a good soaking walking out onto the boardwalk but it was refreshing on a beautiful warm day.

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You can see the boardwalk going out to the edge

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Up this close, you get a real appreciation for just how much water is going over the edge! There is so much going down the devils throat that it is permanently hidden in the mist. It is a good view point from here as you are on the middle level so you have falls coming down from above as well as being able to look over the edge of the lower falls.

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Amazing views over the edge of impressive falls

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There were some cafes and restaurants at this final part of the falls so after getting right up close to the upper falls we sat by the calmer upper river eating an icecream. We thought that we might try to stay until sunset, but after going back and forth to the information centre is was only 3pm and the sun was still high in the sky so it would probably be closed before sunset anyway.

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View to the Argentinean Side

Back at the hostel we met 2 other couples that we went out for some drinks with. The steakhouse bars in Foz Do Iguacu served beers in these big things that held 2.5 litres of beer and had a tap on them. We got few a few of them whilst chatting about travels.

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We crossed the border (after 3 different busses) in the morning to get to Argentina and its town of Puerto Iguazu which was much more like we were expecting the town to look like. Less developed and more of a South American feel. We got our bus booked for Buenos Aires and then chilled in the hostels pool.

Next day it was out to the Argentinean side of the falls. It was a little bit of a walk from the information centre to the falls on this side. The advantage that the Argentinean side has over the Brazil side is that most of the falls actually sit on the Argentinean side, meaning that you get up close to a lot more of the falls. However you don’t get the same perspective as in Brazil. There are a number of different trails that you can walk on to see different parts of the falls. Our first trail was the lower falls trail as we wanted to get down to the river to get a boat that we had booked.

This lower trail takes you past some of the isolated far waterfalls and then up to the first part of the main falls. The alternate views from here were just as impressive as our first views over the other side. There were many viewpoints and at some parts the spray from the falls gave us a refreshing shower.

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View up to the devils throat and the Brazil side

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We then got down to the river where we had booked for a boat ride that takes you out to the base of the falls. The give you a waterproof bag for your belongings as it´s a guaranteed soaking! It was good we got right up close to the falls in the u shaped part of the pictures above where the sound of that much water is incredible. We hopped off dripping from head to toe.

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We walked back up to the higher falls path and quickly dried off in the heat. This path walks along the very edge of the upper falls which again gives another perspective of this amazing place.

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Farting is strictly prohibited in Iguazu Falls – maybe it disrupts the water flow... :-)

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The final path on this side of the falls went up to the Devils Throat. You catch a train out to this part and while we were waiting for the train Tanya got bitten on her toe by this really ugly looking bug. We assumed it wasn’t poisonous, but i took a good look at it so that i could describe it to someone if she keeled over later in the day :-)

Seeing the Devils Throat on this side is completely different to the Brazil side. Being on the upper level, you can get more of an appreciation of how much water is funnelling down it. We got our final pictures and took in the awesomeness of this natural wonder for a final 5 minutes then headed back to the entrance to get the bus back to town in time for our 5.30pm bus down to Buenos Aires. Over the two days of visiting the falls there was lots of promotion about voting for it as one of the ´New 7 Wonders of the Natural World´ The announcement that Iguazu Falls was declared one of the 7 Wonders was actually made on the 11/11/11 which was the day that we were on the Argentinean side so we can always say that we where there when it was quite rightly declared a Natural Wonder of the World!!

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So much water filtering down here

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FINAL THOUGHTS
Daniel – There is no doubt that this should be one of the 7 Natural Wonders! It blew away our expectations. The pictures can´t emphasise how massive they are and the incredible sound that is made by that much water. I think that both sides were completely different perspectives and doing one without the other is like watching a film without any sound – your missing the total experience. If you were absolutely pushed for time and could only do one side, then the Argentinean side probably gives you more for your money.

Tanya – Yes I had a bug bite, but Dan forgot to mention that we saw a toucan up close flying between the rafters of the info centre (Brazil side) – that was really lucky although he wouldn’t sit still for a decent photo. There were also loads of other animals, and it felt like we were in a butterfly park all of the time. The falls were totally spectacular. The answer to the most common question I hear – the Argentinean side was my favourite.

Posted by dbgomes 06:24 Archived in Argentina Tagged argentina brazil round_the_world Comments (3)

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