A Travellerspoint blog

21-22 Amazing Iguasu Falls

21-22 Amazing Iguasu Falls
This would be the day where we would leave BA for Iguazu Falls and of course that 22 hour bus journey!
However, before we departed we took time to go and visit the most beautiful book store in BA, perhaps the world, Aleneo Grand Splendid, housed in an old cinema but looks like one of the old grand theatres well worth a visit if you have time. But one sight you must visit is the La Recoleta, the burial place of Evita. However, for once Evita does not steal the show and is playing a supporting role. This is not just any cemetary but is more like a small town made up of memorials (houses effectively) for the high society of BA's past. It is really one of those places you have to visit to really understand and appreciate.
However, After spending a few days in BA it was time to tackle the jungle! We took the night bus (bus company Via Bariloche) from BA to the very top of Argentina, where Argentina borders Brazil. We prepared thoroughly for the 22 hour trip by stocking up on crisps, crackers, coke, water and made sure to pack sleeping bag, pillows & toothbrushes accessible. Just to discover obviously that we didn't need much of it on this fantastic and luxurious bus. We got dinner on board, both starter and main with which we were served wine or soft drinks. I made sure I got two little bottles of the first as I wanted to be able to sleep (no problem there, I was knocked out already by the film!) We were also supplied with pillows / blankets & served brekfast in the morning. The best thing however, was that the seats were fully reclining so we could lie down and stretch out properly. First class Argentinian buses!
Nuff said about the bus journey. What Iguasu is world famous for is the Water falls, impossible to describe in words so so I insert some pictures instead.
Igausu is an AWESOME place and is a must for anyone visiting Argentina or brazil. It puts Niagra Falls to shame having now been fortunate to have visited both - it might not have the same volume of water flowing over it but it's so much more beautiful with it's rain forest surroundings and the fact that the Argentinian commercialisation is a little more subtle.
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Posted by Marikieran 12:20 Comments (0)

Tigre 20th Jan

Tigre 20th Jan
We decided to go to Tigre. Described by the guide book as the Argentinian Venice, but on visiting it does not do either justice. Venice is a beautiful historic city created by man with an abundance of buildings and art, though over crowded with tourists and pigeons. Tigre has the natural beauty of the Panana Delta a seductive maze of lush, green islands now inhabited by the jet setting Portenos at weekends and summer holidays,seperated by streams and rivers, but lacks the crowds of tourists and pigeons!
Instead of going on an organised tour we decided to do a DIY tour, which proved really easy, though not optimal in learning about Tigre itself - but more on that later.
We started at BA's main train station where Maria did the bag watching while Kieran queued with the masses, an organized chaos. After a combination of sign language and pointing, two tickets were purchased at 2.70 pesos return ($0.75). Well worth going on your own instead of the organized bus tour that would probably be around $30.
The train took about an hour and was full of day tripping Portenos, eager to get out of their sweltering city. This was a cool experience, a taste of everyday Argentinian life making the journey to get to your destination very much part of your day out itself. While in England you can buy snacks and magazines on board, this is not a possibility that we could find on this train but you could buy a 'mini toolkit', lottery tickets and various other 'everyday' items from the endless entreprenuers on board - this is an experience that you just don't get by going on organized tours - you miss out on a lot.
On our arrival we decided to walk around the left bank of the river Lujan, taking in the laidback, riveria atmosphere. The town had yet to waken up and we had the riverside pretty much to ourselves. In hindsight we would have gone on a boat trip first to get our bearings as after two hours or so of wandering ( slightly more due to my shortcut) in the 30+ degree heat we were pretty knackered which might explain our next experience........a one hour boat trip with, I am sure very interesting, history and notes of interest of the delta and sights around Tigre. However, we are no wiser on Tigre due to the fact that not one word was in English, a monologue of Spanish greeted us! We would learn a very early lesson that in Argentina english is not widely spoken, so don't assume (which I know one shouldn't)! Boat trips with English guides are available you just need to check with which company!
None to the wiser we departed the boat, but our bemusement and slight disappointment did not last long as in this 'small world' who were we to bump into but the 'brazilian couple' from the restaurant the night before! Bizare!
Once you have done the boat trip and wandered around for an hour Tigre is pretty much 'done' unless of course you decide to stay on one of the islands in one of holiday homes which if you have time I imagine would be a great experience. So we set off back to BA in high anticipation of the 'Tango show' that we had booked earlier.
Whether you think you like tango or not we thoroughly recommend to go to a show, even the most unenthusiastic of you will enjoy watching, and will appreciate, the skill and talent on display. It's the BA equilavent of going to a Westend show in London but instead of rows of cushioned seats in a British orderly fashion, you sit in a crowd of people with tables and served champagne and G&T's watching a variety of sexy tango, musicians and solo singers - all in a very cool atmosphere. The only thing we would do differently is to book the tango show seperately to the meal (meal was awful and expensive), though if you do this you don't get as good seats or the free drinks at the show.....
After another long, but superb day we retired back to the hotel and started to prepare ourselves mentally for the 22 hour bus journey to Iguazu Falls the next day!
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Posted by Marikieran 12:15 Comments (0)

19 Jan Buenos Aires - Day 2

sunny 33 °C

Jan Buenos Aires - Day 2

So was our love affair to be a one night stand, waking up with that feeling of regret and that desire to just get out of there? Or would we enjoy a second date?

We headed for Palmero, a barrio of districts with infamous names that included Soho and Hollywood, could it live up to it's more well known cousins? Palermo Soho did. This is where we would live, if ever we were to have a more permanent relationship with BA. A cool, chic, trendy neighbourhood bulging with cafes and boutiques selling goods of all descriptions that oozed pure, elegant understatement. A few hours were passed sipping our iced drinks watching the world go by.....heaven! (even without my customary Sunday Times).
We were stirred from our daze by what would become a common sight during our stay, dog walkers. These are dog walkers with a difference, walkers with about 10 dogs of various shapes and sizes, strutting down the avenues with purpose (the walker to get the job done, the dogs to ensure they got to that lamppost first!). Apparently, if you own a dog and don't have a professional walker you are nobody. A sponsorship opportunity for that well known dog food is on the cards (incidently I have seen it in stores over here!).
Inspired into action we made our way through 'hollywood' which has no resemblance to the better known version which is a good thing and ended up outside the botanical gardens. You see, palmero is a real mix of urban cool and green open spaces.
We entered in the botanical gardens and as gardens go it was okay, worth a visit but nothing to write to Percy Thrower about (a chap off a very famous childrens program called Blue Peter who looked after it's garden). But whoever designed this garden must have inspired the likes of IKEA, because once your in, it was near impossible to find the exit! (in fact we didn't and had to retrace our steps to the entrance).
Finally we made our way out, and obviously undaunted by this experience and wanting more of the 'green' fix we headed off to the Japanese Gardens. These are worth seeing if only for the mamouth Carp that swim whale like through the large ponds that are the centre piece of this attraction. We recommend that you buy some fish food and throw it into the water, those whale like fish soon change to man eating piraña.....it's an incredible sight!
After another long day of exploring we headed back to Rooneys for a quick freshen up before hitting the road again for dinner. By Monday evening the pertińos have awoken from their sunday slumber and are ready for the next 6 days of eating, drinking and dancing. We headed to what would turn out to be a gastronomical delight, a meal that Maria and her sister will be able to talk about, on that single subject, for hours (along with visual aids as we have many photos!). It was beef, which still stole the show but it was close. We had in total around 10 accompanying side dishes, a full range of vegatables in various guisges, to sauces which I will let maria describe later. Thankfully we had decided to share this main meal, otherwise we'd still be there now trying to complete it!
This time we hailed down a taxi, we could not walk an inch.
The second date with Buenos Aires had gone well, it was looking promising :-)

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Posted by Marikieran 06:10 Archived in Argentina Comments (1)

18 jan Buenos Aires - Fair Winds

sunny 30 °C

18 jan Buenos Aires - Fair Winds

Buenos Aires, what a city, we're in love....it has only taken a few hours, but in those few hours we have meandered through it's boulevards, taken deep breaths of it's intoxicating atmosphere, and indulged in its classical beauty. We are in love with BA because she is, simply beautiful.
Our first fling was with Plaza del Mayo, a large island of green, surrounded with the granduar and glamour of a multitude of historic landmarks, including the cathedral.....
San Talmo draw the two of us in next. A barrio (city area) that is aging gracefully, its avenues lined with crumbling abodes (hus/hem) which only adds to it's charm. Antique stalls are in abundance, along with street artists ranging from the statues to the ninety year old woman playing as many instruments as she has fingers! We wandered aimlessly soaking up the atmosphere, listening and observing the crowds as they passed.
Our meandering brought us to the water front, pleasant but somewhat disappointing against the expectations I had. However, the choriz.... made up for it a delicous barbequed sausage that at least surpassed our taste buds expectations.
We continued walking, and walked and walked. In our first afternoon we had been seduced and had covered miles and whiled away hours, hours in the sun that we would regret......
Our return to our hotel (Rooney's, no relation or connection to the footballer) confirmed our suspicion of why cars were stopping in the streets as we passed, our faces were tomatoe red! No sunscreen No tan! At least no one could see our embarrassment, as we sneaked into our rooms and looked for whether we had brought balaclaves (ranarluva)
with the kitchen sink (=engelskt uttryck for att ha packat allt man ager)!
Our hotel, once I had got over the shock of the taxi dropping us outside what looked like a run down snack bar, in a street that would be best described as up and coming, and finally finding the entrance that the CIA would be proud of it's secretiveness, is actually very nice. Tucked away on the 3rd floor, it is like stepping back in time. The rooms are all unique to one another, dressed with classical furniture, walls that climb and climb, and decorated in colours that suit the oasis of relaxation that the hotel is against the hustle and bustle of the city outside. Recommended!
We discovered that Sunday evening what would mystify many on a visit to buenos aires, when do they sleep? Well as we looked and looked for an open restaurant we found the answer. Anyhow this was probably a blessing in disguise as we stubbled upon a locals hangout which gave us our first taste, the delicios taste, of pure Argentinian beef. It surpasses all the thousands of superlatives that are written. We retired content on heavey stomachs:-)

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Posted by Marikieran 04:15 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Sunday morning 08.59 UK, 09.59 Madrid, 06.59 Buenos Aires.

sunny 25 °C

Sunday morning 08.59 UK, 09.59 Madrid, 06.59 Buenos Aires.

I'm writing this after a looong night on the plane, while waiting for breakfast. Now you might wonder what I am writing this on..? Well, it is a little new gadget member of the family. One that Kieran won at the same party as where he nearly won the Strictly Come Dancing competition! Yes beleive it or not, Kieran in a DANCE COMPETITION! Its gonna be imteresting to see if he's got some hidden tango qualities too!? Now back to the introduction of my electronic diary, it is ladies and gentlemen, a beautiful, fun, clever, slim, impressive and just irresistable little iPod Touch! And I'm in love :-).

So am now trying to write a new blog entry on the Touch to send to the emaill address of our blog which will then end up as a new entry! Clever huh!?

Sounds pretty easy and straight forward in theory.. Only need to find wifi now to get it to work!..

Before the battery completely run out, just a few words on flying Iberia: except being on time, there is nothing nice i can say about this airline.. The aircraft itself is so old it reminds me of an VW van from the 70's :-). Nothing wrong with a bit of retro though if they could compensate the lack of flash aircraft with something else. Unfortunately however it is all pretty sad, here's my review:

Entertainment: the tv screens you normally have a chance at watching some new films on - here they show a tv program about a guy who's hanggliding.. Which even if you were interrested, you are sitting too far away from to see anything.

Food: Very salty, very luke warm AND the worst airline catering sin of all; they didn't warm the bread!

Crew: The service has been somewhat cool, however, this I must say has improved at the same speed as we are approaching BA. Since this morning I have actually seen one or two of them smile fainty.

All of this doesn't matter though because 1) we are soon landing in BA!!! and 2) we saved about £400 each by choosing Iberia instead of BA!

Hasta luego - Buenos Aires here we come!

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Posted by Marikieran 14:00 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

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