A Travellerspoint blog

Iguazu - butterflies and waterfalls

sunny 42 °C

Puerto Iguazu

Puerto Iguazu is a very small village right on the northern border of Argentina with Brazil and Paraguay, and the base for travellers arriving to see the Argentine side of the amazing Iguazu Falls. A quick trip on the local bus had us out to the entrance of the Iguazu National Park and ready to jump on a little train that takes you the main sites of the falls. A series of boardwalks takes you right out the the very top of the falls and it is just the most amazing site and sound to experience the river gushing down hard from so high! You get drenched just from the spray!! We did a lovely boat cruise along a quieter section of the river which would have been even better had we been able to understand a word the Spanish-speaking tour guy was saying, but a scenic trip nonetheless. The jet boat that takes you right down underneath the edge of the falls was brilliant, being the big wuss that I am though, I had brought a rain poncho each for Jason and me to wear on the jetboat and it saved us from spending the next couple of hours squelching in wet clothes and shoes as you hike back up the side of the mountain to the train stop again.

The park itself was well worth the visit, I have never seen so many butterflies in my life and the colours were spectacular! Jason had his new snazzy camera with him and got a few good pics - the butterflies would literally land on your hand if you stood still for a minute or so! Lowlight of the park for me (alli) was getting sctatched by the little bugger of an animal (Coica??) which was a bit like a big possum with an anteater snout. Zillions of signs tell visitors not to feed them as they will bite, although that didn´t stop this horribile kid in front of me throwing biscuits on the ground for them then running off, leaving me as the one the Coicas looked to for the next course of food. One of them jumped on my leg to stand up and beg, my furious shaking of my leg to get it off unfortunately left a couple of decent scratches from the little buggers claws. Grrrr.´

The following day we caught another local bus across the Argentina/Brazil border, arriving in the town which caters to the Brazilian side of the falls. Stayed at a fantastic place, Hostel Natura, which is right out of town by the falls and is a project which has been up and running only about 3 months by 2 young Brazilian guys trying to capture the eco-friendly backpacker market. Quite luxurious by hostel standards with a swimming pool that was most welcome during the 40-odd degree days! Best meal we have had so far too, they did up a big BBQ dinner which was just miles ahead of some of the pretty average meals encountered in Buenos Aires - finally some decent salad and vegetables with our hunk of animal!!

Spent a very romantic valentines day (not!!) catching a flight from Iguazu up to Rio de Janeiro and 2 hours in afternoon peak hour traffic on a bus from the airport to our apartment on Copacabana Beach. More on Rio later, as we have tickets to the Samba Show for Saturday night which should be quite an experience!

Posted by Jason316uk 11:22 Archived in Argentina Tagged tourist_sites Comments (1)

Buenos Aires to Puerte Iguazu

08/02/07 - 10/02/07

sunny 35 °C

We booked our tickets to Puerte Iguazu and made the trip on Saturday 10 February 2007. I will elaborate more on that in a moment. That was a little bit of a hairy experience.

We spent a couple of days in Buenos Aires following the last blog entry and visited more of the City. We went to Recoleta and Palermo (the nicest and more affluent part of the city). We did a little sight seeing at Plaza Congreso, Teatro Colon, the Botanical Gardens and the Japenese Gardens. We tried to look at the Museo de Casa Rosada (Museum of the Rose House) where Evita famously waved at the crowds. Not that day as the Museum and House was closed due to Facade reservations. We did however go to Recoleta cemetary where the Marble farm exists. The Marble farm is huge and awe inspiring. Some of the housing of the dead is as big as a one bed apartment in marble. We visited the Duarde Family tomb that houses Eva Peron. The money and sheer scale of this is incredible considering the Argentine economy has been cripled throughout the ages. Years ago, Argentina was one of the better economies with the potential to be a super star, instead the country is crippled by debt.

We went to the Liberia de Las Madres. A coffee shop that is a support to the Mothers who lost children in the Argentine Dirty War. The Argentine Dirty War was before the Falklands (1976-1983), a political war started by the middle classes for social reform. This involved kidnapping foreigners etc. to finance their arms for the revolution. Whatever your belief whether this was started by poverty or greed, around 30,000 people are believed to be unaccounted for. The Mothers parade in front of the Casa Rosada daily as a means of demonstration/outcry regarding the lost children.
It is believed the militia did not distinguish between terrorists, supporters or those who even expressed reservations against the regime. We had no problem helping support this cause.

We arrived at Puerte Iguazu nearly an hour before our bus and got stressed out. The bus station has 75 lanes and we travelled with VIa Bariloche. A very nice bus with full reclining seats and seat service. It was sensational. However, in typical south american style there were nearly 10 lanes of buses with our company going to Iguazu. Every bus we had we got a no and no explanation. Finally, looking stressed someone helped us and rang the bus company who said our bus went without us. The time was 18.47 and our bus was to leave at 18.54. Eventually our bus came up on the time table and on lane 41 we boarded our bus with 2 minutes to spare. The trip was 17 hours and was really good with modern DVD´s and reasonable food.

We arrived fresh and will now book our Iguazu falls tours (supposedly one of the best in the world - rivalling Niagra, Victoria or Angel falls).

Ciao or Adios for now

Jason and Alli x x x x

Posted by Jason316uk 16:08 Archived in Argentina Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Buenos Dias from Buenos Aires

sunny 32 °C
View South America Travels on Jason316uk's travel map.

Buenos dias del Buenos Aires!!!!.

Alli and I arrived into Buenos Aires at approximately 13.30 on Tuesday 6th February 2007. The flight was okay but the plane was old with TV´s strategically located above one´s head. A far cry from the Emirates or Singapore Airlines seat back TV and entertainmntent systems. This flight was long. I am fine but Alli has a little jet lag.

That said we got here a bit the worst for wear (lack of sleep not beer) but we have already managed to book a bus to Puerto De Iguazu (Argentinian side of the grand Iguazu Waterfalls) for Saturday 10th February 2007 and our flights from Foz De Iguazu on the 14th February 2007 and getting into Rio for Carnival.

Moving back to Buenos Aires, we are staying at a reasonable budget style hostel called Nomade. It ain´t bad and the people seem friendly enough. It is in the San Telmo area of the City which is really nice with cobbled streets, a reasonable amount of culture and street atmosphere.

On the 6th we walked into the City area to see the B.A. version of Big Ben, the Plaza de Colon and the Cathedral plus a lot of the shops and some food at a Parilla. A parilla is a steak house. The food was good and the prices better. If the food cost is like this throughout the country I doubt there will be any self catering. (Sharing a steak, with two huge salads and a 1 litre beer for about AUS$15). We got a little bit out of our way but managed to see a decent bit of the city following dinner.

On the 7th we walked to Puerte Madryn (equivalent of King Street Wharf or the South Bank) and walked in the baking heat to the Retiro Bus station to organise out bus tickets on the 20 hour bus to the falls. Once Alli saw the huge reclining leather seats, dvd points, meals, champagne and alcohol on the menu was a bit happier with that. The bus looks good and the trip should be a doddle. We looked around the shops a little longer and made our way back to the hostel before trying food more local in the San Telmo tango district.

We will discuss more about B.A. and our perception regarding Argentine culture in our next blog.

To add a bit of light entertainment on this blog I have decided to add 1 "Alli-ism" to this blog.

We were lying in a park when a man was walking by shouting what Alli thought was hello. I was somewhat amused as I realised the man was an icecream vendor walking and shouting "helado". The Spanish for ice cream. Not a far cry from Hola, but far enough. He he.

To add a bit of light entertainment on this blog I (alli) respond with 1 "Jas-ism" to this blog.....

Jason is notorious for losing his sunglasses, and it seems this affliction travels with him. After an impressive dialogue with the reservations guy for the bus tickets to Puerto Iguazu in Spanish, he walked off all confident only to make a mad dash back to the counter 2 minutes later where his sunglasses were thankfully still sitting.

We will write again in a few days time.

Adios for now

Alli + Jason

Posted by Jason316uk 22:00 Archived in Argentina Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

36 Hours To Go

sunny 30 °C

After months of dreaming about travelling the South American Continent we are now only two sleeps and about 36 hours away from leaving Australia to destination Buenos Aires. Therefore, our next entry will be along the lines of Buenos Dias from Buenos Aires.

Alli's dad asked whether Alli is taking a blacksmith's anvil. Her pack is quite a bit heavier than mine, but it is full of only the necessary items I am assured!.

That said, the excitement has yet to build due to the holidays in Australia. However, tomorrow I am sure will be a different story.

Our next entry will be in about a week.....

Take care,

Adios

Jason

Posted by Jason316uk 18:57 Archived in Australia Tagged preparation Comments (2)

Just Got Married

Sydney, Australia

sunny 29 °C

29 January 2007

Allison and I have been married 10 days now. There are no impending mentions of a divorce or annulment so I can only assume all is well at this time. We are still in Sydney, Australia and will not be leaving for Buenos Aires, ARG until the 6th February 2007. I still have lots to think about and need to get my new camera (Canon EOS 400D before I go) as well as some insurance, shares, addresses to change and lots of packing!. So nothing more to add from me at this point.

Jason

Posted by Jason316uk 22:53 Archived in Australia Tagged preparation Comments (0)

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