Puerto Iguazu

Don’t you just love it when everything goes to plan?!

We arrived on the bus early in the morning, walked to the hostel, dumped our bags, and got changed into walking clothes, back to the bus terminal, and we went to the water falls. Everything went so smoothly!

Anyways, Iguazu falls are spectacular, we went out to the Diablo spot, which is right on the edge of where the water runs over the edge in a massive fall! There where some derelict ruins of the old walkway next to it, which illustrated the power of the water here, and there is a lot of it! Next we walked down to the bottom, to get the other angle. Spectacular! Im trying to remember what Niagra falls where like, and I think these where bigger.

Diablo with the couple

Diablos edge
Diablos edge

From a distance
From a distance

Butterflies in the noggin
Butterflies in the noggin

Rainbow in the noggin
Rainbow in the noggin

Chilling with beer
Chilling with beer

We spent the day there, before heading back into town to chill, and organize our trip to Rio. We had planned to spend the next day still strolling, as it was so nice, sunny and warm. However, the next day it started raining, and didn’t really stop, so we relaxed, a lot.

Thursday, we got back onto the bus, headed for Rio.

Ill end this here, with an anti recommendation. The movie Shoot em up is not recommended. Its crap, and should not be shown on a bus! Don’t attempt it unless feeling a bit deranged!

Buenos Aires

We came to Buenos Aires with a flight from Lima. We had heard lots of how great Buenos Aires was, and how much we would love it! It was nice, and we spent a relaxing 7 nights here. We had meant to only spend 5, but that wouldn’t have been fair on the city!


On a friends recommendation, we had booked into Hotel Brisas Del Mar, in the San Telmo district. Not sure what has happened to the place since, but we only stayed there 1 night. A run down place with plastic mattresses and the most unfriendly hostess we have yet to encounter. This pretty much set the agenda for the rest of the day, explore San Telmo, and find somewhere nicer to live! We did, and stayed another 6 nights at Puerto Limon Hostel.

San Telmo has a very nice feel to it, with lots of old buildings, nice shops, and lots of places to eat and drink. We also found that Buenos Aires has the best tourist information available as of yet! If we had known in advance, we could have downloaded audio guides, walking tours, and all sorts of other stuff! The information kiosks were also conveniently located, and helped us several times. Although with conflicting advice at times…

Anyways, Sara devised a thorough plan for how we could best absorb the sights of the city. We had arrived on a heat wave, which was indeed very nice! It was receding though, so we went from nice and hot gradually towards cooler and rain, but the weather lasted pretty much the whole time we where there!

First step of the plan, was to look around the city centre, and San Telmo. We found some nice walking streets and parks, and generally just cruised, hung out at the bakeries, and drank coffee. After the first day, and realising that Argentina was about to celebrate their national day, we decided to extend our stay, and fit that in as well. Hence the extra nights.

San Telmo
Our local pizza parlour – San Telmo

Puerto Madero
Puerto Madero – Walk along the harbour

Wednesday, we decided to walk to Recoleta. That was a walk which turned out to be a lot longer than we had pictured, but eventually we got there, and we again enjoyed some nice food, before venturing into the renowned cemetery. We found Evita Peron’s grave, but much more interesting was the other graves. The whole place was in varying conditions, with some very elaborate sites, and some very anonymous. Some derelict, and some well maintained. But it had a nice feel to it, and we enjoyed it. Then we walked back, shopped around for a bus fare to Iguazu, went shopping at a Supermercado. Now, on that note, Sara has been vigorously seeking them them out. The Chileans we didn’t explore in too much detail, the Argentinians have all been disappointing. The Bolivians don’t seem to have them, all business is conducted on the street. The Peruvians have the best so far! The bigger and grander supermarket next to the bus station was not what it promised, so we could safely resume shopping at our local place. Much to my relief!

Recoleta – Highway of crypts

Recoleta – Someones eyes always watch


Then we had a look at Abasto, and the heart of Tango. Another neighbourhood, that was nice, but some of the charm had left it. We figured we try Kosher McDonald’s, they didn’t have fries, but we tried anyways, and it was crap. Nothing like the burgers you can buy anywhere else here! Then, the highlight of the day, was Indiana Jones 4, with Spanish subtitles. We figured the dubbed one wouldn’t do us much good…

Abasto – The heart of tango

Friday we headed for the money, Palermo. We didn’t really see it, but they had a lot of restaurants and designer shops up there, although I think I like them better in San Telmo. Looking at all the things they are creating, designing and doing here, are giving us a lot of ideas for projects to come!

Saturday we checked out La Boca, an old workers neighbour hood. It felt a bit like heading into Port Kembla, with only one nice spot in it, which was very developed. We had plenty of Tango shows under our sleeve after La Boca, and lots of friendly chickos wanted to dance with us, or have their photo taken with us in varying poses… At night we went into town, where they had blocked one of the main streets, to organise Gran Milonga de Mayo, which is a “come and dance” event. This was in preparation for the national day the next day of course.

La Boca
La Boca – Tango Square

La Boca

It turned out nothing much happens in Argentina on their national day, the president, CFK, was away in Salta, so all the action was up there. There was some parade in Palermo, but that was too far away. Instead we found that the typical San Telmo market had extended itself some 13 blocks, with lots of impromptu street shows and stalls and whatever else. It was indeed a nice and relaxing day for us!

Independence day

Street Tango

San Telmo markets

Next day, Monday, we caught the early bus to Iguazu and settled in for the next 18 hours.


So, we made it to Salta ok. The bus ride was fine, the 18 hours not too troubling. We had bingo and meals to keep us entertained!

We are writing this from La Paz, Bolivia, so some time has passed since the following events took place!

In town, we went to our pre arranged hostel, and got dumped. We reckon it was because we were too hip for them, but really it was probably because we were a couple. We got relocated to another one with extra perks, no dramas, but still annoying to be age/couple discriminated!

We spent the day chasing ATMs (Its a pain here, we can only withdraw tiny amounts ago, then having to do 7 repeat transactions to get enough to pay our way forward! That is if you get a ATM that works, we average about 4-5 before we hit jackpot) and chilling. Also booked a tour for the next day, so we could see the local wineries and surrounding country.

Next day, Tuesday, we got picked up in the morning, and it turned out there was only 4 of us doing this winery tour. The whole winery thing in Argentina is a bit disappointing. We where expecting wholesome samples, lots of variety, but instead only got to sample their staple wines, not their pride, and then only in tiny amounts. The gripe is that we pay the guide to take us there, then he gets paid by the wineries in wine, wine which we could have drunk, instead of just looking after us. Such a poor deal! Hunter Valley any time! Although the wine we did have was nice, it wasn’t as expected. Cafayete is the region in Salta, and again, very dry, all irrigated.

Wine tasters
The organic winery

Enjoying the view
Enjoying the view

Sara and Atilla
Sara and Atilla

El Diablo
El Diablo

Once back, we hung around for a while, before catching our bus to Bolivia at 0040 that night.


So, we made it to Mendoza. The place is very much like Canberra, its definitely got the city feel to it, just a lot more vibrant! The trip itself was terrifying! We figured we should be smart about it, and shopped around, and found a cheap minibus that seemed alright. Little did we know that the 6 hour journey should turn into 8, that the driver had emphasemia and would nod of, and that we would see Condors. They are big birds! But, we learnt some stuff, does and dont`s, so it`s all good!

Fun road


Argentina has been kind to us so far, we got in late on Sunday, stumbled around town trying to find a hostel, before being accepted at a nice one where again, they spoke no English. We were really bloody keen to find out what was going on around us by this stage, so we caught some fliers and went looking for a phone booth. There is a whole heap of “Cabinas Telefonicas” around, which are like private public pay phones. Anyways, we got onto one, not realising we had changed timezone by this stage, and talked to our professors father. He knew some English and explained that it shouldn’t be any worries, and that I was to call back a bit later, which I did. This turned out to be late Sunday, but it all worked out! When I called back I got to talk to Maro, what a relief that was. We were accepted into her Spanish School starting the very next day.

Spanish School

So, since Monday morning, we have had our brains fried for 4 hours every day. We are making progress, but we have been told that we quite literally had no base in Spanish, which was unusual. We where planning on doing a group thing, but we would have brought the group down too far, so we ended up with the individual lessons. Its well worth the investments though, as we can now communicate with more than just sign language and gestures!

Outside school (funny being back at school) we have being trawling the city. We changed hostel too, and now have the whole place to ourselves, for reasons unbeknownst to us…. Our walking shoes have got a real good workout, we have seen all the streets, checked out the English bookshops again in search for a good phrase book, but given up on that quest. Instead, we have decided that our wits will have to do, which might be a big ask. However, so far we have done allright, and we seem to get better. Touch wood!

We started off cooking in, but by now, we have discovered the vegetarian buffets, and the various promotions you can pick up, so we just stick to those, its just as cheap, and we know enough now to order and make sure they take the meat off for Sara. We just had dinner, and I had a hamburger with a beer, and that only cost 12 peso, wich is $4AUD. Morning coffee with croisant and fresh juice averages around 8 peso, which is $2.7AUD. Not too bad!

The people here in Argentina are great, and I know I’m making sweeping statements when I suggest that they are quite nice! We are definitely having a better time here than in Santiago, less harassment and more friendly. There was a crisis here in 2001 that would have caused a fair bit of unsettelment (the economy devalued to 3 peso per $1USD, from being a fixed 1 to 1, so things skyrocketed in price) and which might have changed the economy a bit. Thriftynes seems to prevail! The petrol prices are identical to Australia, but a lot less affordable, due to lower income, so some wits are required!

The cars are what makes it most evident. There is whole heap of beat up Ladas, Fiats and Peugeot’s here, some sort of time lapse happening. The nick of some of them is surprising, considering how they are driven. You literally force yourself onto the intersections, time it with who is driving in which direction, and all the time hope that right of way and brute force will get you through. There always seems to be an ambulance cruising through the streets with sirens as well, which doesnt seem to mean anything unless they are honking too. There are continous car alarms going of, but not from theft, but as bumper indicators. So, the prevailing method of parking seems to be too keep reversing until the alarm on the car behind you goes of, then you start going forward. There doesnt seem to be any undamaged bumpers, and all the alarms sound the same, so we wonder what the point of it all is?! We are sick of the alarms though!

Does anyone what kind of a car this is? There is a few around.

We are starting to prepare for our next leg, to Salta in Northern Argentina. We figured out the bus system, and now went the whole hog. Cama so we can sleep. Should be interesting, its an 18 hour busride.

Saturday when we have finished school, we are going on the local winery tour.