A Travellerspoint blog

Foz Do Iguacu

rain 25 °C

We went to see the Iguazu falls from the Brazilian side. Most people we've spoken too said that the Argentinian side is much better than the view from Brasil. We didn't agree! The best waterfalls are on the Argentian side which you can only see from Brazil. The Brazilian Iguacu National park is not as impressive as the Argentinian version but the view speaks for itself. Unfortunately it poured it down with rain, I've been in such heavy rain in my life! So we got soaked but at least it was warm.

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During the tour we had an hour stop in Paraguay for 'shopping' but Emma and I didn't enjoy it much beacuse 1. we don't have any room in our backpacks to buy anything and 2. everyone was staring at us and thought we just looked rich and didn't feel safe at all.

We then went to Itaipu dam which links Paraguay and Brazil across the Parana River (which means noisy stone in Guarani). The dam produce the most hydroelectricity per year in the world as there is large amounts of rain all year round due to its rainforest setting. The dam supplies 90% of Paraguay's electricity and excess is sold to Brazil. The dam also provides thousands of jobs for Paraguayans and Brazilians.

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Posted by Ninirock 08:10 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Iguazu Falls

semi-overcast 26 °C

We left Buenos Aires and headed North to Puerto Iguazu, Argentina. We had to get a 20+ hour coach to get there. Although this sounds really bad we went out the night before until quite late so that we were tired for the bus. We managed to sleep most the way and they gave us lots of food to keep us happy and showed a few films. We got to Puerto Iguazu at 8am on Sunday 3rd March. The hot humidity hit us as we got got off the bus, even at that time it was uncomfortable and we were sweating as we lugged our backpacks to the hostel. Our welcome to Iguazu wasn't great - after such a long bus journey we were in need of a shower but someone the night before seemed to have ignored that there were 2 toilets next to the shower and went in the shower. It was sooooooooo disgusting we practically ran out of the hostel. Later the hostel owner was very embarasssed and appologised (even though it was his fault).

Anyway, after that horrible experience we got a bus to Iguazu National Park. The park is really well organised and has a train that takes you from one side of the park to the other. We got off the train welcomed by Coaties (a bit like racoons) which try to take food off the tourists. We followed a metal walkway that took us above the river to 'La Garganta del Diablo' (the devil's throat). On the way we saw turtles, a caiman and lots of birds that all seemed to be posing for the cameras! La Garganta del Diablo is very impressive as you stand at the stop of the waterfall and look down and ypu can't see the bottom because of the mist that produced from the power of the waterfall.

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We then took the train back to the middle of the park to take some other trails to see the hundreds of different waterfalls Iguazu has. The waterfalls are amazaing, I don't know why they aren't better known. They are set in the rainforest making them surrounded by greenery and there are so many different waterfalls of all sizes, which it makes Niagara and other big waterfalls look very boring! We took a boat that takes you right under the waterfalls. You haver to put your bags in waterproof bags because you get absolutely drenched. It's so refreshing after getting hot and sticky from walking along the trails!

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Posted by Ninirock 07:49 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Walking around Buenos Aires

sunny 26 °C

During our stay in Buenos Aires we went a bit mad with the walking tours - they're the best way to see everything and learn about the sights at the same time! I did a tour of San Telmo, where we were staying, and La Boca. La Boca is a lower class area of BA where there are lots of colourful houses. These were originally painted in different colours because there was a port there and they used the left overs of the paint used on the ships to protect their houses. Now they're just colourful to attract tourists! That evening we had another tango lesson (we're now pros) and chilled in the hostel with our new friends!

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The next day we did a historical tour of BA. The girl who showed us around was very passionate so made the tour very interesting. We learnt a lot about the fight for independence and the revolution againsts dictators. We also went to the Museo de Evita where Evita's body lay for 3 years after her death until it was kidnapped and supposedly taken to many places before it was returned to Argentina and put in the tomb that I saw the other day.

The hostel put on an all you can eat Argentinian BBQ, which was a lot of fun and we went to a bar after.

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Posted by Ninirock 18:49 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Uruguay

sunny 28 °C

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During our stay in Buenos Aires Emma and I decided to take a day trip to Uruguay. Why not?! It takes an hour and a half to get to a place called Colonia del Sacramento. We had to leave pretty early in the morning to catch the 8am boat. Colonia is a small town on Rio De La Plata (the river that separates Uruguay from Buenos Aires). It is a world heritage sight because it was founded in 1680 by the Portuguese and was later captured by the S´panish. It's not very big so we took a walk around the cobbled streets of the old town and then relaxed on one of the beaches - it was nice to be away from a city for a day! Apparently the water was clean but it looked a bit like the water in the Thames so we decided against taking a dip!

Posted by Ninirock 18:23 Archived in Uruguay Comments (0)

Tangoing in Buenos Aires

sunny 26 °C

large_P1060300.jpgWe arrived in Buenos Aires on Sunday (24th) in the morning. Despite the bumpy 10 1/2 hour flight, we were pretty awake and raring to go - this was probably helped by the blue sky and the warm welcome we got from our friendly taxi driver and the hostel staff. We are staying in San Telmo which is the less expensive area in BA but has a lot of character and was the birthplace of tngo dancing. We dumped off our backpacks and heading out to the street market around the corner. The market was full of live music, freshly squeezed orange juice and loads of stalls were selling antiques. We walked along Puerto Modero, which is regenerated docklands that has lots of restaurants and cafes and lots of people roller blading. In the evening we went along to Plaza Darrego where locals go on Sunday evenings to tango. We watched them dance until 11.30pm and then headed back to the hostel.

On Monday (25th) we took the open-air tourist bus to get a feel for the city. We enjoyed it so much that we did the 3 hour loop twice so we got to know where the different areas are. Each area has a different atmosphere to it but mainly Buenos Aires feels like a Spanish/European city due to the influence of the European immigrants that have been colonising BA since the 1500s. In the evening we thought we'd try the famous Argentinian steak we'd heard so much about. Unfortunately we hadn't heard about the portion size and realised too late that people normally share a steak between them! So we ended up with practically half a cow on our table and did our best but there was no way that amount of meat could fit in our tummies! We tried to walk off the massive food baby by walking along Puerto Madero before going to bed.

On Tuesday we went for a free walking tour offered by the hostel. This showed us around the posher parts of town where the old aristocrasy lived and to the "Cemetario de la Recoleta" where Evita is buried. The cemetary wasn't like anythng I've ever seen before - the tombs were very elaborate and tall and some had glass doors where you could see th coffins inside (a bit creepy!). I'd expected Evita's tomb to be more elaborate than the others considering she was such an important person to the Argentinians but it was quite similar to the other tombs. This iswhere the tour ended and we had lunch with some other backpackers we met on the tour. That evening we went for a tango lesson, meal and tango show. We learnt the basic steps and had to practise dancing in pairs but there weren't enough men so they had to change every few minutes! The tango show was amazing and the dancers were very talented!

P.s. Sorry for the delay - I wrote this last week but I hadn't realised it didn't upload! My next entry will be coming soon!

Posted by Ninirock 04:08 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

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