More Buenos Aires then north to Iguazu

Trip Start Apr 03, 2006
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Trip End May 29, 2006


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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Hello all!

Johnīs away to the hostel to sort out his contacts as been giving him gyp so here I am in a Internet cafe in Puerto Iguazu tasked with filling in the last week I guess. So itīs been a few days since our last update as we have been having far too much to sit down in front of a computer. That and the computer at our new hostel doesnīt work, damn.

So John left you with info on last Saturday at Tigre. Sunday was a very special day for Miss Smith because it was the day she got to go to watch Boca Juniors at their home ground... wow!!!! But first, we got up and headed out into the unknown to the feria de Mataderos which was a gaucho delight - lots of local gaucho (cowboy) dancing and general handicrafts on sale plus more choripan (one of John's favorite foods here second to steak - chorizo sausage in a fresh roll straight from the parilla, massive grill over coals). Now this feria was special because John came across his new travelling partner, a wonderfully handcrafted guitar with a story... a real treat. I on the other hand picked myself up a hand-woven bag made from sheep wool dyed with vegetables and leather - nothing new there then with my shopping habits. So after a morning with the gauchos we called in at Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo (just down from our hostel) to take in some antique stalls and amazing street performers including free tango, a real insight into BA culture.

Down to the good stuff - put on my Boca shirt and we wait for the locals to pick us up - bit concerned at first as it's a guy in a clio who take us to a local fanaticos pub in La Boca for beer and pizza pre-match. From here we walk to the stadium and I had pre-match jitters not unlike the walk to St James... it was an important match as River Plate (local rivals) were ahead on goal difference only. The atmosphere was electric and we were standing amongst local fans on the terraces, a truly amazing experience. Boca was mediocre in the first half but Palermo (number 9) puts a corker in the back of the net in the second and Boca take 3 points from Arsenal(note: River drew 0-0 so Boca go top!!). Back to the pub with locals to round off one of my ambitions, what a night!

So Monday we took in the Japanese gardens and leisurely strolled around the parks and Palermo. Had sushi for lunch, a welcome break from all the red meat for me. Monday's are pretty quiet in BA so we had a nice dinner then headed to bed.

Tuesday is travel day so we were off on the metro to the Abasto mall for a shop then a stroll around BA to round things off. A leisurely stroll and a beer at the hostel before the most manic trip to the bus station... we are on a local bus to Retiro and moved 2 blocks in 15 mins with an ever approaching departure time so we jumped off the bus, ran to the metro and made our bus with 5 mins to spare. Thus began another first class bus experience. We were greeted by a friendly chap in a yellow uniform with a general resemblance to Manuel from Faulty Towers. Off we go for 18 hours to Puerto Iguazu and he serves us whiskey on the rocks, which is nice. Next comes a 3 course dinner with red wine and then... champagne!! Fantastic. Ok so we had a baby in front of us and one behind but the drinks helped fuel sleep and we arrived in Puerto Iguazu on Wednesday morning a little shabby but greeted by extreme heat. Some good banter with 2 Canadians broke up the last few hours of the journey which definitely helped. Hostel Park Iguazu is close to station so a quick change and we are off to walk around town, spot of lunch and a beer then down to the tres fronteras - 3 markers as the 3 headlands meet (Brazil, Argentina & Paraguay). Early evening Caparinhi's at Moīs Bar (yes as in the Simpsons and no, not as pure cachaca as that stuff we had the other Christmas from Brazil but damn good). Dinner at El Quincho with yet more fabulous Mendozan malbec and live music... bed time came early though after all that travelling, not first without some reflection upon our week in BA.

Buenos Aires is sometimes called the "Paris of the South" strongly influenced by European culture while retaining Latin charm with good reason. It is sophisticated with countless bars and cafes, bustling streets and a nocturnal population (streatched even me at times). Am not sure whether we will find another city in South America with so much passion and excitement. The standard of living is generally quite high, the local people (porteņos) extremely friendly, and you feel quite safe due to the very low crime rates. Whether sitting at an outdoor cafe watching the beautiful porteņos, dancing until morning, playing soccer in the parks, or watching a world famous Tango show, cosmopolitan Buenos Aires offers pretty much something for everyone. A truly remarkable place and experience, one we shall treasure and never forget I am sure. No wonder Nobby made the move their from Peru to futher his career, a great stepping stone before leapfrogging to the wonderful north east!

So I shall leave it there because our next 2 days are all about the Iguazu falls in Brazil and Argentina and for that I need John's help. So it's ciao for now and thanks again to all of you for you comments and general banter.

No photos with this one as I forgot my cable to download from camera.. doh! hey ho will post when can as have absolutely loads.

We are both having the best time and keeping well (take notes Mum's!).

Amber. xx

P.s. we head off to Salta tomorrow - 10 hours on bus to Residencia then spend the day there before 13 hours to Salta so not sure when we will get back to you but will be shortly as am sure John has loads to say.
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Comments

cottage
cottage on

To two special people-Hello
Fabulous updates -what was going on with the Lama and the dress sense- next seasons latest fashions-fantastic!!!
Gwen,Jack,Andrew& Neil asked me to say hello and Matt sends his love-if he stops socialising he may even post you a message.
Looking forward to your next updates.Wonderful photos -Take care hon-hope your hands are ok.
Bye for now
M&D

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