Week 2

Trip Start Sep 03, 2009
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Trip End Dec 01, 2009


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Flag of Argentina  , Capital Federal District,
Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hello from Buenos Aires! The Paris of the southern hemisphere, as people who like comparisons often say. BA seems like a great city, we only arrrived yesterday though, and my tardiness in updating this means that I have lots of other things to drone on about.

After leaving Rio we went to Ilha Grande, an island paradise around 3 hours south (and 90 minutes on a rickety passenger boat) away from the city. After the intensity of Rio it was great to lie on th beach, snorkel, coat ourselves excessively in suncream and deet, and generally relax. There are no cars on the island, which sounds like a really boring observation from a holiday programme on ITV, but it does make a huge difference to the atmosphere: very relaxed and peaceful. We hiked for day, stopping off at a few deserted beaches for a swim and some bread and cheese (James and I are slowly developing an addiction to these things, not even joking here, I'll let you know how it progresses), and taking in some amazing ocean views. Fish and enormous starfish were our main snorkelling conquests, the much-discussed turtles were obviously on their day off. 

We managed to tear ourselves away from the island after 3 days and headed by bus to Paraty for the night. A very cool colonial town, but very quiet, we spent the night there and headed to Sao Paolo the next day, from where we got our first epic bus tickets to Iguazu Falls: 14 hours flew by as I slept like a baby and James sat listening to his ipod looking annoyed with me.
 
We arrived in Iguazu expecting some impressive waterfalls, but Iguazu really is amazing. Sorry Niagara, but you've been relegated. We spent 2 great days int eh national parks on both sides of the Argentina Brazil border: the wildlife was as impressive as the water, with plenty of Toucans, lizards that were big enough to be slightly unsettling, and hundreds of Coatis, which look like a 3 way cross between a monkey, a raccoon, and a pig (apologies to any biology fans out there), and seemed to spend most of their time walking in front of tourists and demanding bits of sandwich.

After the falls we took another epic bus to our current location. The coach was very reasonably priced, and almost luxurious. The waiter woke us up at midnight and gave us a glass of Champagne: I'm willing to bet that's never happened on the N155 to Morden.

Anyway, an excellent week overall. The bad news is that I'm not able to upload photos, so you'll have to rely on my rambling for the time being! Will update on Buenos Aires and Montevideo, our next port of call, in a few days.

Steve
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