Well, first a quick update on Buenos Aires. It is a great vibrant city, with a variety to see and do, with great shopping and is a city I will have to revisit as soon as is possible.
The main centre for shopping is Av. Florida or Av. Santa Fe. All the shops you could possibly want, all at great prices because of the currency exchnage rates to the pound. I enjoyed a few days wondering around buying things to bring home!
Also spent some time in Palermo, the Covent Garden of BA, plus stayed in San Telmo, a bit more Bohemian and more like Camden in London.
Watched spontaneous tango demonstrations in the street and enjoyed some great food. Missed out on many of the museums and sights due to lack of time, plus didn’t get to go and see a football match, but I guess it just gives me more excuses to return!
I have posted four new albums on the site, including me with the penguins in Tierra Del Fuego, sadly minus Groucho Marx glasses and comedy hats. Also from the Haberton Estancia which I felt deserved an album to itself. I also have pictures from Ushuaia, and notice the photos of the memorial to those sailors that died when the A.R.A. Belgrano sank after being struck from a torpedo from the British nuclear submarine “HMS Conqueror” during the Falklands War. Notably the first ship sunk by a nuclear submarine in wartime.
I also have pictures from the Cataratas De Iguazu that look great too, many of which I might get enlarged when I get back to the UK. Anyway, the full list is here:
Tierra Del Fuego, Ushuaia. The “end of the world”,
Hope you enjoy as this will probably be one of the last photo posts before I come back!
Oh, and if you are wondering why I have a picture of a sexy woman in her underwear in the Ushuaia album, it is purely because I wanted to demonstrate how all advertising especially in Argentina, is almost entirely constructed on the “a semi-naked woman will sell anything” principle!!
I am so glad that I made the effort to get to see the amazing waterfalls at Iguazu. We spent most of the day in the national park and it took about 5 hours to see everything. The waterfalls border three countries, Argentina, Brasil and slightly further downstream is Paraguay. At the top of the waterfalls can be found the “Garganta Del Diablo” or “Devils Throat”. The amount of water here is immense and where 14 falls plunge 350 feet throwing constant spray high into the air. Further down the waterfalls are numerous and truely awe inspiring. It has to be one of the highlights of the trip along with the Salar De Uyuni in Bolivia and the Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia.
We also took the boat trip that costs 30 pesos (about 5 quid), which for about 10 to 15 minutes takes you up to both main waterfalls and then proceeds to give you a good soaking, or as the guy who helped us onto the boat said quite aptly, “a good shower”!! We did indeed get the shower and was a fanastic experience. I cannot emphasise enough that if you find yourself in South America, Iguazu is a place not to be missed. I practically filled the memory card on my camera just with photos from the falls.
Apparently Eleanor Roosevelt said when she saw Iguazu for the first time, “poor Niagara”. It is interesting that even though Iguazu is four times the width of Niagara Falls it gets much less publicity worldwide. Angel Falls on the other hand, being the highest drop in the world is better known in South America and I would like to have been able to have seen that too. Oh, well, since Brasil has been completely missed out, and I love this Argentina so much, I guess I will have to return at some point!
We made the bus trip back to Buenos Aires overnight and arrived just before lunch today. Looking through the guide book and talking to people in the hostel is getting me worried that I am never going to see as much of Buenos Aires before I go as I would have liked. From a first impression BA is stunningly beautiful. The area of San Telmo is quite picturesque, but I am told that Pallermo is even better, especially at night. Alot of the things to do here revolve around the weekends, such as watching a football game at Boca Juniors or River Plate, plus tango demonstrations in the street occur often on Sunday nights. It is a pity that I will miss some of these things but I plan to make sure that I see as much as possible before my flight back at the end of the week.
My time is nearly up. The six months have both flown and crawled at times. I cannot believe that it is nearly over. The bacon sandwiches and sunday roast draw near. The clothes I am now sick off, and the backpack that is my friend and enemy holding those said items of fading apparel is as tired as I am. I cannot wait to get back and see my family and friends, drive a car again and taste that drab British food that the rest of the world teases us for. But I will miss the freedom to do nothing, seeing everything, smelling new things, meeting people from all over the world and having new experiences. I love seeing each nation and the people living in their own way, yet still desiring the same things that apply to everyone, regardless of race, colour or creed – a roof over your head, food on the table, education and a bit of money in the pocket for a rainy day.
Indeed the best choice I made to do this. I will always remember Tim and I sitting there at work, normally late, working on something that needed to be delivered “yesterday”, saying to each other, “What the hell are we doing here mate? We could be travelling around South America now!!”. The dreams were dreamed and for me I had to go. The decision was hard to take, but once the ticket was bounght everything fell into place. For Tim the bankruptcy at Apex Interactive was the final “sign from God”, or more appropriately “kick up the ass” that he needed to fly out to Guatemala and join me on this road trip.
Tim often said, quite aptly that, “we aren’t backpackers or travellers. That is all bollocks. All we are are budget tourists”. I reckon he is completely right. We occasionally meet people who are pretentiously “trying to find themselves”, or dreadlocked and out here “courtesy of Daddy, before I go to university”, but most of the people here are just that, budget tourists who took the risk to chuck in the jobs that are no longer for life, and taking advantage of our good fortune to have been born in a country that permits us to travel, allows us financially to earn way higher in comparison to the nations in which we travel in.
One night in Buenos Aires and we decided that the 18 hour bus trip would be worth it to visit the spectacular cascades, or waterfalls that borders with Brasil, Argentina and Paraguay. We arrived today to stay in the sister hostel of the one we stayed in Buenos Aires. The major bonus is that we have a swimming pool and have spent the majority of the day doing nothing but topping up on the tan, which is very necessary for me considering the lack of time I have left now.
Tomorrow we will get the bus to the waterfalls and take a walk through the national park there. We also plan to take a small boat right up close to the waterfalls, where apparently you get very, very wet! I hopefully will get some great photos and also not get the camera too wet!