Iguazu Falls, Argentina/Brazil
It’s pretty hard to classify what makes the largest waterfall in the world. Widest? Most volume of water falling? Tallest? Largest sheet? The native Guarani people named this place Iguazu — big water. Good enough. Iguazu Falls is considered the largest waterfall system in the world. It’s big enough to render anyone momentarily speechless.
Straddling the border between Brazil and Argentina, I decided to visit the falls from both sides on two consecutive days, staying in the city of Foz do Iguaçu on the Brazilian side, then taking a day trip to Puerto Iguazú on the Argentinian side. More of the falls are on the Argentinian side than the Brazilian one: that means that Brazil has the better panoramic view, but Argentina has far more trails alongside the falls.
It’s been seven days. And I’ve had a wonderful time – in fact, I just got to the southernmost city (not quite settlement, but city) in the world! But I’ve just made a decision that leads me to have to say goodbye to Argentina, goodbye to South America, goodbye to my budget, and goodbye to my plans all so soon…
Well, temporarily. At least for some of those things.
I’m heading to Antarctica! Continue reading
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Oh, the trials of traveling solo. I intended to head over to Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay, for a day trip, but found all the ferries booked. Serves me right for trying the day before I wanted to go. If I had a travel companion, I’d probably have been a little more responsible.
So, with extra time in Buenos Aires, I decided to take it a little easier.
Day 3, Amanda and I headed over to the Microcentral area (downtown), as it was finally a weekday. Bustling with people, we walked down to the Presidential Palace and the Plaza de Mayo, then over to the shopping streets of Florida (pedestrian only) and Corrientes. Though I didn’t buy anything as usual, it was just good to get a sense of the modernity of the city. After passing by Teatro Colón and the giant Obelisco dominating the sprawling Av. 9 de Julio, we split up, and I headed to Puerto Madero on my own. Puerto Madero is the newest barrio in town, a gentrified waterfront area with expensive property and shops. After seeing the needle-like pedestrian-only suspension bridge, Puente de la Mujer, I headed home completely exhausted and joined a few others at the hostel for drinks on the rooftop terrace and dinner in the area. Continue reading
Buenos Aires, Argentina
¡Buen dia! You’ll have to excuse any typos, it’s tough to get used to a Spanish keyboard, and I’m still quite jet lagged…
My first impressions have been quite odd and take me back to my Christmas break in Vancouver. Upon flying in, the landscape looked like a game of Settlers of Catan severely lacking in bricks and rocks. Turns out that the city of Buenos Aires is quite far away from the airport, and the land around for miles and miles is farmland. And going around town, my interactions with others lead me to compare their currency situation with Monopoly Deal. Argentina does not seem to have enough small change – people hesitate or even outright refuse to give it! A Swedish girl at my hostel whom I met while checking in, Amanda, recounted her story of a store refusing to give her a quarter that was part of her change, instead giving her a piece of candy of similar value. Turns out that there’s even a black market for coins, which are required for the bus. If you don’t have the small change, you must overpay or just don’t take the bus…
It’s hot outside. Coming directly from winter, it’s quite a welcome change…but the locals, they all wear jeans! I really don’t know how they do it. Continue reading