ARGENTINA – PART 2

ARGENTINA – country where I could imagine to “settle down” PART 2

This article will be devoted to Argentine capital BUANOS AIRES (as one of few South American capitals which I truly like!) and breathtaking waterfalls FOZ IGUACU

I arrived to Buenos Aires after 16 hours spent in bus from Mendoza (yeah, I already hate buses…) where my friend Nacho (a guy who I met in Buzios, Brazil in April, 2015) was waiting for me to give me nice welcome to his city. He took me home to his neighbourhood “La Boca” where I was able to relax for couple of hours.  In the evening my “VIP” tour with Nacho started from La Boca (where we drank typical Argentine hot drink “mate”) , going to Puerto Madero neighbourhood (the rich and luxurious one) where I met Nacho´s friends and from there we got to bohemian San Telmo neighbourhood where we met another Nacho´s friend. All done by WALKING! On one of San Telmo´s squares I got the chance to see my first TANGO show ever and I must admit that I was impressed and fell in love with tango! The way how this couple danced, the way how they looked at each other, the way how they moved, I was truly amazed & hypnotized…

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So my first day and night in Buenos Aires (BA) were amazing and I was more than excited to start my second day in Argentine capital. The first thing what I did next morning was to move my stuff (all personal belongings, backpack, etc…) from house of Nacho to his friend´s house in San Telmo who offered to host me my second night in BA. This day I had another walking tour with Nacho through the whole neighbourhood of San Telmo, City Centre (truly nice “Casa Rosada” alias their “white house” on “Plaza de mayo”, Obelisco monument which reminds me of Washington D.C.) and Retiro neighbourhood. From there we took a train to small “China Town” in Belgrano which is the neighbourhood where I got the opportunity to watch local people dancing TANGO in a small park arbour – every day activity of people from this or other neighbourhoods who come here, choose their dancing partner and enjoy the rhythm of TANGO. I LOVED it and would be amazing to experience something like this in my own country…

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Obelisco monument in the city center of Buenos Aires

So my second day and night were even better and I was in a mood to explore more about this special city and its people. Therefore, my third day I arranged a meeting with Isabel (a Spanish girl I travelled with in the north of Argentina) and we met in Palermo neighbourhood where we took a class of “therapy dance” led by 84 year old lady! Yeah, you read correctly… Our instructor was an 84 year old lady from Buenos Aires, full of positive energy and even more flexible than me! Yeah, shame on me… 😀 After this delightful experience, Isabel and me spent a rest of the day in Palermo parks, made a picnic, did a “siesta” and found an amazing garden full of roses which truly made my day! After this lovely afternoon I got picked up by my new CS host Wichy who took me to his apartment located in “Villa del Parque” neighbourhood and where I got to know his “almost twin” brother Astor. Together with Wichy and Astor I experienced probably the best latino party since I started to travel through South America. We got our first drinks in Palermo Hollywood neighbourhood from where we got back to Villa del Parque and found a small, local club with finally some amazing “reggeaton”, “bachata” and “Argetine cumbia” and we were dancing there till 7am next day! I can´t express how excited I was about dancing and listening to typical latino music – this reminded me of Colombia… 🙂

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With Isabel in beautiful Palermo park of roses 🙂
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With my CS host Wichy and his “twin” brother Astor 🙂

Of course, the next day we devoted our morning to sleeping and got up around 3pm. This day I met Wichy´s cousins with who I spent the whole evening and who played guitar, sang for me and made my another night in Buenos Aires special! Wichy and his family are really talented in area of music and that night we all did a karaoke show till late night. Next day I met Wichy´s sister and went for lunch all together which was followed by a trip to close town called Tigre famous for its rivers and boat trips. It was my last day and night in Buenos Aires and Wichy wanted to make it special so firstly he and his brother gave me a nice good-bye gift (T-shirt of Argentina) and then after Tigre trip we went for a costume party together with his cousin and we all got some costumes. I took advantage of the t-shirt which I got and I dressed up as Argentine fan of football! We spent an amazing night dancing and partying till late night again … Honestly, during my travels I don´t party a lot, there is no energy, but I am glad I “overcame” myself and that I went for some nice and crazy parties with my CS host Wichy – Wichy, thanks a lot, I spent incredible time with you and your family!  🙂

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Town “Tigre”
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Costume party in Buenos Aires on my last day 🙂

After five amazing days spent in Buenos Aires, I took another long distance bus (19 hours, I truly hate buses now) and got to town Puerto Iguazu located close to borders with Brazil and Paraguay. After 19 hours in bus, I found a hostel closest one to the bus terminal, left my heavy backpack over there and took another bus (yes, another!) to the world famous WATERFALLS of IGUAZU from Argentine part! On my way there I met two interesting guys, Davide from Italy & Karim from Germany who made me company all day long and made my Foz Iguazu trip unforgettable!   And how could I describe my emotions while admiring this breathtaking waterfall?! Simple words – happy, satisfied, hypnotized, fascinated, surprised, … This day made me think about the strength and power of our “pachamama alias mother nature”  and made me realize that nature is something what we all should truly respect and admire!

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Next day I took my backpack, did check-out, took another bus, crossed the border with Brazil (the easiest border crossing in the whole South America, the “assistant” of bus driver just collected our passports and let it get stamped at border by Brazilian officials), arrived to Brazilian part of Iguazu waterfall and enjoyed the half day in this special environment. Everybody says that Brazilian part is nothing compared to Argenine part. Well, I must admit that the emotions while watching the Argentine part can be stronger BUT I loved Brazilian part, too. For me, Brazilian part is to “watch and observe the waterfall” while Argentine part is to “experience the waterfall”. Waterfall Foz Iguazu is simply breathtaking and can´t be compared to any other waterfall I have ever seen in my life…

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Finally, I would like to add some practical information for travellers through Argentina. First off all, Argentina is not as cheap as other South American countries (such as Peru or Bolivia), however, if you come with EURO or DOLLAR in cash, you can save a loooot of money! I still don´t understand completely how it is possible but in Argentina (or in Bolivian border town Villazon) you can change your dollars/euro for unofficial rate alias “blue rate” which is around 15 to 16 Argentine pesos for $1, while the official rate is around 10 pesos for $1. Unbelievable?! Well, that´s the truth. So don´t forget to arrive to Argentina with CASH! 😉 Secondly, the buses are freaking expensive compared to buses in Bolivia or Peru, BUT if you take an effort and go to bus terminal, you can find some cheaper bus prices under condition you pay cash, or with some student cards. Just go and ask from one selling window to another one till you find the best price. I never booked anything online and it always worked for me! Thirdly, the entrance to Foz Iguazu in Argentina is 260 pesos while in Brazil it is $60 real, BUT you can pay in dollars or Argentine pesos in Brazil, so keep your last pesos for the entrance in Brazilian part. The last piece of info that may interest you, those who are coming to Brazilian Foc Iguacu with a BACKPACK, you can leave it in a locker with a price of $30 real. Pretty pricy, right?! But if you want to continue from there directly to Florianopolis (as I did), or other Brazilian big or small cities, this is the best way how to save some time & energy!

Hopefully, those who want to travel through Argentina find attached information useful and those who read my article only for pleasure find the article interesting! The next one will be about my 5 day trip in CHILE!!! 🙂

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