A Travellerspoint blog

Buenos Aires to El Calafate

semi-overcast 24 °C

So, I completely blew my budget in Buenos Aires. But it was worth it, I had a blast. Sadly I now have to massively cut down on my spending so no more bife chorizo for me for a while, which is good news for the Argentinian cows anyway.

Being the goal-orientated individual I am, I managed to see a lot of Buenos Aires in the week I was there, in fact I saw pretty much all I wanted to by day 6 and was ready to move on yesterday. If im not packing lots in I dont feel like im "experiencing" somewhere to its fullest, and I think im one of those travellers who enjoys moving on from place to place every few days. But reflecting on this perhaps it means Im too transient as a person...I recognise this trait in my life at home too so perhaps a challenge while im out here should be to deliberately take time out to slow down and get rid of my itch for constant "newness" and stimulation. Although, the spreadsheet itinerary wont really allow it...dont know if im ready to let it go just yet :)

One negative of moving on quickly between places is you leave cool people behind and its quite emotionally tiring to keep getting to know new people although one massive positive of travelling alone is you make more of an effort to do this. I´ve spent a lot of time with Brazilians over these last two weeks, not sure if it´s because there have been loads of them about or if I naturally gravitate towards them. Maybe a bit of both. I changed hostels halfway through my time in Buenos Aires and ended up in a really fun place sharing a dorm with 7 brazilian girls. I really loved it, they were all really girly and open to have a laugh even though we had some language barriers! I also met up with a girl from Buenos Aires who my friend put me in touch with and she was absolutely lovely. We shared so many stories of life in England compared to Argentina over good food and then took a strole around the parks of Palermo. It seems we were both equally curious of each others culture and both have the desire to keep travelling for as long as we can. I´m finding Argentinians very friendly too, am slowly getting used to the way they speak out here and i´m scoring points when I tell them im from Manchester and prefer City over United which always leads to a passionate response about Tevez.

So I would recommend to anyone to visit Buenos Aires if they can. Beautiful city with gorgeous buildings, plenty of history, passionate and friendly inhabitants, large parks, sensational tango, good food and a rocking nightlife. I didnt really get any sleep in my time there, partly because I was doing too much and also it was soooo hot and my second hostel didnt have air con.

Today I took a flight to El Calafate which is in the very south of Argentina in a region called Patagonia and its much cooler down here which I really welcome. As i flew into the airport here and saw the scenery I knew that this place was going to satisfy my hunger for natural beauty; the backdrop is spectacular. Im staying in a smaller, funky and very friendly hostel but just want to sleep so not being too sociable tonight. Tomorrow Im going to do some glacier hiking and see the Perito Moreno before moving up to El Chalten for some hiking.

Missing people from home lots x

Posted by hanaldinho 16:55 Archived in Argentina Comments (4)

Me Gusta Buenos Aires!!

sunny 30 °C

Buenos Aires rocks. Today I have been walking around the beautiful streets taking in the buildings, crowds, tango performances and multi-coloured buildings in the bohemian neighbourhood La Boca. Oh and I ate one of the most delicious steaks ive ever tasted. Tomorrow I hope to see Evitaś grave and explore the other neighbourhoods, I hope the sun stays shining because i have another 5 days to take in this awesome city. On a funny note, the hostel iḿ staying in is full of Brazilians so even though ive left the country Brazil seems to be following me :)

Ive been very impressed with Argentina so far, since my last update I visited the Iguazu falls on the Argentinian side and i can see now why people recommend seeing both sides. Brazil gives a grand panoramic overview and then in Argentina you get right up close to the falls, the sound and spray is so powerful I dont think my photos will do it justice. It did however rain a LOT on this day, i got totally drenched to the point where i may have as well been swimming in the falls as i wouldnt have got any wetter. The "Devilś Throat" on the Argentinian side is out of this world, you stand on top of the largest part of the most powerful waterfall, the place was full of tourists from Argentina and we all stood there laughing and half crying. The hostel i stayed in Puerto Iguazu was also really nice and full of very friendly travellers. A mother and son from Argentina stayed in my dorm, they were awesome. Even though it was obvious I couldnt speak very good Spanish they kept talking to me like i knew exactly what they were talking about. Had some very interesting chats with a particularly sarcastic German and debated feminism and Machismo with another guy from England. However most people im meeting are either travelling in a different direction to me or nearing the end of their trips so im still travelling alone. But its nice to be doing things according to my own (spreadsheet) schedule and while i get a bit nervous about who im going to meet in the next place it all seems to be going well so far.

Practically, travelling between place to place is a bit stressful, when I get it right I feel like ive achieved a small victory. Particularly as im finding the Argentinian Spanish difficult to understand. However my 20 hour bus journey to Buenos Aires was more than fine. Long-distance buses in Argentina are the daddy of transport, I went for "cama" which means i got a massive padded seat which went nearly flat, you have movies and served food and drinks constantly. I probably slept better than im doing when im in hostels. Tonight is a quiet one for me, i got two hours sleep last night so need to sleep well tonight.

Thanks so much for the updates from people, i havent figured out how to reply to your comments yet on here but will work it out.

Ciao xx

Posted by hanaldinho 15:00 Archived in Argentina Comments (2)

Hola from Argentina!

sunny 30 °C

So Ive only been in South America for 4 days and im already completely unaware of the time, even with south american coffee i dont ever feel totally awake and my posture is starting to resemble the shape of my backpack which i quickly realised is too big to comfortably travel around. But im really getting into the swing of things now and meeting lots of lovely people along the way.

My first stop was Sao Paulo, this is my third time to Brazil so i havent planned to spend much time here apart from Carnaval in March. But as soon as I got back to Brazil I remembered just why I love it so much...the food is just incredible and the Brazilians so friendly. Sao Paulo is immense, it reminded me a lot of New York but on a much, much bigger scale. Probably the only place ive visited in Brazil which is truely cosmopolitan, I remember studying Sao Paulo for my geography GCSE back in the mid-90s and economically it was just starting to kick off then. It isnt as beautiful as Rio but still a great city. I stayed in a funky/arty neighbourhood called Vila Madalena, met some funny people in my hostel and practised my Spanish on a couple of guys from Argentina and Chile who found it amusing although seemed to understand what I was saying. I also met up with a friend who I met travelling when I was in brazil in 2009, he lives in Sao Paulo and introduced me to a couple of his friends who were totally lovely. We went out for drinks, chatted about the Brazilian government and life in Sao Paulo and they refused to let me pay for anything. I then went to a massive Samba club with people from my hostel and met more friendly Brazilian girls whose dancing was incredible, they tried to teach me how to dance like them but i dont think im ever going to get it.

Travelling around Sao Paulo was a bit of a challenge, im ashamed to say that even though this is my third time in Brazil my Portuguese is still really bad. And no-one really speaks English, then again why would they. I ended up trying to communicate with people using a mix of Spanish, English and hand-pointing which impressed nobody, yet i was shown a lot of grace by the locals who helped me when it was obvious i needed it. Local bus journeys were particularly funny, me getting thrown about with my massive backpack trying desperately to work out where I was and when to get off.

I left Sao Paulo on Sunday and took a 15 hour bus journey down to the border of Argentina via Iguazu falls. Ive seen the falls from the Brazilian side and hope to see the Argentinian side this morning. The falls are absolutely beautiful, i believe they are one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. The falls meet at a point which marks the border between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay so people often visit all three countries from here. After seeing the national park in Brazil I crossed over the border into Argentina, which despite having to get on and off buses to get passport stamped, was pretty straight forward. So now im in Argentina and trying to speak Spanish. Its very very hot and humid here, there is usually a strong downpour in the afternoon which makes things feel fresher but it soon gets very warm again. This afternoon I will travel down to Buenos Aires, its a 20 hour bus journey but ive heard great things about Argentinian buses so expecting it to be a tolerable if not long journey.

Thats enough from me, let me know what is happening back in England!!
Besos, Hannah

Posted by hanaldinho 03:51 Archived in Argentina Comments (5)

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