A Travellerspoint blog

Argentina

Colourful Buenos Aires

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I was greeted by Leandro my friend that I had met in Cabanaconde, Peru at the ‘Pachamama Hostel’. He had invited to stay with his family for as long as I wanted which was really nice of him! I really did not do much here in San Fernando but I loved it. Spending time with Leo mum and dad who were great! His mum spoke very little English whereas the dad did not speak a word and bless he would speak to me in Spanish but in a very fast tone. I finally got to sleep on a descent bed, hot shower and to eat salads and vegetables!!!!!!!!!! I did go to Tigre which was only a few stops from San Fernando. It was a nice town with a canal full of boats, people taking out their rowing boats, women on their cycles and obviously locals sipping on their mate! We strolled around for an hour or two before heading to Leandro’s friend’s house where he wanted to finish off his back tattoo. I was looking fwd to seeing this as I have always wanted to get one of my own. The tattoo took almost 4hours to complete and after that we headed back home. There was this big match that was going to take place with the local favourites ‘Boca Juniors’ on the Sunday and I really wanted to go but tickets are like gold dust very hard to get hold off. Saturday morning after breakfast I saved a few designs to my laptop and off we went to Lupita Tattoo store! I was serious and I just wanted to get my tatt and what better place to get it…in Argentina! No doubt I was nervous and shit scared but very determined. There was a chance that they were busy as I did not book an appointment but they were free lol. I explained my design to Leandro and he told Santiago the tattooist. I then had to wait while he had his lunch, nervous as ever trying to think of something diff a bit hard when in all you can hear is the sound of the machines hehehe. This girl had come in and wanted a little heart or something on her finger and as it was a small design he asked me if I can wait a little longer. I was more than happy to hahahah. Watching that girl made me feel more at ease…I can do this.

I was called up, I sat on the stretcher and like in Miami Ink he had transferred my design on my ankle. The actual size that I had wanted he said it would look pretty crap as it has loads of detail so he had convinced me to go bigger, a lot bigger. After free hand drawing it was time. The hour went so quick that I could not believe that I have just had my 1st tattoo. At the points where I felt in pain I was squeezing Leandro hand (bless him) and looking at this guy on the left of me who was getting his whole arm done but there was a time where I was thinking of my nephew whilst listening to some UK garage oooh yeah! I am pleased with the tattoo afterwards I could not put a lot of pressure on my foot but all was good. Later on that evening I was invited to a family asado party. It was really cool to have a family dinner as I really miss just sitting with my family and eating or just chilling with them. A great night and everyone had made me feel at home, a lot of food and alcohol was consumed.
Part 2 for another asado party was being held at Leandro brother’s house on Sunday.

Posted by jasdeep_virdee 02:32 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

The Mighty Falls

Iguaçu Falls

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After saying bye to Martin I was back on my own but I was looking forward seeing Iguaçu Falls! I had a 32 hour journey ahead of me which I was not looking forward. After 14hrs I had arrived in Buenos Aires on Valentines Day lol from here I had to look for another bus that would take me to Puerto Iguaçu. I found a bus that was to leave not for another 2hours, so I grabbed some lunch and sat on the floor pulled out my bestest investment my laptop and watched a movie. Boarded on my 2nd bus at 5pm and off I was. I must admit the journey was not bad at all, the roads were comfortable, the movie that they played was Avatar in English bonus :o) and I also enjoyed on board dinner. I woke up just before sunrise and witnessed my sunrise on the bus not far from my destination. Finally arrived in Puerto Iguaçu, the next mission was to locate where my Spaniards were staying. Pulled out my map and started to walk in the blazing heat. I entered another campsite but this was literally in the woods, so bugs galore :o) I was actually glad to have a ice cold shower but after that I had to have some serious catch up on my sleep…yet again I was suffering from insomnia.

For some reason I was not excited about waking up knowing that I was going to actually see the falls. We were warned to get to the gates as early as possible like 7am but we had left at 8am or so. When arrived we were bombarded by so many visitors and with the humid heat, both did not go well together! You did not need any signs on which way to go and see the main mouth of the falls as firstly the amount of people that were flocking there, secondly you could see cloud like steam arising but it was the sound of the falls that were very loud! We had to walk on this eye sore man made steel bridge that did not fit in with the surroundings for about a mile of so. Along this walk I saw amazing birds flying around and a few catfishes. Once at the mouth of the falls, Garganta del Diablo (devils throat) I could not see much because everyone was barging, some were taller but the older peeps were the rudest, you will hardly get a moment on your own! I did manage to push myself forward to see the spectacular views. Mind-blowing, the whole world just seems to drop away. In the middle there is also an island called ‘Isla Grande San Martin’ which we could have gone to but as you can imagine it is very pricey! We had carried on exploring these 55,000 hectares of natural wonderland, we passed many waterfalls and every angle needed a photo. We then went for a detour away from the crowds on this 45min walk towards this secluded (ok not that many tourist) waterfall/pool area. Nothing spectacular but we did settle here for some lunch. The time just flew by real quick we could have returned for half price the next day but I think I saw more than enough and to be honest I did not wanted to be surrounded by many tourist.

Posted by jasdeep_virdee 02:25 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Mad Mendoza

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So Mendoza if you don’t already know this city produces 70% of the countries wine. I was lucky to have a friend who I met when I was volunteering back in Pisco, who was working in Mendoza. After her shift we headed off to our hostel…we had arrived at a campsite nice :o) thank god they had a spare tent! After settling in we were invited to …well my 1st asado party. It was like your traditional Sunday lunch, loads of food (esp meat!), a lot of booze (Fernet and obviously red wine) and great company. The lunch must have lasted for at least 3hrs…people here like to chill and actually enjoy their food. As it was extremely hot we all took an afternoon nap. The evening came by real quick and we headed out at midnight to a local pizza joint met up with local friends of Pauline. It was not until 2am (and by this time I was seriously dosing off lol) we headed towards a club. What an experience! This club was packed with cross dressers, gays, lesbians, straights, old and young crowd! The atmosphere was crazy. I absolutely loved it here. Half way through the night/morning there were 3 mini dances by the drag queens and they had represented! It was not until 6am that we had left the club to head back to the campsite. When we finally work up we thought we would check out the town properly but as it was a holy weekend literally everything was closed, we could not even hire a motorbike nor a wine tour. But just being able to walk around for me was more than enough. Mendoza is like a big small town. It has all the convenience stores but still remained its non city atmosphere – very chilled out. Our last night in Mendoza we had gone out for dinner in the city but got lost on our way back to the campsite lol we thought we had taken the right bus but we didn’t so cab it was lol.

Posted by jasdeep_virdee 02:22 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Curious Cordoba

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Argentina’s 2nd largest city with a population of 1,531,500 arriving at the early hours of the morning we began looking for a hostel (which something you should pre-book in advance lol) we must have looked around for an hour or so. We finally found ‘Palenque Hostel’ unpacked, slept, showered and then we were off to check out the city. The breakfast here is just full of sugar, you would get a coffee, a very small glass of orange juice, a very small glass of sparkling water, several pastries that are full of Dulce de Leche (this amazing spread which is very tasty but not so good on your figure lol) and with your margarine and jam. Once we were all sugared up my first impression of the city were negative as everything was big and people were rushing, rushing here and there reminded me of London and as I became accustomed of little villages, smaller towns and boom I’m back to city life. After a few days I started to settle down and saw different sides to Cordoba. The new town was so beautiful; loads of nice cobbled streets with amazing restaurants, people were very nice and always greeted us. The food here became a lot better, choicer and not everything was fried lol. We spent our time in Cordoba just walking everywhere and anywhere, sitting down and just people watching. I loved it! By the end of our stay here I started to love the city and was very surprised – never judge anything by your 1st impressions!

Posted by jasdeep_virdee 02:20 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Last border crossing: Tupiza to Villazon (Argentina)

Tupiza and Villazon
So another boarder crossing nothing different the crossing went smoothly.

Argentina – Salta
Leaving Tupiza at 4.45am this morning was HARD as I woke up late lol but the bus station was only a 5min walk, saying bye to Michael (my 2month travel buddy) was a quick one as I had was running late and had to walk in the pissing rain! I can not believe that I have made it to my last South America destination – Argentina! The difference between Bolivia and Argentina is incredible! Firstly the roads and I know that I have banged on about this but only you will know once you are there! Everyone even books will compare Argentina to Europe and that is kinda true…Salta was small and picturesque. The houses were proper brick and big! If you have been to North London ‘Millionaires road’ or even South Woodford the houses will resemble to them. As Salta is a small town we only stayed there for 2nights and we visited San Martin Parque which was big and beautiful populated with people but Martin and myself had manage to find a quieter spot with this serene lake with your swans and ducks just chillin, fitness freaks with their trainers and the odd old couple having a picnic. We also walked up towards Cerro San Bernardo (1454m) but you could take the cable carts I felt a bit of a fitness urge lol. The views once at the stop were very cool a few nice and pricey restaurants at the top :o). For our 1st dinner here in Argentina no doubt we had to try the red wine…not only was is cheap as chips but it tasted too good and apparently all the good wine gets exported so what we thought was great was actually crap lol.

On the way to Cordoba I had found the only Sikh temple in Argentina in a place called Rosario and I really wanted to pay a visit so we hopped on a bus and within a few hours we had arrived. We were given lunch Indian style pasta which was nice, we stayed for an hour or so and then back on the bus towards Cordoba.

Posted by jasdeep_virdee 02:17 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

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