Tuesday, 30 January 2007

To Brasil .. and back

OK, so I was only in Brasil for 5 hours or so, but I´m counting it as I had to get a stamp on my passport:)
The reason of course is Igazou falls, the largest waterfalls in the world (I said largest, not highest)
And its a sh1t load of water alright, pretty impressive.
You can view from Argentina or Brasil, I tried both and agree with the general consensus that the Argie side is better, even if the Brazilian one gives views of more water at the same time.
Before leaving BA I managed to get to a tango with Gerry from Dublin, Lee from Texas and Steph from England. Gerry is a bit of a character and can talk for Ireland! None of us had much of a clue but it was a bit of a laugh nonetheless. The owners were obviously impressed and gave us free passes for the next night - i like to think it was for our dancing skills but suspect it may be more to do with the copious amounts of wine that was consumed (and the wine is great by the way, and really cheap). Spent the next day wandering round taking a few photos and ended up in a bar and got chatting to Jan the piano player, whos over here from Holland for 3 months writing music. Sounds idilic.

Flew up to Igazuo without incident, and spent a day exploring the local town (which is tiny) and procured a fairly radical haircut to combat the heat.
Next 2 days were the falls, and playing volleyball with some isralies, Mat from Canada, Kristina and Camilla from Denmark and Amelie from Germany. Amelie had just spent 3 months working with street kids, very commendable, it sounded quite tough. All in all a very pleasant time up there. Back in BA today for a couple of days before flying off south to see some of Patagonia. Bus cama down here was super comfy, though i was a bit worried when a sniffer dog took a fancy to my pockets!

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Beunos Aries (just)

Ok, I´ve finally made it to my first destination .. and what a karfuffle it was!

On Saturday I realised I still had too much stuff to carry home, so decided to make a last drop at the post office .. unfortunately it looks like in my haste i managed to slow post home my travel tickets .. doh!!
I didnt notice till late Sunday night but thanks to the folk at STA who got them reissued and Caoimhe who very kindly picked them up and brought them out to me at the airport (i didnt have time to go in), I managed to make the flight by the skin of my teeth.
Plane was great, BA, good food and films, though I didnt see much of them as I was so knackered I slept most of the way. The bloke beside me was heading to Antartica, which made Patagonia sound positively tropical.
Forecast today was for sunny weather but on the bus into town the heavens opened and my PacLite Gore-tex stuff got an earlier than anticipated test on the way to the hostel (passed).

First impressions are hard when its chucking it down but as the sun is starting to peep out I think I´m liking the place. It still feels and smells pretty South American, mostly due to lax pollution laws, but theres a definite charm and class to the place. Food so far has been good, as is the local brew.
Spent much of the day wandering around San telmo near the hostel, a cute area that feels more like a town. Am currently on Ave Florida which is a pedistrian street in the center and is mentally busy with folks shopping and strollingç. Its not a bad spot, though your reminded of the fact that this is still Latin America by the fairly numerous street kids here.

All in all a good first day. Thanks again to everyone in work that gave me a great send off, and to all the folks at home for putting up with my incompetence in getting started :)