Sue's travels Sept-13 to Jan-14 travel blog

Sue makes it to Iguazu Falls in Argentina

Iguazu Falls 1, Argentina, looking toward Brasil

Iguazu Falls 2, Argentina

Coatis

Urraca bird

one of many beautiful butterflies

saw a Tucan from the raft on the river

Train transport inside the Iguazu Falls National Park

near 'Devil's Throat', Iguazu

wild guinea pigs (cuy) at Iguazu Falls

Casa Rosa (pink house) for executive government in Buenos Aires. The balconies...

Sunday family outing in San Telmo, outside grill restaurant

tango in the street, San Telmo Sunday Markets


IGUAZU AND BUENOS AIRES in ARGENTINA

I hadn't quite appreciated the climate shock involved in flying straight from Ushuaia via Buenos Aires to Iguazu, to visit the famous falls which are bordered by Argentina and Brazil, with Paraguay meeting them at the "3 Borders Point" just downstream. I moved from sub-zero, frozen, heavy fleece and jacket, to chilly and still wearing a fleece, to hot, humid and tropical rainforest within three days. Getting me prepared for the return home, I guess. In any case, the Iguazu Falls were spectacular and well worth the complex trek to get there. If you're going, consider staying at the The Sheraton Hotel despite the cost, because it's right inside the National Park that surrounds the Falls, easy walking distance and not subject to Park closure times.

Not realising all this, I had booked at a small B&B in Puerto Iguazu. The hostess was lovely and the room spacious and pleasant but ……. here's how I got to the Falls: walk to the local bus station in town, buy return bus ticket, bus travel about 30 minutes, queue to buy entry ticket for the National Park, half-hour walk again to find the train station in the Park that transports people to the actual Falls area, queue for the train, enjoy trip through the jungle in the little open carriages, disembark and walk along the path and boardwalks to view the Falls - phew, around 3 hours in the heat after leaving town! They were a spectacular sight and well worth the effort. Pity that at least half of Latin America was on holidays there with me too! I also managed to get on the inflatable-raft "ecological tour" that drifted peacefully down from the upper river, near the famous raging Devils Throat Falls, past some islands and delivered us back to a train station mid-way on the line. There was a lot of wildlife to see as well from Coatis scavenging in the picnic areas to large black Catfish in the river.

Moving on to Buenos Aires, I enjoyed my 2 days there, finding it more accessible and likeable than I'd expected from a very large city. A morning walking tour was well-worthwhile for the cultural and political context, viewing some lovely old colonial-style buildings in the centre and Casa Rosada 'The Pink House', where executive government is based still. This building and the adjoining Plaza has seen all the turbulent protests, the continuing marches of the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo still demanding information about their missing children, and is where Evita made her famous appearances on the balcony. Just for the record, there are currently female presidents in Brazil (Dilma), Argentina (Christine) and Chile (Michelle). My second day was happily occupied with wandering through the famous San Telmo Sunday street market and the complex of antique markets, only two blocks from my hotel. I managed to spend most of my remaining currency (pesos) and had plenty of choices for the last few presents.

Then the long flight home via Santiago, back to Coffs Harbour and the reality of assuming my responsibilities and return to work again just before the Australia Day long weekend. I do so with wonderful memories from the many places that I had the privilege to visit and the adventures involved in getting to them. Some say it's 'about the journey not the destination'. In Coffs to greet me on their first visit to Australia with Zoe, were Ruth and Nathan, so I'm happily surrounded by family. And I want to acknowledge the immeasurable support from my mother, brother and sister that enabled me to keep traveling at this time - you know what I mean, muchas gracias my dear family.



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