A Travellerspoint blog

Rosario, Argentina.

Back in Argentina after a 15 hour overnight bus from Asuncion Paraguay. Another decent hostel so far so good. Rosario is supposed to be a cleaner safer version of Buenos Aires but is too safe ?

A walk into the centro takes about 25 minutes, the place is indeed cleaner and has a more modern feel to it without losing it´s feel of history. Che Guevara lived here for a short while but sadly his old residence is now a small office block !

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The streets all run in straight lines so getting about is easy. The main waterfront has walkways of around 20km along the Rio Parana. On the waterfront is the huge monolithic Monumento a la Bandera which marks the place where in 1812 General Belgrano first raised the Argentinian flag.

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Surrounding the Monumento a la Bandera are many fine churches, museums and loads of sculptures.

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Rosario also has a craving for building artwork some of which fill an entire side of a tower block, the effect is striking and quite pleasant.

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Just out of the centro is a huge green area called the Parque De La Independencia. It takes about 2 hours to walk around this huge site which also houses a football stadium and a racetrack. The avenues withing the Parque are all tree lined providing lots of nice shade.

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As it´s Census day the place is almost empty, no bus´s very few cars and fewer people are about so its been a great to wander about with the place almost to ourselves. The downside is all the shops are closed as are the bars and restaurants so we will be cooking our own dinner tonight, Chorizo sausage pasta ! We made this in the hostel in Iguazu and it was really tasty so we are hoping for a repeat success.

The pasta was great ! Going to try this dish out back home if we can get any decent Chorizo.

Walked into the centro again today via yet more botanical gardens, its amazing the amount of birdlife here. We went up to the observaton platforms in the Monumento a la Bandera to get some great viwes of Rosario.

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We had planned to visit the Rosaio Cathederal this morning but it has started to throw it down so we are having a late breakfast instead.

Last day and the planned visit to the Rosario Cathedral went ahead.

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That´s it for Rosario, next stop Uruguay ...

Posted by malnlinda 11:04 Comments (0)

Paraguay Encarnacion and Asuncion.

Another border crossing by bus, first from Argentina, then non stop across a small section of Brazil and then a simple 5 minute process of getting passports stamped in Paraguay at Cuidad Del Este. Our plan to stay in Cuidad Del Este didn´t come to anything as we couldn´t find any affordable accommodation, all the cheaper places were already full ( or probably didn´t want us there ). So we caught the 5 hour bus to Encarnacion instead. A fairly comfortable local bus ride arriving in Encarnacion around 7 pm luckily we managed to get a really good room at a good rate for 3 days.

Encarnacion is a tidy city with a population around 60, 000 and is split into two areas, new and old. We were staying close by the main bus terminal and smack bang in the middle of the old part of the city. The next morning we wandered further around Encarnacion and walked straight into what must be the nicest protest on the planet. Groups of people accompanied by a small brass band were protesting about the cost of hospital fees, a really gentle and peaceful protest, the funny side of it was seeing a local policeman in attendance wearing his protective vest with the letters P.M.T across the back, wouldn´t want to argue with a copper with a gun with P.M.T would you? All set within the backdrop of the plaza Armaz.. The band were really good !

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After a quick stop for a coffee ( and a cake ) we explored more of this not so very well visited city. Taking in many small pretty churches and a huge Pizza for dinner !

Next day we caught a local bus to Trinidad ( Not the Caribbean one ) to see the the Jesuit ruins. The temperatures have now racked up a bit and its well into the mid to high 30´s.
The Jesuit ruins are beautifully kept and we had the whole site to ourselves, the grounds were full of little white wild orchids. We spent around an hour here before heading back to the bus stop ( via a small cafe for a drink ).

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From Encarnacion we decided to move to Asuncion the capital city of Paraguay, we booked ahead as we were not sure of what time we would get to Asuncion, we decided that a listing from the rough guide on the Plazza Uruguay sounded ok..... when we arrived we found that the Plaza is now a refugee camp with loads of poor souls camped out under simple tarps.. Quite a shock to the system, not threatening just disturbing.

Some of the homeless on Plaza De Uruguay

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In the evening we met up with a German guy ( Claus ) in a local bar for a few beers, as we got there early we got 2 for 1 vouchers so we had quite a good supply of refreshments through the evening, we walked back to our hotel past the refugee camp but as it was throwing it down with rain everyone was hunkered under their temporary homes, poor souls.

Asuncion day 2 a walk into the city ( still raining from the night before ). This is a place in need of some investment, many of the buildings are run down and there are loads of homeless people recovering on the pavements from their night of wet discomfort.

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We walked to the waterfront area past the modern and probably extremely costly government building, to an area with a load of local art work, this has the effect of brightening things up a bit. Just passed the Presidential palace the rain stops and so do we for breakfast.

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Breakfast consisting of ( for each ) 2 Chorizo spicy Sausages, a small rack of superbly cooked ribs, rice, bread and two fizzy drinks.. all for about 6 pounds ( $9 US ) It has just started raining again so the Internet cafe has called us into the dry...

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Very tasty :-)

We had planned to go to a small town due East of Asuncion called Caapuce but the hotels wanted far too much for a room so we decided to have one more day in Asuncion before heading back into Argentina, as if by magic the sun came out so we walked around to some of the other parts of the old city.

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The Plaza de los heroes there is a small Mausoleum which houses the coffins of the child soldiers and has some amazing stained glass windows.

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We also took a local bus to the modern part of Asuncion, a total contrast, huge shopping Malls, very modern and bland. While the old city is indeed run down it has bags more character, if a little seedy at night. The People are really friendly and a longer stay would have been justified if we were not aiming to head into Patagonia from here.

Posted by malnlinda 07:04 Comments (0)

Iguazu Argentina

Iguazu

After a 20 hours overnight bus journey we arrived in Peurto Iguazu at 3pm and as soon as we stepped off the bus it started to rain, so no big change there. Our hostel was again walkable from the bus terminal so we didn´t have to rely on any dodgy cabs to get us there.

Next morning we caught the early Cataratas bus to Iguazu Falls national park. A two day pass costing about 23 quid each. First up we caught the park´sgas powered train to the Devils Throat Station and proceeded to walk te 1.5 km to the mighty Devils throat falls, a series of 3 falls comprising of the powerful Union Falls, Mitre falls and Belgrano falls. As we arrived at the viewing platform it started to rain and guess what we had left our rain coats at the hostel in favor of sun block and sunglasses.. Duh ! The falls were truly impressive, being close up it was hard to get an overall picture of the 3 falls ( a good 24mm lens would have been great ) .

On the way back to the Train station we spied a bird resembling a Merganser, a poor picture was taken as we still hadn´t managed to acquire a decent bird book.... more on this later..

Below the Devils throat Falls.

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Our next stop was a walk around the Upper falls, a tier of many impressive falls almost 2.7 km long. Comprising of the Bossetti, Adan y Eva, Mbrigua, San Martin and Escondido falls ( and others )! . The overall view here is much more spectacular and far too many photos were taken as usual.

Below pictures from the upper falls.

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Not surprisingly the Falls below the upper falls are called the Lower Falls and this was our next trek. The lower falls give access to a small ferry boat that takes you across to the San Martin Island where there are more fine views of the San Martin Cataratas and Devils Throat cascades.

As well as spectacular waterfalls there is a plethora of wildlife, so many different types of birds and some rather cute Coati are easily seen.

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A great day at Iguazu and a life long ambition to visit this amazing place.

Day 2 Iguazu. After a great day exploring the well walked trails we decided to tackle the little know 8km Macuco trail which meanders through jungle to appear atop a small water fall on the Western edge of the Park. It was here we met an English couple, Ray and Irene, equipped with all the bird watching paraphernalia. We stopped and chatted about the various birds, in particular the Merganser looking waterbird we saw at te Devils Throat.... You have heard about a jaw dropping moment, when we showed Ray the picture he almost collapsed, apparently the bird we had seen and poorly photographed was the extremely rare Brazilian Black Merganser, apparently it has only ever been rumoured to have been seen out of Brazil and is as rare as anything that´s not extinct can be, so a bit of a result on the bird spotting front !!.

The walk was interesting but no where near as gob smacking as the falls walks, some of which we repeated after the 8km hike..

That evening we ate at a local grill bar and ordered what we thought was a simple kebab... see picture below..

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Other pics.

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We still haven´t made up our minds where to go next, so the next blog will reveal where we ended up.. Iguazi 10 out of 10.

Posted by malnlinda 06:57 Comments (0)

Buenos Aires

South America starts here !

We arrived In Buenos Aires after a long two flight hop from Heathrow and within minutes of landing it started to rain... Sounds familiar ?

Anyway to start this blog off what better way than using the National Flag as a starting point..

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Our Hostel is situated in the San Telmo area of Buenos Aires which is where many older buildings and bars reside ( Coincidence ? ) Next to our Hostel is a Bar which has been operating since 1886 and serves some amazing variations of cold plate foods, it´s also very popular with the locals and is packed by 11 pm... yes that´s right 11pm , this is about the time most Argentinians go out for dinner ! Hence the mornings are somewhat slow to kick off.

Mostly we have been getting around by two feet and have seen quite a bit of the real Buenos Aires, there are many large and impressive state buildings which have a certain look of London about them, even the pigeons..

The Plaza De Mayo and the Plaza De Congress are without doubt our favourites. See pics below..

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Not bad eh?

Downtown Buenos Aires has a slightly unkempt appearance which was a bit of a surprise as we were expecting a modern city. Brightening up many of the downtown streets are huge murals and the inevitable graffiti.

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Buenos Aires also has many tree lined plaza which break up the city scape.

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Yesterday we walked to Puerto Madero, a modern and clean area of the city, attached to Puerto Madero is the Reserva Natural Constanera, a huge greeen area wth walkways and cycle routes. The wildlife here was very surprising, never have we seen so many new species of birds in one area. Just a shame that we forgot to pack te bins and acquire a bird book of South America, so we couldn´t identify many ( any ! ). Some of the tree,s even had Bromeliads growing off them so the air here must be reasonably clean.

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Along the street side of the reserve is a wide promenade where gastronomic delights such as lomitas ( steak sandwich ) can be purchased and comsumed.

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Last night was our last in Buenos Aires, at firt we were not sure if we liked it but after 6 days the place grew on us, we really enjoyed our time here. As usual we ate at the El Federal for our last night, another great meal..

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On Tuesday we are off to Puerto Iguazu and the famous Iguazu falls ( just a 13 and a hlf hour bus ride ! ) Being on the border with Brazil we may pop-over for a view of the falls from the "otherside" of the border..

So that´s about for Buenos Aires, next stop Iguazu..

Posted by malnlinda 08:49 Archived in Argentina Comments (1)

South America...

Year 2 the Oldies march on...

Hi folks

Yes we have changed blog sites at last, the Google one was a real pain in the arse so we are trying this one out..

So more of a test this is our first page for our next adventures a few snaps of stuff we did and saw while back home sorting out our jabs and stuff. The picture below is from the "Elvis in the Park " proms in Hyde park.

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This one is from MOSI ( Museum of Science and Industry ) in Manchester.

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We have just a few days left in the UK before we fly out to South America next week so getting familiar with a new blog is just another of our tasks to get completed.. So if this first page seems a tad mis-jointed that's probably down to me being a numpty.

This last pic is an oldie from Switzerland but it's quite nice so why not ...

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As you can see its not the usual type of pic, this is a Solarized scene from the Jungfrau.

Now lets see how this looks.. mmmmm how do we get the text to wrap around the pictures.. Help !!

Posted by malnlinda 06:49 Comments (0)

India ... 2009 new blog for Mal & Linda

Rathambhore Nat Park

Our first ever Tiger sighting

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and only 15ft away..

Posted by malnlinda 04:26 Archived in India Tagged animal Comments (0)

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