A Travellerspoint blog


Hostel, Buses and the best waterfalls in the world!

storm 25 °C
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We stayed at the hostel Iguazu... which the night we arrived seemed to be the partry place in town... which after a 17 hour bus drive... we could do without!

We dropped our bags and went for a nosey around town!

Puerto Iguazu is a lovely little town and we felt secure and safe around the place!

As a result, we stopped and had something to eat in town in a little restaurant and then walked home later that evening.

The Hostel had quietened the next day as a group of Brits and Israeli´s had left which meant the hostel was much, much more quiet.

The girl at reception was brilliant and told us all the options we had for Iguazu (both the Brazilian and the Argentinian) and the relative costs of each... cheap Options included. If we needed to reserve anything we could do it with her.... however... there was no overhead with this and she´d also quite happily cancel anything we´d booked with a phone call should we change our minds.

So we booked for the next day to go to the Argentinian side of the falls.

The yellow bus left from the bus station at 7:30am... and every half hour thereafter. We caught the first one and got to the falls just as it was opening! We payed our $30 each and then went into a relatively quiet park (This would change as the day progressed!)

We jumped on the little train to the first stop and then walked along a gang way to view the falls!

They were fantastic! and since it was early morning... we had them pretty much to ourselves!

We spent the rest of the day walking around and viewing the numerous water falls in the park before we headed down to the Island in the centre of the falls from where we were to get our Jet Boat Tour "under" the falls which we´d bought from the girl in reception!

This was brilliant and relatively cheap $45 peso´s per person, however it was fairly short lived (some 15 minutes) however we were thoroughly soaked, having been dunked under two water falls! They luckily gave us a water proof bag for our stuff, and Steph got to use her xmas present from me... the Underwater bag for her camera... which I´m happy to say worked perfectly!

After a long day at the falls we decided to head home at about 4pm and then on the way out got out tickets stamped, which meant we had the option to return another day for only $15 pesos!

Posted by Taffski 09:09 Archived in Argentina Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Bus Travel in Argentina...

Buenos Aires to Iguazu

all seasons in one day 26 °C
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we´ve arrived in Iguazu with nothing missing and apart from a accident involving a motorcycle and a lorry on the way up causing a delay, the bus was fantastic!

Unfortunately for the motorcycle driver though he ended up being killed in the accident and when we passed him, he was lying in the middle of the road with a white sheet over him... but I digress......

so... we got the taxi from the hostel direct to the bus station (Retiro), went to departures and had about five buses to pick from... Steph went on reconnaissance and managed to find which bus we were on. Bags were loaded into the hold for which we received a ticket (and tip was payed to bag man... so as to look after the bags!) and then we boarded the bus.

We were travelling Cama class (Bed Class) so the seats were wide and the blankets and food we received en'route also expecially welcoming!

We slept....... well Steph did almost instantly.... I on the other hand was still eyeing up all the other passengers trying to ascertain which was most likely to nab our day packs if I slept...

We woke up the next day still on the bus and still with our day packs!

Watched a crap Yank film... listened to some Israerli´s making out in the seat in front of us and then about four hours later (the total travel time was about 17 hours!) we pulled up in Iguazu Bus station.

We unloaded, got our bags... which were still there... and walked up to the hostel (having to change direction a few times as our sense of direction was a bit muddled!)

We checked into the hostel and dropped our bags on the bed.....

Operation OmniBus was a Success.. we´d made it intact, with baggage and alive!

Posted by Taffski 06:51 Archived in Argentina Tagged transportation Comments (0)

Leaving Buenos Aires....

Bus transportation al las Americas

sunny 27 °C
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So we´re now ready to head off... where ???

Hmm.... We´ve agreed to travel up to Iguazu (while we´re on the East coast of Argentina) and then we´re going to travel back down south heading towards ushuaia (ready to pick up the boat on the 28th)

To get anywhere in Argentina... you either fly (exensive) or you can get an overnight bus (less expensive)

So we´re getting the overnight bus from Buenos Aires to Iguiazu (some 17hours on a bus!)

Lubkily over here though it´s not like jumping on a Greyhound or a National Express bus and they offer different classes of seat.

Semi-Cama, Cama and Cama Superior!

Cama is Castellano for bed... so you should be able to work it out for yourselves what sort of seats each is.

We´re going Cama class as the journey´s so long!

costs are $160 one way each which works out about 26 pounds sterling (which I´m assured is far more expensive than it was about two or three years ago!) Obviously the bus companies have cottened onto the fact that all these gringo´s visiting south America can afford the extra costs.. seems a pity for the locals though!

Anyway, so we´ve got our tickets purchased already. We´ve packed up and we know how to get to Retiro (buenos Aires bus Station)

Now all we´ve got to do is make sure we don´t get scammed before we get to our hostel tomorrow morning!

Posted by Taffski 13:31 Archived in Argentina Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

La Boca!!!!

Boca Juniors Football Club

sunny 26 °C
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Unfortunately for us the football season doesn´t start for another four weeks or so.... so we decided to take a tour of the Boca Juniors Stadium which is in the district of Boca.

Having read the tour giudes and heard the stories.. you would believe that Boca is the Baghdad of Buenos Aires... so Armed with a 6 foot cousin of Steph´s and his girlfriend as support the three of us decided to walk from Centro BA, down through San Telmo and into Boca.

Having walked for some twenty minutes, we thought we were beginning to get lost as we´d not seent he stadium yet and the areas we were walking through were becoming less pleasant.
Suddenly we stumbled upon some playing fields and in the distance was the Stadium!!!

We arrived and we´d timed it brilliantly as the stadium tour in Englishwas about to start and so we bought our tickets ($15 peso´s) each and wandered around all the Maradona and Boca parafanalia.

The man is a legend in his own right in terms of footballing genius... however... down here.... the man´s a god! Statues, pendents, photo´s, shirts, t'shirts... you can practically get anything you wanted with a little magicians cheesy grin plastered all over it!

So... our tour guide arrived and everyone gathered together for the tour.... there were about fifty or so people all clustered together ready and waiting for the tour to start.... however.. our tour guide was waving us through.... through to where??? so, apologetically and to the disgust of those true avid Argentinian Boca fans, we were hearded to the front of the rabble.. and then off in the direction of the stadium.

I could feel the eyes burning my back as we slid away to begin, what turned out, to be our own private tour of the stadium!

Our guide was very congenial and spoke English very well...

He sat us down in the exectuive section of the stadia overlooking the pitch and explained some of the finer points of the history and construction, consequent destruction, consequent reconstruction, consequent proposed redevelopment, consequent proposed relocation, consequent deadlock and finally consequent expansion of the stadium.

here´s some interesting facts about the place :

At the top of the third tier the stadium currently moves 4cm during a game due to the fans bouncing up and down.

Boca is the team of the workers

River is the team of the bosses

They were once the same team and then decided to split.

They played each other for their red shirt colours. River won.

Three years later they played each other for the Stadium. Boca Won.

Since Boca had no shirt... they went down to the docks and agreed that whichever ship came into dock next.. they would use it´s colours on their shirt... The ship that docked next was from Sweden hence the Blue and Gold.

Never describe their shirt as blue and yellow... It´s GOLD !!! as I found out to my cost!

Coca Cola had to change perhaps one of the most famous logo´s in the world so as to not have any red in it (River Plate´s shirts are red!) Coca Cola is written in white on a black background.

In a local derby some years ago the River Manager found himself getting wet as a result of some "over exuberance" on behalf of the Boca fans and as a result needed to have a special plastic cover put over his bench on the sidelines. However, just incase any of the local fans couldn´t see where he would be anymore... they put the Managers Name on the top of the plastic to allow the Local fans to "take aim" a bit better :)

When they knocked down the old stadium to build a new one.. some of the fans started to buy bits of the old stadium from the builders. The owners cottened onto this and them sold the stadium for $1 a block.

They made $6 million pesos.

The New stadium only cost $5 million pesos.

Boca Stadium is for the fans and is owned by the fans.... never have I heard something that´s so true with regards to football Stadiums!

I loved the place and would highly recommend either going to a game or if not, doing the Stadium tour! There people down here are mad !!!!

Posted by Taffski 13:00 Archived in Argentina Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Some Common Questions about BA?

Meeting Stephs Family

sunny 28 °C
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I´ve actually started to really enjoy BA and like anywhere in the world (especially cities) once you become familiar with them... their appeal begins to grow and you also begin to feel far more at home.

Buenos Aires is a lovely city. It has it´s problems and dodgy areas, however, which city doesn´t?

We met Steph´s cousin (who was travelling with his girlfriend and happened to be staying here in BA) Dave and Katie had been here a month and to be honest were god sends when it came to shedding a different light on Buenos Aires.

They´d rented a flat and as such were more like locals than anything. As a result we got to ask them all those important questions that had been running through our minds....

1. How much does the bus cost?
Ans: 80c to anywhere in the city (you put it in the mahcine when you board)

2. Why do the kids walk around in the evening collecting rubbish?
Ans: As the government pay them to collect the plastic and cardboard and take it to the recycling plant where they get some money (Not much I expect though)

3. What´s "Que Bos" mean?
Ans: The Linguistics in BA are funny with LL´s being pronounced Sh in Castellano (Latin American Spanish) as opposed to "ja" as in European Spanish. Also in Castallano there´s no "tu" for you... instead you use "Vos" for you.
And so ... the answer is, in reply to being asked Que Tal? or Como Esta? you reply "Bien Gracias, Que Vos" meaning "fine thanks.. and you?"

4. How much is a beer?
Ans: ranges between $3.50 for a Chop (a chop is about a half pint in a handled glass) to $6, $7 for a Litre bottle of Quilmes (the local Lager)...
current Ex Rate : 1 pound Stirling = $6 pesos

5. What´s with the dollar sign?
The Argentinian Peso also uses the Dollar sign and once you´re here, everything is in peso´s. Forget USD etc.
The Lonely planet makes it very misleading as to how useful the USD is, however from our experience, hostels, restaurants, and tourist tours all prefer Peso´s and you´re less likely to get ripped off or highlighted as a "gringo" also

6. Taxis.... well we thought they were all fine, until we recently got one from Retiro to the Hostel and he charged quite a bit on the meter... which was about twice what it normally was... I gave him two 10 peso notes for the fare and he then did a quick swap of one and tried to infer that I´d given him a photocopy!!! and a bad one at that !!!!
Now since I´d seen him try the quick swap option I told him "No Entiendo"!!!
To which I got a blank response and then he tried it again.... to which I replied "No Entiendo!"
After about five time of this, he eventually gave up on his little scam and We got out of the taxi! Imagine if I´d really given him a forgery!!! He´d have been ranting and raving and taken me to the nearest police oifficer.... which he didn´t!
So the moral..... if they try this with you... act dumb and eventually they give up!!!

unfortunately, Dave and Katie had to head off to Uruguay last Friday... so we joined them for a night out on the Wednesday (which lasted til 6am) and then the next day, Dave, Katie and I went to the Boca Juniors Stadium (Steph stayed in bed all day... apparently she´d eaten something that had disagreed with her the night before.... yeh right..... eaten far too many vodka´s I reckon!)

Posted by Taffski 12:37 Archived in Argentina Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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