A Travellerspoint blog

Cordoba and Mendoza

Mendoza... Home of Wine, extreme sports and BEAUTIFUL girls

sunny 38 °C

I arrived in Cordoba at the worst hostel of my travels so far and consequently, there was only 2 other people in the hostel!

But this turned out to be a blessing in disguise, I only had 2 nights here in Cordoba and there were very few distractions so I managed to finally spend some much needed time to organise my future travels, write my diary and even skype Mum and Dad.

The following day I took a trip down to the lake where I sunbathed and took a swim, that night the hostel owner invited me to dinner with her friends where they cooked home made pizza which was pretty decent. The following day I took a walk around the city, visited some beautiful churches and South Americas first established University. This was the first time on the whole trip that I had spent time on my own, it was nice and relaxing but I hoped it would not be like this in Mendoza!

I then set off for a 12 hour bus journey to Mendoza. the hostel I stayed in had pretty rubbish facilities but the best people and THE best staff!
The first night I went to a party organised by the hostel, it was at the best hostel in the area and 6 local hostels all join up and party the night away together. This was a great way to make friends, enjoy some good food and have a lively night. I soon made friends with a coulpe of crazy lads from Brazil, Paul from Ireland and a group of girls from England and New zealand.

The folowing morning we set off for a wine tour at 2 local vineyards and an olive farm. This was very interesting and they taught us how to check for quality in the wines... So I´m pretty much a wine snob now!! We ended up buying some organic wine from a small vineyard for $36 pesos (they told us that the bottle sells for over $150 dollars in the USA.) That night we all cooked together and had an early night.

The following morning we hiked Alta Mantaña (High Andes Tour), spent a long time on the coach getting there but was worth it when seeing the sights of DamPotrerillos, Uspallata Valley, Historico de Picheuta, Centro de Ski Penitentes, Puente del Inca and Cerro Aconcagua! (Again, I´m still not able to upload photos which is a huge shame, but managed to put most up on facebook)

The following day (Friday) I went Rafting with Jack and Jonni (welsh) and Simon (Cornwall). The rafting was 12k.. We had an amazing day, rafting was awesome and is something I have to do again, and the lads made the day even better as we spent the day bantering each other and pushing jonni into the shallow rocky river! Afterwards we all had a few beers with our guide who was from Norway and was an absolute nutter, he spent the entire 12k trying to flip us out of the raft! we then got on the coach back to the hostel where we carried on drinking before going to another party organised by the hostel. Had a great night and ended up going to a Club with the staff about 3!

The following morning everyone was in a world of pain and ended going to Mcdonalds (shameful I know but please don´t judge). That night we hit another club and met up with lots of local girls, Mendoza is renound for it´s beautiful girls and we couldn´t disagree!
We left the club without Jonni as we couldn´t find him, we later found out he fell asleep in the toilets!!

The next morning we went on another hike in San Rafael- Atuel Canyon. We visited the southern Mendoza by Valle de Uco. The Altuel Canyon belongs to one of the oldest geological ages of Earth. We then went to Valle Grande Dam and Nihuil. This was an extremely long day (07.00-22.00) but was awesome!

The next day I organised my next trip (Salta and JuJuy) and set off on the bus at 20.30.

Mendoza was absolutly brilliant, a great mix of beauitful natural landscapes, extreme activites and lively night life... This is somewhere I have to come back to again at some point in my life (and perhaps settle down with a girl haha!)

Posted by chris_Arg 10:06 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Iguazu Falls

A ´must do before you die´

sunny 43 °C

So after a horrible 22 hour bus ride from Buenos Aires, where the bus broke down after 3 hours and the replacement bus had no air con and was invested with mosquitos, I arrived at Iguazu covered in bites!

Iguazu is a samll town, with not to much do to do apart from the falls.

The hotel I stayed at was the best so far, it had a huge swimming pool, bar, restaurant, pool tables, table tennis, futball tables and party nights every ngiht... I felt like I was in paradise!

In my dorms there was a group of 5 Aussie lads my age who I got on with really well. That night we had a pool party until about 1.
Before going to bed we all booked the trip to the falls for the following day.

We left the hostel at 7 and made are way to the falls, our trip included a jungle tour, boat ride and access to all the viewing points in the park.

The ¨Jungle trek¨ was fairly disappointing as it was only 20 minutes and we saw nothing apart from some fairly average trees and bushes!!
It dropped us off at the boat, where the boat ride more than made up for that disappointment! We travelled along the river and made our way to the falls, approaching it from the river gave us amazing views that without the ride we would not have seen! The sheer size and quantity of the falls cannot be explained by any words or justified by any photos (especially from my phone!) Then to my suprise the boat took us within about 20 metres of the falls where we got absolutly drenched, this was one of the highlights of the whole trip so far! The boat then dropped us off at the first viewing point and we spent the rest of the day walking around the magnificient park, visiting all the viewing points to see the falls from every angle! To finish the day, at about 4 we took a slow boat ride back to the entrance, this was very relxing and the guide even (against the rules) let us have a 10 minute swim in the river while he waited!!

We then head back to the hostel extremely tired - and sun burnt! The package was fairly expensive in SouthAmerican terms, but was worth every penny... The whole day cost us around ARG$400 pesos, but to put it into context... 65GBP for one of, if not the, best day of my life is more than worth it!

That night the hostel hosted a Brazilian samba party where we learnt some samba, watched a show from some amazing Brazilian ladies and partied the night away!

This was an amazing couple for days and nights, I was lucky enough to have shared it with some brilliant lads from Australia who helped make this an experience I will never forget!

The following morning I set off my 24 hour bus ride to Codoba and the lads left for Brazil!

Posted by chris_Arg 09:02 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Buenos Aires

The city of Tango, Steak, Partying and..... dog poo

sunny -30 °C

So I step off the plane into the EZE airport to find American Airlines hadn´t put my luggage onto the transfer plane! I get a taxi to my hostel where I meet THE most friendly staff ever! They argued on the phone for an hour with the airlines until they arranged a private courier to bring my bag from the airport the following day!

So after a shakey start, all was well and I was in SAN TELMO, BA! San Telmo has beautiful but run down buildings and cobbled streets - covered in dog mess! Seriously, no one seems to pick anything up!

Met quite a few people of diffrerent ages and nationalities here at the hostel (Sandanzas) and after the first day I visited Puerto Madero(which look suspicially like The Albert Docks!) I later found out all the materials to build this dock was imported from Liverpool!
We strolled around for an hour or so and grabbed some ice cream, which was amazing! That night I grabbed my first steak... I heard so much about Argentinian Steak, and this did not dissappoint! Although the price did! ... The inflation in Argentina has been between 15 and 35% in recent years, so prices are not too disimiliar to Europe!

The following night We was luckily enough to watch a speech from Christina (the president of ARG). She spoke from a stage in front of the Pink House (The equivalent to USA´s White House) in Plaza de Mayo. The streets were filled with thousands fo people who were literally crying as she spoke! They´re so passionate about their politics! Christina is very popular among the poorer masses, but not so much with the middle and upper classes. After the 2 hour speech, there was a concert and we partied in the streets until the earlier hours!

On Sunday, The Boca Juniors were playing their last game of the season against The All Boys, luckily enough the game was at home and The Boca Juniors will be celebrating winning the league so you can imagine my delight when we were able to get tickets!!
The atmosphere cannot be compared to any other game I´ve been to... Non stop noise, chaunting, singing and drums from the second we entered the stadium to the second we left! Boca fans are renound for being the most passionate fans in the world, but this passion also has a very ugly side, which is why we had to sit with the away fans! After the game, Boca fans have to stay in the stadium for an hour to let the away fans go home safely, us tourists left with the away fans but through a different exit to them and when we got outside the All Boys fans mnistook us for Boca fans and chased us for a few seconds before realising we were tourists! we laugh now, but was actually very scared at the time, it was like a pack of hyenas chasing a few Gazelles!
The game it´s self was nothing to shout about and ended up 1-0 Boca.. But the atmosphere and celebrations after the game were out of this world!

I then moved down town to Central. This is a much more commercialised and clean place of BA (although not that clean). This hostel was a ´Party Hostel´and was located just off of 9 de Julio. BA is famous for it´s crazy nightlife and during this week, I found out why! Dinner at 11, chilled drinks until 3 and then off to a club until 6 or so! The clubs were filled with locals each night and it makes you wonder how any work gets done in BA!
The hostel itself was filled with around 80% Austalians... But I still managed to find some decent people!! On a serious note, I met some fantastic lads here, some of which I will keep in contact with for the rest of my life!

We did do more than just partying however, sometimes we managed to drag ourselvesout of bed and see the city during the day. The first of which we visited the Cementerio de la Recoleta. High walls surround this necropolis, in death just as in life, generations of Argentina´s elite rest in ornate splendor! Some of the craftsman ship of the tombs is unbelivable!

The following day we went on a bicycle tour of the city (Central, Puerto Madero, La Boca and San Telmo) This would be the second time I visited the much feared La Boca! Many stories floating around of incidents here... But in my opinion, the blame is often with the tourists, if you go off the tourist track, away from the tours, or flash your expensive cameras, phones and watches in front some of the countries poorest citizans, you should expect to get robbed!! La Boca produced an extremly successful artist who knew that the Boca community could never afford to view his work. So he decided to do a master piece on some of the houses and streets of La Boca, which is why it boasts such colourful buildings.

At the end of the week, we all said our emotional goodbyes and set off in our own ways. I went back to Sandanzas in San Telmo as I needed some peace and quite so that I could complete a weeks worth of spanish lessons.

During this week, I visited the Japonese Gardens (Jardin Japones) which were a gift from the local Japanese community in 1967.

Nights during this week were a lot more quite but still managed to go out for meals, take some tango lessons (which I´m obviously great at) and get involved in some of the street parties which seemed to always be happening!

I then met up with an American guy called Patrick who I met in the party hostel, he was now in an apartment with 5 other girls and boys from his law course and they were here to study for one semester in BA. He invited me to stay at their place rent free until I moved out the city... so I did! His apartment was beautiful, modern and his house mates were awesome. They cooked dinner for us each night, woke us up with a huge breakfast and always refused to take any money from me!

These guys soon became my best friends and the fist night we went to a pool party with one of their other friends from their course (who was pretty much a millionaire).
The following night was NYE and we had a house party and then went to the rooftop for the countdown so we could watch over the whole city which was filled with fireworks! We carried on drinking after that and went to a huge club called Terraces at 3 and didnt leave the club until 8!! This was possibly the best NYE I´ve ever had!

I then said some more emotional good byes on the 2nd I set off on my 18 hour bus journey to Iguazu!

BA will be sorely missed... The tango, The steak,the crazy nightlife, the amazing people I met.... But not the dog poo!!

P.S I will upload photos as soon as I arrive in a hostel with a fully working PC! Alternatively you can add me on facebook to see photos.

Posted by chris_Arg 17:53 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

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