was the last stop on our South America trip. If Rio is the Miami
of South America, then Buenos Aires is its New York. A colossal
city of over 13,000,000, it is constantly humming with activity.
We again dodged a bullet and arrived the day torrential rains stopped.
Probably the most comfortable weather of the entire trip. Air pollution
of course, is a problem and I found that by the time we left, the
diesel fumes were beginning to get to me.
Boca is a colorful working class neighborhood. At the turn of
the century, Argentina was much like America and immigrants from
all over the world settled here. La Boca was settled by mostly Italian
immigrants who built their housing out of the remains of old shipping
containers. Scavenged paint resulted in the bright colors which
many people associate with Buenos Aires today. A wonderful little
tourist area by day, the area is to be avoided all together at night.
Cemetery is possibly the most prestigious real estate in the most
prestigious area of B.A. Argentina's most famous personality, Eva
Peron is buried here. Many of the tombs have fallen on hard times
however. Between a spectacular economic downturn and the number
of wealthy people "disappeared" during the Dirty War not
as many are receiving the maintenance required to keep them from
I knew of it previously, I had forgotten about this wonderful bridge.
The moment it came into view, I recognized its designer. Puente
de la Mujer (Women's Bridge) was designed by famous Spanish architect
Santiago Calatrava. It gets it name from the fact that many of the
streets near it have women's names.
Cataratas Del Iguazu: Twice the height of Niagara and nearly three
times as wide, Iguazu falls are amazing. The falls sit on the border
between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Both Argentina and Brazil
have national parks based around the falls. We visited both sides
of the falls, but our hotel was on the Argentina side. Each side
is very different. The Brazil side has trails that run along the
base of the falls and you also get more of a panoramic view of the
falls. Argentina has a catwalk that takes you along the to top of
the falls. You can actually see the water cascading over the edge
beneath your feet. You are getting completely soaked by the spray.
It is not for the faint of heart. The Argentina side has extensive
hiking trails and we saw a lot of wildlife: Coatis, Tego lizards
and Capuchin monkeys. Alas no Toucans which are supposed to frequent
the area. You had to be careful when leaning against trees though.
Ginormous ants (apparently harmless, but huge) would often be crawling
up the tree trunks. We took to calling them Antulas because of there
resemblance to tarantulas... Creepy.
Brazil and Argentina sides are decidedly different. The Brazil side
lets you get up close and personal with the base of the falls and
also give you a more panoramic view of the entire falls. Argentina
has a more extensive park and trail system with a catwalk that takes
you along the top of the falls. You WILL get wet. One should really
plan ahead, get the Brazilian visa and see both sides to get the
complete experience. Check the Brazil section to see info on that
side of the falls.
is definitely South America though. We were trying to get a taxi
to the Brazil side and Fernando, (a park employee) said that the
hotel taxis were too expensive at 210 pesos, but his uncle Darnella
had a car and would take us for only 180 pesos. Darnella couldn't
make it though, so Fernando arranged for his cousin Guido was going
to take us, but after waiting for about half an hour, we were getting
a little concerned and decided to look elsewhere. Adolpho finally
took us for only 130 pesos..quite the bargain. Everything is negotiable
and everyone is trying to make a buck. Pretty much like any tourist
area, but on a grander scale. It was also quite the ordeal to go
back and forth between Brazil and Argentina. You spend about half
an hour at the border every time you cross. The taxi drivers know
exactly what they are doing and what paperwork you need and still
takes forever. They have to take your passports from you and take
them into the border crossing, so you are left with out your passport
for a time. Don't like that feeling at all.