Friday, March 22, 2019

One Night in Buenos Aires.

It was an easy flight from Iguazu to Buenos Aires, what really struck you as made our approach to this capital city was the brown water that lapped upon it’s shoreline not the lovely blue of the ocean we are used to.  It was not till we returned to Buenos Aires that we found out that this city sits on a river plate and not the Atlantic Ocean.  Little did we know what impact this was going to have in the next few days. But that’s another story….

After a hiccup with our transfer, we eventually made it to 725 Continental Hotel.   After our accommodation in Iguazu, our little eye’s light up like kids in a lolly shop when we open the door to what we would call, our luxury room.
 After a short rest the four of us ventured off with no real plan, except to find somewhere to eat. A few blocks away from our hotel we found a restaurant that peaked our interest.

What first caught our eye was the shop front with full carcases BBQing in the window.  Then peering further in we were impressed by the full white linen table cloths and smartly dressed waiters in their white shirts and floor length aprons.  The rich dark timbers and the beautifully painted murals won us over and we decided to walk in.

La Estancia’s speciality is the BBQ…  If it moo’s, bleats, oinks or clucks, it is now spread eagled on a metal skewer and rotating around some very hot rocks. We chose the platter for 2, which more than adequately fed our group of 4. For starters they automatically bring you an empanadas, dipping sauces and a basket full of bread rolls.

Our meat came on a tray that was being kept warm by the hot rocks placed in a little compartment underneath. Loaded with beef, lamb, pork, chicken and sausages, it certainly was more than enough for all of us.  We washed this down with a delicious Argentinian Malbec.

It was not till later that I realised that our waiter was actually dressed as a Gaucho, and maybe this authentic restaurant is geared for the tourist, well it impressed me, right down to tomorrow nights meat hanging on display, waiting to be cooked.

Parque Nacional Do Iguacu – Brazil

When I go to write my blog, I go through all the photos for that day to help jog my memory.  OMG, I have forgotten how spectacular the Iguazu are.  Whether it was by default or planned, thank god we visited the Brazil side of the falls on the second day, as it was so spectacular... 

Looking back across to the falls gives you a real sense of their magnitude as they falls step down to river level.

Today’s tour meant we had to criss cross the Argentinian and Brazilian borders.  First thing on our agenda was Sharon’s and Peter helicopter ride…  a bit dryer than our optional extra, their trip gave them a bird’s eye view of these magnificent falls.


Once entering the park, this time we queued to catch the bus that takes you to the starting point.  Look back towards the falls we could see the platforms we walked along yesterday. We could see the small zodiac boats drenching their passengers just as we were yesterday.   Today was certainly another OMG moment. Another tick off the bucket list.

One last Brazilian border crossing and after picking up our bags we were transferred out to the airport for our flight to Buenos Aires. Here we spent the night before flying to Montevideo in the morning to re-join the ship.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Colours – Best Parrilla & Pizza in town.

It was a pleasant surprise when Rene told us that dinner tonight would be included, we only had to cover our drinks…. We can do that… As they say when in Rome, so Shaz and I started our evening with a couple of pre-dinner caprihiana’s in the hotel bar…. as you do!
Our driver eventually turned up and whisked us into town to the popular Colours Restaurant.  Parrilla is now our favourite word.  Basically, it means BBQ and as we have learnt Brazilians and Argentinians sure know how to Parrilla, it is big, bold and a la naturale.  Ask anyone and they will tell you that their meat is so good, it doesn’t need any seasoning. A tasting plate for starters, a cow for main and I am sure something very nice for desert, which I forgot to take a picture of, so now I don’t remember….. BTW that had nothing to do with the delicious Malbec, an Argentinian speciality.

Where the 3 they come as one…

Before delivering us back to the hotel Rene, took us to the point where the rivers meet.  Standing, we see Brazil to the right of us, Paraguay to the left and we’re, stuck in the middle with Argentina.  Seems like we should break into song!!
Brazil to the Right
Paraguay to the left

And we are in Argentina
NB: if you look close enough each country has one of these milestones painted in their flags colour...  Paraguay is easy to find but Brazil's I could only capture the lower half (yellow)

Parque Nacional Iguazu – Argentina 3

Jet Boating at Iguazu

Garry and I opted to see the base of the falls from the water rather than by the lower trail.  This was a real 3D experience; not only could we see, hear and smell them up close, but feel them as well!!

Sitting in the back of a truck with around 30 other unsuspecting souls we were given a narration of the jungle that we drove through to get us down to the river where we would board our boat.  On went the life jackets and the biggest indication on what was about to happened were the huge heavy duty water proof bags that we were given. Under advisement from Rene, our guide, we placed our shoes into the bag along with anything else we needed kept dry. 

The falls were just as spectacular from the bottom just as much as they were from the top.  Unfortunately, all instructions were given in Spanish, so we could only guess at which point we had to stow away any last-minute valuables before it was too late.

Devils Throat was every bit as powerful at the bottom as it was from the top.  We sat and watched as the boat in front disappeared into the spray, not once but twice.

 But nothing could prepare you for the force of the water as the boat moved straight into its path.  Think ice bucket challenge minus the ice…. No that wouldn’t be enough water…  think swimming pool……  nothing and no one were spared, soaked to the bone is all I can say…

Friday, March 15, 2019

Parque Nacional Iguazu – Argentina 2

The Upper Trail

Catching the train back to a midway point along the track to the station that leads to the second of the trails.

At the station we were entertained by these little Coatis, cheeky as monkeys as they scurried around looking for food in all sorts of places. But that was not the only wild life we saw..

 The Upper trail leads around the top of falls.   Once again on elevated walkways winding to each of the vantage points, taking over pools of calm water that gently cascade over the edges. “Natures infinity pools” are the best words to describe them.

The Lower trail weaves you around the base of some of the falls, but Garry and I opted for a thrilling boat ride instead.