Argentina has its finger stuck between Paraguay and Brazil. Yes, really! Look on the map… there’s long, narrow, finger-like, sticky-up bit in the far north-east of Argentina: Misiones province. We crossed into Argentina from Paraguay at the bottom of the finger and set a new northerly course through Misiones, up to Brazil and Iguazu Falls.
At 15,500 ft we crossed from Chile into Argentina over the Paso San Francisco. We’d enjoyed our three days waiting in the high Andes for the border to open, but were looking forward to descending down to rejoin the Ruta 40 highway and the more temperate climate of north-west Argentina. Highlights to look forward to on this next leg of the trip include the wine region around Cafayate, the colonial city of Salta and some reportedly huge cacti in quirky landscapes. Click here for the route map. Continue reading
Our main mission in Mendoza was to learn about the region’s wines. The city is Argentina’s capital of winemaking, which in itself is a good enough reason for a visit. But it’s also a rather cool city, with wide tree-lined streets, shady plazas with fountains and statues, a strong street-café culture, great bars and restaurants… where better to spend Easter?
Oh no! Not another view of snow-capped peaks, venting volcanos, aqua-marine mountain lakes set against a back-drop of clear blue skies (yawn 🙂 )! We hadn’t thought it possible to tire of southern Chile’s spectacular landscapes, but after weeks of relentless picturesque mountain views appearing around every bend, we were itching for a change of scene. We have now scientifically proven that you can indeed have too much of a good thing (provided of course that the relevant ‘good thing’ isn’t chocolate – you can obviously never have too much chocolate).
Inconveniently for us, the sights to be seen as we head north up the Andes sit alternately either side of the Argentine/Chile border, requiring more frequent border crossings than we would normally care to tackle. From Torres del Paine in Chile we now need to cross back into Argentina, first destination: the Perito Moreno Glacier and it’s gateway town of El Calafate. This glacier is another of South America’s most visited tourist attractions and the border crossing is therefore choked with coach-loads of tourists. We get caught in a frustratingly long queue, but finally Continue reading
Our over-landing in Cuthbert was temporarily suspended for a fabulous little boat-jaunt to Antarctica. All very amazing… but now we’re back home in our beloved Cuthbert and back to normality (well, ‘normality’ to the extent that we can have such a thing in our ‘Cuthbert lifestyle’). We’re wondering what’s in store for Xmas? Continue reading
Between the worthwhile sights of Patagonia there is very great deal of nothing. Vast flat pampas plains dotted with estancias/ranches, herds of cattle, roaming horses and the occasional beret-clad gaucho galloping between them. In our last blog-post we rambled on a bit about the marvellous marine and wild-life here, but what else can we say about our travels down eastern Argentina? Continue reading
It’s a loooong way south through Patagonia. From BA to Ushuaia at the bottom of the continent, it’s over 3,000 km in fact, so we won’t be doing it in an afternoon. We’re heading down the eastern side of Argentina, across miles and miles (and miles) of vast, flat pampas land. It is featureless, but strangely all the more beautiful for this. We’re in no hurry and will be taking it slowly, in short hops Continue reading
Those in-the-know casually refer to it as ‘BA’ but until we get to know each other better, we’ll start with the more respectful ‘Buenos Aires’ 🙂 It is another of our ‘Bucket List’ cities that we have wanted to visit for many years. I read the story of Eva Peron some years before it was brought into popular culture by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd-Webber and was looking forward to seeing the city’s ‘Evita Landmarks’. But although Eva Peron (arguably after Diego ‘Hand of God’ Maradona) is the world’s most famous Argentinian, there is much more to Buenos Aires than her memory.
On the outskirts of the city we spotted below us from the fly-over, a ‘Museo de las Malvinas’. Hmmm… this could be Continue reading
After over five weeks at sea, we are so excited to get Cuthbert onto dry-land to start the South American adventure. Our priority on arrival in Montevideo is to restock with food, gas and diesel, then to come up with a plan for the next few days. Maybe Gaucho Festival Argentina?
It’s Thursday and the is Gaucho Festival Argentina is in San Antonio de Areco this weekend. It’s some 700 km away from Montevideo. We would very much like to see the authentic gathering of the regional gauchos and watch them compete their skills, but if we do so we will have to skip Montevideo and go straight to San Antonio. It’s a tough decision, but we decide that Montevideo will still be there next year when we come north again. The Gaucho Festival is an annual opportunity and we are unlikely to be able to tie these dates into next year’s itinerary. So the Gauchos Continue reading