And now for something completely different: a few snaps from my trip to Argentina in November. My friend Veronika was planning a trip around South America and asked if I’d like to join her for the last leg in Argentina. I wasn’t planning to take a trip this Autumn, but I soon came around to idea of getting away from the rain and cold at home. I soon booked my flights and was ready to go. Veronika took care of the rest and arranged an amazing whistle-stop tour of the country for the 12 days I was there. She did a fantastic job, making sure we saw all the big ‘hits’ of Argentina in a very short space of time (I’ll forward you her spreadsheet if you like!)
I bought a second hand Fuji x30 for this trip and it was very light to carry with me. It has a surprisingly good zoom lens and I’d recommend it if you need a lightweight but fully manual camera for a holiday. I’m notoriously bad at remembering to take my camera out when I’m on holiday, so these photos are a mix of Fuji and iPhone snaps.
I flew from Manchester via Amsterdam to Buenos Aires, which became our base from which we explored other parts of Argentina. We only had one day in BA at the beginning of the trip and our first experience was the protest of Las Madres de Plaza de Mayo that takes place every Thursday. The group of protesters is made up of mothers whose children “disappeared” during the the military dictatorship, between 1976 and 1983. They began to march in 1977 at the Plaza de Mayo in front of the Casa Rosada presidential palace and continue to march to this day for ‘los desaparecidos’ and other social justice causes.
It was an incredibly powerful sight to see many elderly women in white headscarves marching around the plaza. Many carried pictures of their children and sang songs as they marched. To think that many of them have done the same act every Thursday for 40 years was moving.
After one night in the capital, we were off to Iguazú Falls. This was the furthest north we travelled and from this part of Argentina you are hop, skip and jump away from both Brazil and Paraguay. We went straight from the plane to Iguazú National Park, excited to see the waterfalls (and fingers crossed, spot a toucan!)
I can now understand how these waterfalls can be described as breathtaking, as I honestly did a little gasp as I looked over the edge into ‘La Garganta del Diablo’. The one photograph I managed before getting soaked does it absolutely no justice whatsoever! The power of the water is incredible and watching the rainbows form and hover over the crowds is mesmerising. We were so enthralled with the falls we came back the next day, even though it meant we nearly missed our next flight! Cue running from waterfall to waterfall to see them all! No toucans to report, but we did spot an armadillo.
After running around in the tropical heat of Iguazú, we were glad to head to Mendoza for some relaxation and lots of good wine. Nestled in the shadow of the Andes, Mendoza is famous for wine, especially Malbec. And boy, did we try a lot of it! We spent our days walking round vineyards, chatting in Spanish and tasting lots of wine and good food. A highlight was a meal at the lovely Siete Fuegos with spectacular views of the Andes.
From Mendoza we returned to Buenos Aires for a couple of days, staying in a very cool AirBnB in San Telmo. This was a great place from which to take in the culture that Buenos Aires has to offer, from art galleries to street graffiti. I loved the colourful buildings here. If you’re in the mood for a cocktail, head to Doppelganger (a recommendation from my friend Liza)
It was then time to leave the warm weather behind, put on our thermals and head for Patagonia. This was the part of the trip I had been most looking forward to and I was not disappointed. We stayed in El Calafate which was a charming little town and we soon made friends with the dogs that hang out there. One of them took a particular shine to Veronika and followed her around all the shops and into the bank!
The first stop on our Patagonian adventure was Mount Fitz Roy. The small town of El Chaltén at the foot of the mountain is a three hour drive from El Calafate. There’s plenty to see on the way, with views of the mountains and wild alpacas to entertain us on the bus ride. Once there you are greeted with a stunning view of Fitz Roy and a 2 hour hike takes you to a viewing point where you can see the mountain much closer. Very impressive!
Next up was a 1 1/2 drive to Perito Moreno glacier. This glacier was an incredible thing to see, especially as it moves constantly forward, meaning chunks of it break off into the water at regular intervals. There was a huge bit of ice at the end of the glacier that looked ripe for falling in. Of course it broke off as Veronika and I were staring into our lunchbox! Still, we did hear the thunderous sound of the crashing ice and we managed to see a smaller bit fall later. We walked around the glacier from above first and after a warming whiskey (with glacier ice!) we took a boat trip to see the glacier closer up. The colours and texture of the ice are incredible. Again, it really is a sight that’s much better appreciated in person.
That afternoon we flew back to Buenos Aires for one final day before home time. We were keen to visit the Recoleta Cemetary, where Argentina’s most famous are laid to rest. The tomb of Eva Peron is constantly busy with tourists and the devoted, proving what an important person she was and still is to the Argentinian’s. I have a strange obsession with visiting cemeteries and Recoleta is a special one. There are so many beautiful tombs, stained glass and interesting stories about the people buries there. I also heard that this is where the stray cats of Buenons Aires hang out, although I only spotted one!
Argentina is an incredible country to visit. It’s full of friendly people, beautiful natural wonders, tasty food and brilliant wine! You should go!