Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls: It’s 8 pm on a Monday night in Buenos Aires: the summer heat has finally receded and night is slowly beginning to fall. Enjoy that gentle breeze while it lasts, because the seventeen percussionists that make up La Bomba de Tiempo (Time Bomb) are just kicking off their two hour set and the crowd is about to, as the Australians say, go off like a frog in a sock.
Which means your hips will wiggle, and you’ll be grateful to have worn comfortable shoes.
Beyond the rave atmosphere, with its buena onda and affordable beer (25 Argentine pesos gets you 1L of Quilmes), the music is a revelation. These hugely talented musicians – and their weekly guest artists – play a different show every week: unrehearsed, and carried out through “directed improvisation”. The communication within the band is held together through the slightest of hand signals and some highly gymnastic leaps on the part of the director, and who-knows-what psychic forces ….Its a highly impressive beginning to my Argentina adventure.
If you believe everything you read, Buenos Aires is a city of pouting latinos who dance the tango on every street corner, eat steak morning and night and are born with a football attached to their toes!…and for the most part its all true. Its a city with a lot to explore…
I start off my exploring in San Telmo, the oldest barrio of Buenos Aires and a well-preserved area characterised by its colonial buildings, cafes, tango parlours and antique shops which line the cobblestone streets. On Sunday it hosts one of the best street markets I’ve ever seen filled with handcraft artists and dancers. After hours of browsing my mind wanders to something that I’ve been thinking about for a long time now. A cow. A juciy peppercorned bloody medium rare cow. Argentina has the best steaks in the world. Period. I find out theres a very popular all-you-can-eat meat buffet in the city Siga La Vaca. Flamed over a charcoal fire I’m served an entire cow on a plate with a delicious chimichurri relish for flavouring. The meat sweats begin within minutes. I’m disgusted at myself for the amount of leftover meat that will simply end up in the garbage but my god was it good while it lasted. In a city where steak is cheaper than salad this is not a place for good hearted vegetarians.The Argentinans have always been known to be a little different; hip, cool, laid back and excellent party goers. The nightlife is incredible. Over the top and expensive clubs are only known by word of mouth. The only issue I have is staying awake. While I get quickly tipsy by 11 o’clock its not till 3am that we decide to head out. Its unheard of to leave a club before 6am. I must have looked pretty pathetic swaying endlessly with my eyes shut on the dancefloor. Maybe I’m not cut out for all this meat eating party lifestyle after all…
Heading outside of the city many visitors will be on their way to either Uruguay or Iguazu Falls. I choose the latter.
WOW. Just wow. You thought Niagara falls was powerful and big? Separating Brazil from Argentina is a new wonder of the world, the spectacular Iguazu falls.
Iguazu falls consists of 275 waterfalls! Not sure who counts them or how they are counted but we believed them after walking the first trail which takes you above the lower falls. Its indescribable beauty and looks like a made up computer image. Something out of a James Cameron Avatar blockbuster.
The largest of the water falls is Garganto do Diabo, or the Devil’s Throat, the bottom of which cannot be seen due to the mist and foam that rises from it. The noise is ever-present – a ferocious, gushing white noise, like the sound you hear between your ears when dumped by a big wave. Its intimidating. Powerful and intense, you feel weakness in the knees as you struggle to keep dry. Staring into the falls, it creates an optical illusion and leaves you feeling dizzy and nauseated. If that’s not enough to satisfy you, any thrill-seekers can board a speedboat bringing you straight into the mouth of the falls, where needless to say, you get wet wet wet! White is all you can see.