In part 3 of a two week Latin America adventure, guest blogger Rosemary tells us all about her recent holiday in Argentina.. From the capital to the countryside, Argentina offers once in a lifetime experiences to everyone...Arriving in Buenos Aires after two weeks exploring ancient sites and marvelling at nature's wonders requires a shift of gear! I couldn't wait to visit Argentina, where cosmopolitan, sophisticated, busy, are all words that come to mind.
Elegance all around
Armed with our Argentina Dossier, provided by Original Travel, we were able to plan our free days in Buenos Aires and put our time to best use. The recommendation to go to one of the oldest leather shops in town was spot on, and I couldn't resist some purchases. But it's not necessary to buy anything to soak in the atmosphere of this city, just walk down its elegant streets, stop for a coffee or ice cream and you will see how it is so clearly influenced by its Italian heritage. A 'must do' in Buenos Aires is to visit the Recoleta cemetery. Here you can view the family mausoleums of the rich and famous. In many cases the buildings are themselves works of art. Eva Peron's family plot is surprisingly modest, and visitors still leave fresh flowers regularly. Wandering around we came across a statue of Luis Fierpo otherwise known as 'The Wild Bull of the Pampas"" who knocked Jack Dempsey out of the ring in 1923!
Our days in Buenos Aires were too short, but the excitement of seeing the Iguacu Falls for the first time made the elegance of a BA boulevard seem a distant memory. The Sheraton Hotel is the only one in the Argentinian National Park and looks directly at the Garganta Falls. Our first visit to the falls took us across precariously positioned bridges and walkways directly overhanging the plunging waterfalls, while all the time we were looking out for colourful birds and swallows diving in and out of the torrents of falling water. In the afternoon a short train ride took us to a small boat that powered its way directly into one of the massive waterfalls giving us a good soaking. We woke on day two to find that no one had turned the tap off so the water was still thundering over the falls. Today we drove over to the Brazilian side to see a myriad of falls that are hidden from the Argentinian side. Again staggering volumes of water crash over the falls every second. Standing under the Garganta fall was worth my second shower of the day! Driving back through the park we had to stop for a couple of very large black and yellow snakes raising their heads and sniffing the air - it's the start of the snake season I gathered.
Drinking with style
From Iguacu we moved on to the more peaceful pursuit of wine tasting in Mendoza. Our base was the Club Tapiz who welcomed us with an informal wine tasting to get us in the mood. Two days of visiting large and small wineries convinced us that, although Argentina may be a newish player in the fine wine stacks, it is catching up fast and Malbec is a name to look out for!