A Travellerspoint blog

Muchas gracias a todos!

15 °C

Muchas gracias, Muito obregado, Dankuwel, Danke schön, Thank you very much, Merci, Kiitos, Tack.

Dear friends, unfortunately my adventure in Latin America has ended a bit over three weeks ago. I really enjoyed it and already feel like going back, but I will have to find a job first. Anyway, I would like to thank you all for reading my blog. I had never expected it to be such a succes but as the statistics below show, it was. I have added a lot of pictures recently, especially in the Costa Rican, Panamanian and Peruvian sections, so feel free to watch them again.
Thanks for all the reactions, too, it is so nice to get e-mails and reactions to your blog from friends and family when travelling.

Stats

Visits: 25191
Page Views: 32749
Most Viewed Entries

Las Cataratas de Iguazu: 7040
Ciudad del Este y Asunción: 6374
Montevideo, Pireápolis, Punta del Este, Colonia: 5498

Those of you I have not seen yet, hope to see you soon!

Que les vaya bien

Abrazos y besitos

Posted by Gitan Jean 03:06 Archived in Belgium Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Buenos Aires, Ultima Estación

sunny 26 °C
View Latina America on Gitan Jean's travel map.

When travelling in Latina America you hear a lot of people going on about how wonderful Buenos Aires is so expectations are high when you arrive.

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Buenos Aires has the same grandeur as Paris, London or Saint-Petersburg. You can walk around Bs As for hours and hours, boca abierta, admiring the beautiful buildings, they reminded me of Paris all the time, squares, statues, avenues, parks and, of course, muchachas muy lindas! Bs As lives, it is open 24/7, there is always something to do and it has a magnificent night life.

Buenos Aires has quite a few barrios, amongst others:

Puerto Madero

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San Telmo with its famous feria

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Retiro

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Of course, La Boca

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Recoleta

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Palermo

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And Microcentro with its Plaza de Mayo

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Buenos Aires is music, too. Tango dancing and street musicians playing in the streets, loads of very cheap cd-shops etc. Argentinian bands I can recommend: Los Rodriguez, Andrés Calamaro, Los Palmeras, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Dancing Mood, Mercedes Sosa,... Elektro-Tango is very popular nowadays in Buenos Aires, you can hear it at any time in the centre of Bs As. Best groups: Otros Aires, Bajofondo Tango Club and Gotan Project. Go and watch them en vivo, they are amazing!

I spent the first night in The Tango-Inn HI Hostel but did not like it one bit because it is too big hence too unpersonal and it is dominated by English-speakers.
I found a much better hostel, Mantengase Hostel, also in San Telmo. It is much smaller and the majority of the guests is Spannish-speaking. I shared a dorm with four Colombians and one Argentinian, lovely people, we had a few good nights out.
So, that's about it, really, wish I can go back soon to this lovely continent called Latina América. Soy loco por ti América.

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Que les vaya bien amigos!

Posted by Gitan Jean 04:05 Archived in Argentina Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Montevideo, Pireápolis, Punta del Este, Colonia

sunny 30 °C
View Latina America on Gitan Jean's travel map.

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Coming from Asunción, Montevideo is bliss, bearable temperatures and people in the streets. Hospedaje Che Lagarto is right on Plaza Independencia, a cool square with very interesting buildings and close to Avenida 18 de Julio, the main street, as well as close to Sarandí, the pedestrian street and close to the Ciudad Vieja where all the sight-seeing is to be done.

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Interesting city, Montevideo as thought Bryan Adams who was supposed to do a concert there but canceled it and went to a bar. Luckily, I did not go out with the people from the hostel because I was to tired. They bumped into him! Maybe next picture has got something to do with it.

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Pireápolis is a little beach resort at about two hours to the east of Montevideo, nice and quiet as the tourist season was just finished. We stayed in a hostel that looked a bit like a prison but we had good fun anyway. Unfortunately, the second day was quite rainy so we could not really go out to the beach or for a swim.

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Punta del Este is crowded with old people during the day and quite dead at night but our lovely hostel was at about twenty minutes from Punta, in Manantiales, only a 15-minute walk from the famous surfingbeach Playa Bikini. I thought I would give it a go and try some surfing for the second time in my life, but did not get further than some paddling and got washed away several times by the powerful waves.

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I only had one day in Colonia de Sacramento, a little Portuguese settlement, back in time used for smuggling goods into Buenos Aires. Unfortunately, it was raining heavily all day which made me spend hours in a cyber cafe. But by the time the sun set, it stopped raining, so I could still enjoy the old, quiet streets, squares and the sunset over the sea, all this under a very special light.

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Posted by Gitan Jean 07:40 Archived in Uruguay Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Ciudad del Este y Asunción

sunny 39 °C
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Ciudad del Este is a noisy, dirty and very busy city on the border with Brazil. Apparently, it is a paradise for buying cheap perfumes, electronica, alcohol etc. I remember I was witing for the bus more than I was exploring the city as people do not seem to be very prepared to help you out on finding the right bus stop, well, maybe they just do not know from where the bus to Argentina goes.

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Anyway, the Itaipú hydroelectric power plant, with the Panama Canal and others one of the seven wonders of the modern world and by far the world's biggest in its sort, is something worth visiting from Ciudad del Este. It was constructed on the Paraná River where Brasil borders with Paraguay. To give a bit of an idea, the amount of iron used in the project is enough to build 380 Eiffel Towers and the volume of concreet used in Itaipú is fifteen times more than the amount used in the Chunnel between France and the U.K.! The plant produces about 90% of all Paraguayan electricity and some 25% of Brasil's. After an introduction movie free bus-tours around and on the dam are offered with a visit to the powerhouse. It is all very impressive, though, in my opinion, a bit short. I could have spent much more time there.

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Asunción was not what I had expected. With its 1.3 million inhabitants it is more or less the same size as Montevideo, but compared to Montevideo it is almost dead. There was very few people in the streets and in bars, restaurants etc., although it was weekend when I was there. There is no hostels in Asunción but very cheap hotels and there is hardly any tourists. Moreover it is too warm. There are a few nice buildings and squares to visit, but that is about it. On Sunday, I walked six kilometres in the baking heat to the Botanical Garden which was quite nice but nothing special. There is a little zoo there as well, with two lions, a hippo and an elephant, not quite like the zoo in Antwerp! After 22 hours of bus, I was happy to arrive in the cool Montevideo! Next time in Paraguay, I will visit its nationals parks but they are very difficult to reach at times and you need a permision to pay them a visit.

Hejda!

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Posted by Gitan Jean 09:18 Archived in Paraguay Tagged backpacking Comments (4)

Las Cataratas de Iguazu

sunny 33 °C

The Argentinian side, well, is very much like an amusement park, too, but you can avoid crowds of tourists a little bit by taking the first bus to the park, it leaves at 7.10 am from Puerto Iguazu, and by not taking the stupid little train in the park itself, but by walking everything.
The waterfalls, yes, they are spectacular and you can get very close to them on the Argentinian side.

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When I walked from the upper circuit to the lower circuit, there was not too many people around yet, I was lucky enough to spot this little, but apparently very poisonous, snake:

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I was rewarded for walking to the Garganta del Diablo instead of taking the train, very few people walk by the way. On the way there, I saw this beauty:

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And on the way back, there was a huge leguan, at least I think it was a leguan, having its lunch just a few meters from where I was standing!

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There is millions of mariposas (butterflies) all over the park, they sit on your arms and drink from your sweat, it is quite funny and a bit ticklish at times.

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If you are a bit patient, you can spot the rather shy capuchin monkeys

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or even tapirs,

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water snakes and crocodiles

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on the way to the Garganta del Diablo

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To finish of with, I took the camino Macuco, a six-kilometre walk (one way) through tropical forest, with quite little people on it but some animals, like spiders and enormous ants that can cause more damage than a wasp can when they bite you.

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Tata

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Posted by Gitan Jean 13:09 Archived in Argentina Tagged backpacking Comments (7)

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