The Pampas, Argentina

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Driving south from Buenos Aires, we passed the vast areas of the flat, fertile lands of The Pampas that stretch for more than a thousand miles. These huge expanses of plains and pastures serve as Argentina’s major source of produce and beef. The soil is among the richest in the world. In the heart of cattle county, we ate “authentic” barbecue, fresh vegetables, and salad, as well as enjoyed a sampling of regional gaucho and folk dances, including the traditional bolas. We even got to watch a gaucho game where the rider tries to get a suspended ring onto his stake. If he is successful, he gets to kiss the woman of his choice! Afterwards, Aaron was treated to a lesson in how to make and drink mate tea.

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La Boca, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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When we were in Buenos Aires, we couldn’t resist spending the day wandering around the colorful neighborhood, or barrio, of La Boca.

This area was settled and built by Italian immigrants who worked in nearby meatpacking plants and warehouses. Now, part of it is an artist colony where you can find varied local crafts and artwork.

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Bustling Buenos Aires, Argentina

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After another two hour flight, we arrived in Buenos Aires. This city of 11 million is a bustling, growing, modern, cosmopolitan town of tango, river front warehouses turned high end condos of Puerto Madero, European style historic buildings, and at its heart 22 lanes of congested traffic. The Plaza de Maya is a great meeting place with its Presidential Palace, La Casa Rosada, Obelisk, churches, and beautiful gardens gracing this area. A great place to wander is the colorful barrio of La Boca.

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More Iguassu Falls, Brazil and Argentina

Aaron and Barb at Iguassu Falls

Aaron and Barb at Iguassu Falls

Expecting to be well protected with our voluminous, hooded, bright red and blue Gortex raincoats, we decided to take the jet boat ride right into the base of the falls. Getting thoroughly drenched anyway, Aaron kept shouting, “Mas, mas, mas,” as we plunged again and again into the powerful falls.

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Iguassu Falls, Brazil and Argentina

Iguassu Falls

Iguassu Falls

After a 2-hour flight, we hiked trails overlooking Iguassu Falls, both on the Brazilian and Argentina sides. Absolutely breathtaking!  Niagara, with its unobstructed vista of the entire falls, would only fill a small portion of Iguassu. Unlike Niagara, Iguassu’s falls have multiple cascades winding through lushly vegetated areas. Occasionally, a coati mundi would appear, as well as colorful tropical birds (like the Toco Toucan and Plush-crested Jay), tarantulas, alligators, and butterflies.  

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We were thoroughly convinced that the views of the falls couldn’t get any better by crossing the border into Argentina, but they did.  On the Argentina side, they were even more spectacular! At each turn, new vistas opened and the falls seemed to go on and on. Walkways at different levels provided soaking views near the base of the falls where we appreciated the cold sprays in ninety degree weather.

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South America Adventure – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Ipanema Beach

Ipanema Beach

The Ipanema area of Rio, where we stayed, was a very walkable city.  We were greeted by scenic Copacabana, Limon, and Ipanema beaches, colorful regional dancers gyrating to a strong samba beat, and spectacular vistas seen from Corcovada (with its monumental statue) and Sugarloaf Mountain (with their spirited Sagui Monkeys). We tasted the barbeque and Aaron even had time to try out for the Brazilian national futbol team. He’s still waiting to hear from them.
A side trip to Petropolis, the cooler mountainous pink summer residence of Brazil’s early Portuguese monarchy, gave us insight into the lavish lives of early Brazilian royalty. To impress guests, all slaves and servants at dinner parties wore golden arm bands and luxurious attire.

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South American Adventure 2010

Greetings!

We’re finally back to reality from a wonderful month-long tour of South America and hope that you will enjoy our photo/travelogue. If you’ve already been to these locations, enjoy reliving the moments; if not, you may want to put them on your “bucket list.”

Happy travels,

Barb and Aaron

One of our many flights throughout South America

One of our many flights throughout South America

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