Temaikén

Whilst in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I visited the “eco park” at Temaikén. It is situated less than an hour from Buenos Aires city centre and houses endangered and less endangered species, including my favourites, tigers.

There is also a large collection of exotic birds. Parrots, flamingos etc. It was also the place that I discovered that I may have gone through a major change. I may have become child tolerant, although this by no means certain. There were lots of school children in various age groups, touring the park and they did not spoil my day. Strange!

There was an aquarium with a diver cleaning the glass. I trust he is a well paid window cleaner as there were sharks in the aquarium.

Various species of birds…

…and predators.

Click on photos to enlarge and for a slideshow.

Iguazu Falls Part 2

Continuing the account of my visit to Iguazu Falls, which is Argentina, on the borders with Paraguay and Brazil

After the great boat ride with, Nestor, on the Eco Tour, it was back to the cataratas.

After a spot of lunch, it was on to the powerboat ride into the falls. But first, a ride through the jungle to get to the embarkation point.

I have video footage of the boat ride into the falls but can´t upload it at this time. The connection here is too slow.

After the boat ride I walked back along part of the route the boat had taken and then left the falls feeling exhausted. I was there for 10 hours and it was a full on day for me.

 

 

 

Iguazu Falls

From San Carlos de Bariloche, I travelled by bus to Puerto Iguazu via Buenos Aires. A journey of more than 40m hours. Although it was a long journey, it did give me a great perspective of Argentina. The sheer size of the country, plus the variety of the ever changing landscape. I was also content as I was nearing the last destination on my current list of places to visit. Lucky me!!

Iguazu Falls is truly a “wonder of the world”.

From the Devil´s Throat, I made my way to the next part of my trip, which was to be the “Eco Tour”. There were some distractions along the way.

My good fortune continued as I was the only person to turn up for this particular boat ride. Too many people usually means, too much noise and as consequence, not much to see. Not so with just me and my guide/boatman on board.

Click on any image to enlarge or for slide show.

 

 

Kayaking in Bariloche

After being tipped out of the raft on the rapids the day before, I was looking forward to a nice couple of hours kayaking on Lake Gutierrez. That is exactly what I got. There were just 5 people plus 2 experts. We were put into 2 man kayaks. I was with Marco, one of the trainers. Pablo, the other trainer, was in a one man kayak.

After a brief period of instruction, we set off.

It was a lovely, tranquil setting and we went at a gentle pace to enjoy the scenery. We also stopped for breakfast.

After breakfast, we returned to the starting point, at the same leisurely pace.

Back to base then for a photo call and for me I was off to get the bus to Iguazu Falls.

Click on an image to enlarge, or for a slideshow.

 

Cerro Campanario and Bariloche

After making a difficult decision about where to go next in Argentina, from El Chaltén, I decided on San Carlos de Bariloche. The deciding factor being, if/when I return to complete my tour of South America, Puerto Madryn, Cordoba, Mendoza etc., are closer to Buenos Aires.

I seem to have a habit of turning up at places when they are closed. This was the case again, in Bariloche. Cerro Catedral, which is said to have a view among the top ten in the world, was shut. On the advice of Jorge, my taxi driver, Andrea at the Adventure Centre and Martin at Hosteria Guemes, where I was staying, I took a trip up to the mirador of Cerro Campanario and I was not disappointed.

After descending via the chairlift, I went off searching for more natural beauty. It was not hard to find. El Trébol was a mere 15 minutes away.

I caught the bus back to the centre of town but before returning to my hotel, I went down to the lakeside and then walked through the plaza, where some musicians were entertaining the public.

Click on photos to enlarge or for slideshow.

Lago Viedma and Glacier

As well as visiting as many places as possible during my visit to south America, I am also enjoying new experiences. Whilst in El Chaltén in Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina, I managed to go ice trekking on the biggest glacier in Patagonia. I have now seen a few glaciers close up but the experience of trekking across one is something not to be missed.

First we had a close look at the glacier from the boat.

Then we disembarked and made our way across the worn rock which used to be covered by the glacier. We were put into groups and assigned to guides and continued to the edge of the glacier, where we put on crampons and had a briefing, before making our way on to the ice.

Juan, our group leader, was pathfinder and checked each part of the route before showing us how to proceed.

After a well conducted tour we had a celebratory drink of Tia Maria with fresh, glacier ice, followed by a walk through an ice cave before doffing our crampons and making our way back to the boat.

A great experience!

Click on photos for slide shows or to enlarge.

 

 

Lago Capri and Fitz Roy

After visiting the Perito Moreno glacier in Argentina, I thought I was going to be just marking time as I made my way northwards to Iguazu Falls. The next stop on the journey was El Chaltén in Los Glaciares National Park. Until recently, I have to confess, I had not heard of El Chaltén, even though it is famous for various reasons.

I was advised to visit El Chaltén, by one of my Portuguese travelling companions on the Bolivian tour in Uyuni. I am glad I followed his advice, thanks Rodrigo!! However, before you are allowed into the park proper, you are taken from the bus into the Park Rangers´HQ and given a briefing on the history of the park and the rules. The town is new and nowadays is virtually all tourist related.

When I got to the bus station I tried to buy a ticket for 2 days later to continue my journey to Bariloche but I was told that the next bus would be 3 days later. So, luckily, I had to stay an extra day. El Chaltén is worth at least a week for those who have the time and money. Unfortunately, I didn´t have the time but was determined to get the best of it. Depositing my hunchback at the hostel, I immediately set off on a 4 hour hike (roundtrip) to Lake Capri and the Mirador for the mountain, Fitz Roy.

Click on any photo for slide show.