In Argentina, it´s a tradition to eat gnocchi on the 29th of every month as it´s considered good luck. Some folks even put a peso underneath their plate to help bring in wealth.
It´s actually so well ingrained in the society that in one (of the many) corrupt governments, the government workers who were on the payroll but weren´t actually working were called ¨gnocchis¨ as they only showed up once a month to collect their paychecks.
Tom and I love gnocchi so this is a tradition that works for us and one we hope to bring back home. So go ahead and be like the Argentines and have some gnocchi today.
After Buenos Aires, we took an overnight bus to Iguazu Falls. This destination required an overnight bus ride to and fro and therefore it was a debate on whether or not to go. However, after much pleading and begging on my part, Tom came around on on the bus we went!
Iguazu Falls sits on the border between Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. Depending on how its measured, it´s up there with the top waterfalls in the world in terms of size and water flow. Basically it is over 270 separate falls spread over a 1.67 mile wide cliff in a river.
But I don´t think you´re reading this to discover boring facts about this type of stuff, so on to the pictures!
You can view the falls by walking around a series of platforms on both the Argentina and Brazil sides. We opted to just see the Argentina side as the entry fees were a bit pricey. Unfortunately the water flow was so high when we were there that many of the paths were closed, especially on the island in the middle of the falls, but we still got to enjoy an awesome show!
After Mendoza, we headed to Buenos Aires to enjoy some city life and to work on getting our Brazilian visas. While we don´t have pictures the lovely three trips we got to make to the Brazilian embassy, believe me, it was something to remember... and not in a good way.
On a brighter note, we did get to explore a few of the 44 neighborhoods that make up the massive city of Buenos Aires.
We stayed in San Telmo, a bit of a bohemian neighborhood (I think that is just a nice way of saying ¨somewhat crime-ridden¨) known for its tango and Sunday antiques market. We saw a little tango show and checked out the antiques market on Domingo (that is Sunday in these parts). We also met up with Virginia and Ron, who we saw in Mendoza.
Some pictures of the tango show as well as a short video:
And now for some pictures of old shit... I mean of the antiques market...
We got a little taste of home by meeting up with Amber's college friend Virginia and her boyfriend Ron. They were traveling in South America and we made it up to Mendoza to hang with them and do an activity we love to do back home: drink wine! And yes, the wineglasses really were that big...
Getting to a larger city after being in Patagonia was a little bit of a culture shock, but it was not difficult to shed our trekking lifestyle. We actually had Subway, spent time on FAST internet, and soaked in the city-life.
We didn't really spend much time in touristy Bariloche. We walked around and visited the lake:
And we made sure to have a yummy dinner:
But the major highlight of the town was Mamushka chocolate shop.
Instead of sticking to the tourist track by Bariloche, we decided to go on an adventure in the middle of the Acuanana area in Northern patagonia. I was sick of the Blue Tank so we left it behind with some other random items we hadn't used in months, including a mosquito net we bought back in Guatemala.
I decided I had to use the mosquito net once before discarding it:
On the way north, the scenery from the bus was amazing. At one point the bus stopped, I looked out the window, and I thought I was in San Francisco (even with fog!):
One great thing about meeting other travelers is getting recommendations. We heard that El Bolson was a little laid back town we should check out. We arrived ready for some rest and found that a town that was difficult to leave. The food was delicious, hiking/trekking beautiful, and the people laid back. We stayed at an old hippie's compound complete with gardens, ponds, green living quarters, and tons of animals for Amber to pet:
Me in a hammock, happily not doing anything:
Agostino, our hostel owner, provided us directions for a hike near the town. He assured that it is impossible to get lost. Of course we managed to prove him wrong. But along the way to getting lost we stopped every few feet to sample ripe blackberries. We had to check to see if the next bush had better berries than the one before.