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'18 Oct: Buenos Aires, Argentina
A few days before Uruguay and then back in November.
'18 Oct: Iguazu Falls, Brazil and Argentina
2 nights in Argentina
1 night in Brazil
1 night in Argentina
'18 Oct: Asuncion, Paraguay
Only four short nights.
'18 Sep: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
First stop in a big city run through the East coast of South America. Here you'll find many of Rio's greatest hits.
'16 May: Cuenca to Quito, Ecuador
From Cuenca to Quito and a week of homestay and Spanish class.
'16 May: Galapagos, Ecuador
This is going to be amazing.
'09 Feb: Antigua, Guatemala
The town center is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a very cool place to visit.
'09 Mar: Lago Atitlán, Guatemala
Visiting the lake villages of San Pedro, San Marcus, Panajachel, Sololá, Santiago, and the market town of Chichicastenango.
'09 Mar: Copán Ruinas, Honduras
Another UNESCO World Heritage site (can't go wrong there), a sweet town, and another week of español.
'09 Mar: Finca El Cisne, Honduras
Worth a trip to Honduras.
'09 Mar: Flores & TIKAL, Guatemala
Isla de Flores, a veeery small place, and TIKAL, the largest Maya city yet uncovered.
'04 Oct: Patagonia
Breathtakingly gorgeous Patagonia including Punta Arenas, the Seno Otway inlet, some other places but most staggeringly breathtaking of all, Torres del Paine.
'04 Nov: Machu Picchu
As Utterly aSTOunding as they say.
'04 Nov: Amazon Jungle
Puerto Maldonado, our camp, Reserva Amazonica along the river Madre de Dios in the Zona Reservado Tambopata.




Click HERE and all the pictures in this chapter will get big.

October 10

At the Buenos Aires airport. The electricity was out at the Puerto Iguazu airport causing a great commotion for boarding passes and security but in the end all was well and we took off only 30 minutes late.

They didn't have uber in Brazil but it's easy to get in Argentina, and I did.

This is the view from my balcony! I'm staying in a $25 per night hostel with a private room and a nice bathroom as close as the bathroom in my house, although not always available to me, and this fine window.

I came for a few days to see if I would be able to stay here for more than two weeks when I come back to Buenos Aires in November.

It's really perfectly fine, the kids are fun, the bed is comfortable, the location is great. Nothing smells bad, but the internet has gone out both nights from 9:30pm until the morning. If it happens tonight I'm definitely going to have to reconsider.

Tonight I said to myself I was not going to stop looking until I found broccoli. It's meat and potatoes and pizza around here, and in Brazil, and in Paraguay, and sometimes a salad of lettuce, carrots, and tomatoes. Cheese, eggs, one thousand kinds of bread. I simply had to find some broccoli.

October 11

You know, don't cry for me Argentina, according to my uber drive, Our First Lady.

I wanted to go look at the school I was thinking of attending for a week when I come back from Uruguay. The school is on this very block and I got distracted by all the flags and the heavily armed police behind several 8' tall metal barricades.

I went up into the school which looks very nice and asked them about the demonstration. They said it happens all the time, they weren't sure of who was down there, and it's basically not dangerous except at night, you don't want to be caught in one of these at night.

We're surrounded by the Plaza de Mayo and all the major government buildings.

I was trying to be subtle which resulted in a lot of out-of-focus efforts.

Better move on.

Lazy...haven't looked it up yet.

It is a lovely city so far but also it's been grey and threatening rain and surprisingly cold.

This is the front of the Catedral Metropolitana de Buenos Aires. It looks like a museum or a mausoleum but no, it's a church.

"The Cathedral of Buenos Aires was rebuilt several times since its humble origins in the 16th century. The present building is a mix of architectural styles, with an 18th-century nave and dome and a severe, 19th-century Neoclassical façade without towers. The interior keeps precious 18th-century statues and altarpieces, as well as abundant Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Baroque decoration."

Half the seating is behind me. It's pretty tall but not as heavily decorated as I would expect.

The floor is cool.

The side chapels are big too, and also not so ornate.

I need to look up these buildings here on the main square, on the same plaza as the other one I didn't look up yet.

A line to get into a cafeteria. I just ate my first spicy food of the trip at a Chinese restaurant...but I surely have to get in that line before I go!

October 12

Past the statue, on the right, is a ham museum. I'm going to have to stop by there.

I was on my way to several ferry companies to figure out how I was going to get to Montevideo on Sunday. It took the morning wandering from place to place and I enjoyed it very much.

One of the ferry companies had an office in this shopping center situated in an 1889 Beaux Arts building modelled on the Le Bon Marché in Paris.

It's spring here and I was expecting a lot more of this. Maybe when I come back in November? I hope so!

I went over to the Teatro Colon for the free tour, available every fifteen minutes which turned out to cost $20 and there was nothing available for two hours so I bought a ticket for tomorrow.

Just walking down the street deciding where to go next I came upon a skateboarding event, right on the street. What's Happening? I'll have to hang around and find out.

Turns out they're making a video for Adidas to run on their youtube channel called Adidas Skateboarding.

It wasn't too hard to determine the Adidas connection since everyone was marked with the three lines.

Everyone's first question = where are you from? I answer California and nods all around and clearly cred-points accrue my way.

Then in a flash one of the guys notes that I have the exact same camera as the main videographer (he's got a way better lens and a mike attached but not one of those steady-cam holders which is surprising) and I'm IN.

Their video should be done in a month or so and I'll look it up. What a couple of cuties.

Tango! I'm definitely not going to get to it this time but when I came back after Uruguay, Yes Please!

Oh look, another demonstration and this one right exactly in front of my hotel. This group seems considerably less threatened that the first one - no phalanxes of police armed to the teeth with shields and barricades, and actually they were monitored by what looked like the traffic patrol.

Just two blocks down the street is the Congress Building and I suppose they'll be heading that way.

Notice all the puffy coats and scarves and cozy pants. I'm fine btw, I'm actually going to be using all the clothes I brought so that makes me feel good, that I'm not dragging around things for no reason.

October 13


I was confused by all the references to the 2018 Olympics so I looked it up. They had the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics here, an event that seems to have passed me by.

This being Saturday and the first sunny day since I got here the crowds were out in force and a great number lined up here for their chance at a photo.

I put this here to remind me of how the streets work at least in the central district. Except for the giant boulevards they are all one way for the cars and there are many walk streets in the updated shopping places.

These guys were doing a Team Building and Leadership course and were gathering to complete their costumes for a visit to a children's hospital.

Their organizer told me the whole story in perfect English. Remember the skateboarders? The guys running that project also spoke perfect English. Actually the only time there wasn't a perfect English speaker ready to jump in was during that first demonstration with all the police around.

Teatro Colón, per wiki: "It is considered one of the ten best opera houses in the world by National Geographic, and is acoustically considered to be amongst the five best concert venues in the world."

I thought the tour was free, but no, but while I was buying the ticket, chatting with the gal at the window, come to find she had some free tickets for a concert on Sunday morning.

So I got one and now I get to hear music there although not a grand opera or even a huge orchestra, my favorite, but rather a simple trio. That should be interesting since the hall's claim to fame is its acoustics.

The theater is very ornate. It opened in 1906 after 20 years under construction (20 years!), fell on hard times, and then was totally refurbished from 2005-2010.

I'm going to be sitting in the second tier of boxes toward the center.

On Saturday many businesses were closed, their gates were down, and we get to see their paintings.

I walked down two blocks of the musical district where every shop and restaurant had a musical theme.

Playing the guitar across two storefronts.

Another demonstration! but I'm too lazy to go downstairs. I'm standing on my balcony on the 5th floor. The really old elevator holds three people, four max if you really squish, and sometimes in the evening there can be a pretty long line to get upstairs.

October 14

This is my last day in Buenos Aires for three weeks while I visit Uruguay, and then I'm going to return to Buenos Aires for my last two weeks.

I have a reservation at the same place I've been staying. It's a large and rather gracious old building with a different hostel on every floor.

Problem: my upcoming reservation is in a room that is more expensive, has it's own bathroom, BUT...

...does not have the fabulous street view of my current room, and as I've learned, windows and views is my favorite thing in an accommodation.

I am looking for another place but nothing better has come along considering location and price.

Standing in front of the hostel. It's lovely. Notice the very large trash collection boxes on the left. Every street seems to have them, they are easy to collect, and the streets stay clean. It's a good system with one downside being that you give up parking spots.

Latin America is into politics for sure.

That's my seat at the Teatro Colón, on the rail with an excellent view of the proceedings.

See the lights at the boxes...

...here they are close-up, like large and gracious fairy lights.

Remember the Museo de Jamón? The Museum of Ham? As it turns out, it is not a museum of ham. They say their whole restaurant is a museum because it's so old.

I passed by on the way home from the concert and they were just opening, perfect for me.

I've left it here to talk about the food situation in general and now I have to get going for school. I'll finish this afternoon!

Click HERE and all the pictures in this chapter will get big.


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