The beautiful Argentina

Time is going by so fast. I have been in Argentia for over a month and it only feels like a week. The weather is getting super hot up here in the  North. I have spent the last month in the North East region of Misiones. It is a beautiful place that reminds me a lot of North East Australia near Cairns and Port Douglas. I often forget where I am until I see a town or people. The simplicity of everything feels like I was born way before any time I have seen in Australia.

I made my way via bus from Buenos Aires on a 20 hour journey north to the magnificant town of Puerto Iguazu, very close to Iguazu Falls. I stayed in a nice Hostel which I cannot think of the name right now. It was cheap and comfortable even with a pool. I met a nice guy Adrian who was from France and we hit it off and spent a few days together exploring and trying new food while he gave me some tips on Spanish. I tried morcilla, blood pudding sausage. It was really nice and quite a different texture.
 
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We met an older man who had a truck even older then him at 80 years. He said it still ran well. It’s pretty cool stepping back into the past.
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We took the bus to Iguazu Falls and spent the day just blown away by its size and the amount of water contiually flowing over the edge. It didnt feel real to stand there on the edge as all of this water just fell over the side. There is a constant mist floating up and sometimes huge amounts of water soaking you to the bone which was a much needed as the sun was very hot even while on the bridges over the water. Adrian and I made a 3km walk into the forest to find a huge water fall with a large pool for swimming. I am not sure if you are meant to but we jump right on in. The water was so refreshing and a great massage on the back from the power of the water.
  
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When we arrived back at our hostel there was another couple there from France. They had biked over 6000kms through South America but had to stop there journey short due to some health issues that came up along they way. Now they are continuing on buses etc. We all got along really well and took the oppertunity to cook a cheap dinner. The hostel had a place for an asado. A BBQ with coals. We bought meat steaks and morcilla as well as some chorizo. It was so amazing so we did it again the next night also.

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In Puerto iguazu you can visit a ladies garden where she has feeders for humming birds. She said they have been going to her home for 30 years. She charges 20 pesos but let’s you sit and take photos for as long as you want, it was awesome being so close to them.

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We were all going along to the next locatin San Ignacio to see the Jesuit Ruines so we all went along on the same bus. I stayed in a room with Adrian and they others camped in their tent. The hostel was hostel Adventura and it was beautiful too. It was a very nice place to relax again with a pool. The weather was perfect and not too warm.

Adrian and I went to the Jusuit ruines and cost is $70 pesos for entry. We took the most of this and we were given a free tour in english. We were told about the history of the ruines and how life was lived. It was very interesting and crazy to think that people were living this way only 400 years ago. We spent the afternoon walking around the ruines and visiting the many rooms, it was quite an adventure. Its hard to image that people can build such things with no power tools etc. All of the roofs have fallen down and some wall are being restored so they dont collapse also. I thought it was worth the visit. Definately if you are on your way to or from Iguazu.

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This was time to say good bye to the guys and make my way to the farm where i was planning on going for one to two weeks and it ended up being one month. It was through Wwoofing. World wide oppertunities for organic farming. There are many farms in South America. You pay a fee to join and they send you the contact details of the farms. You can read about all of  the farms on the websites. There are small farms with people just setting up  their land so they can live on it and also larger farms.

I sent a message to three farms i liked in the Misiones Region of Argentina and one farm was full and I received a message from Matias that I could come to his farm. The other farm never responded. I made my way from San Ignacio via 3 buses to a small town just outside of Oberà where I hoped of the bus. It was in the middle of nowhere…just two small bus shelter on the side of the highway..thankfully i had directions to walk down the dirt road for 4km and then i would see a huge stack of bamboo out the front. The day was super hot and it was a decent walk but the place is amazing filled with  butterflies and all kinds of birds and insects.

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I made it to the farm late in the afternoon at the beggining of December 2013 and met everyone there. There were are few volunteers when i arrived. I set up my tent in the bush then went for a swim with a couple of guys from the UK. The water was so nice. On the next day i found out what was happening and some of the jobs. Matias has owned the land for a couple of years and is trying to get it up to a state to live off the land as much  as possible. There are a good amount of vegatables and fruit trees but the grasshoppers are really killing everything. Its hard to manage. A new toilet is being constructed with bamboo and we spent a lot of time working on this. The toilet system they use is a compost toilet using wood chips all in a bucket then its emptied into a large compost and left for one year and then its safe to use on plants etc.

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We spent a lot of time cutting grass with a machete.. its crazy how fast everything grows. Its hard to keep up with it all. We also worked on the foundation of a house. Making the stilts from concrete. We were only able to work until lunchtime beacuse the days were so hot. We spent the rest of the day relaxing and swimming in the river.

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It was a great experience and i got to meet a lot of the neighbors who were all so very kind. They all had houses that were made by their own hands and everyone would help each other. It was quite and awakening.. not what we see at home..out of the 50 something units in my complex I knew 3 people.. here they know everyone even if its a few kms down the road. Everyone was so generous giveng us eggs and Yerb Maté- it is a tea that is very popular in Argentina. Its a little bitter but I love the tast. Its shareď in a little cup with a metal straw that has a filter at the end and made with hot water or you can drink it with juice. I will deffinately be bringging some home with me

I really enjoyed the place and i ended up staying longer and longer until finally nearly a month  wás gone and i decided it was time to move on.. however i dont think the farm wanted me to leave because it rained so hard the day i wanted to go the road flooded!!

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The river must have come up a few meters. We helped a neighbor get his broken down car out of the road. It was sitting in the water. They needed to use the cows to pull the car out.

I also got my first bot fly larvae in my leg wich is a little uncomfortable it pricks at you under the skin as it grows.the easiest way to remove is to cover the tiny breathing hole with nail polish then tape. Then once the larvae dies you can squeeze the out my first one popped all the way out but my second one broke in half removing with twaezers now my leg is very infected. I am in posadas for a couple of days to rest and the people at El Bambù were I am staying are very nice. They called a doctor for me and they gave me a prescription for penicillin.

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I think I will be heading South to Bariloche tomorrow to escape the heat and I want to see Patagonia. It’s a little annoying because I need to go back to Buenos Aires but I think it will be worth it before I go north again to the heat of Salta Region.

Hope your enjoying my trip so far, I sure am.. i will need another holiday after this though..

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One thought on “The beautiful Argentina

  1. Hey Brenden, I read your post about trekking to Nevado Mismi… I’m wondering if you might be able to share your maps with me? They seem pretty difficult to come by. Also, I noticed you headed north from the source of the Amazon. I plan to do this, as I’m trying to find a local family who are Alpaca farmers in the area. How far north from the source did you head before turning back down towards colca? Thanks, Abby

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