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Published: March 25th 2015
Its been some time since we last wrote. We left Torres del Paine quite exhausted and in need of some comfort. When we arrived in El Calafate we chose a very comfortable hotel to stay in for two nights. Our main purpose in this area was to visit Perito Moreno, a massive glacier which can be seen from quite close. The glacier was indeed beautiful and massive, with the most fun part being the waiting for chunks to break off and fall in the water. One was especially dramatic: given that the glacier is about 70 meters in height a chunk of ice falling off makes for a pretty large splash!
Another sight that we considered was hiking up Mount Fitzroy, a few hours away from El Calafate. However, since the weather predictions weren't looking too good and it would involve another 6 hour hike we decided to pass and booked a flight to Buenos Aires.
We stayed in Buenos Aires for a week. Very relaxing to stay in one place for a while and explore the sights at a leisurely pace. Another advantage of the light schedule was not to have to set an
alarm clock! We stayed in a small apartment in the center of the city which we had found through Airbnb. It was located in a beautiful old building with a neo-colonial style inner courtyard and antique (but surprisingly well functioning) elevators.
We both enjoyed Buenos Aires: visited the beautiful parks in Recoleta, the busy business life in Microcentro and found the typical Buenos Aires atmosphere we had been looking for in San Telmo and La Boca. One day we also took the train up to Tigre, which lies next to the delta of the Rio Plata: a popular weekend getaway spot for the locals. We ended our week with a great Sunday on the artisanal market - with very beautiful and creative crafts, unlike what you find in most markets that claim to be 'artisanal'. At the end of the market one of the squares transformed into a Milonga, where local and foreign tango-aficionados joined for dancing Tango. We had originally intended to join the Milonga, since we had a reasonable amount of lessons last year. However, seeing the skill and class of the people on the dance floor we decided against it and only danced part
of a song along on the side of the dance floor 😊
You often hear people say about Tango that it is more than just a dance, it is a lifestyle. To me that sounded like a cliché, but when you see the people there on the dancefloor you can understand. The passion with which they get absorbed by the dance and the music. Some, even while wearing a training suit and some simple shoes, expressing such class and emotion through their movements that you feel moved by just looking at their dance. For us it was definitely a motivation to pick up Tango again when we get back.
Originally we had planned to go to Iguazu falls from here, but found out that the neighboring Uruguay also has quite a lot to offer. So we decided to spend a few days there, making our way north to Iguazu falls – one of the 'must see' sights in Argentina. Uruguay feels similar in culture to Argentina (similar food, same language, and people also drink Mate all the time – like we now do as well), but economically it is very different. And you feel
that difference. Where in Buenos Aires you would find homeless people on benches in parks, Montevideo would have a young couple flirting with each other. Where you would find a group of street kids hanging around the street at night in Buenos Aires, in Montevideo you would bump into a group of people returning from a concert. These are of course biased impressions from only a limited time we spent in Montevideo, but it stuck with us nevertheless.
We are now in Punta del Este, a resort town on the Atlantic coast. A mix of big hotels, but also a pleasant old town. Generally a nice place, but it seems our timing is off. The weather is not good enough for sun bathing and swimming and due to low season we can't go diving at Isla de Lobos, which intended to do. No problem though, we'll just chill instead and reassess our plan.
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