Movie time: Feliz primavera!

Less than two weeks left here in BsAs, and I’m starting to get a bit sentimental, especially since spring has now arrived. I will have myself a great shock arriving to a cold, Swedish October!

I will at some point soon try to sum up my time here in BsAs with a more dedicated blog post, but in the meantime this video will have to do. Feliz primavera!

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Home is where the mountains are

Home is said to be where the heart is. At least that’s what An Animal says. I agree with that, but it doesn’t really tell where the heart is.

My heart may be a bit scattered for the moment, which complicates this question a bit. But one thing that always seems to capture my heart is mountains.

As a last stop for my much shortened trip, I went to Córdoba, which is a region in central Argentina, but also the name of the capital city of the same region. And after spending the first day exploring the city, I devoted the entire second day to hiking in the mountains near Córdoba. And oh my have I missed the mountains!?

Starting out as a group of six, with the others being people from the same hostel as mine, we went to a national park called Condorito. While four people in the group could only do part of the hike, me and a Brazilian guy did a six-hour hike that covered some very nice views. Not amazing like some of the places I’ve seen in Switzerland, but considering my mountain depravation in the past year, it was definitely worth every minute.

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On the way back we then stumbled upon a big group of CouchSurfers, with whom we were able trip hitch a ride back to the city.

Now I’m on the bus which will take me back to BsAs. Overnight of course.

Crónica de una muerte anunciada

Hace desde unos meses que escribí un post en mi blog titulado Orgulloso ser gaspanico. Hace también desde más o menos cuatro meses que leí mi primer libro en español, y además, un mes después escribí la primera vez acá en español.

Esta semana es una gran semana para mi. Después seis meses en Buenos Aires, mi viaje solo en Argentina es mi examen final, para saber cuanto español he aprendido. Y, la verdad, estoy orgulloso. Muy orgulloso!

Cuando llegué en Argentina, no podía decir más que unas palabras en castellano. Hola, toro, ariba compañero, vamos y vámonos (sin saber la diferencia entre los dos). Ahora, no solo puedo escribir algo como este texto, pero también puedo conocer Suramérica totalmente en español, sin usar ninguna palabra en inglés. Obvio, todavía hago muchos errores, y falta mucho vocabulario para hablar perfectamente como un latino. Pero mi progreso ha sido mucho mejor que esperaba.

Hoy también compré mi segundo libro en español. Crónica de una muerte anunciada, del autor colombiano, y ganador del premio Nobel de literatura Gabriel Garcia Márquez, que se murió el marzo (creo?) este año.

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Entonces, mi progreso de español es un ejemplo de cuando estoy orgulloso ser gaspanico. Y—la verdad—creo que estoy más orgulloso de mi progreso de español, que de mis resultados de mi máster tesis…

Currently in Corrientes

Although originally only though as a stopover to avoid arriving ridiculously late in Salta, my day in Corrientes turned out much better than expected! It might not have any impressive architecture, nor any natural wonders, but this relatively small town has a very nice riverside, with beaches, bars, clubs, and restaurants.

Since it’s still late winter, or very early spring, these places were all pretty empty, but as a summer destination I can imagine Corrientes being a pretty nice weekend destination.

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The city also had some really nice street art, that beats graffiti any day of the week… Although it’s not a very fair comparison, since this type of art is all but temporary.

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For a while I was thinking of spending the night, to check out the nightlife which seems pretty vibrant—after all its Friday. But I finally decided that I had of tonight instead. This will be my third night spent on a bus. But what is worse, third day without a shower.

All in all, Corrientes gets three crocodiles out of six. Not a fabulous destination, but much better than expected.

Next stop Córdoba; I decided to skip Salta. It’s too far away… and I left my heart in BsAs.

Iguazú—Vale la pena?

Arrival 10:30 in Iguazú, and 15 minutes was enough to make me feel like in a tourist mecca. Not very surprising since the waterfalls are a UNESCO world heritage site, and the location is far too remote to attract anything but tourists.

I’m not sure why I have such a phobia against feeling like a tourist anyway, since that’s exactly what I am myself. But there is something about it that makes me feel nervous, and want to avoid it. But it’s clear that the high prices and the feeling of nature being exploited don’t help.

Anyway, an $80 bus ride and $215 entrance ticket later, I was finally inside. And I will let a photo speak for itself, but the waterfalls are indeed incredible:

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Unfortunately the path leading to the supposedly most impressive view was closed due to the high water levels. But after five hours of walking with my 15 kg backpack in 25–30°C, and with only two bananas to eat, I was pretty much done for the day.

Since Iguazú is so expensive, I’m thinking of skipping spending the night here and heading straight to Salta. That means another 20 h bus trip. But it will also give me more time for Salta, Jujuy, and eventually Córdoba, before I head back to BsAs.

All in all, Iguazú gets four crocodiles out of six possible. The waterfalls are stunningly beautiful, but considering the prices, how remote the place is, and the typical tourist feeling, the total rating will have to suffer a bit.

Edit: After all, my next stop will be Corrientes instead of Salta. Didn’t feel like spending 26 h on the bus and arrive at 2:30. Damn this country is big…

Time to prepare

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Long road to Graceland

I’ve learned over the years that a great trip always begins with stress. Or maybe it’s just that I’m always running late when I’m traveling. Either way, I made it to my bus five minutes before departure, so I’ve at least fulfilled that criteria.

Now I have a bit more time to ponder over life, the universe, and Argentina, as this bus ride to Iguazú takes at least 19 hours. And since I didn’t have time to visit the bookstore before departure—where I would anyway not have found any books in English—my guidebook will have to keep me company during most of the trip. But I’m learning a lot about Argentina, so that’s all good.

The plan for now is to head to Salta and Jujuy in the northwest after Iguazú, and then head back towards Buenos Aires via Córdoba. We’ll see how that goes…