A Travellerspoint blog

River Plate VS Boca Juniors

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I feel this justifies a blog of its own since I have been looking forward to this for a while now. We actually tweaked our route slightly to arrive in Buenos Aires before the 7th November, the original date of the game. However, the presidents husband died so it was rescheduled for the 16th. I luckily managed to get a ticket through a tour for it, as your strongly recommended not to go to a game like this yourself since the fans here are pretty wild. For those non-football fans this match between the two biggest teams in Buenos Aires is known as the Superclasico, and is thought of as the biggest football derby / rivalry in the world!

We arrived outside the ground almost two hours before kickoff. This soon became apparent why as you had to queue to get through three seperate security checks where the police search every person. This was even before you had to show your ticket. Many of the fans must have known how to sneak stuff in going on the amount of fireworks and flares that were set off throughout the game. The stadium was packed when we got in, about an hour before kickoff, so it was just a case of finding a spot to stand and try not to lose it. There was an under-21 / reserve match being played before the main game which many of the fans appeared to be in early to watch.

The atmosphere before the game was amazing, with everyone going crazy and setting off flares and fireworks, and throwing bits of paper into the air. This was a really great sight and the noise was incredible. There are a couple of quick videos below to give you a taste of what it was like.

The game itself was really good too. Although it only finished 1-0, River should have won by at least 3 or 4 goals. The Boca keeper had a great match. There were hard tackles flying in but only a few yellow cards shown. There would have been at least one red card if this was being played in Europe. The standard of football was very good especially the passing and the players first touch. The two main players were Riquelme for Boca and Ortega for River, but thankfully the latter inspired his team to victory and made the night even better being in with the winning supporters.

Posted by Del-Linda 11:15 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Uruguay

semi-overcast 19 °C
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Our ferry over the River Plate from Buenos Aires took us straight to our first destination, Colonia del Sacramento. The town is a port founded by the Portuguese to smuggle goods from/into Buenos Aires. Its has a lovely town centre down at the harbour but not too much else to do here so we decided to move to Punta Del Este for the next 3 days.

Punta Del Este is South America´s version of Monaco with many famous people and millionaires having holiday homes here. The town is on a penincula with luxury hotels & huge houses covering the coast lines. There are amazing beaches which were quiet as summer does not start here until Dec/Jan and it was a bit too cold in the first few days to lie on the beach.

We stayed in a B&B which was run by a crazy but lovely family who really looked after us and we got great homemade dinners. The owners made a huge BBQ for Del´s birthday, it was a great night and all the other guests came. Again, like all other South American asados the food was amazing.

One of the highlights of out stay here was the sealions in the harbour waiting to be fed the fish scraps from the fishermen and the fish stalls. The biggest one even manged to jump right out of the sea onto the harbour to chase the fishermen carrying fish scraps. Del was only a few feet away at one point as it bounced past. He got some good photos which we will upload soon.

We met another really nice couple from Australia at the B&B, Nic & Tash. One night the four of us went to a famous hotel which looked more like a fairytale castle than a hotel to watch the sunset from its amazing viewpoint. Nic & Tash hired a car and we went to explore the nearby neighbourhoods and managed to find Zinedine Zidane´s multi-million pound apartment. Neither of us have ever seen houses & apartments like the ones here before.

Posted by Del-Linda 05:38 Archived in Uruguay Comments (0)

A Few Days In Buenos Aires

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we are staying in a good hostel in the city centre which is round the corner from a metro station and Avenue 9 De Julio, which is the widest road we have ever seen. It has seven lanes in each direction and can can take a while to cross!

On our first night we went for our first Argentinian steaks which lived up to their reputation, as they were superb and very cheap. Only about 15 pounds for steaks and wine in a nice restaurant, and that was with Del ordering ordering the biggest and most expensive steak on the menu. People don´t each dinner here until really late. Families were still coming in to eat well after 11pm. It will take a while for us to get used to this lifestyle.

The following day we discovered it was the annual gay pride day where there is a parade through the city centre. There was a crowd going from the hostel so we decided to go and have a look (please note, we did not intentionally plan to arrive here specifically for this event!). There was an extremely friendly atmosphere and a lot of interesting costumes. It was a good laugh and we were glad we went.

That night Pablo and Leticia (our friends we met in Ihla Grande, Brazil) invited us to their apartment for drinks before going out. Leticia´s sister and brother and their partners also came around. Everyone was so friendly and were so interested in our trip and what Scotland is like. We didn´t go out until 2.30am which apparently is normal. We had a good night although we left ¨early¨at 6.00am. The pubs and clubs never seem to close.

The following day Pablo and Leticia invited us out for an asado (Argentinian bbq). Pablo is an expert and the food was great. It was the best bbq we have had - thanks again Pablo and Leticia for a great day. After three more days of sun and heat in B.A., the following day was very cold and it rained all day. It was a welcomed change and made us feel at home. We have now decided to go to Uruguay for four days before returning to B.A. to see the city in the nine days before our flight to the southern tip of the continent.

Posted by Del-Linda 16:00 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

Iguazu Falls

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Iguazu Falls is located at the border of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay with the Argentinian / Brazilian border going right through the falls, although the majority lies in Argentina. Before we started our trip this was one of the main sights we have been looking forward to. Once we arrived we discovered that the falls have been shortlisted for the seven modern-day wonders of nature, and we soon appreciated why.

We initially stayed in Foz do Iguacu on the Brazilian side of the falls, although the town itself wasn´t up to much so we just stayed one night. We spent our first day on the Brazilian side of the falls which was spectacular. We were both blown away by our first view of the falls and the experience got better as you moved further up the falls getting closer to them. Linda has been to Niagra Falls before, and although she isn´t one to exaggerate she says that Iguazu is a million times better!

The next morning we crossed the border to Ciudad Del Este in Paraguay. It is the second biggest city in Paraguay, but we didnt venture too far into it. It has an extremely busy market area, which starts as soon as you get past the so-called passport control. Many Brazilians come over here for their shopping since it is so much cheaper than Brazil. It is a pretty crazy place as everyone was trying to sell us anything, which reminded us of being back in India. We didn`t spend too long there as we needed to go back over to Brazil to cross the border to Argentina.

On the Argentinian side of the falls we stayed in a town called Puerto Iguazu, which we thought was far nicer that Foz do Iguacu. We spent our final day at the Argentinian side of the falls. Once again the views of all of the different waterfalls were spectacular, and you could get right up almost underneath them. Unbelievable impressive seeing and hearing the power of the water up close. Definately worth seeing both sides of the falls.

The wildlife in this national park was also good. Loads of butterflies, big lizards, and racoon-like lemurs which were trying to steal everyones food. Del even managed to get into a tug-of-war tussle with one over our last banana, but Del was a bit stronger (or maybe hungrier) so he never lost it.

We have been extremely lucky with the weather so far on this trip since we have only had one day of rain so far, and for the last week it has been really sunny and between 30-33 degrees. The heat has been tough the last few days though whilst trekking through the park, and this is only Spring here. We are leaving for Buenos Aires tonight (another 18-hour bus!) so are hoping it will be a bit cooler down there. We have also done three long bus journies in the past week, so are looking forward to spending a bit more time in the one area since we will be in Buenos Aires and South Uruguay for the next 2-3 weeks.

Posted by Del-Linda 09:22 Archived in Brazil Comments (0)

Florianopolis

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We were in two minds whether to do the bus journey down here, as it was a bit detour from the direct route to Foz Do Iguaçu. We don´t think we had fully recovered from the food poisoning and we were a bit down after the great time we had in Ihla Grande with our new friends, so we almost went straight to Foz Do Iguaçu since we were unsure about Florianopolis. However, a great decision was made as it has been our favourite place so far.

Florianopolis is a city that is half on the Brazilian mainland and half on Ilha De Santa Catarina. The beaches on the island are amazing, which makes it a popular holiday destination for South Americans. We had three great days at beaches, each day the temperature being 32-33 degrees. One beach is very popular with surfers and the waves here are massive. Great fun getting battered by the waves although the currents were rediculously strong so we had to be careful.

One day we were sitting on a pier eating our lunch when a penguin swam out under out feet! Believe it or not (Linda didn´t believe me at first) but apparently they come here in the colder months before heading south once it gets warmer. We don´t think the others in the hostel believed us until we all saw another a few days later, having a great time swimming about in the cool water out of the 30-odd degrees heat.

When we arrived here we realised it was nicer than the previous towns / cities we had been to. It seems more european here, and from the houses and cars here it is clear that it is a far more affluent area. We have been very lucky with our hostel. It is more like a home than a hostel and the owner, Roberta, is one of the nicest most helpful people you could meet.

We are also lucky to meet lots of others at the hostel as we have all had a great time. We met a really nice couple from London, Rob and Cassie, who have also just began their round the world trip, another two girls from London, two French girls, a crazy Italian-Brazilian guy who ended up entertaining us for a few days, and a couple from Sao Paulo - the guy looked like Ronaldo (Brazilian Ronaldo and not the Portuguese diamond-encrusted speedos Ronaldo).

We went to a Samba nightclub with Rob and Cassie one night, which was good as we hadn´t seen any Sambo since being here. The locals love to dance! We all had a huge bbq and caipirinha party one night. Our Italian-Brazilian friend, Riccardo, cooked all the meat in the traditional Brazilian style which is miles better than our burgers and sausages back home. Had a great party and ended up going out in town where we ended up chatting to a Brazilian guy called Elton John Santos!

We have had a really great time here, mainly because of the people we have met along the way. Heading off shortly with the two girls from London, Izzie and Megan, to our next destination. Another 14-hour bus journey awaits!

Posted by Del-Linda 03:24 Archived in Brazil Comments (1)

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