fluffy in iguazu

#Caturday Fluffy white cat in Iguazu, Argentina

Location: Puerto Iguazu, Argentina

There were a lot of cats at Aripuca and I’ve featured a sun bathing cat in Caturday.

One of the most fascinating of the feline was a very fluffy white cat. It was majorly adorable but I didn’t dare get too close in case it ran off.

Fluffy white cat at Aripuca

For more Meow Power, check out the other Caturdays:

Henri le chat noir in Turkey
Give a cat a rod
Good Cat Hunting in Athens

aripuca cat

Caturday: Sunbathing cat in Argentina

Location: Puerto Iguazu, Argentina

I'm sexy and I know it. Meow.

I’m sexy and I know it. Meow.

A regular-colored cat lying in the sun to tan its belly at Aripuca near Iguazu.

Sunbathing cat

Sunbathing cat

Do you sunbathe?

iguazu group

Settling back in Buenos Aires [YQrtw Day 79 Jun 24]

Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

The bus from Iguazu was supposed to reach Buenos Aires at 10am. In the end, we reached at 12:30 noon. It didn’t matter to me since I was jobless and schoolless.

While on the bus, I managed to conquer my motion sickness and write up a few disjointed blog posts. At times like these, I really wish I have 3G internet so I can surf the web.

When our bus arrived at our destination, there was a group photo. Try squinting to see me.

BAIS Iguazu group

BAIS Iguazu group

I took the same bus as I did coming back from the US embassy. It felt strange to look at this city which I’ve been in for about 3 weeks. I recognized some of the street names and some shop fronts looked familiar.

I headed back to my old hostel. Now I have a new bed space, the furthest away from the window (Hurray!) and has a less saggy mattress.

I spent most of the afternoon on the bed, trying to get a nap. It didn’t work.

In the end, I walked to the supermarket for dinner. As usual, I bought steak (it’s just so cheap here!) and half a head of cabbage because it was cheap (S$1 per kilo!) and I need my fiber after countless suppers of steak.

While I was preparing my steak, the hostel receptionist who was from Buenos Aires gave many tips for cooking steak:

  1. Beat the meat to tenderize it (I’m sure he didn’t mean it that way.)
  2. Cooking in on an iron grill (and not the frying pan I was using.)
  3. Pair the steak with a strong Malbec (not the wimpy rosada Malbec that I got.)
Meat on a frying pan

Meat on a frying pan

Anyway, my steak turned out awesome even without his tips. Still, I might take his advice when I’m cooking my next meal.

The rest of the night was spent preparing my newsletter and looking at random things on the internet. I should start planning touristy trips out of the hostel.

What do you want me to do in Buenos Aires?

cold medicine

Chilling in Iguazu/ Back to Buenos Aires [YQrtw Day 78 Jun 23]

Location: Puerto Iguazu, Argentina

The day started out well with the sun peaking out of the clouds. I woke up well before the other 8 in our room to join another girl from our room for breakfast.

It was the first time during the trip that I got to eat the scrambled eggs. Everytime I reach the breakfast area, the eggs were gone.

At the end of breakfast, my nose started to run. I didn’t need to chase for it but I downed a cup of hot water with Panadol for cold and flu sachet, just to be safe.

Panadol cold and flu medicine

Panadol cold and flu medicine

On today’s itinerary was Paraguay or the zoo. I did not have my passport and I did not want to see animals in cages so I skipped both and stayed in the room.

A lot of others were also in bed. From 10:30am to 4pm, I laid in different positions on the bed, trying to catch the light to read my Kindle after I got bored with surfing the internet.

It was raining rather heavily, making the room extra chilly. I had to wrap myself in my coat and the thin blanket to try to stay warm.

Finally, the bus arrived at about 4pm. The folks who went to Paraguay reported that they only walked to the bank and back. I guess I was lucky I didn’t have to do that.

When I dragged my things to the bus, I found out that the seat I used to sit in in the lower deck of the bus was taken. I had to sit on the upper deck.

Luckily, everyone seemed to be tired out and there was no partying on the upper deck. We watched the first 3/4 of The Impossible.

Throughout the movie, I kept being annoyed that it was a movie focusing on white people when the whole affect area was in Asia. Only the sight of Ewan McGregor kept me from throwing an empty cup at the tiny screen.

The movie was paused when our bus stopped at a rest stop for dinner at around 10pm. Here, I drank another flu medicine to prevent the cold and flu from attacking.

Another flu medicine

Another flu medicine

Back on the bus, the movie continued. When the [SPOILER] family united [/SPOILER], some people on the bus clapped. They also clapped when the movie ended which I thought was quite funny.

The next movie was The Notebook. Even though I like Ryan Gosling, the whole story makes me go URGH and I couldn’t finish watching. I did like the parts where James Marsden was in.

Unfortunately, the movie was a strong doze of sleep medicine for me and I managed to doze off in my seat. When I woke up, it was the next day.

Do you like The Notebook or do you fall asleep watching it?

aripuca main building

It’s a trap! Looking at tree trunks in Aripuca [YQrtw Day 77 Jun 22]

Location: Puerto Iguazú, Argentina

Today’s itinerary was a visit to the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls. As my passport was still with the US embassy, I could not go to Brazil.

Instead of having a coffee at a cafe for the whole day, I followed some tour members to La Aripuca. While the sight was far from the hostel, It was a pleasant walk as the sun shone bright and strong.

La Aripuca

La Aripuca

At Aripuca, you can enter for free or pay about 20 pesos (after 5 pesos discount) each for a guide. The guide doesn’t do much except show a termite nest, a payphone in a tree trunk, a little trap (Aripuca in local language) and some of the buildings around.

La Aripuca main building

La Aripuca main building

Steps to nowhere in Aripuca

Steps to nowhere in Aripuca

There were more gift shops than actual sights here at Aripuca. The more astounding structure was one made out of GIGANTIC tree trunks. The building served more as a photo opportunity than anything else.

Nobody got my Game of Thrones reference when I said it was the Wooden Throne.

Nobody got my Game of Thrones reference when I said it was the Wooden Throne.

The most enjoyable part of the sight was sitting outside under the sun eating mate flavored ice cream. We sat around and chat for a long while before leaving.

Eating at La Vaca Enamorada

It was another long walk back to town. We didn’t have any clue where to go so we ended up at a strange restaurant which had a green cow displayed.

The place turned out to be the #1 restaurant in Iguazu on Tripadvisor. The elderly owner was super enthusiastic as he thought that we were students learning Spanish. He suggested that we share asado (local BBQ).

Asado, Argentinian BBQ

Asado, Argentinian BBQ

I am very in love with good asado. The meat is generous with lots of fat. Most people just cut off the fat but I tell you, the fat is probably the best part since it melts in your mouth. I’m hungry just thinking about a good asado.

After the fulfilling meal which came up to be quite affordable, we headed back to the hostel.

One of the girls in my room was sleeping off her hangover when I reached my room. She suggested that we go for ice cream. I’m in!

Helados

Helados

I bought a quarter kilogram of ice cream with 3 flavors: yerba mate, milk caramel and cookies ice cream. The mate wasn’t as fantastic but the rest were great.

While eating ice cream, some people from the tour group passed by and said they were going to see the sunset by the river. We tagged along.

Sunset on Iguazu river

Sunset on Iguazu river

From this looking point, you can see Paraguay right in front and Brazil on the right. The dorm mate and I didn’t stay for the whole sunset but walked back to the hostel, buying some groceries along the way.

When I tried to pay for my 9 peso bottle of water with 100 peso bill, the cashier actually refused to sell me the water because my bill was too large. What on earth was that? So the dorm mate and I pooled together our purchases.

At night, I wrote some posts in the 10 degrees celcius cold. Later, I went out for dinner with the people from the language school. I have to saym Argentinian steak is marvellous. We finished dinner at 12 midnight, successfully integrating into the timetables of the Argentines.

What was the biggest tourist trap that you’ve been to?

Boating on Iguazu Falls

Amazing Big Water–Iguazu Falls [YQrtw Day 76 Jun 21]

Location: Porto Iguazu, Argentina

YQ in Iguazu

YQ in Iguazu

After only about 4 hours of sleep, I woke up to prepare for the day at Iguazu Falls. How Argentinians manage to party until the early morning and go to work immediately baffles me.

Breakfast at the hostel was about as bad as the one in Buenos Aires, especially since so many people were fighting to eat the last fried eggs.

It was drizzling the whole day. Combined with the cold weather, it was quite unbearable. An entrepreneurial local man was selling ponchos at the gates of hostel. He was selling one for 15 pesos, promising that it would be more expensive inside Iguazu Park.

When breakfast was done, we were sheparded to the bus. It didn’t take long to reach the park. By the way, Iguazu in the local language means Big Water.

Our group was divided into two for the waterfalls activity. We were taking a speedboat on the Iguazu and getting as near as we could to the falls.

All of that sounds exciting but in reality, we had to walk in the rain (with poncho and umbrella) around for quite a while in the wet footpaths. The purpose of the walk in the park was never revealed.

Walking in the rain in Iguazu Park

Finally, we were brought to the gates of the Grand Adventure. Everyone was given a ticket to board the truck.

As usual, I managed to lose my ticket. One minute I was holding it in my hand, 15 minutes later I could not find it anywhere near me. It was a bit distressing.

Luckily, one of the organizer had a ticket for two so I was allowed onto the truck. The truck didn’t go straight to the falls. Instead, a blond man in a raincoat boarded and started explaining the different trees in the park.

Walking in the rain in Iguazu Park

Walking in the rain in Iguazu Park

Sitting on the wet seat, in the rain, we listened as he pointed to different trees. I looked out of my wet glasses and couldn’t see much except rain drops.

Pier for Iguazu Falls Grand Adventure

Pier for Iguazu Falls Grand Adventure

We finally reached the waters. Here, we were given a bag to put our belongings into. The bag’s opening is closed so no water goes in.

The boat was rather large and would probably fit 60 people. I manage to snag a whole row to myself and I sat at the right side of the boat.

Since it was raining, the waves of the river were quite violent. Luckily, our captain was able to steer in the terrible weather and in the opposite direction of the tide. We had a lot of fun.

Boat on Iguazu river

Boat on Iguazu river

Iguazu Falls ride

Iguazu Falls grand adventure

Iguazu Falls grand adventure

Imagine sitting in a boat on a massive river with reddish-brown water. On the sides of the river are hillsides with trees and some with mini waterfalls caused by the rain.

The wave crashes into your boat but the captain manage to swerve the other waves. As the boat sped on, you finally reach the waterfalls.

From far away, tons of water falls, causing a white mist. In front, you see what seems to be the end of your part of the river. You hope that the boat does not go too near the edge and fall down.

The boat goes near the mist of water and everyone screams as one wave crazed violently at the side. More waves come but the boat keeps afloat.

Then the captain steers the boat to the middle of the river so people can take photos of themselves standing on the boat with the falls in the background.

Afterwards, you are told to keep your camera away. The captain steers the boat to another part of the falls. This time, you actually feel the water on your face. A wave decides to join you at your seats and splashes in. More screaming ensues.

After what seemed like 5 minutes of battling with the waves, the boat returns to the more calm center of the river. Everyone breathes a sigh of relieve and laugh out loud from adrenaline.

Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls

Upclose and personal with Iguazu Falls

Upclose and personal with Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls

Mists of Iguazu Falls

Mists of Iguazu Falls

Long way back

By the time the boat ride was done, I was rather soaked from waist down. Unfortunately, there was a lot more walking.

Metal walkways and railings were built at the top of the falls so tourists could take pictures. We walked on a lot of walkways and took a lot more photographs.

It’s awe-inspiring seeing so much water pouring out of the riverend. While on the bus, one of the tour mates sounded what I was thinking when we saw the falls, “Makes you want to jump from the top.”

I’ve always had a fascination with falling. If I had nine lives, I would spend about 8 of them falling down from all sorts of places.

Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls

Lunch was eaten at the park. There was more walking and waiting in the cold.

After Iguazu, we reached a spot on the Argentinian side where we could see the banks of Brazil and Paraguay. My camera misted up because some water went into the lens so I only had photos on my phone.

[Watched a culturally-incorrect James Bond movie while writing this post in 10 degrees Celcius outdoor. I rather enjoy seeing my breath when I breathe out through my mouth.]

argentina asado

Eat and party like an Argentinian [YQrtw Day 75 Jun 21]

Location: Puerto Iguazú, Argentina

It’s another 2-part post for Jun 21 because so much had happened!

I finished dinner at 12 midnight, seriously. I haven’t had dinner this late since I was in Paris when the person who brought a bunch of us girls to eat couldn’t find the right place in the semi-dangerous neighborhood.

The food came at about 11:00pm and it took us 5 people about one hour to polish off everything

Argentinian share platter

Argentinian share platter

Inside the shared platter, there was blood sausages, kidney, chinchulines (small intestines), chicken, meat sausages and beef.

It was my first time trying BBQ kidney and intestine, although I’m very familiar with these two parts. Kidney tasted better when grilled because the ammonia seemed to have lessen while intestine was still tasty as always.

Blood sausage was a new dish to me. The texture wasn’t as great as regular pig blood curd I had back home in Malaysia.

The rest of the BBQ meat were delicious. I especially love the fatty parts which were burnt crispy on the outside but oozing with cholesterol on the inside.

Party like an Argentinian

After the meal, I was persuaded to go to a party at a hostel nearby. It seemed like everyone was going so I tagged along.

By the time I left at about 2:30am, the party was still going on. There was much beer pong and dancing in the small living room space.

I did what I did best. I took off my shoes and curled on the ratty sofa to continue reading my book. This avoided awkward dance sessions and allowed me to read the book quicker.

South Americans really love to party. The girls were very forward in their search for dance partners, something I admire but would probably not be doing any time soon.

When I was ready to go to bed, it was about 3:00am. I don’t think the party ended until 4:30am.

What’s more amazing is that we had to wake up at 7:00am to get ready for the highlight of the day.

What’s the latest time you’ve had dinner?