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Showing posts from December, 2017

31/12/2017 Laguna Esmeralda near Ushuaia

After our breakfast, we walked 45 minutes to the omnibus terminal where also local tour minibuses are. Stopped for some water and snack in La Anima and then joined few more people waiting to be picked up by tour guys.
One of the tour people caught us and asked where are we going. She said 350 pesos per person return ticket and told us to wait for her driver to pick us up. The way to Laguna Esmeralda takes about 10-15 minutes and the driver drops you off at an unpaved car park next to the road. He told us that he will pick us up at 4pm. It was 12 o’clock sharp. 
From the car park, we followed blue signs to the Laguna Esmeralda. The path is easy, going from woods to plains to woods to plains and then you reach the small lake with lovely light blue colour. It started raining when we reached the lake. We walked 1.5 hours. There were many wild dogs running around and it was not pleasant to us as we don’t like dogs, especially not wild. So we walked 1.5 hours back, had our snack on the way an…

30/12/2017 Glaciar Martial

30/12/2017 Glaciar Martial
Morning we stayed at home and trained Spanish and English with Cristina. We had to wait until 11am to walk to pickup our washed laundry. 
Walked 30 minutes, paid 160 pesos, walked 30 minutes back and hanged the clothes to dry in our room. 
Then we got out and slowly walked towards the city centre and trying to catch a taxi on the road. After 5 minutes we caught one and he took us up the hill to Glaciar Martial. We paid 230 pesos, taxi meter was on showing tariff 1. 
The hike up the hill from the car park was about 1.5 hours and 1.5 hours back down the hill. It was mostly sunny. Time to time rain, snow, cloudy, windy. The views were okay. Nothing special. We took few photos and walked back to get a taxi to terminal omnibus in city centre. 
Yesterday we spoke to our neighbours staying in the same flat as we are. Nice Austrian couple, so we are having a dinner with them today. In a restaurant they went to two days ago and recommended. The only glitch we got was that…

29/12/2017 Flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia (Aerolíneas Argentina)

29/12/2017 Flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia (Aerolíneas Argentina)
We are getting up early and packing our rucksacks. I’m always a bit stressed before another journey so do I am also now. Everything is done quickly as we prepared majority in the evening and heading down from the 9th floor to the reception to catch a taxi. 
The reception and the streets are still quiet. It is not that early. My watch leaning to 7am and I’m opening BA Taxi app on my smartphone. All works fine, good internet connection, location service located us precisely and I can enter the destination: Aeropuerto Jorge Newbury. I got the price back straight away and it says as I expected - 120 pesos. So I can hit the order button and wait for a driver. Buscando... buscando for about 2 minutes now. So I’m going to cancel and order again. Buscando... waiting a bit longer, about 4 minutes and nothing. All the taxi drivers busy? Too early? And as we are deciding if to ask the hotel reception to call us a taxi or not, so…

How to get local Argentinian mobile phone number in Argentina

How to get local Argentinian mobile phone number in Argentina
To start with. Make sure your phone runs frequency used in Argentina. I think every phone made in last 5 years can be used worldwide so will be fine. Maybe the maxinum data speeds will vary. I can confirm that my Motorola Moto E gets fast mobile internet and my second phone Motorola Moro G catches only Edge here. Even the specifications looks almost the same. 
Someone asked me: why do you need local numbet? Well. I probably don't really need it. But if I want to post to Instagram or check my email, or get a taxi in Buenos Aires using BA Taxi app or even find something in Google maps, I need internet. WiFi is not always available, and roaming to Argentina is really expensive. Plus I noticed that some of the mobile operators here are offering WhatsApp even when you run out of standard data allowance. 
For some reason I decided to go with mobile network provider Claro. Probably because I did see some billboards on my way from…

28/12/2017 bus from Puerto Iguazu to Buenos Aires

We took the bus 27/12/2017 at 19:15 from Puerto Iguazu. The bus company is Via Bariloche and we bought the tickets online in November. Type of the service we chose was Cama and we booked seats 1 and 2 (first row, top floor). The bus tickets we printed out from the email we received from Busplus.
Before we boarded, our rucksacks got labels with numbers and we got the same number stickers to keep. Also they checked our tickets and passports. The passport number on the ticket should match with your passport. Mine didn’t (as I got a new passport since I bought the tickets), but I just said I have a new passport. 
The seats were big and comfortable and you could make almost a flat bed from them (160 degrees). There is also a USB charging port for each seat and headphones jack to listen what is on the TV screen and also a speaker which some people leave on quite loud. Also a pillow and a blanket were provided. The toilet was on the lower deck and whenever the toilet was occupied, it was displ…

27/12/2017 Guira Oga, bus to Buenos Aires

Packing in the morning and we kept our rucksacks at the reception in our hotel so we can get them later, as our bus is at 7:15pm.
Then we walked 4km to Güirá Oga, which is a animals refugee kind of thing at the edge of Puerto Iguazu town. The walk to that place is not so pleasant, as you walk right next to the road. 
The entrance fee is 200 pesos per person (cash) and they only do guided tours. They have also tours in English, but only when available and we didn’t want to wait till the afternoon. So we waited about 40 minutes and then sat on a trailer behind a small tractor. Our guide was excellent, spoke English as well and he knew what he was talking about exactly. There is a lot of birds to see and some mammals as well. The tour takes 90 minutes and it is very enjoyable. Every animal they have there has a story why it is there. 

After we finished, we were thinking how to get back to the town and two older guys who were on the tour with us offered a lift in their car. And the had simil…

26/12/2017 Iguazu waterfalls Brasil side

After yesterday’s full day trip to the Argentinian side of the waterfalls, we had slow and long morning. Managed to take a bus at 10:30am. The bus company is called Crucero Del Norte, the bus runs on a schedule from terminal omnibus in Puerto Iguazu and the ticket they sell at the till outside is to Cataratas for 80 pesos return journey. The bus is more comfortable than the Rio Uruguay bus to Argentinian side. They have set return journey times and you can see them while you are buying the ticket at their till. Those times are in Argentinian time! There is one hour time difference between Argentina and Brasil. 

When the bus stops at Argentinian border before the bridge joining Argentina and Brasil, you need to get off the bus and get an Argentinian exit stamp to your passport. As you go through the immigration, the yellow bus waits at the exit for all passengers to get back in. Then it continues to the other side of the bridge to Brasil border. Here the bus stops and the driver spoke s…

Sube public transport card in Buenos Aires

Sube card and use in subway and bus.

- 25 pesos to buy at the till at an entrance to the underground.
- ‎they charge it as you buy it. So we paid 100 pesos and got 75 pesos top-up.
- ‎there are yellow self service top-up kiosks and they are in Spanish only. But not difficult to understand and do the top-up using pesos bank notes.
- ‎the card is blue colour, credit card size, with magnetic stripe and with text SUBE.
- ‎one ride in metro (subway, underground) costs approx 7.50 pesos.
- ‎we also had to recharge (top-up) our Sube card in Retiro Omnibus terminal and there was only a blue machine taking bank notes and we didn't get how to use it. After watching few people with the same problem as us, we finally saw someone who knew how to use it. There is a small wide hole where you put your sube card in and leave it there. It is not tight, it is kind of freely inserted in, feels like broken. But that's correct. Then the machine recognises your card. All sube card readers are slo…

25/12/2017 Iguazu waterfalls

Getting up at 7:30am, preparing our food (bread, tuna, tomatoes) for the day trip to Iguazu falls (Argentinian side). Then breakfast in our hotel, bottle of water in Kiosco and buying of tickets at the bus terminal. 
The bus company is Rio Uruguay, they have their stand in the outer part of the terminal and the ticket has to be bought at the till. The return journey is 150 pesos. The buses  runs on a schedule, I don’t remember the times, but I think we took a bus at 9am. It takes about 20 minutes to get to the National Park Iguazú. It was still morning so the queues to get tickets weren’t that long. There is a sign saying that passport is required to buy the tickets. They only asked us where are we from and didn’t want to see our passport. The ticket is 500 pesos per person. Note! You can pay only in cash and in pesos. There is a cash machine at the entrance, but there were long queues. 

After passing through the entrance, we decided to get a little touristic train from the central stat…

24/12/2017 Christmas Eve in Puerto Iguazu

Getting up early, at 5am to get to the Jorge Newbury Airport. Taxi was 150 pesos and domestic flight is checked in fairly quickly and no queues on security. Bought two coffees for 160 pesos in total and had some simple breakfast we prepared yesterday. We flew with LATAM. You can download an app to watch movies on the plane through WiFi for free. But the flight was quite short. We got water on board.
After landing, my checked-in rucksack was very dirty from some liquid soap or shower gel or something which broke in someone else’s luggage. Luckily I use Doldy rucksack cargo bag, so I could clean it very simply. 
We waited to get bus tickets to Puerto Iguazu from the Airport. Some Argentinian people skipped us in the queue and a German traveller told them off. Thanks for that! Last two tickets for that bus. 120 pesos per person. As we were buying the tickets, they asked at what hotel we want to drop off. Minibuses stands in front of the exit, fits around 15 people in. Our hotel El Duende w…

Washing laundry in Buenos Aires Argentina

- I don't know where to find self service launderette to wash my clothes in Buenos Aires
- ‎google maps showed us Lavado Autoservicio and we found in Google search some forum where people asked about a service of this kind and based on the area description we though that will be the one (the guy from the forum didn't remember the exact address) where we can wash by ourselves. But this was a normal lavanderia at the end, serviced. No ironing, which we didn't want anyway. But. With our Spanish, it was rather complicated to understand and describe what we want. The normal service is 80 pesos for cold wash (lavado) + tumble dry. We have many things we don't want to tumble dry, so we had to separate our laundry to two batches. Just wash without dry costs 50 pesos.
- ‎we picked our clothes up in the evening of the same day without any problems.

23/12/2017 Teatro Colon

I’m not feeling well since morning. Maybe too much walking on the direct sun yesterday. Sleeping in the bed until the afternoon. Denisa did buy some food in a meantime and went to MALBA.
Then in the afternoon, we packed our rucksacks and got them ready for tomorrow’s flight to Puerto Iguazu. 
In the evening we took a tube to Teatro Colon. We bought tickets for The Nutcracker ballet in October and it vas only 400 pesos per person. With the online printed reservation, I have to wait inside of the theatre to get the real tickets to the show. Everything is going well, got the tickets and there is written what door (street name and number) to use to get in to the theatre.  
Our seats are on the last floor, and the view down on to the scene is not good. But the theatre Colon is amazing inside. It would be better to pay more for the tickets and buy them earlier and be on the third floor to get better views. The ballet was excellent and enjoyable. Great acoustic. 

After the show (10pm), we walked…

22/12/2017 The Laundy day

We found some lavandería on google maps, based on some posts in forums. It seemed like one where you can wash your clothes by yourself. As we have things we cannot dry using tumble drier on high temperature, we prefer to do it ourselves. It was 25 minutes walk and it wasn’t self service at the end. We split the laundry to things they can dry (80 pesos wash+dry) and things they cannot (50 pesos wash only). Pickup in the evening at 7pm.
Then we went to rose garden El Rosedal De Palermo, spent some time there. On the way up there we stopped for an amazing ice cream in Helados Jauja on Lafinur.. 

Towards the evening we picked up our laundry and then we went to a nice book shop in the centre (Al Ateneo Grand Splendid). On the way back to our place, we stopped at Wyatt cafe bar on Av. Cerviño (2 beers and small chicken sticks for 200 pesos) and then Club de la Milanese (2 beers + papas Criminales: 345 pesos).

21/12/2017 Tango, San Telmo, La Boca, Caminito

10:40am, trying to get a taxi using BA Taxi app and no luck. It took me 15 minutes until I found one. Streets very busy, full of cars, traffic jams... We got to San Telmo 15 minutes later. Paid 200 pesos for taxi and went to our tango lesson. Gerry and Lucia were excellent, we really enjoyed the lesson with them and they spoke perfectly English. The lesson cost 700 pesos and it was good fun.
Then we walked to see some live tango performance to Plaza Dorrego, around 1pm and then had lunch in Pasaje Solar. Looked like French food type restaurant, but we were hungry, so stayed in. Decent lunch, paid 440 pesos for both of us, including two small beers, coffee and desert. 
The next plan was to get to Caminito and google maps showed me where to take a bus number 33 apparently going there. First local public bus we were taking. Didn’t know how we find out where to get off and by mistake we crossed the bridge to La Boca and rather got off the first stop after the bridge. Quite worries on an emp…

20/12/2017 La Plata

We had to withdraw money from an HSBC ATM nearby. Maximum is 3000 pesos and you pay extra 176 pesos fee to Argentinian bank. (plus whatever your bank charges extra on top of if)
Then tube from Bulnes to Retiro station. There are not enough signs where to find Omnibus terminal. Before you get out from the underground station, there in one arrow pointing to Omnibus terminal, but outside, there is nothing. It took us while to figure out that you have to walk quite far, passing one or two train stations, before you get to bus terminal building. Just stay on the same side of the road as you get of the tube station and walk. The omnibus terminal is big and the tickets are sold on the second (top) floor. We read (in some blog) that La Plata till is number 5 (there is about 200 of tills). We waited until someone showed up and tey told us, that we have to use the SUBE card to get to La Plata. They don't sell tickets anymore. So simply charge your Sube card with enough money and find bus num…

19/12/2017 Jardin Japones, Palermo

It's raining today. We are heading to MALBA gallery, which is only 15 minutes walk from our accomodation. Unfortunately MALBA is closed on Tuesdays. Well, the rain is not so pleasant, so we don't want to go anywhere far and decided to visit Jardin Japones (Japanese Garden). The entrance is free for locals today, but for foreigners it's 95 pesos. We spent about an hour in the gardens, it was empty of people, nice and quiet. Had a coffee next to the ponds and went to find something to eat for lunch.
Not wanting to spend a fortune for lunch, we were discovering what is on one of the streets nearby and found La Juvenil deli shop on Jerónimo Salguero street. Bought one Tortilla and some Dulce con Leche desert. 
In the afternoon, walking to Plaza Italia to a Claro shop to get mi SIM activated. Got lucky with the customer service representative, he could do a bit of English and activated my SIM and sold us second one for 10 pesos only. Then we walked to Honduras street, which is (a…

18/12/2017 - Floralis Genérica, Recoleta, Casa Rosada, Obelisco, protest

Breakfast at Cafe Martinez, the same street as our Airbnb flat. Sunny day, so we took a long walk to Floralis Genérica with a massive mechanical tulip flower (free entrance), visited Facultad de Derecho university (free), and then old Recoleta cemetery (free). The Recoleta cemetery is an interesting place, where you can see huge variety of tombs. Each one is different, many of them also have a basement floor. There is Evita Perón’s tomb. 
Lunch at Romario pizzeria (chain), right behind the Recoleta cemetery. We had few different posadas and two small draught beers. I noticed that sometimes the draught beer is called chop. We could pay by card there, so I had to get some cash from an atm of Banko de la Nación Argentino located on a parallel street behind us. 
Then we walked to Las Heras underground station. On the way there, I stopped in Kiosco to get an Argentinian SIM card for 45 pesos. Inside of the tube station, we were wondering how to get a ticket or something to use for multiple r…

17/12/2017 Flight to Buenos Aires and getting from EZE airport to Palermo

The company we flew with was Level operated by Iberia. Boeing or Airbus something-something and had 2-4-2 seats layout. So me and Denisa could sit together without any issues. We sat in row 17 on the side. They served breakfast and very late lunch. The movies choice was rather good and the meals were okay. No complaints. And USB charging is quite normal these days.

They gave us a customs form (I took a picture of). Similar to one you get when you fly to the USA. We filled that very simply and then handed to a police man at immigration booth after landing. The queues weren't bad. The flight was 13 hours long and we landed at 5pm Buenos Aires local time. It is 4 hours difference to Barcelona during winter time.

At the Buenos Aires Argentina EZE international airport, we were looking for an ATM cash machine. Found HSBC on the left after exiting the baggage area, but neither of two HSBC ATM in that area worked. We didn't see any other cash machine and went to Banko el Argentino, …

16/12/2017 leaving Czech Republic

After few days trying to write something for my blog, while failing asleep during my photos are being backed up to cloud, I decided to do it more simple and quick way, like a little diary I then can come back to later. So I don't forget the main things I want to highlight and can get it out quickly. I'll call it a Little diary.  16/12/2017 leaving Czech Republic After many weeks of trying to prepare for our travels and juggling little things and constant interactions with both families and going from one house to another (since we stopped renting a flat in Prague and were staying half in house of my parents and a half in house of Denisa's parents), we sat on a plane from Prague to Barcelona. Landed at 11pm at El Prat Airport, empty and cold and tried to sleep somewhere to catch our connecting flight to Buenos Aires at 8am. McDonald's was okay option to stay and sleep there, but it was quite cold as the restaurant is right next to doors to outside patio. So we ended up …