27.08.2012 - 08.09.2012
Since the last entry, we moved on from a week in Paraty on to Sau Paulo, which initially left me feeling cold. Perhaps I was unfairly comparing it to Rio but the insane amount of skyscrapers and no real nature or seafront to soften the edges didn't help. After a few days actually pottering around the city and the different areas left me feeling pretty differently about it. Where Rio had an emphasis on outdoor living and the beach, Sao Paulo was about the culture, parks, cafes and more of an urban sophistication about it. It grew on me.
The metro system is pretty easy to get your head around, it's nowhere near as complex and wide reaching as London's. We spent a day in the city centre, and it has touches of New York about it, and I love that city too. We only got a better sense of the cityscape after a long wait up to their very own version of the Empire State Building and took in the immense stretch of tall buildings from ear to ear. Even if you hate cities, it's hard not to be impressed by the size of it.
We then had a day in the Avenida Paulista area, much more metropolitan. Spent hours in the MASP (Muso Artes Sao Paulo) which blew us both away with the exhibitions of Carvaggio, and then a Romanticism themed exhibition which included Van Gogh, Monet, Matisse, JMW Turner, Toulouse Latrec, amongst others. I really wasn't expecting that kind of calibre there, and it was amazing. We could have spent a good few hours more taking it in.
We then moved on to the Brazilian border, as after just over a month in the country, we thought it was time to give Argentina a shot. Time's cracking on for us, and with our flight out to Sydney on the 1st October, we've got a month left in South America and want to make the most of it. We got to Foz de Iguazu at 10am after travelling overnight, got straight on a bus to the Iguassu Falls on the Brazil side ready to spend our 5th wedding anniversary there. It was a sight and a sound that was intense, I've never seen waterfalls on the scale of Iguazu. We spent a few hours pottering around there and being licked by butterflies a lot (I think they liked the sweaty overnight bus smell from us), and then we crossed over to Argentina to stay in Puerto Iguazu. We'd heard that the Argentinian side was a nicer town to stay in so we gave that a go. It was definitely the right decision, Puerto Iguazu is a lovely little place, quite charming. We spent the next day at the Iguazu Falls in Argentina, and I much preferred that to be honest, must more to do there and you're able to get much closer to the waterfalls.
Since then, we've visited the birthplace of Che Guevera, Rosario. It feels very European, the architecture is from the 1920s to 1950s, so very stylized in Art Noveau and Art Deco. It's a cross between Paris and Metropolis (the film, not where Superman lives). Rained for the whole time we were there but I loved it. Stunning place. Now, we're close to the Uruguayan border in Colon Entre Rios. It's a spa town, with a lovely riverfront. Not long here though, as we've got a flight to catch on Monday to El Calafate, as we've decided to take a trip to see the glaciers in Patagonia. After that, we're planning to go to see the mountain landscape of El Chalten before returning to Buenos Aires for a week.
Everything's starting to feel very fast, as after that week, we're flying to Santiago for a few days before heading out of South America completely. Our pace is a lot quicker here because we can't afford to dawdle around. We're the most organised we've ever been, as our accommodation is booked from now until we leave Sydney. It;s hard not to keep getting excited about Australia and South East Asia, but we still have to remind ourselves that there's so much to still enjoy in Argentina and Chile. Nearly halfway through our trip and that's making me feel sad too, but I think 5 and a half months is plenty of time in this end of the world. I'm looking forward to the contrast of Oz and Asia too.