Viajes navideños: Christmas Travels

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I used to think that I didn’t like flying. You know, the whole lack of control, hurling through the atmosphere at hundreds of miles per hour, fourty thousand feet in the air. It unsettled me.

But now, I’m realizing that being up in the sky is a means to an end and an end I quite like, at that–traveling and seeing new people and places. It is truly amazing that in the time in takes you to drive from, say, ATL to Charlottesville, you can be one continent, several countries, and something like 5,000 miles away.

But, let’s be frank: no one came here for my musings on flying. The far more interesting story is where we went! Argentina, Christmas destination 2013.

The perks were clear: (mostly) free lodging, easy communication, SUMMERTIME, etc. The downsides were few (most noteably, it’s a big a** country and takes forever to get anywhere! Tim and I picked a sensible variety of things to see (Buenos Aires, The Tigre Delta, Iguazú and San Antonio Areco.) We sampled the local beef (more times than I’d like to remember), found DELICIOUS pizza, made friends with the owner of a cute coffee bar in Puerto Iguazú (Jack Buck’s coffee), and even rented bikes (though this was a failed experiment…the chain came off mine every three pedals).

After Tim left, I still had an extra week (woohoo!), so I took the most comfortable bus ever (seriously! it had a seat that reclined 180 degrees into a bed!) down to Bahía Blanca and hung out with P.’s family for a week. We even made it to the beach (and the tennis courts!)

On my flight home, which departed at 11:55 pm, New Year’s Eve, I got to see a most spectacular display of fuegos artificiales-fireworks-over the city of Buenos Aires. And, technically, I even celebrated New Year’s in more than one time zone, but I was too busy watching Anthony Bourdain to notice.

Upon arrival in Miami, the border guard flipped through my passport. “You travel a lot.” Yes, I responded. “What do you do?” I’m a student-teacher. “You must spend all your money on travel.” He was right. But, who wouldn’t pay to get in one of those magical metal transport tubes and see the other side of the world?

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Getting acquainted with the city on day one…walking from Palermo to Recoleta.
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Basilica Nuestra Señora del Pilar (with T. on the righthand side of the door)

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Post-smoothie and sandwich, ready for a ride on the lancha on the Delta.

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Tim decided to refuel on the lancha…

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A view of a logging boat from the patio of the Museo de Arte Tigre

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San Telmo

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An “Oh. Shee-yit” moment before seeing la Garganta del Diablo of Iguazú.

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This makes me understand why the conquistadores thought they had landed on the moon. Surreal!

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Another lookout point over the “smaller” waterfalls.

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Bike repairs outside of Areco.

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Pinch me. I think I’m in an old Western.

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A cute café/shop called Ginkgo in Areco.

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Checking out the tombstones in the famed Recoleta cemetery.

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A little beach action in Monte Hermoso.

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Part of P.’s very welcoming familia.

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A scene from Christmas day lunch (+POOL TIME) with the extended family.

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The school buses! These cracked me up.

Happy New Year! Feliz Año. May it be the best yet!

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