Flashbacks – Vina del Mar, Mar de Plata & Iguassu Falls

23 Jun

There’s been a few posts that I meant to load and never got ‘round to for various reasons. Now as we’re leaving South & Central America after a 6 month stay (We only intended to stay for 3 months!) I’ve finally kicked my butt into gear.

Flights n volcanos

The day before we were to fly from San Pedro de Atacama to Santiago the flights were cancelled due to volcano cloud.  But fortunately by the time we had to fly the cloud had parked itself over Oz so we got to travel and it seems quite a few Aussies got an extra long Queens b/day weekend!

No sign of volcanic ash, just big mountains

Also on the day before we were to fly from Santiago to BA, the flights were cancelled.  But again, on our day we got to fly and flights here have been normal since.  There is however a lot of volcano ash on the ground so we must be living in it – Lovely!

Finally on the volcano, below we have a photo of the Lao Lao golf resort as Greg and I saw it back in February this year.  The shot below is post the Puyehue volcano eruption.

That green strip is Lao Lao golf resort

Lao Lao in ash

Vina del Mar and Valparaiso

These two towns about an hour and a half north of Santiago are an historic port town and the home of Enzo’s parents, Luisa and Pepe Compagnoni.  We visited here for two days towards the end of our time in Santiago.  It’s a gorgeous place; a town big enough to keep you interested, close enough to Santiago when you want the attractions of a big city and yet right on a beautiful stretch of coast that has been well and truly taken advantage of by the local council – and by Pepe on his daily walks.

We didn’t give this area much time but we packed a lot in.  The weather was gorgeous so we could easily walk around and enjoy all of the sights it had to offer.

Thanks to Pepe and Luisa for showing us around their beautiful town and allowing us to make the most of our short time here.

Valparaiso's very famous clock

Vina del Mar housing - no concerns about earthquakes!

Sharing great wine & fantastic seafood dinner with Sr & Sra Compagnoni

Mar de Plata

I posted a pretty harsh assessment of the “the beach” in Argentina, as experienced on our first day in Mar de Plata back in February. And while it was insanely crowded, the sand grey and the water not so blue; it did get better after that.  We must have walked 10km in both directions around the coast from our very central hotel and the crowds did thin out a lot.  There was actually heaps of beach for everyone but obviously the locals prefer to be packed in like sardines in the main area!  They also allow the rental of space and a beach umbrella (about $15 a day) or cabin ($20).  Many of these areas build play areas for kids or have a pool and restaurant so you can BYO to the beach or have a bit more privacy and convenience.  They just need to get the balance right between the public space (very crowded) and private/commercial space (very underutilised)!

Very popular Mar de Plata in summer

A great spot for lunch...

... right on the water!

Iguassu Falls

These are still one of the biggest highlights of our trip – I am still spewing that we lost the camera that contained so many amazing shots of these incredible waterfalls!  But… Emily has come to the rescue and sent some photos and here they are, well passed their promised by date but here at last.

Steam from the main falls

Along the walk to the main falls

See the boat? That was the best ride!

Cute little buggers


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