Uruguay first stop Colonia 

After a couple days in Uruguay it is quickly becoming our favourite country of this trip after Bolivia.

First impressions are important and after arriving at the port in Colonia from Buenos Aires it was just a short walk though the clean leafy roads to the hostel. We stayed at Hostel Sur which was run by a very friendly Uruguayan man who welcomed us. He was very helpful and told us what we should not miss. The hostel was very friendly and had a warm fire going. The town felt safe, the people friendly and was pleasant to walk around. Being in this sleepy town after walking some of the shadier streets of Buenos Aires was a welcome change.

The guy running the hostel recommended we head down to the old town and make sure we watch the sun set.


We also had to check the view from the light house.

The port town had once been the place of a battle between the British, Spanish and Portuguese. With the wreck of a British ship 150m from the coast. The influence of the different countries can be seen in the architecture.



In many ways this sleepy town reminded me of a seaside town back home. This and the laid back attitude of the locals made it a great place to visit.

The costal (river side) walk was great and if you enjoy running there are some great trails to follow.





Buenos Aires 

We have spent 6 nights in the capital of Argentina and covered miles and miles of the city. On arrival we had a bit of a freak out at the bus station in all it’s hideous glory. After asking 7 people at 5 different kiosks where and how to buy a local bus card (we are still IN the bus terminal at this point!) to take the bus we finally managed to buy a card and put some money on it (2 different places) without getting robbed so we were mildly relieved at this point. Couldn’t find the bus stop anywhere and stuck out like a sore thumb but a kind passerby pointed us to the bus we needed. 

We got to our hostel (still feeling rattled and having walked past at least 2 people screaming at bins) to find a note on the door saying ‘meet you in the pub up the road at 6.30pm’ cue further panic as it was 4pm, we had no cash and all our worldly possessions on us in what felt like a super dodgy area! After a 30min hike to a cash point we settled in said pub and were relieved to finally eat and feel a bit more safe. The steak more than made up for the 2hr jaunt though! 

It was worth it though as the hostel is absolutely beautiful. High ceilings, outdoor square with a lemon tree inside the complex, chandelier lighting and beautiful antique deco. And actually the area on closer inspection (just walking one block) is one of the chic-est areas in the city with a boho feel and tango in the square. 

We decided to be super tourists this time and took the gringo tour bus to get our bearings and cover the ground in this huge city. 

We took a two day ticket and managed to see most of the tourist sights!

Plaza San Martin (conqueror of South America and freed it from theSpanish) 

Grand palace and military base during the freedom war

Monument for those who died in the Falklands war in 1982 (wasn’t sure I should be wandering round here but John was confident I could run quick enough!) 

Eva Peron’s (Evita’s) grave in the Recoleta cemetery 

Ministry of defence 

La Boca – Art Deco area where the ‘immigrants’ first landed and made their home. Now home to artisanal markets, crafts and tango dancers. 

The obelisk monument in the centre of BA

Evita’s balcony and the town hall

We also saw the botanical gardens (no flowers or butterflies as….well it’s winter here!), the ecological park (same applies!), the hippodrome (no horses as its out of season but did see some weird rat/badger/otter things), and the Japanese gardens (same issues) so no photos as……well they weren’t very interesting in the winter! 

Tomorrow we’re lucky enough to be invited to the hostel owners family bbq so I’m predicting a lot more steak and red wine! 

Then off to Uruguay on Monday! 


Córdoba and Rosario – Road trip to Buenos Aires 

We’ve had two city mini break stops on route to BA from Iguazu. 

First we spent 2 nights in Córdoba in a very hipster hostel with a climbing wall inside it! A bit too hipster for us who like going to bed at 10pm and have a hot water bottle……but an experience all the same. We did a ‘free walking tour’ of the city with a super and enthusiastic guide called Martin who walked us round the city for 2.5hrs (20km!) and didn’t run out of things to tell us and things to see. Beautiful city with a lot of interesting history. Clear Spanish and French influences mixed with the ‘liberators of South America’ statues and monuments and some of the most breathtaking churches I’ve ever seen dotted throughout the city. 

Then the next mini break we moved onto Rosario. Into the most lovely and chic hostel where one of the guests let us in and gave us a load of info for our city tour the next day. A lovely Colombian guy called (you guessed it) Juan who is studying for a month in Rosario. The best informal tour guide we’ve met so far and we set off Monday morning with a map covered in biro scrawls for our second city tour in 3 days. We covered another 20km in Rosario and apart from a minor toilet desperado detour (30mins of pee desperation with no public loos, cafes or museums open at siesta time!!) we had a great day and saw lots of the city. 

Then the last night in Rosario we had a delicious dinner in a very chic restaurant close to the hostel. Amazing steaks (of course) incredible wine (of course) and great company. 



After the beautiful scenery and butterfly spotting of Iguazu falls we didn’t think we could be spoiled again so quickly. Then we stumbled across the hummingbird garden. WOW! Hidden down a side street in a residential area you go through someone’s garden gate and in front of you there are what feels like 100’s of birds. The noise and movement is incredible and its impossible to really describe it in words. 

​Over 35 years ago a local resident started putting sugar water out for hummingbirds in the winter when there were no flowers for them to feed from. Unbeknown to her this would turn into the most amazing garden full of hummingbirds and other birds throughout the whole year. They come from miles to feed and there are 20+ species of bird feeding here all year round. It is now a full time job and her son joked that they can’t go on holiday now as the water needs topping up throughout the day every day! 

I’m not particularly a bird person but I was mesmerised by these gorgeous little creatures and the speed they moved in the air. They weren’t phased by visitors at all and I was only jolted back to reality when the pet turtle tried to make a bid for freedom from the pond and fell back in with a loud crash and splashing me with water. Otherwise I might still be there in that garden…………


Iguazu Falls 

Iguazu falls is a naturalwater boundary which separates Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil from each other. It is also a world Unesco site  and a national park spread across two countries. 

It is the main tourist and local attraction in the area so really easy to get to and from and perfect for a day trip for those keen to walk and explore and those not. We got a local bus to the park then set off exploring. 

They have a small train connecting the different areas of the park so we hopped on that when we got into the park and headed to the ‘Devils throat’ the top of the falls on the Argentinian side. 

There is no way the photos will do this sight, sound, smell and atmosphere justice so we won’t try. But an incredible all encompassing experience of the amazing wonder of nature! 

We spent the rest of the day on foot and covered over 20km walking around the different areas of the park. 

We saw lots of different waterfalls some huge and some less so. 

We saw birds, butterflies, monkeys, turtles and coati during our adventure and the whole park was just a fascinating and incredible experience! 


Border crossing Paraguay – Brazil – Argentina

The next leg of our trip took us from Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay to Puerto Iguazú in Argentina, crossing 3 countries in the process.

The influence of each of the countries can be seen in the bordering cites of Cuidad del Este (Paraguay), Foz do Iguacu (Brazil) and Puerto Iguazú (Argentina). For examples most signs are in Spanish and Portuguese and shops have prices in both the Brazilian Real and Argentine peso.

After hours in a comfortable coach we found ourselves in the midday sun at the bus terminal in Cuidad del Este. With some help from a local we found that busses to Argentina would leave from the bus terminal at the 13th and 14th bay.

After waiting around for 20 minutes  a bus arrived marked for Puerto Iguazú (Argentina). We had read it was very important to get an exit stamp for Paraguay and asked the driver if he stopped at immigration. He was not very clear but mentioned that they went all the way to Argentina. We decided to jump on the bus and just get off at immigration anyway. It cost 14000 Paraguayan G’s (£1.70), not bad for a trip across three countries.

After getting on the bus we realised how slow it was, about the same speed as a slow jogger.

Cuidad del Este is known for having cheap electronics due to a special economic status no tax is paid. This leads to the a huge black market trade. The bus we were on was also full of bags and boxes no doubt full of electronics and other goods. The tax and markup on electronics in Argentina especially is huge. Many of the people on the bus were clearly smuggling things across the border. This was most obvious when it came to scanning the baggage at the border, many of our fellow travelers left their bags on the bus!

The most important thing to take note of when crossing the borders:
1) If leaving/entering Paraguay you need a exit/entry stamp to avoid problems when entering/exiting Paraguay on the way out/in again. Make the bus driver aware of this!
2) If you are just passing through Brazil for the day a entry exit stamp is not required.
3) You always need an entry exit stamp for Argentina, the driver will stop here on the way in for sure.

The way from Paraguay to Brazil is over the friendship bridge. Right at the beginning of the bridge on the same side as the traffic is the immigration office. As we got close to the bridge a guy selling bread tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to the office. Clearly we did not blend in with the rest of the smugglers he knew we were tourists. We had squeeze down the bus past all the people and boxes, finally jumping from the still moving bus. The driver yelled something at us when we got off. We ran to the office, got the passports stamped in about 2 minute. When we left the office the bus was just ahead! We ran through the traffic and just jumped back on the bus again. Being a slow bus actually paid off!

The rest of the journey was simple after this, the bus did not stop in Brazil and went directly to Argentina.

An alternative to taking the bus would have been taking a motorcycle taxi, these are much faster and will stop at immigration when you ask. However, that would not cost £1.70.

Safely on the other side with a good story to tell we made it to our lovely villa in Puerto Iguazu and celebrated with a steak! Phew!



First impressions of this country was what a contrast to Bolivia! Bolivia prides itself on everything made in Bolivia, no brand names, no advertising. Paraguay had 3 McDonalds on the first road we passed on the bus! Named brands everywhere and advertising. Strange but the first thing we really noticed were the adverts. Followed by the more diverse culture. I wasn’t as much of a ‘gringa’ here but people were less friendly too. 

We saw most of the sights of Asuncion on foot in one day. Some really beautiful Spanish style buildings. 

Some lovely parks (some less lovely ones too). 

The original rail station with lines still embedded in the road and original engine there too. 

Met a lovely museum curator who took us round ‘Benjamin Caballero’s’ original home with some fascinating handmade antique furniture and some porcelain from England (she was delighted to tell us……not sure she’d met English people before!). 

On the flip side there were also some dodgy back streets, some dodgy locals and a friendly local advising us NOT to walk the way we were walking and to go back for a different street. 

Paraguay is a mix of America, Spain and shanty towns all cobbled together in a bit of a mish mash. Was an interesting city to see but we won’t be rushing back. 

The 6hr bus journey across the country however was a different matter. I’m a country girl anyway but beautiful green fields, livestock everywhere, gorgeous little farmhouses and bungalows and it just looks ideallic. 


Disability rally

People march very regularly in Bolivia about different topics to get their voices heard by the government. At the weekends and most public holidays there are peaceful protest marches in and around the main cities and people come together to support each other and the marches. 

Right now there is a political situation at the moment in Bolivia specifically in La Paz regarding people with disabilities and the government. The government officials are all based in La Paz although it is not the official capital of Bolivia, Santa Cruz is, La Paz takes on the persona of the capital of the country. For this reason is it the focus of the current protest of people with disabilities. 

They have marched from Cochabamba to La Paz over the course of the month of April and have been here for the whole of May staging a peaceful sitting protest. Sadly here it is not as peaceful as it could be and on occasion the police are using water cannons, pepper spray, and occasionally some physical force to prevent the protesters moving around the city or getting near official buildings. 

It is very sad to see people driven to sleeping in tents in -9C at night here and out on the streets surrounded by police in the daytime with the disabilities and long term conditions they suffer with. But it’s also difficult for the government as there is only so much money and what comes out of one pot to go into another means another pot is without. 

We are impartial regarding the politics but have been out offering leaflets and flyers about the charity to any amputees present at the protests as that’s why we’re here.