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Blogs: Day 1-2 Iguazu and Itapu | Day 3-4-5 Buenos Aires | Day 6-8 Falklands | Day 10-14 Antarctica | Day 15-16 Ushuaia | Day 17 Punta Arenas - Patagonia | Day 21-23 Santiago | Day 24 Valparaiso



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The first day was pretty tough getting there. American Airlines Tampa to Miami. 4 hour layover in Miami was great because we found a TGI Friday's that had a bar you could smoke at the only smoking area inside the airport.


That's where we met THIS GUY, who gave us a Christmas Tree which we named Doug (Get it? ...Douglas Fir Tree).


Very nice American Airlines worker we promised to send him pictures of his tree in Antarctica.


This is a 9 hour overnight flight to Buenos Aires. We decided to spring for Premium Economy which was pretty comfortable and glad we did. We could not sit together as the flight was so full and no one would swap.

Turns out the lady sitting next to Wendy was also from Tampa and was also going to Antarctica!! What a coincidence! She going on an expedition ship and will get boots on the ground.

We prefer something a little more comfortable and a LOT cheaper. Setting foot on Antarctica is VERY, VERY expensive.

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Immigration at Buenos Aires was HORRIBLE. We stood in line for TWO hours. We then had to transfer to Buenos Aires' other airport where we were to catch a flight to Iguazu.

We were then picked up by private driver to go to our lodge. On the way - as we had no local currency - we tried an ATM with no luck. The hotel had to pay our driver and I gave them USD. Was only $14 for 30 minute airport transfer.

From leaving home to arriving at our hotel was 27 hours! ARGH! Here's the view from our balcony.

The Iguazu Jungle Lodge was 5 star and so was the restaurant. Dinner was Pacu fish which is of the piranha family!

DAY TWO - Itaipu Dam and Iguazu Falls

Next day we hired a private car to take us to TWO World Wonders! The travel booking agent at the hotel thought we were crazy wanting to do both attractions on the same day, but arranged the car anyway! Bear in mind that the Iguazu Falls was nearby in Argentina, but to get to the Itaipu Dam we had to cross the border to Brazil!

Believe it or not a private car and driver for the entire day taking us over the border and back only cost us $50!

The Itaipu Hydroelectric Plant is recognized as one of the 7 wonders of modern engineering, the largest hydroelectric power plant in production in the world, and for a long time, was also the largest in size. Built in 1974 it generates enough power in one year to power the entire world for 2 days!

The Iguazu falls is one of the 7 Wonders of Nature and is often compared to Victoria Falls in Africa and Niagara Falls in North America. Victoria is the highest with Iguazu coming second. In terms of size Iguazu is by far the largest waterfall system with 275 distinct falls. Victoria has the largest curtain of water. Upon seeing Iguazu, the United States First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt reportedly exclaimed, "Poor Niagara!" (which, at 50 m or 165 feet, are a third shorter than Iguazu).

Entrance to the falls is only a few dollars and that includes a train ride up to the top of the falls and then you have a 15 minute board walk over the river to get to the falls.

There are several other hiking trails but we didn't have enough time to do them as they average at 2 hours each.

Lots of critters, here is the Argentinean equivalent of a raccoon. Very cute and not worried about humans at all.


and finally...

LATAM Airlines (Their domestic airline similar to Spirit) have these cardboard boxes to make sure your luggage is not oversize. If the box does not fit over your bag, then you're in trouble. They charge for check in bags.

They have one box for carry on and one for personal item. So you are screwed even if your carry on is OK but the personal item isn't as you are only allowed 1 carryon, so the personal item becomes your carry on and you have to check your carry on!

However, a checked bag is only $20, so not too bad!

OK, this sticker was spotted in every public area of our 5 star Jungle Lodge including the lobby and restaurant doors.

What kind of issues are they having that would prompt this sign?