Leaving Buenos Aires was not easy. Especially because of the taxi service we had: Cynthia gave us a lift to the airport. On the airport we were chatting and drinking coffee nearly forgetting about the boarding time.

It was 10 pm when we finally arrived at the hostel. The welcome committee of the hostel can be described as the best-of a gangster movie. The fact that no one else was in the hostel and no English speaking person was around did not make us feel more comfortable. On top we needed to buy drinking water. Thankfully one of the hostel staff went out with Niels to buy some. On the way he constantly turned around checking the empty streets always one hand on the 20-25 cm knife in his pocket – a nice neighborhood we arrived in J Without any success they returned. The water (in a used bottle) which was offered to us was the first time we gave the water purification tablets a try. As you can see we survived the night – even though it was freaking cold!

The next days we went for some serious sightseeing with Maik and Tino. First on the list was the huge Basílica del Voto Nacional (see the pictures in the following post), the Plaza Grande and the Old Town. Another day we went for El Panecillo, the small hill to the south of the Old Town which is topped by a statue of La Virgen de Quito. To be honest, it’s nothing special but the view of the city and the surrounding volcanoes are definitely worse the trip. In the afternoon the same day we went for a place called Café Mosaico. It has an open terrace with a magnificent view of the city especially while the sun sets.

As much as the days were pleasant the nights were not. After 5 very cold nights in our spooky hostel we decided to move to La Mariscal because Niels got sick – getting worse every night. La Mariscal is a nice area. Most tourist stay there as well as party people from Quito. The new hostel was wonderful, they even offered us a heater for the room without charging money. It didn’t take long and Niels was feeling better (maybe it was because of Eva taking very good care, including cooking magical chicken soup).

View from the rooftop terrace of our first hostelIMG_1547…and during nightIMG_1530

Our neighbourhood looks quite nice during day time…IMG_1539

Bullfight arena in the neighbourhoodIMG_1536

Café MosaicoIMG_1552 …and the view in the eveningIMG_1558

View of Quito to the SouthPanorama1

View of Quito to the NorthPanorama2 Panorama3

Iglesia San Francisco Panorama4

Grande PlazaIMG_2379

Statue of La Virgen de QuitoIMG_2438View from the top of statue of La VirgenPanorama7

The Church of the Society of Jesus, which is fully decorated with gold insideIMG_2396 IMG_2401 IMG_2405

Visiting Buenos Aires

Right after arriving in Buenos Aires the first highlight awaited us: the cozy apartment of our Airbnb host Martin. Its perfectly located in the district of Recoleta, which offers lots of bars, Cafés and green spaces. The first night we met Cynthia who was visiting her family in BA for a nice dinner and chatted till late night.

For the next days we had a long list of sights to visit. Most people recommended the cemetery (?!?). Also it is listed in the lonely planet as a must-see. Honestly, we were more than skeptical. But it turned out everyone was absolutely right about the cemetery – its crazy. Some of the tombs are big like houses. Most of them are build out of marble. Words can’t really describe this place.

Another highlight was Puerto Madero – Buenos Aires copy of the Hamburg Harbour City ;). To be honest, its bigger, seems to be even more modern and hosts more bars / restaurants than the Hamburg Harbour City. Especially Niels liked the area a lot. However, this was not the real highlight of that day. The evening should await us with what all of us now call their best dinner ever! “Parrilla Pena” – the place where dreams come true! Bife de lomo (tenderloin) and bife de chorizo (rump steak) as big as a very large male hand, at least two finger thick and so tasty, people start to cry J On top the waiter is super friendly, super fast and super passionate about what he does. An absolute must-do in Buenos Aires. Oh and just by the way, the food and drinks are cheap – very cheap – the starters are even for free! To finish off a perfect day we went for a bar after dinner, just to find out 2 hrs later that we actually ended up in the most famous gay bar in BA.

Look who we found, someone who did NOT win the world cup!P7240492

IMG_20140725_143750 IMG_20140725_144630

Buenos Aires Harbour City!IMG_1512IMG_20140725_165655 IMG_20140725_172501

Best steak ever (seriously, by far!)

We ate it all (best meal ever!) IMG_20140726_211029

Best grill ever!IMG_20140726_212209

Best waiter ever in the Parrilla Peña!IMG_20140725_205602

Some impressions of the cemeteryP7240462

Some graves are big like houses.P7240478 P7240484 P7240487

Our cozy apartmentIMG_1490

Short trip to Paraguay

After visiting the Brazilian site of the Iguazu waterfalls we had the choice between seeing the Waterfalls from the Argentinian side or paying Paraguay a short-term visit. The weather forecast wasn’t good for the next day. Since we have seen the waterfalls already Paraguay was our choice.

The adventure started: Taking the bus to Cuidad del Este (Paraguay) was easy. At the boarder we decided to get our passports stamped. It took quite a while to figure out where to go. However, afterwards everything went quite smooth. Only the Ponte de Amizade (Friendship Bridge) nearly gave Maggis an heart attack (fear of heights). The city itself doesn’t hold any tourist attractions and offers a very different picture compared to the neighbour countries: traffic jams stretch along shabby streets, the shady shops only seem to offer (fake) electronics and clothes. The only two things we bought were a sunglass case and a Paraguayan mate cup. Mate is a traditional South American tea which is prepared by boiling steeped dried leaves of yerba. You see mate drinking people everywhere.

After spending a few hours walking around the exciting streets, a McDonalds visit and generally enjoying the chaos, Eva asked the locals in perfect Spanish for the bus back to Foz do Iguazu (Brazil). After only some attempts the right bus was found 😉

The three of us enjoyed the last evening in Brazil by killing a gigantic chocolate crust pizza – sounds weird – is weird – is delicious!!!

Friendship Brigde
IMG_20140722_132554 IMG_20140722_150125

Hipster –> Maggis 😉

Boarder crossingIMG_20140722_153745 IMG_20140722_154202

World famous POLYstation! Now in 4D!IMG_20140722_160806

Iguazu Falls and the Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam

After leaving the beautiful island of Ilha Grande by speed boat (Ilha Grande – Angra dos Reis),bus (Angra dos Reis – Bus Terminal, Sao Paulo), taxi (bus terminal– airport), and plane (Sao Paulo to Iguazu de Foz), our arrival time was set to 01:30 am. There a pick-up service should wait for us – and it did! The drive was “only” 20 mins and we arrived shortly before 2:30 at our B&B where Nilton (the owner) awaited us. The reviews of his place were very positive, especially pointing in his direction. The moment we shook hands we knew why.

The next morning we went to the Brazilian side of the Iguazu Falls. Wikipedia knowledge: “numerous islands along the 2.7-kilometre-long (1.7 mi) edge divide the falls into numerous separate waterfalls and cataracts, varying between 60 to 82 metres (197 to 269 ft) high”. They are amazing and bigger than you expect them to be. Especially the walk on top of the waterfall is something to remember (see picture below).

The next stop that day should be something Niels was highly interested in: one of the biggest water powerplants in the world. The Itaipu hydroelectric dam produces up to 75% of the electricity used in Paraguay and 17% in Brazil (a country with roughly about 201 Mio inhabitants!).It is the largest operating hydroelectric facility in terms of annual energy generation (yes, even more than the Three Gorges Dam). The dam itself was more remarkable to me than the Iguazu waterfalls. It is gigantic!


The coatis are all over the place looking for foodP7210263 P7210318 P7210349 P7210353

Maggis big day – fighting his fear of heightsP7210362 P7210364 P7210378 P7210380 P7210386

Itaipu hydroelectric dam P7210399 P7210405 P7210440 P7210444

Capybaras, the largest rodents in the world

Ilha Grande

Ilha Grande is a small paradise around 150 km southwest of Rio. After visiting Christo early in the morning we went to the bus station and lined up. After half an hour of waiting we got told that there are no busses to Ilha Grande for today. Therefore, another transportation needed to be found. Niels ask a taxi driver who offered a very good price (220 BRL = ~ 72 €) for the 2 hrs – 144 km ride. At port of Conceição de Jacareí we took a boat to the main village on Ilha Grande. The next days we went to diffrent beaches, did some hiking and enjoyed life at several nice restaurants and bars.

The guys found the cup and the cup found the guys 😉IMG_2280 IMG_2284 IMG_2285 IMG_2315 IMG_20140715_145921


German beer is also famous on Ilha Grande …IMG_20140715_150750

… but Baule prefers the local SKOLIMG_20140715_191538

Old aquaduct in the middle of the forrestIMG_2299

A giantic earthworm crossed our way while walking (approx. 1 m long)IMG_2304