Author Topic: Ya'alili's Buenos Aires, Iguaz˙/Iguašu, Rio de Janeiro TR  (Read 7966 times)

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 9447
  • Total likes: 89
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA

Offline Yaalili

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2009
  • Posts: 12108
  • Total likes: 232
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 150
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: USA
  • Programs: Caesars Diamond, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Explorist, IHG Platinum, Marriott Gold, MLife Gold, National Executive Elite, Radisson Gold, Rock Royalty Wild Card, Wyndham Diamond, DansDeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite.
Re: Ya'alili's Buenos Aires, Iguaz˙/Iguašu, Rio de Janeiro TR
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2014, 05:53:27 PM »
It appears that photobucket.com might work to compress pix. See http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=38305.msg729253#msg729253

Lol i just saw that too ;)

Offline Joe4007

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Feb 2013
  • Posts: 3787
  • Total likes: 46
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 11
    • View Profile
  • Location: NY
Re: Ya'alili's Buenos Aires, Iguaz˙/Iguašu, Rio de Janeiro TR
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2014, 05:56:43 PM »
Macs have built in compressors. I take it your using Windows?
Windows do too. You can resize it with Paint.

Offline chucksterace

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Jul 2012
  • Posts: 6850
  • Total likes: 6
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 40
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Flight Lynx
  • Location: Chicago, Jerusalem
  • Programs: AA Exec Plat; UA Premier 1K; ; LY Plat; Hyatt Platinum; Hertz President's Circle; Avis President's Club
Re: Ya'alili's Buenos Aires, Iguaz˙/Iguašu, Rio de Janeiro TR
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2014, 06:20:15 PM »

It appears that photobucket.com might work to compress pix. See http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=38305.msg729253#msg729253

Lol. First time I used it and was actually pretty smooth and easy.
You may not hold me responsible or liable for any actions taken that was recommended from my account or username.

Offline Yaalili

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2009
  • Posts: 12108
  • Total likes: 232
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 150
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: USA
  • Programs: Caesars Diamond, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Explorist, IHG Platinum, Marriott Gold, MLife Gold, National Executive Elite, Radisson Gold, Rock Royalty Wild Card, Wyndham Diamond, DansDeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite.
Re: Ya'alili's Buenos Aires, Iguaz˙/Iguašu, Rio de Janeiro TR
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2014, 01:38:52 PM »
Recoleta and Shabbos in Once
Friday morning got off to a late start, after a late-night dinner the night before at Asian, (we were there till it closed). After shachris, we went over to a new place for brunch - Luba. The small eatery is located inside the same building as Chabad of Recoleta. We didn't have reservations, so we had to sit on a small round corner table near the counter, because the other tables were all reserved. It is very small inside, space there for maybe 15-20 people, though our server told us they are looking for somewhere larger. Once we were seated, they brought out complimentary fresh bread and dips on the house, which were good. I ordered Cheese Fingers with Fries, (48 pesos) the fries were perfect and so were the sticks. For a drink, I got the Mint & Chocolate Frapuccino, (38 pesos) it was more like a milk shake, but tasted amazing, highly recommend it. Friends ordered the Pacific Wrap Roll (75 pesos) and Mini Pizza (62 pesos), all were really good, and very reasonably priced. Service was on the spot, very attentive waiter, and our orders came out quite quickly, everything hot, fresh and delicious. Highly recommend this place to eat. - 9/10.

From Luba, you are just a few blocks away from the upmarket disctrict of Recoleta. This area of Buenos Aires, has lots of historic buildings, trendy shops, and an international feel to it. We strolled down Av Alvear where there are a bunch of London style telephone booths. Then there is the famous Recoleta Cemetery, worth a visit there to see the huge tombstones for the important people of BA's history. The weekend fair was being set up outside the cemetery, at a large trail going through the Plaza Francia park. About a 10 minute walk north of Recoleta is the Floralis Generica, a metal flower monument, that gradually opens at sunrise, and closes up later on in the day. There are many more places and sites to see too, great place to walk.

The taxi back to Once from Recoleta was under 25 pesos, like $2-3 USD for private door to door transportation. And that is with the taxi starting fare of 11 pesos. The manager of our hotel went around to all the rooms giving out a packet with some pastries for shabbos, was a nice touch.

Spending Shabbos in Once, is a great experience, and a must. There are so many Yidden walking the streets, with Shuls every other block. We were being hosted by friends for the meals, but there are many places where you can buy prepared Shabbos food in Once.

Motzei Shabbos we went to Pizza Soultani, the only place in Once open after Shabbos. We got there early, about half hour after shabbos was over. The counter there was already full with various kinds of Empanadas - from a few days before.. Pizza would only be ready another 20 minutes later, and we were starving, so we started off with the Empanadas (15 pesos) which surprisingly tasted decent. The Pizza here (140 pesos / pie) was alot better than what we had at Romini, but still a far call from what you can get outside of Buenos Aires. As it was Motzei Shabbos, they weren't making any of their Pasta's or main dishes, so Pizza and Empanadas it was. - 5/10.

To be continued...

P.S. I hope to post pictures soon.

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 9447
  • Total likes: 89
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Ya'alili's Buenos Aires, Iguaz˙/Iguašu, Rio de Janeiro TR
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2014, 03:28:02 PM »
Recoleta and Shabbos in Once
Friday morning got off to a late start, after a late-night dinner the night before at Asian, (we were there till it closed). After shachris, we went over to a new place for brunch - Luba. The small eatery is located inside the same building as Chabad of Recoleta. We didn't have reservations, so we had to sit on a small round corner table near the counter, because the other tables were all reserved. It is very small inside, space there for maybe 15-20 people, though our server told us they are looking for somewhere larger. Once we were seated, they brought out complimentary fresh bread and dips on the house, which were good. I ordered Cheese Fingers with Fries, (48 pesos) the fries were perfect and so were the sticks. For a drink, I got the Mint & Chocolate Frapuccino, (38 pesos) it was more like a milk shake, but tasted amazing, highly recommend it. Friends ordered the Pacific Wrap Roll (75 pesos) and Mini Pizza (62 pesos), all were really good, and very reasonably priced. Service was on the spot, very attentive waiter, and our orders came out quite quickly, everything hot, fresh and delicious. Highly recommend this place to eat. - 9/10.
I'm glad you liked it! It was also jammed when we were there, but we got a seat and had good service as well. I wonder why Bosco didn't like it?

Offline Yaalili

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2009
  • Posts: 12108
  • Total likes: 232
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 150
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: USA
  • Programs: Caesars Diamond, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Explorist, IHG Platinum, Marriott Gold, MLife Gold, National Executive Elite, Radisson Gold, Rock Royalty Wild Card, Wyndham Diamond, DansDeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite.

Offline Joe4007

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Feb 2013
  • Posts: 3787
  • Total likes: 46
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 11
    • View Profile
  • Location: NY
Re: Ya'alili's Buenos Aires, Iguaz˙/Iguašu, Rio de Janeiro TR
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2014, 04:01:00 PM »
Cool pic!

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 9447
  • Total likes: 89
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Ya'alili's Buenos Aires, Iguaz˙/Iguašu, Rio de Janeiro TR
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2014, 05:09:41 PM »
Update: Pictures for the first three parts that i wrote up, are posted.

Part 1 - http://yaalilitripreports.blogspot.com.br/2014/02/getting-to-buenos-aires-and-1st-day.html

Part 2 - http://yaalilitripreports.blogspot.com.br/2014/02/our-2nd-day-in-buenos-aires-and-trip-to.html

Part 3 - http://yaalilitripreports.blogspot.com.br/2014/02/recoleta-and-shabbos-in-once.html
Nice Pix! I got a picture of Floralis Generica on the way to the airport (AEP) without knowing what it was. Thanks for explaining.

Offline Bosco

  • Dansdeals Gold Elite
  • ***
  • Join Date: Dec 2013
  • Posts: 180
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: Ya'alili's Buenos Aires, Iguaz˙/Iguašu, Rio de Janeiro TR
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2014, 10:25:22 AM »
I'm glad you liked it! It was also jammed when we were there, but we got a seat and had good service as well. I wonder why Bosco didn't like it?

I actually went back to Luba on Sunday and had a great experience. As I mentioned in my previous post, they didnt have the right ingredients for what I was ordering and she gave me the food for free because of that. When we returned, we had an omelette with cheese and mushrooms and a panini (with the right bread) and they were both great. We also tried the Alfajor drink (hot, milk-based, dulce de leche flavored drink with ground coconut) which was incredibly rich and sweet, very tasty, but you have to like coconut to like it (there's a lot) and you may not be able to drink the whole thing because it's so sweet.

At least now I know I'm not the only one who thought Asian's meat was not all that impressive. I guess we now know that the change in chefs really made a difference. And by the way, prices went up dramatically in just two months! Probably because of the rate of inflation. The drinks were 55 pesos and I'm pretty sure the other items were more expensive as well.

Offline Yaalili

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2009
  • Posts: 12108
  • Total likes: 232
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 150
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: USA
  • Programs: Caesars Diamond, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Explorist, IHG Platinum, Marriott Gold, MLife Gold, National Executive Elite, Radisson Gold, Rock Royalty Wild Card, Wyndham Diamond, DansDeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite.
Re: Ya'alili's Buenos Aires, Iguaz˙/Iguašu, Rio de Janeiro TR
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2014, 01:50:09 PM »
The Last Days in Buenos Aires
Sunday morning for breakfast, we went to try out some of the local specialty's at the bakeries. At Malena they have very good churros (5 pesos each), while at Kokosh we got some alfajores and great dulce de leche pastries (12-20 pesos each). If you are going to Iguazu from here, like we were, it's a great place to stock on on some snacks. There are also numerous kosher supermarkets spread out in Once. - 7/10.

We took a metro from there to Calle Florida. A nice pedestrian only shopping street in downtown, with lots of tourists and tons of gift shops. There are many people at every corner offering to give you "cambio" change for your currency on the blue rate. If you can it is better not to switch here, as their is lots of counterfeit money in BA, better to switch it with someone that you trust. We walked north a few blocks, till we got to a nice park next to the city's clock tower.

The colorful neighborhood of La Boca was the next stop. Supposedly this area is a more dangerous area of the city, but the actual tourist 2-3 blocks of it, are heavily guarded by police. The metro doesn't go all the way to here, still a taxi was just about 35 pesos from downtown. It's a nice place to look around, tango dancers in the Caminito pedestrian street, and really cute gift shops, with rows of colorful structures.

From there we went to the Sunday fair in San Telmo. Every Sunday the city blocks off a Av Defensa, south of Av de Mayo. The 10 or so blocks are full with merchants selling their own handcrafted merchandise, lots of leather good, and a great place to buy a Matte if you want one, you could get it here for as low as 10 pesos. It is based at the Plaza Durrego, and stretches out for many blocks. Great place to buy something unique for cheap. At both sides of the fair there are metro stations to easily get you back to where you are headed next.

For dinner our last night, we went to Al Galope. We came to the restaurant a few minutes past our reservation time, and found a packed house. Every table was taken, the place was extremely chaotic. The greeter wasn't at her table, so it took a good few minutes for someone to finally to come and show us where to sit. We were seated beside a couple at the same table, and they were dirty plates and utensils from previous diners at our place. About a half hour after we seated, a senior waiter came around and gave us menus and then ran off to another table. Turns out that this man - probably in his early seventy's - was responsible for seating, serving, clearing and putting in orders for the whole back half of the restaurant. When he finally had a minute, our orders were taken and we served forty minutes later. I really felt bad for this waiter, as he was not young, and was carrying a huge load on him that night, and it was clearly evident, he didn't try to hide it at all. Anyway, as far as the food goes, all the steaks are brought out along with a grill to your table to keep it hot, and for you to decide how cooked you want it. We ordered the Beef Chorizo (70 pesos) which was excellent and tender. The Asado Chorizo (115 pesos) was very good as well. Empanada de Carne (13 pesos) and Sausage Chorizo (30 pesos) were OK. They didn't have any fries, so i opted for the Potato Puree (28 pesos) which had very little taste. The prices here are fabulous, the portions are very generous and the Chorizo is great. Do not expect a nice ambiance, decent service or even a clean table. - 6/10.

Monday morning we stocked up on some goodies for our trip to Iguazu. Taxi to the downtown - domestic - airport from Once was 55 pesos. More on the airport, the flight and the destination to be continued..
.
Pictures for this last BA part here - http://yaalilitripreports.blogspot.com.br/2014/02/the-last-days-in-buenos-aires.html.

Offline Yehoshua

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 9447
  • Total likes: 89
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
Re: Ya'alili's Buenos Aires, Iguaz˙/Iguašu, Rio de Janeiro TR
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2014, 03:29:53 PM »
The Last Days in Buenos Aires
It sounds like you had a very nice time in BA over all. How were you able to communicate? Did you or someone you were with speak Spanish? Was it hard to find someone who spoke English?

I can't wait to see your Iguazu report!

Offline Yaalili

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2009
  • Posts: 12108
  • Total likes: 232
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 150
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: USA
  • Programs: Caesars Diamond, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Explorist, IHG Platinum, Marriott Gold, MLife Gold, National Executive Elite, Radisson Gold, Rock Royalty Wild Card, Wyndham Diamond, DansDeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite.
Re: Ya'alili's Buenos Aires, Iguaz˙/Iguašu, Rio de Janeiro TR
« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2014, 05:17:21 PM »
It sounds like you had a very nice time in BA over all. How were you able to communicate? Did you or someone you were with speak Spanish? Was it hard to find someone who spoke English?

I can't wait to see your Iguazu report!

Yes bh had an excellent time there. My friends and I speak a little Spanish and a little Portuguese, also some people knew some English, so was never really much of an issue.

Offline Joe4007

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Feb 2013
  • Posts: 3787
  • Total likes: 46
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 11
    • View Profile
  • Location: NY
Re: Ya'alili's Buenos Aires, Iguaz˙/Iguašu, Rio de Janeiro TR
« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2014, 05:30:39 PM »
I can't wait to see your Iguazu report!
+100. Nostalgic memories!

Offline Yaalili

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2009
  • Posts: 12108
  • Total likes: 232
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 150
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: USA
  • Programs: Caesars Diamond, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Explorist, IHG Platinum, Marriott Gold, MLife Gold, National Executive Elite, Radisson Gold, Rock Royalty Wild Card, Wyndham Diamond, DansDeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite.
Re: Ya'alili's Buenos Aires, Iguaz˙/Iguašu, Rio de Janeiro TR
« Reply #29 on: February 16, 2014, 01:46:37 PM »
Our next stop.. Iguaz˙/Iguašu Falls! - Part #1
It was a little tricky to find award availability to travel from BA to IF. The only two airlines that fly this route are Aerolineas and LAN, both of them a lot if you are not an Argentinian, so award is the way to go. With LAN it only cost 7,500 avios points to fly from BA to IF, the problem is that the airports in the route (AEP and IGR) do not show up on the website, so PUTPAC is needed here. Many agents do not know how to search for LAN availability, especially when the airports do not show on the website, if that's the case just HUCA, i had to do it twice. Once you do get someone that is able to book it for you, mention to them that you are unable to book it on the site, and ask them to waive the calling fee, had no problem with that.

The domestic airport in Buenos Aires is a mess, there were two huge lines, one for LAN and one for AA. All flights checking in at the same time, and there were many of them. Good thing we came early, as we waited on line for over an hour just to check in, and hand over our luggage. Security and the rest is all a breeze after that, no lines, and a kinda modern'ish terminal at airside. Between security and the gates there is a large store, that you walk through to reach the gates. It had a huge selection of anything you would think to find in an airport DF store, with great prices too. They also had a great selection of kosher - pas yisroel - beigel's snacks at very reasonable prices. Free and fast WiFi is also found throughout the airport.

Our flight boarding was on-time, we took a quick shuttle bus to the plane, and boarded via airstairs. Travel time was quick at about an hour and a half. LAN gives out complimentary snack boxes with some cookies and nuts (not kosher) and soft drinks. Announcements on this flight as well as all the other flights, we made in the country language as well as English.

Iguazu airport is small and very easy to navigate, luggage came quickly and we were out about 15 minutes after we landed. There were shuttle buses outside the airport that leave after every flight, and stop off at any place you want to go to in downtown Puerto Iguazu. A one-way ticket to town is 40 pesos per person or 70 for roundtrip.

We arrived at our hotel Residential Guarani at a little before 5pm. The rate for a three bed room was 350 pesos a night. The hotel is located right in the center of town, just a block away from the bus station, taxis and grocery stores. If you won't be staying at the Sheraton, this is a great budget alternative. Room was very clean, had good air conditioner, and was spacious. The hotel also provides free WiFi and free breakfast every morning, including coffee, tea, fruits etc.

By the time we arrived, it was too late to go to the falls, as they close at 5-6pm every day. So we went for a walk around town, which is very small and walkable. In the corner of town, there is the Three Frontiers Landmark. From this place you could see all three bordering countries (Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay) from the same spot. The largest city is located on the Paraguay side, and you could see some tall buildings in the distance. We passed by a number of boat companies offering cheap rides across the river into Paraguay, though you do need another visa to visit there. At the obelisk there were lots of people waiting to take a picture with it and the three countries in the back, so we skipped that. We took a taxi from there, back to our place for 25 pesos. Very nice driver, who also ended up taking us across the border to Brazil and falls there.

Almost no kosher products in Iguazu, so if you want anything other than water and fruits, you do gotta bring it from the city you are coming from. We brought with us lots of crackers, cookies, wafers and more.

We got up early the next day at 5am, to maximize our day on the Argentina side of the falls. We davened, ate breakfast, and we were on our way about an hour later. The Bus Station is only one block from our hotel, and they have buses that go to the falls every 20 minutes for 70 pesos roundtrip. Buses are operated by the company Rio Uruguay and are very clean and air conditioned. Inside the small bus station there was a Mezuzah at one of the ticket windows, there is an Israeli girls who works there with her mother, and says they are the only Jews in town ;) - was very excited to see other Jews there.

The park was opening just as we came there, a little before 8am. We weren't the only early ones, there were many tour groups there already waiting to go in, still was emptier than a few hours later. Iguazu Falls Park has a Train the runs through it, with three stops, one at the entrance, the next at central station, where many trails start from, and the third and final stop is at Garganta del Diablo. We decided to go to the last stop first, as many people save it for the end, so early in the day its a lot more empty. From the train stop you walk on a trail that is built over the water, by many bridges connected, truly a sight to see for itself. The 'hike' is about half hour long, until you reach the grand Garganta del Diablo. At the end of the trail you are literally standing right on top of the falls, the mist spray is really powerful and you will get soaked. We stuck around there for a while taking in the grand views, nothing that a picture can possibly describe.

We then took the train back down to the Central station. From there you are in walking distance to the upper and lower trails, the green trail and the Sheraton hotel. In middle of the walk to the lower trail entrance we passed by a lighthouse that was closed for renovations. The Lower Trail is the longest of the trails, takes a good 2-3 hours to walk and take in the views without rushing. You will get great views of the large and famous waterfalls, along with some really nice small independent waterfalls. Though the real highlight of this trail, starts almost at the end of the main level, where a long concrete staircase takes you down all the way to the bottom. The views here are fabulous, you are hugging the mountain rock on one side and the water and falls on the other. This is a must visit place, and most tourists don't come here, as it's not officially labeled as part of the trail itself.

After that we went to the Sheraton, just to relax up a bit. We sat there for about 20 minutes, in the lounge area and then headed off for the Upper Trail. The upper trail was really nice, but couldn't come close to our first two trails in the morning, you get great views from here, but you couldn't really get close up with it. Still you should make a point to go to this trail too, as every trails has something unique to it.

Our final trail of the day was the Green Trail. This trail is the only one that will not pass by any waterfalls, instead giving you a really scenic way to get back from central station to the entrance without the train. We met many of the famous Iguazu Raccoon's on this trail. Beware these cute little rodents are not shy at all, and if the see or smell the slightest hint of food, they will go and make and jump for it.  The trail is short just under a half hour and you are back to the entrance area of the park.

If you have extra time after walking all the trails, there is a nice visitor center near the entrance of the park. They have information there about the many different wildlife and fauna that can be found within the area. Along with a nice video presentation with English subtitles about the history of Iguazu.

And here is something for all kosher travelers out there. Near the entrance of the park there is a Freddo ice-cream and sorbet shop, with lots of kosher flavors. The parve sorbet here is the you will ever have, exploding with delicious fruit flavors and a smooth and creamy texture. I got a cup with three scoops (53 pesos) - passion fruit, mango and strawberry and would recommend all of them. They will let you try little nibbles of the flavor before you order it, the also have a great lemon and raspberry flavor. Was a real treat to find this up in Iguazu. - 10/10.

Crossing the border and the Brazil side of the falls to be continued..

Pictures for this part of the TR, top two posts here - http://yaalilitripreports.blogspot.com.br/.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 02:02:22 PM by Ya'alili »