Igauzu – The Most Amazing Waterfall In The World

July 17th, 2007 by budgetmonkeydave

The waterfall Iguassu forms a natural border for Argentina and Brazil and consists of about 275 waterfalls, sure beats the heck out of a fence….
Very nice pics and a couple of videos.

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Argentina’s economy minister resigns after $64,000 found in office toilet

July 17th, 2007 by budgetmonkeydave

Argentina’s economy minister has resigned after being asked to testify about storing $64,000 (47,000 euros; $32,000) in her office toilet. Felisa Miceli said the cash was lent to her by her brother to buy a house.

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Isla de Ometepe: Volcán Maderas

May 31st, 2007 by budgetmonkeyanna

4 O�clock flowersThe next day we were a little more adventurous and decided to try a hike through the jungle. The hike up the Volcán Concepción is currently closed due to activity; either way the trail up Volcán Maderas is said to have considerably more wildlife, making it a much more attractive option to an avowed animal lover like myself. Since this is still our vacation and we didn’t want to completely exhaust ourselves we chose to go only halfway up the volcano (2.5km. about 2.5 hours) to a mirador (viewpoint). On this hike one can see one of the many local petroglyphs (an underwhelming but interesting carved stone from the pre-columbian era, see pic below), as well as fields of coffee, cacao (see pic below), and banana.

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Isla de Ometepe: Swimming

May 31st, 2007 by budgetmonkeyanna

So what have we been doing for the past few days you might ask, and you probably are asking otherwise why would you be checking the website. : ) I’m so cheeky.

Well what we’ve been doing is spending yet more time in paradise. The whole country is paradise as far as I’m concerned. After our travels at the two volcanos near Granada we moved camp to the Isla de Ometepe, an island further south in Lake Nicaragua. There we stayed at the Hotel Villa Paraiso in Playa Santo Domingo. The lake itself is incredibly shallow and boasts the only freshwater sharks in the world, although they don’t affect swimming since they are so rarely seen. The water is warm, soft, and wonderful.

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Volcán Mombacho Canopy Tour

May 24th, 2007 by budgetmonkeydave

Canopy tour groupA sweltering half-hour bus ride from Granada and a pleasant 1.5 km walk up from the carreterra brought us to the Volcán Mombacho Reserve park entrance. There, a guy from the Canopy Tour company brought us further up the road to their hut, where we promply purchased/consumed cold beverages, and then commenced strapping in for our adventure.

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Granada: Primer Día

May 22nd, 2007 by budgetmonkeyanna

Our first day in paradise, well not quite, but close to it. We’re staying in a wonderful hostel called, Hotel Oasis. It’s quiet and charming. There are two indoor patios, one of which is filled with hammocks, wicker couches, and a beautiful garden, the other of which is the main eating area surrounding a small, but wonderfully refreshing, pool. Our breakfast (El tipico) includes the standard nicaraguan gallo pinto (rice and beans), eggs with cheese, and two tortillas.

Balloon man

Today we took it easy and wandered about town. We stopped off in the central plaza for a bit to people watch and were gentley harrassed by the ice cream vendor who tried to convince us that his ice cream would give andrea “strength in her arms”. The town bustles with a surprisingly quiet din. It’s a lot like what I had imagined Salta (in Argentina) would be like, although much less developed. Many people ride bikes or in horse-drawn buggies. Even at night (around 6) when everyone emerges from their slumber the town is at once lively and tranquil, most likely due to the general slow pace of life here in Nicaragua. We thought of trying to attempt a journey to the outlying natural wonders, but we were too tired and decided to take a swimming and napping break midday instead. Continue reading ‘Granada: Primer Día’

Entering Nicaragua

May 21st, 2007 by budgetmonkeyanna

Hey all, so we’ve made it to our next exotic destination – Nicaragua. It is incredibly hot. The flight is really easy though, only two and a half hours from houston, Texas. We flew in amid the most amazing lightning I’ve ever seen from a plane. Towering clouds all around us, in giant columns with lightning striking across them in horizontal rays. It’s supposed to be that way the whole week, although so far this morning has blessed us with wonderfully clear blue skies.

We’re staying at a place called hotel Oasis in Granada. We flew into Managua, the capital, but we opted not to stay there since it was not recommended. Granada is actually very reminsicent of our previous trip in the north of Argentina (Salta and Jujuy provinces). Lots of old colonial type buildings in nice colors. A wonderful central plaza where many hang out during the day to do people-watching. At night the whole city is quite dead. A small strip with bars is lit up, and this seems to be the main hang out for those tourists looking to have a drink. The casinos are also open all day and all night as far as we can tell. Well I’m losing steam so I’ll have to fill you all in later when we’ve finally accomplished something other than lying around, eating, and sleeping. : )

Word of the day:
navaja: pocket knife

Flight Search Engines

April 12th, 2007 by budgetmonkeydave

Sidestep.com and Kayak.com are two search engines that compile results from hundreds of other airefare search sites.

43Places.com – The Myspace of Travel?

February 22nd, 2007 by budgetmonkeydave

43 Places Screenshot

Here’s a travel-oriented social tagging site to add to your list. 43 Places is a new spin on the popular community-driven website 43 Things — instead of revolving around things to accomplish, it’s all about places to go. The places are added by users; they can be as mundane as the local pub or a vast as Russia.

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December 14th, 2006 by budgetmonkeydave

the church at Iruya

If there was a contest for the most beautiful Argentine village, Iruya would certainly be a strong contender for the top spot. What it lacks in architectural beauty it makes up for in location — the setting really is about as dramatic as one could imagine.

As you meander the steep cobblestone streets (the only thing to do anyway, especially during the extended afternoon siesta hours), you’re treated to the spectacle of the valley walls everywhere you look. Every direction brings a unique landscape. As the light changes throughout the day, different colors dance among the rock formations in an endless spectacle of light and texture.