Trip through Northern Argentina and Paraguay – Day 1

18 August 2017 – Manchester, UK – Setting off

Up at 06.30 to say goodbye to F. Finished packing, checked lists and spent some quality time with Maga and Mati (and a quick hello to visiting Blackie) before taking a pre-booked taxi to Manchester airport, whence next stop, Buenos Aires.

Bags packed and ready to go

As I have time to kill at the airport, a few words about the planned trip. I’ll spend one night in Buenos Aires, and the following day take an overnight bus to Posadas, Province of Misiones. I pick up a rental car in Posadas and drive straight down to Mercedes, Province of Corrientes, where I spend the night.

Up very early the following morning and drive to Colonia Carlos Pelligrini, on the East  side of the Esteros de iberá, the second largest wetlands (after Brazil’s Pantanal) in South America. I spend a few nights here, and move on to the Mburucuyá  National Park for a couple of nights before returning to the Esteros de Iberá, this time at Cambyretá, close to Ituzaingó on the northern border of the wetlands.

Photo from http://www.tripin.travel/_blog/webfiles/imagenes/proyecto-ibera-2014-proteccion-ecologia-blog3.jpg

A few nights there, and back to Posadas for the Argentine Annual National English Teachers’ Conference (FAAPI), where I’ll be meeting old friends from the many years I lived and worked in Argentina.

Conference over, I rent a car and north-east to San Pedro where I pick up Guy Cox and we spend a week together birding the reserves (Karadya, San Sebastian de la Selva, Urugua-í) between San Pedro and Iguazú, and then and all around the Iguazú area.

Guy Cox, Misiones Bird Guide

My sister Caroline then arrives at Foz do Iguaçu (the Brazilian side of the Iguazu Falls) and we take an overnight bus to Asunción (Paraguay) where we meet our guide Oscar Rodriguez, who will take us north-west, up along the Route 9, to explore the wild life and learn something about the Mennonites who have settled there and the indigenous people who have always (relatively speaking) been there.

Giant Armadillo, endangered species – one of the species we hope to see in Paraguay

After a week of this we come back to Asunción and Caroline and I will spend another few days in a rented car exploring the area south-east of Asunción. Not quite sure what we will find there, but certainly some of the Jesuit Missions set up many years ago.

And then Caroline goes back up to Iguazú for some more conventional tourism while I fly back to Buenos Aires, and thence to San Martín de los Andes to take up residence until January.

So, tomorrow Buenos Aires.

Trip through Northern Argentina and Paraguay

Tomorrow I’ll be starting a blog of a trip I am making through the north-east of Argentina and parts of Paraguay. I’ll be on the road from 18 August to 24 September and hope to blog highlights here. A word of caution, however; much of the area I am visiting will have no electricity, let alone Internet connections, so I’ll post when I can.

The area we shall be covering. The red Xs mark places we shall be visiting.

Much of my focus will be wildlife, both birds and whatever else I have the good luck to see. I have dreams of big cats (in particular the jaguar), but am realistic enough to accept my chances are slim. Still, I should see plenty of other wild life and many, many birds.

One can dream … . Photo from https://www.andbeyond.com/tours/wild-ibera-and-iguazu-falls/

There will of course be other things to interest us, such as the Jesuit ‘Reductions’ (where native inhabitants were forcibly settled into religious communities) and the modern day (fortunately voluntary) Mennonite communities in Paraguay. And all the other tourist stuff.

We shall of course also be visiting the world-famoius Iguazú Falls

For the second half of my trip my sister Caroline will be joining me as we visit Paraguay. For this part of the trip we will use the services of a guide, as the area is simply too remote and potentially dangerous) for us to do it ourselves. Apart from anything else, 4WD is essential here, and to hire a 4WD would cost about as much as the guide – so better for us to be safe (and informed).

Why we need a four wheel drive vehicle …

I’m looking forward to travelling with Caroline again. We did a trip together last year through Welsh Patagonia and got on well together, and although I tend to travel by myself the company will be welcome.

A memory of our trip to Patagonia last year, with my jeep Silver.

More preliminary information about the trip here, and if you want to follow our progress the link here should always take you to our latest blog post. Watch this space.