Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Vancouver Kayaks

Vancouver the vast archipelagos, meandering fjords, with forests protected bays on isolated islands situated along the British Columbia coastlines is best suits for Kayaking. Kayaking is an adventures sport to command of the ocean and land. Vancouver Kayaks specializes in ensuring your memorable pleasure with protection. If you are a beginner to take kayak lessons, they are providing short day night trips with qualified well experienced guides. Their well qualified guides help you in handling the equipments and coach you in some basic strokes. They are arranging a jaunt in Deep cove too which best suits the small and medium groups, corporate business gatherings and community groups. Their philosophy is to endow with the best experience on open water with the Boreal Designed Kayaks. Book your Boat and gain their experience insights right now.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Before departure Antigua and Barbuda

Useful addresses

In France

- Tourist Office Embassy of Antigua and Barbuda: 43 Avenue de Friedland, 75008 Paris. Tel. : 01-53-96-93-96 (embassy). Tel. : 01-53-75-15-71 (tourist office).
Do not expect necessarily much of the tourist office, is only concerned with the promotion of luxury establishments.


- Permanent Mission of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States: St. Livorno 42, 1000 Brussels.

Tel. (02) 534-26-11.
Email: ecs.embassies @

The organization represents six States of the Lesser Antilles, including Antigua, and three British dependencies.


- Permanent Mission of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States: 37-39 rue de Vermont-Nations, 1203 Geneva.

Tel. (22) 733-77-75.
Email: @ cs.embassies

In Canada

- High Commission for the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS): 130 Albert Street, Suite 700. Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5G4-.

Tel. : (613) 236-8952.

- Antigua and Barbuda Department of Tourism & Trade 60 St. Claire Avenue East, Suite 304. Toronto, Ontario M4T 1N5-.

Tel. (416) 961-3085.



Citizens of member countries of the European Union and the Swiss do not need a visa for a stay of less than 6 months. The passport must be valid at least 6 months. It may be necessary, on arrival, to present a return ticket or onward, and to state where you live.

In case of transit through the United States, be sure to have a passport that meets the requirements of U.S. authorities, because you need to clear customs before your flight (allow at least one hour delay). It is necessary to qualify for the visa waiver program to obtain an electronic travel authorization (ESTA) at least 3 days before departure. The response is usually immediate, but the procedure is now paying off.

Straight Talk

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Charleston homes

Are you planning to by a second home or to relocate yourself? Then Charleston is the best suite. Charleston’s mild climate allows year round enjoyment of outdoor activities in and around the beautiful beaches. There is always a demand for Charleston homes. Charleston and adjoining areas has the unique prospect of offering an exhilarating growing community where the real estate values are still quite affordable. The diversity of landscape offers a wide variety of adventures to the young community. Karen a 30+ realtor is there to extend a helping hand to find a second home or to relocate you. Karen is the first licensed realtor in Illinois. She is well expertise and competent real estate professional in Charleston in South Carolina. She has proven her commitment to client service over many years.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Basque Country - Two sites devoted to the ocean in Biarritz

Biarritz focuses on the discovery of the ocean this summer with the opening of two new sites devoted to the sea.  First, the Aquarium of the Sea Museum reopened by doubling its size (7000 m2) and with a new design. The Gulf Stream is the underlying theme of the exhibition where you can admire including seals, tropical fish and sharks.
Biarritz also introduces an innovative structure, the City of Ocean and Surf. This is a fun area, whose goal is to bring the ocean to raise awareness for its protection. The permanent exhibition is, among other things, the formation of the oceans, the tides, currents and waves ... In a word, the mystery of the Mediterranean.

More info on the net: Biarritz Ocean

Destination information: Basque Country and Bearn

Camping Knives

Everyone who is involved in camping activity is aware of the importance of the camping knives. The best camping knives should be of less weight without compromising the size and quality. Camping knives are of two varieties one fixed blade knife and another one of folding type. The Perfect Blade is one of the best one-stop shops for buying wide variety of camping knives. The Perfect Blade has fervor for knives. Behind every knife available here is having a blend of the skill and craftsmanship. Each knife is caringly designed to meet your individual taste and requirements and manufactured with high quality stainless steel with right proportion of hardness and vigor. The camping knives available here under went special heat treatment for the sharpness and durability. We assure you trusting The Perfect Blade for all your knife requirements entitled you for the quality without burning your pocket.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Tango, Gauchos, Pampas, Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia, Maradona, Eva Perón, Fangio, Borges ... So many words that fascinate us and evoke Argentina. The name Argentina comes from the Latin argentum, meaning "silver" in Spanish plata. At the time of the conquest, the use of the name was extended to refer to an area at the mouth of the river discovered by Solís, later called Rio de la Plata because of the proliferation of silver objects provided by Native to the conquistadores. When we follow the finger on a world map the contours of Argentina, we already feel and taste the magic of the adventure we invade. From the Andes to the Iguazú Falls, while Argentina has a theatrical dimension.

Early explorers to modern tourists, to adventurers, all made on the ground side of the world's ultimate journey ... that of the confrontation with the soul. No wonder the tango was born there.

All articles on Argentina

Traveller News
  •      A history museum in an underground Customs
  •      The walls of Buenos Aires have their say
  •      A museum on the Beatles in Buenos Aires


  • Buenos Aires, imagination to power
  • Valdes Peninsula: the land of whales and penguins
  • Argentina, on the road to the mountain range


  •  In Patagonia

Monday, August 15, 2011

Buenos Aires, imagination to power

It was believed grounded by the terrible economic crisis of 2001. It was difficult to know Buenos Aires, whose vicissitudes of history have only reinforced the vitality. "What does not kill me makes me stronger," this could be the motto of Porteños (the inhabitants of the capital of Argentina).

For many years, Buenos Aires is reinventing itself in the knowledge get the most out of the crisis. The pesos are missing, put imagination in power. And it works! The city of tango is now one of the trendiest cities in the world like a magnet attracting moths and alternatives of all kinds. His secret? The recovery and recycling, hotels, restaurants, music.
Let's be realistic, demand the impossible: you were dreaming? Buenos Aires has. Investigation of a city on the move again and again.


Valdes Peninsula: the land of whales and penguins

On the coast of Argentina, from June to November, Peninsula Valdés takes the stage. The whales are undoubtedly the headline, by their number, size and surprising agility in the most acrobatic choreography. But the supporting cast do not let themselves so easily steal the show ... penguins to killer whales, to lions and elephant seals, each has their own little number and guarantees unforgettable scenes! It's spring in Valdés, brings the artists ...


Practical information

To plan your trip, check out our fact sheet Argentina.

Go to Buenos Aires

Air Europa and Iberia offer round trips via Madrid from Paris-Orly from € 540. Direct flight with Air France flights from Paris-CDG from € 675 round trip.

Restaurants "has Puerta Cerrada"

- Bar 878: 878 Thames, between Loyla y Aguirre - Palermo. Tel. : 4773-1098.

- Casa Saltshaker: Recoleta Almacen Secreto: Humboldt 1626 
- Palermo Viejo Tel. : 4775-1271.- Caracoles para Da Vinci: Palermo. 
- Casa Tipo: Bulnes 843, Almagro Tel. : 4866-2854.

To take advantage of the "other tango"

- Club Sin Rumbos: Tamborini 6157. Tel. : 4574 0972. 

- Sunderland Club: Lugones 3161. Tel. : 4541 9776. 
- Center Torquato Tasso: Defensa 1575.
 - Parque Lezama, San Telmo. Tel. : 4307 6506.- La Catedral Sarmiento 4000. Almagro.- La Terraza: Av San Martin and Segurola, Vicente Lopez. Tel. : 4796 2959.

Cultural centers
- Fundación Proa: Pedro de Mendoza 1929. 

- Cultural Center Recoleta Junin 1930. 
- Cultural Centre Konex: Sarmiento 3131. 
- Cultural Centre General San Martin Sarmiento. 
- Borges Cultural Center: Viamonte. San Martin Angle. 
- Centre Parakultural: Scalabrini Ortiz 1331, Palermo.


- Bauen Hotel: Av Callao 360. 

- Hotel Costa Rica: Costa Rica 4137/39 av, Palermo. Yann, a French, offers rooms or apartments.

 Addresses for shopping

- Calma Chicha: Honduras 4925. For lovers of leather. All the creativity of local designers.- Dear Maria: 4724 Salvador Ave. Palermo. Clothing. A young designer who offers Argentine cuts in ventilated textile original.

Stroll through the parks and cultural centers

On Sunday, it's still in Puerto Madero you love to stroll and sunbathe at Parque Micaela Bastidas-. It is accessible via the Avenue Rosario Vera Peñaloza-which is a continuation of the street from the United States. The park covers five hectares is named after the wife of Jose Gabriel Condorcanqui, the descendant of the last Inca king Tupac Amaru. The onlooker will discover a mixture of lawns organized so unusual, roses and metal furniture. The Porteños love to spend the afternoon in the park close to the docks sipping mate.
The most active prefer to visit the many cultural centers of the city. Fundación Proa in the historic district of Boca is probably one of the spearheads of contemporary art in Argentina. The foundation provides quality exhibitions in spaces just renovated: video installations, architecture and electronic music. Do not forget to have a drink on the terrace to enjoy breathtaking views of the harbor. Let yourself go and thinking about the lives of early European immigrants who settled in the area by building houses with tin recovered from the boats.

Located on the other side of town, in a very chic reminiscent of Paris, the Recoleta Cultural Center, located in a former convent of the Recollect, offers a rich and varied program: exhibitions of paintings and photographs but also parts theaters and concerts. For thrill seekers, it is the cultural center Konex (pictured) that he must go. Bomba El Tiempo, a group of Argentinean percussion Konex ignites the center every Monday at eight o'clock. When this is not music, they are fashion shows that take place as in the BAF, the "Buenos Aires Fashion Week."

The center Parakultural is also a must for local cultural life. Born at a time when the Argentine government created a lot of cultural centers, it offers performances of tangos, but also photo exhibitions and plays. "The idea was to give the place a tone alternative to what is done conventionally in the field of culture, hence the name Parakultural culture in reference to" para "," says the owner.

The walker will enjoy celebrating the lightness of life on a terrace of Palermo and stroll through the many parks of the city. Buenos Aires combines excitement and sweetness of life. Bewitched by the rich culture and atmosphere of the city back, it feels the time to stay as a latin South America. The Porteños, living in a city of twelve million people are often friendly, relaxed and spontaneous with the visitor. Leaving the Buenos Aires on the other side of the world, we may hope to return as soon as possible. As if we had found a second home ...

Revenge of the tango

The tango, a victim of those who made the "label Argentine tourist" par excellence, has long been disparaged by the young Porteños. Over the past decade, however, the tango was renewed in approaching the underground music scene in the capital. At first confined to the circle of the great maestros of tango, it is now being rediscovered by new generations of dancers from Argentina. "For ten years, the tango again became fashionable, especially among young people. The tango is a dance that reveals how we think, "said Martin, 23 years young dancer.

Omar Viola is an important player in this new stage of the tango. Actor and producer of theater off-Corrientes, an area of ​​alternative theaters near Corrientes Avenue, he renewed the genre. The curious can visit the Parakultural to see a tango dancer explosive starring Maria Pantuso, actor Olkar Ramirez and DJ and radio producer Luis Tarantino.

The group offers Las MUNACA, meanwhile, a tango punk trend. The spirit of the famous dancer Carlos Gardel Toulouse but this is revisited by a key underground. The group performed in the milonga La Catedral, very close to the spirit of Parakultural. The place, where the decoration is made of salvage, not unlike the spirit of tango in the suburbs of the early century.

In Palermo, attend dances organized by the DJ's and Horacio Godoy Dogui Herrador with the dancers and Cecilia Troncoso Luis Solanas. DJ Horacio Godoy offers a set mixing tango with rock and roll, the chacarera, jazz and cumbia. But it is in the cultural Torcato Tasso, opposite the Parque Lezama legendary, along with Hernan Moya Federico Greco and you find your happiness. These two dances attract a crowd of young people interested in the new scene of tango. He reigns sometimes a kind of mass hysteria. It includes groups such as Orchestra Color Tango, El Arranque, Los Reyes del Compas or Los Señores del Tango.

Tango keeps its essence, despite the abuse that some may cause, renewing itself and evolving. The new scene of dancers opted for the fusion of styles. Young people are rediscovering the dance well and enjoy them. They realize that the character "wild" of the old tango is not far from the reality of some underground music scene. The rockers, the Rolling, and sometimes identify the time of a show for young tangueristes who defied the morals at the beginning of the century with their hair slicked back, their just-in-hand and heels.

Rock, cumbia, reggaeton, electro ... and tango

The Porteño been to a love of the night and whatever it takes to Buenos Aires to meet his request. It's three o'clock in the morning That THEY files begin to form the discotheques, night clubs and milongas. Neighborhoods to come to life are all music to tango being HIM who make this city moving rhythms vibrate.In clubs, listening reggaeton in Puerto Rico. But it is especially cumbia, a music born in the eighteenth century is particularly tropical Colombian presence in Argentina. The resulting dance the cumbia is a blend of three cultures: the culture with the contribution of black slaves, the culture of these Spanish Immigrants in Indian culture and Colombia. Cumbia sensual movements are African dance and evoke. The costumes themselves are close to the Spanish flamenco dress. Drums, maracas, Indian flute and accordion accompany Sometimes cumbia dancers. The quartet join variant of cumbia Cordoba Coming from the city, is also much appreciable in Buenos Aires.

If the rhythm of the young Folk dances can invest Porteños dance floors of discos, they nevertheless remain the eternal love of rock. The local rock group known as The Cadillacs Favolosa a considerable success. Nearly two hundred concerts are held each weekend rock in the city. I crowds of fans Forment before the concert halls open until ports. Take place is when clubbers leave and go to the rhythm of the United States in King Quilmes beer drinking Fernet join.

The district of Puerto Madero docks which THEY have just been refurbished, is also very Porteños hurry. Puerto Madero is Said to for its bars, restaurants and upscale its terraces. Young people go there for dynamic frames drinking glass on the edge of the River Plate. If you enjoy electronic music is in this neighborhood you'll find it That. The parties to the electronic Many Aeroparque.

Finally, some do not come to that in Argentina: Buenos Aires is definitely the world capital of tango. The Argentine dance par excellence revived in recent years in the city that has seen the multiplication of classes and milongas, traditional or the balls and dances Folk dances tango. It is in the neighborhood of San Telmo in the early twentieth century did What you tango. The style of San Telmo surprise came from the visitors you focus. Here, modern buildings do not replace the property damaged by the colonial era. They reflect the golden age of Buenos Aires San Telmo reading and special atmosphere links. At the beginning of the century, waves of immigration from southern Europe have only men people of the city, their country of origin nostalgic. They are comforted in bars and dancing in the neighborhood suburbs Between them. This is the latest Than Good THEY women entered the dance.

Restaurants "Puerta Cerrada"

Those who want to dine in an atmosphere porteña benefit from an eminently local gourmet trend: the restaurants in Puerta cerrada (closed door). In the years ninety, the success of bars and restaurants lay in a good location and effective communication. Today, the trend reversed in Buenos Aires. The hot spots are intimate and offer only a few tables. Their address is not published. Information flows informally. We must go there and ring the bell to gain access to these secret places. Sometimes, a membership card is required.
"Anyone who comes here does not come by chance. The place is not visible from the outside. It is word-of-mouth that allows us to have new customers, "said Agustín Bertero, the bar owner secret 878 located in the trendy Palermo. This owner is trying to recreate the atmosphere of the Prohibition of the Twenties. "We see customers back but they do not see us," says Agustín, adding that the regulars of the bar are especially good live.

Based in Buenos Aires for a year and a half, Daniel Perlman, chef and sommelier gets New Yorkers in his apartment in Recoleta. The impression is to go to dinner with an old friend. With only two tables, one of eight people and the other four, the House Saltshaker offers a different menu every week. "We started receiving a few friends. They called and the concept has developed. Many expatriates are coming here but also Porteños. The atmosphere is very friendly between clients. They feel together without knowing each other. The exchange is done very easily, "said Daniel, who hosts two nights a week. Guests can bring their own wine. This reinforces the family atmosphere. "It's not a very lucrative business, but enough to pay my expenses at month end," says the sommelier.

At Palermo also is the actress Maria Morales MIY receiving three times a week in his little house. Her husband, who is a painter, exhibited in the restaurant. Almacen Secreto, specializes in northern countries such as goat cheese, smoked beef or pork with cereals from the Andes. Marie admits that the concept of a restaurant puerta cerrada is also due to practical requirements. "Physically, that's all I can do. Making good food is exhausting. I prefer to invite some guests to keep a real gastronomic quality. " The visitor's first impression of disturbing the privacy of home. He then accesses a patio full of lemon trees at the bottom of which is a dining room whose walls are covered with family photos.

A little further on is an old colonial building that turns twice a week, restaurant specializing in nouvelle cuisine: Welcome to Caracoles para Da Vinci (Vinci for snails). The chef, Martin Mangiaterra, offers a selection of dishes presented in spoons, glasses or ramekins. You can taste the ceviche (raw fish cooked in lemon juice) or carpaccio. The space can accommodate about thirty people. "The idea is to show customers the variety of our gourmet style through the fusion of tastes," says Martin. The house receives only by appointment. Guests dine in an atmosphere that combines soft lighting, soft music and fire.

The restaurant Casa Tipo is also part of this trend. A long corridor separates the dining room from the street. One can come across a neighbor walking her dog down. The visitor removed his shoes and settled comfortably in armchairs. The atmosphere is very family. If you prefer, you can even lend a hand in the kitchen.

Thus, two evenings a week, these are homes that are converted into a restaurant for the initiated. There are currently about fifty such restaurants in Buenos Aires. Some may see a reconquest by the Argentines for their identity and a model receiving less commercial than the usual restaurant. Others will see a trend trendy and a little too overrated. For you to go try it and see if you can find the simplicity and sympathy. The fans usually enjoy these secret places peace and the family atmosphere of the place. After these dinners in an intimate atmosphere, the visitor want to return to the bustle of the city.

Buena onda and art of recycling

From the vast majority of immigration, Porteños have always been able to use their imagination and resourcefulness from the vagaries of history. Thus, new systems were put in place after the great crisis of 2001 that brought the economy down. Most hotels and factories have resumed their activities with the inventiveness and tenacity of the Argentines. Thousands of workers have recovered and revived their companies into bankruptcy. Instead of becoming unemployed, they preferred the restart collectively organizing themselves into cooperatives. A management alternative is called here the "toma" (recovery).

Hotel Bauen (pictured), who suffered the brunt of the crisis is a good example. In 2001, this chic in the heart of Buenos Aires close to the street, leaving more than a hundred workers without explanation. After the shock and anger, former employees come together and reflect on the possibility to take over the management of the hotel. In 2003, the Hotel Bauen is reinvested: the place is very run down and has neither running water or electricity. Employees bought furniture and hotel equipment. They learn management on the job and reopen the doors in 2004. The hotel now has a lounge, a restaurant and a cultural area very popular with Porteños. It is supported by all social organizations in the country.

As the hotel Bauen, many companies have been included in a self-managed by workers in Argentina. In general, these were medium-sized businesses the most diverse sectors: food, textiles, clothing, glass industry and paper, aluminum recycling. The National Movement of companies taken over by workers (MNER) was formed officially in 2002. Today the country is better, but social insecurity remains. The Argentines have learned from their history that crises are cyclical.

Despite fluctuations in the economy, which depresses more than one European people, Buenos Aires has managed to keep his irresistible desire to seduce. When darkness sets in, young people to conquer a space-time which they alone have the secret. La buena onda porteña charm and invites the visitor to get lost in the bustle of the city. Miniskirts and tight jeans are out. Entire neighborhoods are starting to come alive: Palermo Viejo, where in the afternoon, the terraces and bars are full to bursting, but Palermo "Soho" Palermo "Hollywood", San Telmo and Puerto Madero. Buenos Aires is a city where the party never ends and where the new concepts to take advantage of the night are not made to wait.

In Patagonia

Endless roads under a sky tormented fields arid wind-broken, the masses sheep away behind barbed wire ... many images that evoke instant Patagonia in our imagination of Europeans. But how to define a region in a few shots long 3000 km, which covers one third of Argentina and Chile almost as much?

Patagonia has many more secrets to be delivered: the birth of ancient glaciers and the mountain range, the migration of whales and sea lions, the tragic history of Indian Fuegian the incredible lives of the pioneers and browsers Earth fire. Literary myth and exceptional land, Patagonia, when she took us into his net, do we let go ...


Useful addresses

At Puerto Madryn (gateway to the Peninsula Valdés)

Ecocentro: of Jules Verne, just south of the city to Punta Loma.

The museum is a wooden house beautifully situated, overlooking the coast. It is like a visit down snorkeling in the small world of the Peninsula Valdes. An entire room is devoted to even listen to the whales ...

In Puerto Natales

El Living: Arturo Prat, the Plaza de Armas. As the name suggests, a comfortable place, where it is good to warm near the stove. Magazines and clearing houses, vegetarian dishes invigorating, and if you have not yet reached nirvana, test their pisco sour ... radical.

In Ushuaia: Fine books, maps, guides and travel books in Spanish, English and French on the Tierra del Fuego and Antarctica. A bit expensive, but fall to the side of the world of In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin or Adios, Tierra del Fuego by Jean Raspail in paperback and in French, it is priceless!

Museo Marítimo y del Presidio at the corner of Gobernador and Yaganes Open daily from 9 am (10 pm in winter) to 20h. Most cells contain various exhibitions, but one wing of the prison was left in a state that one can imagine the conditions of detention at the time. Striking. Part of the museum traces the history of the prison, another houses the Museo Maritimo.

On the Web

To follow the adventures of Pan Am puzzled:


Puerto Montt, at about the same latitude as Puerto Madryn in Argentina, marks the symbolic end of our journey in Patagonia. But it is the island of Chiloé nearby that we make it really say goodbye. At first glance, Chiloé, with its 350 days of rain per year, is not a tourist paradise. All open days of glorious sunshine we fake company quickly giving way to a depressing drizzle. Blue, yellow, pink or bright purple, the facades of houses can not forget a gray sky desperately. Even on the postcard of the island, the colorful Castro palafitos, houses on stilts, make a wry face. In the rain, the picturesque fades to reveal unsafe improved these shacks, which look good on their fragile wooden stakes.

So, one swallow does not, we run the churches. I must say that on an island as large as Corsica, there were about 150 ... including 16 classified as a World Heritage Site. Made entirely of wood alerce, without even a nail (which rusts quickly in this wet climate), they illustrate the history of this island so special. For here, in contrast to Tierra del Fuego, the Indians and settlers have joined forces to survive the isolation and climate. The Jesuits brought their faith, the Indians their expertise and their main resource, wood, to build these churches unique in perfect harmony with their environment. The Chilotes did not disavow their beliefs without flinching, in the words of a mythology still very much alive. They were able to accommodate the European presence as it has listened to the wisdom of India. This led the people chilote, a symbol of racial and cultural miscegenation successful.

The plight of Alakufs and Yamana still vivid in the memory, I see a little embarrassed to sign an Indian next to me in the church Achao. Yet, looking up beautifully carved on the vault, I can read all the skill and the dedication of its people. It is for this church and is part of its history.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

On channels Patagonia, Puerto Natales to Puerto Montt

After El Calafate and Perito Moreno, most travelers continue to El Chalten, another temple of the hike, and continue through the Carretera Austral, Chile. A trail of beauty, surrounded by turquoise lakes and rocks just as colorful. But above all, a track, winding and ill, that we are reluctant to borrow with our car. Then we go to the sea, and ship to Puerto Natales with Navimag for a crossing of Chilean fjords to Puerto Montt.
The heavy Navimag ferry has nothing to do with the luxury ships lying in Ushuaia ... We meet less than rentiers backpackers, who share cabins with 4 ... or for the less fortunate, the dormitory of 16 people! All these people cohabiting in a common room a bit cramped, or on deck in calm weather. The first day of the crossing should be as impressive as the boat slips in the Patagonian channels to reach the foot of the glacier Amalia. Unfortunately the weather is not looking good, the sky is so white that blends with the snowy peaks. Bright sunshine with us the next two days, but bad luck, we approched more glaciers so close. Two months in Patagonia make demanding and whales "cauldron" blowing off does not make us as effective as their cousins ​​Valdés ...

Finally, for me, the highlight of the crossing will be located on the ground .... The second day we landed in Puerto Eden. Puerto Eden is nothing paradise. There is wet and cold all year and we have a chance to catch a mad timid ray of sun. More importantly, it is a village completely cut off from the world's only source of supply is the Navimag ship on which we travel, that it stops about every two weeks, when time permits. It runs on wooden walkways, the soil of the island being a spongy material that never dries. Yet it is here that the "on" has installed the latest Indian Fuegian the Alakufs. It remains today a handful, lost in the few hundred villagers of Puerto Eden. Their fate is in all respects similar to the Yamana of Ushuaia. Like them, they will soon be part of history books.

The shock is palpable. Most travelers take advantage of the unexpected windfall to stretch their legs. A flood of orange life jackets flooded bridges, not too emotional. Behind a stall stands Gabriela, a recent Indian Alakuf. Dignified and stiff, she poses for the holiday souvenir. It's my turn, I botched my picture and tries a shy smile by purchasing two small wooden boats. Then I walk away to watch from a distance, a little ashamed ...

Torres del Paine Park in the wind

Several hundred kilometers of track above, we enter the National Park Torres del Paine. We have over waiting times at different border points. The boundaries, rather absurd, reflects the small territorial endless squabbles between the Governments of Argentina and Chile.

This beautiful park of 181,000 hectares is a must for hikers, with shelters and campgrounds throughout the two main circuits, the loop "bread" and "w" (4-8 days). Our intentions are more modest, fortunately, because we are greeted by gusts of wind to discourage the most experienced hikers. Bent double, even when we reach Lago Grey, which offers a range of beautiful colors, with blue icebergs, and a turquoise sky in a tortured. Initially Lake Nordenskjöld, much more welcoming as its name, a ride of one hour only offers a magnificent view of the Torres. Easy on a calm day, it becomes sport with gusts over 100 km / h. Stung by the icy wind, we calfeutrons the best in our trailer, with a compassionate thought for campers in their tents.

Rest assured, the 200,000 tourists who visit each year to Torres are not all to be pitied, considering the number of luxury hotels that bloom in the park. The wind strength and our sleepless nights, so we decided to break camp, leaving to others the "hiker's paradise" (sic). A little disappointed though, we give ourselves one more chance ... and miraculously, the wind dies down on the shore of Lago Azul where you can admire the flower bird of Patagonia ... Again, we took a certain amount of patience and tenacity to take advantage of Torres del Paine !

Saturday, August 13, 2011

El Calafate and the Glacier National Park

Just to the north, we headed to another national park, but this time the Argentine side. In El Calafate, the main street, succession of small wooden cottages that are home to chic boutiques. Tourists are window-shopping in jacket and sunglasses, Megève is no snow, no skiing Chamonix. We are on Christmas Eve, and while in France it already agitated around ranges, we start in the Glacier National Park. Camping is not allowed at the foot of the famous Perito Moreno glacier, but we hope that the park rangers will have more to heart than Christmas Eve ... dislodge the fraudsters will go down within minutes of wooden walkways and here we are before the glacier 60 m high, 5 km wide and 15 km long! It's a mesmerizing spectacle ... we keep all eyes on these blocks of ice cracking, moaning, groaning ... and collapse. The crevasses are not white but blue, hence the strange blue-green of Lake Argentino in which they collapse.

There should be a religious silence to listen to the glacier ... but noisy groups borrow more gateways. Romain, a toddler of 3 years, a cold and repeating like a record derided "when is it going down? ". Ines, a bundle of joy to one and a half, groaned along with the ice blocks, frightened by the creaking ... So we decide to return the next day. December 25, we go out in the cold at 7am to give us our Christmas: a virgin Perito Moreno, silent and deserted! We enjoy this unforgettable hours, only facing the glacier, on a bridge closed to the public (second disobedience on Christmas Day, a fine example!). Back at 8am in the camper, to wake up gently and children with them rave about the performance of Santa Claus has to find their little shoes, even without fire, without a fixed address ...

But the Glacier Park can not be reduced solely to Perito Moreno. A boat trip one day also allows us to approach the glacier Upsala. What a sight! We glide in the middle of an unreal blue icebergs, to the foot of the glacier. We make a short stop at Lake Onelli. A forest of dead trees surrounds us, the earth beneath our feet is so thin that trees can take root and do not stand a long time to local winds. One sympathizes ... Onelli Lake, at the junction of two glaciers, icebergs is covered with strange shapes and colors ... No time to appreciate all the nuances, because the sky is covered already and will return by boat in the rain ... With, in our aperitifs, a piece of Upsala glacier!

El Fin del Mundo

Ushuaia, at last. For us, the end of the road after 40 000 km (around the Earth!), "El fin del mundo" as has been nicknamed the Argentines. It is considered the southernmost city in the world, even if, once there, we are not talking only of Puerto Williams, Chile, on the other side of the Beagle Channel (the crossing is not yet democratized enough for our liking: USD 200 round trip!). It talks a lot about French in the streets of Ushuaia. No doubt the effect Hulot, but it also crosses a lot of sailors settled there for the season.

We are quite fascinated by the people we meet. To live here one generation a year or a season, you need a good composition and perhaps a "little extra something." No real unity, Ushuaia travelers often disappoints, but its history can not be ignored. For proof, just a few hours in the old prison, now the Museo Maritimo y del Presidio. Time for a rainy afternoon, we let ourselves be carried away by the extraordinary for browsers and convicts who have gone before ...

Ushuaia, "el fin del mundo"? What traveler can accept such a limit? Certainly not the sailors, who instead of Ushuaia the "door of Antarctica and the South Pole." Faced with the yachts that sailed, with images of white desert and marine life that taunting us in displays, we all forget, the price of the cruise, the vagaries of weather Tierra del Fuego, and even my incurable seasickness, to board us too. A dream is just made ​​another emerges: the next challenge, Antarctica?

Tierra del Fuego

We do not hurry to get to Ushuaia. On the road, we pay tribute to the beautiful Desdemona's carcass washed up, before following the Beagle Channel, Estancia Harberton towards. This is the oldest estancia Island (1887), but was fully converted for tourism and tours have replaced sheep. Life of its founder, Pastor Bridges, is closely linked to Tierra del Fuego. It was the latest in a long series of English missionaries came to evangelize the Indians lighted Yamana. He's stubborn to settle and "civilize" them, detaching them from their ancient traditions. The Europeans taught them the existence of God ... as to precipitate the reunion! At the end of the nineteenth century, Pastor Bridges tries to reverse and stop the genocide. But it is too late, and he sees the last Indian to die one by one in the mission of Ushuaia. Macabre irony, he spent much of his life to write an English-Yamana, which he completed while turn off the last of the breed. He then resigned and left Ushuaia to settle here, on the Beagle Channel, as a sheep farmer.

The ranch is immense, it covers 20 000 hectares. And yet, trying to camp there, we go beyond to reach the end of the road, almost at the end of the Beagle Channel. And there, before our eyes, dolphins frolicking in the water. Unanimously our two votes, it will be "our" side of the world, further south Ushuaia, wild and so much more peaceful. We spent one day at a time and magical routine, transcended by a feeling of being in a truly unique...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Argentine coast

We continue south. Objectively, ruta 3, along the coast, is desperate. Always the same barbed wire out of sight, two or three sheep, guanacos and a few from time to time on the road, an armadillo as a distraction. Wood panels with peeling paint indicate the passage of an estancia to another, the huge agricultural estates where life should not have changed much since the arrival of early settlers. Here and there, we see solitary gauchos. Head back in their ponchos, bent over their horse, they struggle against the wind and do not see anything or anyone ...

The coast, however, wild and tortured, dazzles us. An impressive wildlife has taken up residence there. The largest population (and funniest!), Is still that of Magellanic penguins. They cross at Valdés is better acquainted with them at Punta Tombo and Cabo dos Bahias. It's spring, the eggs hatch and small gray balls invade the nests. The happy parents go fishing turns: while one is activated, the other stoically watching the little hungry. In the colony a beautiful cacophony reigns as the penguins return to their nest to the ear, recognizing the song of their partner. Penguins bellowed so solitary, but others, those who are married, also screams grow closer to the domestic scene as the serenade of life ... These scenes remind us terribly funny ours ...

We make one last stop on the coast, the park Monte Leon. No less than 60 000 hectares and 40 km of coastline, initially purchased by billionaire eco Douglas Tompkins (founder of Parque Pumalin also in Chile), then transferred to the Argentine government which made a national park. A nature reserve home to a variety of species that we are now familiar: guanacos, sea lions, Magellanic penguins, etc.. We walk our way on cliffs and beaches where cormorants and gulls are kings. Our only limit is the wind. Not the cool coastal breeze, no, Patagonian wind, relentless and furious. The door of a vehicle is pulled out before our eyes! Patagonia begins to teach us patience and the art of rushing out at the slightest lull as much to be realistic, this wind is part of the landscape and it does let go.

First World Festival of the Earth

The association Terralliance just given birth to the first World Festival of the Earth, making his first steps June 20 to 26 Under the sign of ecology, solidarity and peace, the festival will take place simultaneously in France and in over thirty countries. The program of festivities: concrete actions for the environment, symbolic marches for peace, forums, concerts, community picnics ... Round and around the world. Come on, all together for the baptism of the Earth!

I act for my planet

The depletion of energy resources, the North-South imbalances, adverse effects of climate change, environmental issues and health, 30% of the world population living below the poverty line, many topics that can leave us indifferent. It is from this observation that the young Terralliance association, founded in 2004, decided to take action and alert as many as part of a world event. It is launching the 20 to 26 June the first World Festival of the Earth, with the support of many personalities (Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Edgar Morin, Pierre Rabhi, Jean-Marie Pelt ...), associations and NGOs (Nicolas Hulot Foundation, Amnesty International, Greenpeace ...). The festival is intended to bring together many national and international initiatives, existing or created for this occasion, for the protection of the planet and solidarity. Educate all citizens to respect our planet and cause changes in everyday behavior, create solidarity networks (local and global), the emergence of economic and alternative energy solutions ... The objectives of this festival. "We must be the change we want to see in the world," said Gandhi. Every individual, association, company, community was invited to implement constructive actions and symbolic about the respect and the consciousness of the Earth, the awareness of sustainable development and solidarity between human beings. The festival of the Earth, which will be renewed every year at the same time, is a process of mobilization around the world in which all actors-citizens will be able to speak for seven days.

Seven days, seven themes

Help harmonize, hope, respect, create, celebrate, connect will be the watchwords of the week. Nice program, right? Each day of the week is a theme of the festival of the Earth, a theme that can easily capture the environmental citizen through his daily life. The first day of the festival, Monday, June 20, will be the Earth Day solidarity: the collection of food, medicine, clothing, toys, tools and equipment used in all kinds for the benefit of poor countries will be organized. Earth solidarity also rhymes with "solidarity economy": as consumers, we can focus on fair trade, respect of small producers. June 21 is a day celebrated in hundreds of countries such as the World Day of Peace, but it is also the feast of music: peaceful gatherings, round tables in favor of peace, concerts will take place "under ascending energy of the summer solstice. " Wednesday, June 22 will be dedicated to children around the world. Priority will be given to the rights and aspirations of children, assistance to organizations that support (collections, visits to orphanages and hospitals ...). Children are invited to draw their planet as part of a national design workshop on the theme of "My Land I love you." Thursday, June 23, spring cleaning on the planet! On this day earth clean, good-bye to the car, waste and pollution and live sorting, collective cleaning and maintenance of natural sites! Experts will also meet to discuss topics related to environmental news. Friday 24, cities, villages are adorned with banners, garlands and artistic works: the day art in all its forms. Exhibitions of painting and sculpture, dance and drama, entertainment, cultural exchanges will follow one another. On Saturday, June 25, all in unison for the International Day of the festival! In the capitals and cities of the world, giant concerts celebrating the Earth will be organized. At midnight, local time in each country, adult choirs and children will perform the anthem of the festival, Save the Earth, composed for the occasion. Mother Earth will be honored Sunday, June 26: Large group picnics to be in contact with nature and share the products of the earth. A symbolic distribution of seeds and tree planting will take place. The first festival of the Earth will end with large round people, symbols of harmony and solidarity among men.

In the heart of the festival

More than thirty countries on five continents participating in the festival of the Earth. Terralliance Association estimates that 700,000 to one million French people will hear about the festival. Extrapolating to the thirty participating countries, about 20 million people are expected to be affected by the messages of this global event, it's what they want! In France, some thirty cities are mobilized to organize 150 events. It offers a taste of some destinations, from France to Madagascar through Switzerland and Benin ... Non-exhaustive list of course! In Paris, you can attend the June 20 screening of a documentary film about fair trade or a round table, June 23, on the theme "Learning Sustainability" with Pierre Rabhi, president of the Earth & Humanism. 

 On Saturday, June 25, go up the nation for the Parade of Hope, works great for a peaceful world to the Bois de Vincennes. The Reuilly host a huge picnic Sunday, June 26, where participants will be made by hand to create the largest human round the world! Further south, in the Haute-Garonne, 22 events are planned in honor of the planet. Thursday, June 23, participate in a large clean timber of Barthe Pibrac with children in college Timber Barthe. Friday, June 24, discover the Jardin des Plantes in Toulouse, Kalarippayat, a martial art practiced in Kerala multimillennial southwest of India. Toulouse plays the same extensions as the storyteller Charlou provides a lively ride from Toulouse to Vielha, in the Catalan Pyrenees at a rate of ten miles a day in July. In steps, children can take a little water in a fountain or a wash house, transport it to Vielha and flush to the source of the Garonne. If you are in Switzerland, you can take a nap in the park of Mon Repos in Lausanne, listening to electronic music relaxing in the shade of an ancient tree (June 21), draw a giant mandala with children, composed of leaves, earth and stones (June 22) or, for the most courageous, clean the shores of Lake Geneva on June 23 On the other side of the equator, Madagascar's capital Antananarivo organizes, among other things, a visit to the Children's Hospital on June 20, activities in schools with UNESCO on June 22, an operation cleansing in neighborhoods and public parks on 23 and 26, food distributions. Benin, a small country on the west coast of Africa made it big: a large caravan will cross the country from north to south and the week of the festival will be dedicated to the sick and disadvantaged.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Dignity of the people: a trip to Argentina, the real

Memory after a rampage, the Argentine filmmaker Fernando Solanas sign with the dignity of the people, released September 27, a striking documentary about Argentina after the 2001 crisis. Made from portraits of men and women struggling to get by, this film shows us the radical Argentina as it really is. Devastated course, but also hopeful, head held high ...

A country devastated by the ultra-liberalism

It was ten years ago, in other words ... a century Argentina was the envy of all Latin America. Led by the spirited Carlos Menem, the "good student of the IMF" applied to the letter the ultra-liberal catechism with the blessing of Washington and the international monetary institutions: full privatization of public sector and vital sectors of the economy (water, electricity, gas ...), layoffs of tens of thousands of civil servants, forced parity between the peso and the dollar, rising interest rates and liberalization of foreign trade ... Argentina was a kind of laboratory economics.

Result of the experiment: in 2001, the Argentine economy is reflected entirely in the hands of foreign multinationals, the state is insolvent, unemployment affects 25% of the population, more than one in two lives in Argentina below the poverty line, one hundred people a day die of hunger, wages are frozen and the ruling class, totally corrupt, place their money abroad. In December 2001, the Minister of Economy decided to freeze the accounts of small investors to pay off the colossal debts of banks. The middle class, strangled and impoverished, had enough. December 19, Argentines finally rebelled, causing the collapse of the government. Thousands of shops were looted and neighborhoods of big cities are devastated. Argentina fell into a chaos from which it is just beginning to emerge.

Argentina, real

How to Argentina, this rich country, has come here? In 2004, Fernando Solanas, a major Argentine film (The South, The Hour of fires), responded to this simple question with a magisterial documentary, Memory of a rampage, greeted by a Golden Bear d honor at the Berlin Festival. This pamphlet was demonstrating implacable social havoc of ultra-liberalism. Solanas accused Menem of Argentina and elite corruption. Multinationals and international organizations that have carved up Argentina were also not spared.

With the dignity of the people coming out in theaters September 27, Solanas has a "suite" in memory of a rampage.
And we must see this film to see Argentina today, the real, which is not limited to postcards of Boca or the Perito Moreno. This wonderful choral documentary takes us and committed to meet those Argentines who have lost everything. Built between 2001 and 2005, the Dignity of the people making the floor to those excluded many (more than two Argentine below the poverty line and without health insurance), who were able to raise their heads and fight poverty with the system D. To regain their dignity, strength and that rhymes with solidarity.

In the heart of chaos

Through the portraits of Martin, Silvia, Gustavo or Carola, The Dignity of the people then traces the struggle copy of the Argentine people struggling with economic and social chaos that seems shocking, if not frightening. What do we see in Argentina in the early twenty-first century? A teacher paid 800 pesos a month to teach children who are starving, the soup kitchens where two onions used to make soup for 300 people, hospitals in a total state of disrepair for lack of funding public corridors invaded and occupied by wastes by tramps, where one makes an appointment for an operation six months in advance, people living in slums without water or electricity, the foothills of the gleaming skyscrapers of Buenos Aires .

"The people united will never be defeated. "

Fortunately, Argentines are showing an incredible life force. As the country rebuilds, after all, and not too helped by its ruling class. Thus, blocking road camps piqueteros have the power to bend several times. Hundreds of factories and businesses, the owners have abandoned in 2001, are listed by their employees in a system of self, inventing an alternative economic model. Expropriations have fought successfully in court by campesinos who sing loudly the anthem of Argentina, thus preventing the auctions of land seizures.President Nestor Kirchner, elected in 2003, made some reforms "social" (end of impunity laws, debt renegotiation, strengthening the Mercosur ...). However, out of dignity of the people, we say that the salvation of the Argentine people will only come from himself. For this film, which paints a damning also sad that the disaster in Argentina, ends on a hopeful note. "With my film, I wanted to reveal the small victories of left-to-day, the solidarity actions that demonstrate how this world can be changed," says Fernando Solanas. Two other documentaries (Argentina La Tierra Sublevada latent) are already in preparation. They will complete the fresco of the Argentine people in struggle.

Buenos Aires Tango: viva el tango!

Tango becomes fashionable on the banks of the Rio de la Plata. February 23 to March 4, the ninth edition of the festival will present Tango Buenos Aires young performers who breathe new life to this music highly Argentina. The opportunity to wander in Buenos Aires and smell the special atmosphere of the milongas, the dancing that expresses again and again the culture of the tango. More than a dance, an art of living authentically porteño. Indulge ...

The tango is not dead

The tango is not dead. This "sad thought that is danced" - according to the definition of beautiful Argentine poet Enrique Discepolo - also described as "a vertical expression of horizontal desire", has a new life on the banks of the River Plate, where she emerged. Enthusiasts from around the world as a pilgrimage sniff the air clubs tango, milongas, where time seems to stand still. The sound of the bandoneon, listening to the voice of Carlos Gardel, or enjoying the sensual elegance of tangueros, they may meditate on the singular destiny of the dance origins sulfur.

We may have forgotten, but the tango was born in the late nineteenth century in the suburbs near the port, among immigrants: single men from around the world dancing, often together, in brothels or disreputable bars. As the samba in Brazil, tango is a dance coming of mixed people. It has long been despised by the local bourgeoisie before becoming the emblem and pride of the country. Ironically ...

But make no mistake about it. All Argentines do not dance the tango, far from it. Youth porteña frequent bars and clubs of trendy Palermo rather than the dance halls of San Telmo, the historic cradle of tango. The 30-45 years are aware of it in their eyes, this dance is that of their parents. Yet over the past ten years, Buenos Aires is experiencing a new wave of tango. A Academia Nacional del Tango was born, while new bands are inspired to get married to jazz or electronic music. The worldwide success of the Franco-Argentine Gotan Project reflects this new craze. Buenos Aires radio even has a fully dedicated to the tango (the 2x4). And it's less common to see young people from twenty years to dance in the milongas where they rub their grandparents.

Buenos Aires Tango Festival

The programming of the 9th International Festival Buenos Aires Tango, which runs from February 23 to March 4, demonstrates the renewed vitality of this genre. Many young performers mixing tango with rock, jazz or electronic music, are invited to perform on stage (Teatro Sarmiento, Teatro Alvear, Centro Cultural Gardel ...) and in participating in the festival milongas. A tribute will also be made to the tango of the "other side", that is to say to performers and composers from Montevideo, Uruguay. Finally, a component of the programming will be devoted to Argentine interpreters living in Europe as Jerez Le Cam, Ariel Prat, group or pianist Matthew Beltango Cepitelli.

Besides the concerts, Buenos Aires Tango offers several activities of daily classes open to all, a fair variety of products (CDs, accessories, shoes ...), the guided tours in the footsteps of tango (visit the neighborhoods of San Telmo , La Boca, Retiro ...), a competition for professionals and, above all, open-air milonga with orchestras Cerda Negra, Sans Souci and Sexteto Mayor, which will bring together thousands of people.

After the festival, dance halls and cabarets

But in Buenos Aires, it is especially present at the live tango, either by going into a tavern or in a ballroom. There's something for everyone: tango contest with rhinestones and frilly, tango salon in the European elegance and rigid compulsory figures, tango show (Fantasia) to virtuoso dancers, and finally the tango milonguero, in which partners dance glued to each other the sound of the bandoneon in the quaint rooms, where all is sensuality, elegance and timelessness.

Choose the type bars with cabaret milonga for tourists: they offer not good performances, but they may lack some authenticity. Located in San Telmo, the Bar Sur (which served as the film Happy Together by Wong Kar-Wai) has good performances in an atmosphere more intimate and a very typical. But do not forget to go to a real ballroom, even if we can not dance the tango: the show is worth seeing.

Do not miss legendary places like the beautiful tea-dancing Confiteria Ideal or some milongas most confidential of San Telmo as Torquato Tasso. Just ask the Porteños (inhabitants of Buenos Aires) to give you their best addresses. In these more intimate places, with the inimitable atmosphere, one discovers that the tango is a way of life and social practice. Dress, set of looks, dance moves, everything is codified and it is fascinating to watch the Argentines, young and old enjoy themselves in astonishing alchemy of passion and restraint.

For aficionados, know that there are no fewer than nine museums dedicated to the tango in Buenos Aires. A visit to the house of Carlos Gardel is required: a native of Toulouse, this great performer has become a national monument in Argentina. Go and pay him homage. Finally, stroll through the streets of San Telmo, the old bohemian neighborhood in Buenos Aires where the tango had its golden age. The charming Plaza Dorrego, the dancers are beautiful tango demonstrations on Sunday afternoon. If you are lucky enough to find a place on the terrace of a bar (or better, the balcony), the show is well worth it. Tourism no doubt, but what do you want, the charm works ...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Buenos Aires - A history museum in an underground Customs

A customs buried facing the Rio de la Plata and near the Casa Rosada (presidential palace) turned into a historical museum: it is one of the original features of the Museo del Bicentenario installed in Buenos Aires Customs Taylor which operated from 1857 to 1894 before being covered with earth to make way for the port of Puerto Madero.
The permanent exhibition on the history of Argentina from 1810 until the presidency of Nestor Kirchner (2003-2007). The arcades and equipment Customs original have been retained: paintings, objects or screens showing documentaries illustrate the history of the country. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 18 pm, admission is free.

See also:
Know the Bicentennial Museum in Pink
Destination information: Argentina