Like Festival in Buenos Aires - A likeable mix of lambazouk and kizomba

Like Festival in Buenos Aires - A likeable mix of lambazouk and kizomba

Like Festival is a fairly new addition to the international zouk scene. Now I know - let’s not get confused here: Welcome to the Like Festival 2 in Buenos Aires! This is not be confused with the highly popular annual kizomba festival, also called Like Festival, held for the sixth time this September Lisbon. Well, when you use such a ubiquitous world as 'like', it’s no wonder it will pop up in every possible corner of the world. Anyway...

Zouk The World is always curious in anything interesting happening in the zouk scene around the world so I procured a reporter to scout this Buenos Aires Like Festival! Meet Jaakko Pispala, a passionate zouk dancer living in São Paulo, Brazil! He is working behind many initiatives to spread around the world, one of them is a dance-travel agency ZK Adventures, another Lambazouk Finland! He was kind enough of to tell us his Like Festival experience - so sit back and enjoy!

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Salta - and final words on Argentina

Salta - and final words on Argentina

I guess I needed some rest after all the touring during my Argentina leg of the trip so I decided I wouldn’t do anything in Salta. And it worked out pretty well. I was responding to emails, making updates on my blog, arranging photos, booking a flight… ok so not totally relaxing. But it was nice to not have a set “day plan”, I just walked around in the city – and somehow always managed to do that during siesta. Salta really closes down  for siesta, unlike some of the more “touristy” towns along my road.

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Jujuy and the many colors of Northern Argentina

Jujuy and the many colors of Northern Argentina

One of the most interesting places on my trip through Latin America so far was the Jujuy region in the Northern Argentina. I was recommended to go there by a Porteño friend of mine Maria so I had put it on my long list.

Jujuy or more specifically San Salvador de Jujuy is 90km north of the capital of the Northern Argentina, Salta, and wanted to make a visit Jujuy before that. I left city of Mendoza Saturday at noon and arrived to Jujuy at 8 am the next morning. I woke up a bit before we arrived so I got to “enjoy” the breakfast they served in the bus (tea or coffee, alfajor cookie, bisquits and jam) and enjoy the views as we passed between green fields, forest covered hills and mountains.

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Vines and wines – Say Malbec, you’re in Mendoza!

Vines and wines – Say Malbec, you’re in Mendoza!

Thanks for the beautiful Northern Argentina, the amazing Brazilian Carnaval and all the great people I've met I'm again behind on my blog. But no worries, I've used all (well some parts) of the long bus rides to write stuff and organise pictures so I can start making blog posts during all the quiet moments I have - so many fun stories & gorgeous pictures to share!

So --- I’m becoming an expert in long bus rides. Another 19 hours of sitting (with over two hours circling the different terminals in Neuquén) I got myself from Bariloche to Mendoza. Thankfully the bus seats are comfy, there are TVs with crappy movies and if you bring your own snacks, warm clothes (OMG tone down on the air con!) and some light entertainment – like your laptop – you’ll have a somewhat relaxing day ahead.

It was morning when I arrived in Mendoza. I had managed to pick a nice hostel again, this happened to have been voted the best hostel in South America (by hostelworld users, one myself). My bed wasn’t free that early but I got myself all cozied by in a hammock in the garden, frankly I was a bit tired. So after noon I was ready to venture out to the city.

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Lakes lakes lakes – Bariloche

Lakes lakes lakes – Bariloche

After the icy adventures in El Calafate I got on yet another bus, this time it would be the longest bus ride of my life (so far): 28 hours. We’d leave at 4pm from El Calafate and arrive 8pm the following day to Bariloche. I met some people at my hostel who were taking the same bus so I didn’t feel too lonely on this ride. The bus was a nice “cama” class bus with meals and there were only three seats in one row, a footrest and plenty of space for a tiny person like myself.

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Perito Moreno - I’d like my whiskey with ice, please!

Perito Moreno - I’d like my whiskey with ice, please!

Not tired of hiking in the mountains, valleys and around lakes in the beautiful Chilean Patagonia yet? Well welcome (back) to Argentina! About 4-5 hours (depending on how fast the border crossing is) north of Chile’s Puerto Natales & Torres del Paine is Argentina’s El Calafate. Yes yes, it's another pretty village with nice shops and restaurants. El Calafate to me looks actually more like a ski resort than a South American small town. The night life is pretty busy and there’s big casino (!?) in town as well but most people come here to see one more Patagonian natural wonder: the Perito Moreno glacier.

I had a lovely bus ride from Puerto Natales to El Calafate, sitting on the first row to see the beautifully boring Patagonian landscape all the way. What's beautifully boring? Well, there's really not all that much there but the vast spaces and the colours are just beautiful. At last when the sun set behind the flat Patagonian wilderness I could fall asleep. It was a late at night when I arrived to El Calafate but with the help of my hostel there I had manage to book a tour to the glacier early next morning. 

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End of the world - Ushuaia

End of the world - Ushuaia

A trip to the end of the world - fin del mundo - was one of the top things on my list for my trip around the world. After all it seemed like I was already so close, in the same continent, in the same country (in Buenos Aires, Argentina). But 3000 kms away! I opted for the cheapest flight I could find: a 4 hour hop from Bs As to Ushuaia that made me got up at 2.30 in the morning... So I got just 2 hours of sleep before I had to catch the 4.45 am flight. And when I got on the plane I fell asleep immediately.

As the plane was approaching Ushuaia I hesitantly forced myself to wake up and open the window curtain... Just in time to see the plane pass through the clouds: the view of the Beagle Channel and the snow-tipped mountain range opened in front of me. I don’t know if I’ve ever woken up and got my camera that fast. The views were amazing! And I was wide awake after that.

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The hot and cool Bs As

The hot and cool Bs As

Back to the city life after the Iguazu Falls, I had 8 days to kill in Buenos Aires before my flight to Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia. I was looking forward to getting some rest first but when I got to my hostel I was greeted by two Australian guys (who are ruggedly handsome as Mike would say) traveling through the Americas on two motorcycles. They asked me if I would like to join them for a tango evening and I couldn’t resist – after all I was on a mission to dance!

The tango class & dinner took place in Palermo, a fancy neighborhood on the other side of the center. The big Australian & Argentinian group and I had a really fun night, learning the 7 basic steps, watching the incredible dancers and having many many bottles of wine.

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Dancing up a storm in Buenos Aires

Dancing up a storm in Buenos Aires

Dancing is a popular past time in Buenos Aires - the tango capital of the world - and the city is known for its nightlife. So I made sure I got my share! Zouk is going strong in Buenos Aires, and even with the dominance of tango there's something for all kind of dancers.

I went out to zouk to Maluco Beleza club, after a week’s break I couldn’t wait to get to burn the floor! The club has zouk/lambada parties on Fridays and Sundays where they first have a class (at around 11pm) and then social dancing until around 2:30am. On Friday there were plenty of people taking the class, enough for both beginners and intermediate groups. To my surprise I got paired up with a Finnish guy (yes!?) for the class. That was again one of those odd coincidences again, like meeting a Finnish samba friend in my hostel room at the Iguazu Falls!

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Iguazú Falls - Steamy walks, cold showers and border crossings

Iguazú Falls - Steamy walks, cold showers and border crossings

After a very short sleep on my last night in Ro, I arrived to the hot hot hot Foz de Iguacu, the Brazilian village next to one of the world natural wonders, the Iguazu Falls. I was actually spending my stay at the falls in the neighboring village cross the border in Argentina (yay, a new country!), in the town of Puerto Iguazu.

By the time I got to my lovely hostel I was all covered in sweat and was happy to see a big garden and a even small pool! It was a very relaxing place after the noisy Rio and couldn’t be happier with some peace & quiet. My plan to rest that night didn’t go that well as I ended up going out for dinner with the girls from my room. And we had such a fun night, talking about all the usual stuff and having some very tasty pizza, wine and free caipirinhas! And – I got to climb over the hostel fence when we came back :D

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