- Issue 54, Winter 2018 Aconcagua: Life at 22,000 Feet to Judi Online Terpercaya
- Issue 52, Summer 2018 Motorcycle South
- Issue 49, Autumn 2018 Evita Perón, Argentine Obsession
- Issue 43, Spring 2018 Kayaking Rio Cotahuasi Canyon
- Issue 41, August 2018 Hitchhiking in Patagonia
- Issue 38, September 2018 Gran Bajo de San Julian
- Issue 37, June 2018 Wild-West Shows & Rodeos in the Early 1900’s
- Issue 20, January 2018 Skiing, Penguins of the Valdez
- Issue 15, October 2018 Mountain Passes Through the Andes
- Issue 13, July 2018 Lost El Meson Meteorite
- Issue 2, March 2018 Jewish Gauchos
Does anyone know the price of a bus ticket from Buenos Aires to Curatiba (Brazil)??
April 23, 2001
AR027 Just got back from a non-commercial, un-guided climbing trip of Aconcagua, via the normal route, if anyone is planning or thinking about a trip like this & needs current info. feel free to contact me.
Also, my wife spent 2 or 3 days in the following cities: San Luis, Cordoba, Tucuman, Salta, & La Rioja. We also spent 6-days in Mendoza, & 5-days in Santaigo, Chile. We are more than willing to share our travel information. Here’s my name, Address,
624 Dettmar Ave.
Baden, PA. 15005
April 22, 2001
AR026 Argentne products
Where can I find products from Argentine? ie shampoo, foods, soap. Things of this sort.
AR025 Travel to NW Argentina
Hi, I am planning a trip to Salta/Jujuy in Argentina this November. Would appreciate info on sights to see-nature/forest oriented. Also, ideas on whether to rent a car or use public trans. Other tips.
AR024 Welcome to ARGENTINA
ARGENTINA –> meet people in Buenos Aires
We are a team of Argentinians and foreign residents who hold social gatherings every tuesday in a beautiful cafe in Recoleta Area. We welcome you to join us during our meetings! Find a more natural setting to learn about the people, culture and customs of ARGENTINA. We offer long or short term visitors and argentinians also a friendly setting in which to talk with locals and foreigners, in addition we participate in cultural activities at no cost. Don´t miss this chance! Our activity is totally free and serious. Visit our site and email us now to: firstname.lastname@example.org
AR023 TRAVEL COMPANION
Hi, I’m a 23 year old Sydney girl who is travelling to South America between March and September this year. Looking for anyoone who is interested in nature, trekking, rafting, taking it easy, eating and also hoping to improve their Spanish (although if you can already speak it that is an added bonus). Had planned to start in Chile then fly to Ecuador and head down thru Peru to Bolivia and northwest Argentina. I’d like to go a little bit of the beaten track, well as far as you can go while avoiding day long bus trips anyway. And I don’t mind hooking up with local tours to go hiking and that sort of thing. But apart from that I would prefer to get around using local transport so I actually get a chance to meet the locals. I’ve got a few must sees but apart from that I’m pretty flexible. I would love to hear from anyoone with similar interests who is planning on being in South America at the same time.Also, does anyoone know what is the cheapest way to phone Australia from the above countries? Buy a phonecard over there or use an Australian phone home card? Or some other method I haven’t even thought of?Bye for now, Jenai (email@example.com)
AR022 Recent travel information: Argentina
WWW.HUPJE.NET Yes an excellent site. Even if it is my own. I’m currently uploading my travelogue of my current trip around the world. It has a detailed travelogue on how I sailed the Chilean waters on a ferry, surprised a large cat (puma) in Los Glaciers National Park and how I ventured into unknown trekking country to find myself catching fish with local settlers and in the end reach my goal by boat and not on foot. Other travelers will be interested in the country specific information section and trekking route descriptions. Anyone will enjoy the 100+ pictures which load in a few seconds. Be my guest and sign the guestbook. Suggest other items to include.
KEEP THE ADVENTURE ALIVE AND JOIN ME
HAVE A GREAT TRIP
P.S. Anyone going to Ecuador or Northern Peru over the few month?
AR021 WANTED ! Looking for Insects dealers!
I am looking for Insects dealers (Beetles). This is FUKINUKI(Mr) a Japanese entomologist. I am Taxa of world Lucanidae. Also, I like all beetles. Please give me contact.
Rainforest Laboratory 6-18-22 Kasuga, Fukuyama-city, Hiroshima 721-0907 Japan
AR019 The Argentina Connection
Hi: My name is Andres, I love backpacking and I’d traveled some through Argentina.I just wanted to tell you that if you ever need some help from a “native”, just mail me. I live in Buenos Aires so maybe I can be helpfull. Just mail back.
AR014 Russian-speaking Buenos Aires
Has anyone ever been interested in visiting or actually visited the Russian-speaking or (Ukrainian-speaking) area of Buenos Aires? If such area exists it should be around “Barrionce”. Has Judi Online been there? Also, a very old travel guide recommended a Russian restaurant called “Rosalka”. Does anyone know anything about this establishment?
AR005 Visit Buenos Aires?
Argentina (my country) offer magnificent landscapes, friendly people, the best steaks in the world, incredible, inexpensive wines, and it’s Capital –Buenos Aires– a lot of cultural events, cafes everywhere, salsa and tango bars, etc.If any of you are thinking to come to south-america, your trip will be not complete if you don’t visit Buenos Aires and, from there, the diff. interesting turistic places in Argentina.Also it’s a good place to learn Spanish, because there are many institutes and private teachers, and it’s not so expensive as people says, when you live with a local.
I will be glad to help travelers with some first hand turistic info, and with a cheap lodging –homestay– in BA.
- South American Explorer magazine
- More information about Argentina
- Tag Archives explore
I want to tell you a story.
It’s probably the closest thing to a real-life fairytale I’ve ever encountered, and it takes place in the middle of the rainforest in Far North Queensland, Australia.
Our starting point is an unexpected location, though. We pull into a tarmac car park beside the highway where white cars shimmer in the heat and walk beneath a row of metal letters, their edges slightly crumbling with rust.
We keep on going down a small dirt track, letting the tree branches knit themselves closer and closer together as we step deeper inside the forest. The sounds of the outside world fade away: car engines and human chatter replaced by bird calls and the breeze moving through the leaves.
And then we see it.
At the edge of a clearing is a giant waterfall cascading over soft rock and splashing to a lake below. We’ve found the centrepiece of Paronella Park – the ruins of a castle built almost a hundred years ago, which have lain abandoned for half that time.
But now the castle is coming back to life.
The century-long history of Paronella Park
In 1925, a young Spaniard named Jose Paronella arrived in Australia. It was his second visit to the continent, and he’d decided to start a new life in Queensland along with his new bride, Margarita. Back in his Spanish homeland Jose had originally trained as a pastry chef, but during three years spent working in Australia he’d become a wealthy man.
Now Jose was planning to recreate a dream he’d had since childhood. Thanks to countless stories his grandmother told him about Spanish history, Jose had decided to build a replica of Spain in Queensland: his own recreation of a Spanish castle for other people to enjoy.
And that’s what he did.
Despite having little experience in construction, Jose Paronella bought five hectares of virgin land at Mena Creek Falls – much of it covered in a tangle of trees and vines – and began to build.
The resulting structures which sprang up were not just his dream castle, but also botanical gardens and tennis courts, a cafe and a grand staircase, and even a ballroom which doubled up as a theatre and cinema.
Because the famous Mena Creek waterfall provided ample opportunity for swimming, Jose built picnic tables on the ground beside it along with diving platforms, a toilet block and a set of changing cubicles nearby (which guests could pay to use!).
If you haven’t already realised, this man was one hell of an entrepreneur.
Before long the park had attracted curious visitors. Paronella became known as the Pleasure Gardens of Cairns, and each week there were groups of people eager to ride boats around the lake, swim beneath the water falls, and dress up on weekend evenings for dances, movies and music concerts under the stars.
A lost taste of Europe in the rainforest
Jump forward almost a hundred years though, and today’s lost world of Paronella looks quite different to Jose’s initial dream.
Now the sloping pathways lead past thundering falls and toward a steep flight of narrow stairs, their bannisters covered with ivy and twisting vines.
At their base are heavy stone tables, some of them cracked and most covered with layers of spongy moss. It’s almost too easy to imagine plates and picnic baskets laid out on top; and if I squint at the falls beyond I can half-see a rowing boat filled with excited guests.
It’s as if the ghostly guests of Paronella Park’s past are still just around the corner.
As we wander further through Paronella Park, I begin to see this place as more than just a set of abandoned ruins.
Of course there’s something undeniably magical about discovering a lost jungle world– particularly when it looks like a modern-day Angkor Wat – but the human touch here is undeniable too.
Our guide tells us that the Grand Staircase was actually used as the main thoroughfare to carry countless bags of sand and cement around the site. I skim my fingers over the rough surfaces of the bannisters and balustrades, all of which are covered in fingermarks from Jose’s own hands.
I start imagining Jose Paronella himself, valiantly striding through tree-lined pathways as he planned out his legacy.
An extremely ambitious man, Jose seemingly always had a new invention in mind: everything from creating a hydro-electric plant to power the park to attempting an underground aquarium by slotting fishtanks into earth walls he carved out of a tunnel – and when that failed, he used the humid earth to grow mushrooms instead.
When word spread about the crazy Spaniard building a castle in Queensland, a local municipal department even gifted Paronella Park with thousands of exotic and native plants, including hundreds of Kauri trees which can live for two thousand years.
Although he must have planted them with the knowledge that he’d never actually see them grow, Jose seemed certain that his park would live on despite him – and he was absolutely right.
The rediscovery of Paronella Park
Jose sadly died from cancer in 1948, and after the park changed hands a few times it eventually fell into disrepair. The jungle began to reclaim it.
For almost thirty years Paronella was forgotten, until a Perth-based couple named Mark and Judy Evans came looking to buy a caravan park.
The estate agent suggested a small piece of land which included some castle ruins hidden in the tangled undergrowth – and just like that, Mark and Judy found themselves the new owners of a lost civilisation.
When they realised how incredible this place was, the couple came up with a plan to restore the park to its former glory in whatever way they could. The paths have been cleared and the gardens reconstructed; the family’s cottage has become a museum filled with artefacts and memorabilia; and the park is becoming a popular wedding venue.
The arrival of a long-lost Paronella relative
The only thing missing from the restoration was history, as the Evans’ didn’t know what stories the park could still be hiding from them. Everyone they asked said that the park’s original owners had all disappeared – until one day, when an old lady arrived at the gates.
As Mark welcomed her to the park and asked if she’d like to visit, the woman replied,
“Actually, this was my father’s park. I’m Teresa, his daughter. I haven’t been back here for forty years.”
Thanks to Teresa filling in the gaps, Mark and Judy were able to begin constructing a mental picture of the people who built Paronella Park.
A vulnerable, nature-powered park
Despite the restorations, Paronella is sadly still extremely vulnerable. The landscape which Jose chose is built on a cliff, and the propensity for cyclones and flooding in Far North Queensland means there’s always a danger of nature wreaking havoc on the park.
In 1946, it was flooded by thirty feet of water and was precipitous in the park’s eventual closing by Jose Paronella; and since Mark and Judy resurrected Paronella in 1993 there have already been three separate cyclones which have knocked down walls, taken off roofs and threatened them with extreme flooding yet again.
The entire park is powered by nature, and despite the resulting beauty it’s also extremely likely that everything could vanish tomorrow.
What’s fascinating though is how different generations view and experience this place. Jose had initially envisaged Paronella Park as a well-kept set of gardens complete with outdoor entertainment, yet by the start of the 1960s people had TVs and their own local cinemas which meant the park’s visitor numbers started to drop.
Strangely enough, allowing the forest to take over the park for a few decades has meant a resurgence in tourism. Nowadays this part of Far North Queensland is attracting visitors precisely because it’s a lost, forgotten place to be explored.
Australia’s very own Angkor Wat.
If you’ve got a dream, hard work does pay off
Jose might not have expected his park to end up exactly like this, but his dream to create a place of magic in the rainforest has stood the test of time.
I’m still amazed that more people don’t know about Paronella Park. Then again, there’s something rather special about it remaining a secret.