First a very big thank you to all who helped plan this trip, especially the DEs, whose patience and good humour is much appreciated.
I will try to keep this brief, and highlight things I wish I had known rather than write a travelogue which has been more extensively and better written by others. I have reviewed our hotels separately.
We knew that we were trying to do a lot in a short time but Argentina is a long way from Scotland, and I wanted to see as much as possible.
Buenos Aires- We spent 5 days here, spilt between the beginning and end of our holiday. We changed money at Banco de la Nacion on arrival. We should have changed more. ATMs in the city gave good rates but several were out of service, and had long queues. The bank in BsAs had very long queues. We took an orientation tour provided free by our hotel with good advice on security. I had read the advice on the forum and would have been worried about visiting La Boca but it was good to hear about Boca Juniors and wander in Caminito on our tour, with good advice about where not to wander. We felt generally safe. The advice given again and again on the forum is that it is safe to walk in the city. To me it felt about as safe as Paris, London or Rome. I would have no hesitation in walking around Recoleta at night. Palmero was poorly lit in parts and I felt safer in a taxi, although still walked all day and sometimes at night.
We saw no "mustard on clothes scams". The taxis we took were all driven by honest drivers. Even once when we forgot to keep small change we were given the correct change from a 100 peso note.
We looked around the Recoleta craft fair and San Telmo market at the weekend. We had just arrived and bought nothing. I did not realise there would be no markets when we returned mid week.
I wish I had researched dining options better. We are not big meat eaters and found it hard to find good vegetarian and fish. The steak portions were enormous, although very good but just too much for us.
The Subte was very easy to use and very very cheap.
We split our stay between Recoleta and Palmero. When we return we are unsure where we will stay. Recoleta was very convenient and felt very safe. Palmero had more of a buzz and we enjoyed a wander but felt less safe at night. Now we know the areas we will probably get an apartment, and eat nothing for breakfast to preserve our appetite for evening and the occasional ice cream.
We did all the tourist things.- saw all the sights and had a tango lesson. We were careful not to flash wallets, expensive phones or cameras.
On to Iguazu- We stayed on the Argentinean side in the park. Iguazu is fantastic and so tasteful. We loved wandering around the trails at opening time when the park was quiet. We travelled to the Brazilian side by taxi and although I would not have missed it we preferred the Argentinean side. Iguazu is quite simply one of the best places I have seen anywhere in the world.
Bariloche next, on the oldest looking aircraft I have even seen in commercial service. However all 5 flights with Aerolineas were uneventful, except for the first which was changed from an AGP departure to EZE with less than 24hours notice. Check your email. We would have preferred LAN but their schedules didn't work out. In Bariloche we stayed at Llao Llao as a birthday treat for me. The hotel is reviewed separately but there was so much to do there and the scenery was so fantastic that we abandoned our plans to tour the area.
On to El Calafate for two nights. Mini- trekking on the glacier was a great experience. What I had not realised was that the day also included getting close to the glacier on a smallish boat and a stop at the balconies. Calafate town was probably our least favourite placein Argentina. IMO a soul-less frontier town with too many souvenir shops. We only had a day and a half there and spent the half day on a 4X4 trip to the surrounding hills which was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon.
Day trips from BsAs. We chose Tigre. My husband won. I wanted Colonia. The Tren de la Costa was enjoyable if only to see the Beverly Hills type houses in the area. Tigre was a disappointment. We hired a small boat with an English speaking guide. He knew nothing about wildlife. Maybe there was none, but pointed out several gas stations houses and mini markets.
So- Would we go back? Yes, and I would not be so frightened of crime. I feel I missed a lot on a whistle stop tour of the country. Next time we will try to see Salta and Mendoza.
One last thing. The Argentineans still obviously feel strongly that the Malvinas should be theirs, and they might well be right. Despite this we met nothing but courtesy when we presented our British passports.
Thanks again to everyone who helped