onsdag 24. februar 2010

Iguazu Falls

We've been travelling!

Last weekend we got on a bus Friday afternoon at 15.15
(after doing a Pub Crawl the night before) and knew that we wouldn't get off until
18,5 hours later. But it wasn't a bad busride (we went with the company ViaBariloche) at all!

We were served snacks, starters and dinner while movies were playing in the background.
The temperature was relatively well regulated.. although we were prepared for the opposite with lots of clothes and blankets in the luggage. We can't say the same for the Australian boys sitting next to us though..they came in shorts and t-shirts (or actually, even less) and spend the night shivering trying to cover themselves with random pieces of fabric that they found on the bus.
I guess once a "speider" always a "speider" (scout)... 'cause we were ready for anything!

We spent Saturday in the city called Puerto Iguazu and met a very nice lady at the tourist information who helped us plan the rest of our weekend. We went to see the falls, and walked around the park. We got absolutely wet and it was quite comfortable because it was HOT.

We met a cute chilean family of 3 in the park with the cutest little boy who was too shy to talk to us, but we got to practise our Spanish a bit with his parents.
At night we hung out at the pool at the hostel drinking flavoured beer (I had orange), and met a nice dutch girl, and we all went to dinner together...and guess who we met??
The chilean family walked in to the same restaurant! Now that's a coincidence!
And the boy had obviously made plans for what he would do if he met us again because he said "te amo, te amo, te amo!" (I love you)

From there we walked forever (practically) in order to get to a street where there was supposed to be a carneval. And it WAS a carneval. Everybody was wearing glittering and tiny bikinis and dancing in the streets - cool!

And somewhat annoying that everyone had spray-bottles of soap foam that they were spraying us with....but whatever.

Our hostel in Puerto Iguazu:

Sunday we went to the Brazilian side and it was amazing!
First we met a man at the bus-station who was looking for a girlfriend.
He then showed us his bank cards..not sure if that was a part of his strategy in order to find a girlfriend, but either way, we left after a small chat.

When we made it to the falls we got a really good overview over how big the falls really are (A LOT bigger than Niagara Falls).

The falls are a great place for seeing really cool butterflies, and rainbows!

We spent the rest of the day in Foz do Iguaçu and eventhough everything (almost) was closed because it was Sunday (I guess Brazilian people are quite religious) we managed to do some of the musts-when-in-Brazil:
Eat a buffet dinner
Drink SKOL beer
Drink Brazilian coffee

Our waiter was the cutest ever, mostly because of his funny way of speaking English. He greeted us at the door when we arrived: Good night!!!! oh...sorry: good evening!
and proceeded to ask if we wanted joyce to drink.
My de-coding English abilities from living with various people from various countries with various levels of English in Trondheim payed off, and we got some joyce. I mean juice.

Monday we took a bus to Paraguay (Ciudad del Este). We considered walking across the bridge in order to be able to say "we walked from one country to another" but decided that maybe it was a bad idea since our hotel reseptionist informed us that it was "not advisable". So we stayed on the bus, and despite the warning in the Lonely Planet book, that people throw things on to the bus as we pass, nothing was thrown and we made it across safe. We even remembered to be properly stamped OUT and in of the country (very important).

What we saw of Paraguay was completely different from what we've seen in both Argentina & Brasil. It was caotic, without "proper" roads, cars, people, animals, sellers etc. EVERYWHERE and street sellers/street markeds EVERYWHERE. And every store has a personal security officer who is armed with the largest rifles I've seen...randomly thrown over the shoulder. Looks very intimidating. We walked around and looked at the stuff they had to offer, and while a street seller was trying to sell us something a car actually came and hit him! Luckily just on the back of his leg, but his sandal was broken, and it was kind of sad. Mostly for him of course. But we all felt bad. Still didn't buy anything from him though.

Paraguay is really poor, and here is a picture of some homes

Then all of the sudden it started raining like CRAZY and we headed for the bus-station where a 21h. bus trip waited. This time we were going with the company Crucero del Norte.
We felt extremely well prepared as we quickly discovered that we needed both hats, jackets, blankets etc. to keep warm. Our mums (and dads!) would be proud.
We also noticed that the bus looked a bit less well-kept than the one that had brought us to Puerto Iguazu and started worrying about whether or not we would get something to eat.
In stead of a movie we got 5 different songs (90s disco music) played on repeat.
It made us more worried. But luckily, at random stops street-sellers came on the bus to sell different things you need for a long bus ride..I list: football shoes, CDs, towels, blankets...and FOOD! So, we bought lots of empanadas in order to be ready in case there would be no food.
We also made a new friend. And when I say friend I mean slightly-creapy-guy-who-keeps-staring-like-crazy.

Around 23.30 when we'd lost all hope for food the bus stopped and everyone rushed in to what appeared to be a bus-restaurant. It was a "restaurant" run by the buscompany where we got dinner and dessert. All in 15minutes. Max. We had to eat and run, and that was a good thing, because we ended up eating with guy-who-stares-a-lot. The bus ride got a bit better from there, because a movie started (and we fell asleep)...and slowly (!) but surely we made it to Buenos Aires.

Now we've just got back from throwing a birthday party for the kids, and
I can still hear the words "dame un globo!!!!!" (give me a balloon) ringing in my ears.

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