But that didn´t get us down and the next afternoon we arrived in San Ignacio to visit the Jesuit Mission there. The Jesuits arrived in that area in the 1630s and set up around 30 missions for the Guaraní people in Northern Argentina, Southern Brazil, Paraguay and even into Southwestern Bolivia
. These places were incredible self-supported missions where the Guaraní could live protected from the Portuguese slave traders until the 1750s when Spain and Portugal thought the Jesuits were becoming to strong and destroyed all their missions. Considered the best restored of the missions, San Ignacio Miní today is a UNESCO World Heritage but only offers a glimpse of what it must of been like at its peak when it held over 4000 inhabitants, had kitchens, dining rooms, living quarters, classrooms, workshops, a cemetery, jail, hospital and of course a church. However, much of the intricate work, known as "Guaraní baroque," that went into some of the buildings was still visible and quite impressive. Still I left with a sour taste in my mouth reminded again how unchristian it is when churches or even sects of the same church fight over power. However, it didn´t keep me down long as Jules and I arrived in Puerto Iguazú late that night ready to spend a whole day enjoying one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, Iguazú Falls.
We woke up early the next morning, caught the FIRST bus to the park, took the FIRST train ride to the Garganta del Diablo (Devil´s Throat) and ran past everybody else on the train to be the FIRSTS ones to see it. However this incredible U-shapèd waterfall was already full of tourists. How, I don´t know. Anyways after taking in the breaktaking beauty and power of this water fall we left (soaked) to explore some of the other 300 waterfalls that make up the Argentinian side of the waterfalls
. After a long morning of admiring natural beauty we decided to patronize man-made beauty and visited the lunch-time buffet at the 5-star Sheraton Resort that somehow got the rights to be built inside the park with an incredible view of the Garganta. Decked out in our best back-packing clothes we walked in and filled ourselves with delights from there incredible savory and sweet sections while enjoying the view of the Garganta...all for $10 each (remember, 5-star buffet)... man I love Argentina! After a bit more of walking around on the Argentina side of the falls we decided to try our luck (Americans officially need a $100 visa to enter Brazil... dang reciprocity) and jet it over to the Brazillian side to see the falls from a different angle. See you there...
We arrived in good time back to Buenos Aires, walked over to the bus station to catch a bus to the north to visit Iguazú Falls and the Jesuit Mission, San Ignacio Miní but had forgotten one thing... everybody in Argentina has no school on Thursday or Friday because of Semana Santa and thus they travel starting that night... Wednesday night. That probably would have been managable but, we also forgot we were in Argentina and that somebody always finds a reason to protest... this time it was the subway employees and they picked the one of the busiest days of the year for it. Thus that day the city was flooded with 50% more cars and even though we were able to get one of the last bus tickets to the north we waiting almost 4 hours before our bus was able to make into the station.