Water water everywhere
Trip Start Feb 15, 2006
67Trip End Feb 14, 2007
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had arrived in the Brazilian city of Foz to see the Iguassu waterfalls,
our first morning was spent in Paraguay nowhere near the falls at all.
Two rivers join here, the Iguassu and the Parana, and the middle of
the junction is the point where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay
meet - the so called triple frontier .
Reading something about this area on the internet, it seems that
George Bush is convinced that the whole triple border area is rife with
bandidos and terrorists that are linked to Al Queda. We didn't know this
at the time, so we thought nothing of the decision to cross into
Paraguay illegally by taking a boat over the river instead of driving over the bridge and going through the normal border controls.
Anyway, there were no mishaps en route (although it would have been nice to collect another stamp in the passport) and we stepped ashore into Paraguay. We were in secondary rain forest
and found an idyllic setting
where a Swiss doctor had set up shop to study malaria which unfortunately, he ended up catching himself. We went on into the forest where we had to ask permission of the harp playing Guarani Indian witch doctor to visit his village.
Now Paraguay is a little different to the rest of South America. It seems that the Brazilians were nicking all the men as slaves and the Spanish were offered some 30 wives each so that they would stay and defend them from the slave traders. I guess the Spanish must have used the country for R & R and didn't act the big tough colonial bully quite so much here. For example, the main language is still the indigenous Indian language and not Spanish.
Back out of the country the way we came in, still no sign of terrorist training camps, we went off to see the Iguassu falls from the Brazilian side. Only 25% of the falls are on their side of the border and although you can get a better view of the whole site, the experience was definitely more rewarding on the Argentinian side
The Iguassu falls are a must on any visit to South America
We allowed four nights for Iguassu which was one too many so we took in a tour of the Itaipu dam. Massive was the word
Next stop, Brazilian air traffic control willing - Rio ( A couple of weeks earlier, our airline, TAM, lost their brand new plane in a mid air collision and, not surprisingly, the air traffic controllers got the blame so, not surprisingly, now they are on strike)