Trip Start Oct 09, 2008
64Trip End Ongoing
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Our opposing philosophies did lead to our first marital spat shortly after our arrival in Iguacu Falls. It had taken a 15-hour overnight bus ride to get to Iguacu, during which someone had vomited all over the floor and stairs outside of the downstairs bathroom. Mikeo had actually been inside the bathroom when it happened, opening the door to find the floor covered and no trace of the culprit. For the next hour, whenever someone on our floor--we were sitting upstairs on a double-decker bus--would go downstairs to use the bathroom, we would wait in giggly anticipation until they came back up the stairs with a look of horror on their face, at which point we would erupt with laughter. Our little game continued when we stopped at a bus terminal in the middle of nowhere and got to watch the facial expressions of a steady flow of customers as they approached the bus, saw what was waiting for them on the floor inside the door, then staggered backwards and walked away. Yes, we are idiots. But you have to entertain yourself somehow when you're stuck on a bus for that long.
Anyhow, when we arrived in Iguacu early in the morning, we had to transfer to a local bus to get to our hostel
Mikeo was the first to notice the signs on the bridge. "Oh, great. We're going into Paraguay, dude!" he shrieked. I looked out the window and it appeared as though we were indeed leaving Brazil and entering another country. I laughed. And I continued to laugh. And with every laugh, Mikeo became increasingly angry at me for invalidating his feelings with mirth. "It's not funny, dude! This is the last time I agree to take a bus when we could take a cab!" This only made me laugh harder. "I mean it," he assured me, and then I lost it again.
Anyhow, the story ends with us hopping off the bus at the first stop in Paraguay. An Irish backpacker named Mick -- who also intended to get off at the "bus terminal" and who didn't realize we were in Paraguay until Mikeo ran up and told him (with no small amount of panic), "Hey, were you planning to go to Paraguay? Cause that's where we are!" -- got off the bus with us. Because it was rush hour, traffic was at a dead stop going back over the bridge, so we strapped on our giant backpacks, trudged through the Paraguayan version of Tijuana (No, thank you. I would not like to buy a used iPod already loaded with music. Are you sure this item isn't stolen?), and walked back over the big bridge into Brazil. Mikeo remained annoyed with me the rest of the morning, until we reached the Brazilian side of the waterfalls. All was immediately forgiven the moment we got our first glorious view.
There's a famous story about Eleanor Roosevelt's first visit to Iguacu Falls: the first thing she is rumored to have said upon seeing them is, "Poor Niagara." And it's true. Iguacu Falls makes Niagara look downright unremarkable in comparison. Even though the photos included in this blog entry won't nearly do justice to the majesty of the place (especially because they can't convey the deafening sound of the mighty waters), they will still get the point across better than any description I could possibly give.
I will make a few quick observations. First off, to anyone reading this who is planning a future trip to Iguacu, I highly recommend doing the Brazilian side first. That way, not knowing any better, you will be delighted and amazed by what you see on your first day
After two great days in Iguacu, we checked the weather report for Florianopolis in hopes of returning there. Sadly, a big storm was coming in; a storm that would continue for weeks, causing mudslides, taking out a major bridge, and--rumor has it--killing a number of people (I haven't been able to confirm this in the news media). We had planned to spend the next couple of weeks stopping in various beach towns on our way up along the coast en route to Rio de Janeiro. But with heavy rains forecasted everywhere along the coast for the foreseeable future, we would have to change up our plans and improvise. Our fate was sealed when we e-mailed our deranged new British pals Sam and Harry and got a quick reply saying they were causing all kinds of trouble in Sao Paolo despite the weather. And so off to the nation's capital we went.
Reading: The Concise Guide To Sounding Smart At Parties by David Matalon and Chris Woolsey