Three weeks already and the waterfall is stunning!

Trip Start Aug 31, 2003
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Wednesday, October 15, 2003

From Sao Paulo in Brazil the plan was to see Iguacu Falls, so a very comfortable and pricey over-night bus with first class seats/beds took us from our gracious hostess and delivered us to the Brazilian and very tourist prepared town of Foz de Iguacu. Keeping our bags on our back in the early hours we headed straight for the falls, only to find that one of the largest waterfalls in the world is closed on Monday mornings for servicing!?! So a few impromptu hours in a bird and reptile sanctuary (ducking as the concorde tucans flew at us) readied our senses nicely for an absolutely amazing big picture view of the falls, oh and a sneaky power boat trip so we could touch the falls (or rather so it could soak us!!).

From there, a surprisingly short taxi ride and lazy customs officials bumbled us back into Argentina for the second and closer half of the Iguacu Falls. This will be most memorable for not only the views, but a very poorly officiated (have the right cash at the gate or else!) and much busier side to the spectacular. The next day we moved quickly along the Argentine/Paraguay border to a very warm welcome for one night and morning at San Ignacio to visit some very impressive Jesuit Ruins (the Jesuit religious movement created Paraguay apparently!). Continuing our quick progression along the border trail took us to the Argentine town of Posadas where the almost-cosmopolitan trend setters can only be seen in the city shops or waterfront, and the lower class locals at everypoint in between. Whilst here, we had a memorable spot of lunch in Paraguay (just a 15 minute half-legal boat crossing to the shanty-town style shops and very colourful undercover market) and a somewhat frightening hurricane that night which almost blew the windows out of our sixth floor hotel room!

The next trip turned out more through fate than good planning, suffice to say: countless stops, fifty passengers, twenty nine hours, five musicians, three movies, two drivers and one very rickety old bus eventually took us the width of the country west to the shadows of the Andes and the Argentine adventure playground and wine capital of Mendoza. One week in the very relaxing, picturesque and leafy man-made city helped us learn about how the entire city has a gaping drainage system through every street, keeping the tree lined streets green, giving the drunkards an unplanned place to fall, and even lodging the front wheels of poorly driven cars (we saw a couple of those!!). Here saw us raft our way down the Mendoza river, horse ride on donkeys (it was so poor we left half way through with a phantom knee strain), visit the local vineyards and enjoy the open air evening festival whilst we dined every evening.

Three weeks gone in the blink of an eye, and now a seven hour bus ride will deliver us to our next and last south american country, Chile.
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