The Last of Brazil

Trip Start Mar 14, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Brazil  , Paraná,
Monday, May 29, 2006

A long 24 hour bus ride from Rio de Janeiro brings me to the tri-border town of Foz do Iguaįu where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay come together.
Itīs also home to the famous Iguaįu Waterfalls.... the only reason to come to these parts really. To have a look, I met up with a couple of Ozzies in the hostel and headed out to see what itīs all about... first, on the Brazilian side. I have to say, the falls are quite impressive since there are so many (275 individual falls) but Niagra Falls back on the New York-Canada border is still higher, mightier and more grand! The photos were fun to take though and it was just plain cool to be here... especially watching these raccoon looking critters chase tourists around and beg for food. The Brazilian side offers the distant overview of the falls while the Argentinian side provides a close-up look. It takes a couple days to see both sides. In addition to the falls, the largest hydro-electric power plant in the world, Itaipu, is located here on the Parana River between Paraguay and Brazil. Itīs one of the 7 man made wonders of the world. The thing is huge and isnīt so exciting in my pictures. It was also difficult to get good pix from the tour bus you take to get around the massive engineering project. But unfortunately for me, I did not know that the "totally free" tour, which is clearly posted at the visitorīs center as being "totally free" in no less than three languages, all of which I can read, costs $15 and I didnīt take enough money with me to get inside the dam and generating plant. So I was stuck with the actual "free tour" as promised, but couldnīt see the good stuff inside. It was probably lame anyway...just some turbines spinning creating an electromagnetic field so powerful that every visitor will have brain cancer by the time they get home. Whew, I am so glad I didnīt go to that! Free tour my ass!

A new dilemma has popped up on my travel radar screen. I was going to cross into Paraguay and head to the capital city of Asuncion... even though there isnīt much to do there and no one else goes... but I have learned that US citizens (as well as Canadians, Ozzies, Kiwis, Japanese, and Mexicans) need a visa to enter the country. What does that involve? Basically a full day of running errands preparing for the application process. I need two 3x4 mm passport photos, photocopies of my credit cards or a printout of my bank account statement, photocopy of my Brazilian tourist card and multiple copies of my passport, a plane ticket that proves I am leaving the country... which as you might recall, I now know how to fake an e-ticket on Continental Airlines which is what I submitted to the Brazilian embassy for my visa for this country, and finally, $45 American dollars. Well, I just canīt be bothered with all that right now just for Paraguay and I have no idea why the 3rd poorest nation in South America would require such things. So it looks as if I will cross into Argentina tonight... but I am still concerned about the coming winter and colder temperatures. I prefer to chase after the sun. Where will I end up going??????????

Hey... BONUS !!!!! The US $dollar$ is worth more all of a sudden. Cool!
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