Trip Start Mar 30, 2010
Trip End Dec 13, 2012

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Flag of Brazil  , Paraná,
Monday, May 24, 2010

Iguacu falls was to be the next destination on the list of places to see while in South America.  I knew that my time here was going to be limited, so I would have to make the most of it.  I arrived at the international airport, without so much as a reservation at a hotel/hostel, or even a slight idea of a game plan, as per the norm.  It's funny, even though I have been traveling almost two months on the road, I don't like having to ask for help at toursit information booths.  Makes me feel like....such a tourist.  I try to shut up and blend in as much as possible, because I would like to see many of these places and locals would.  But sweet lady that collected the money on the bus helped point me in the directions of my hostel that I had decided on.  It was tucked away on a side street and a little hard to find, but sure enough well worth the hunt. By no means an diamond in the rough, but good atmosphere.
      I settled into my room and grabbed a shower after all the travel bullshit.  I knew that I only had a day and a half to see this wonder of the world, so off I would have to go.  I met my roommate, a young Brazilian by the name of Rene, who looked as though he too was looking for something to do.  He joined me on my afternoon trek to the Brazilian side of the falls.  There we walked the bird park, which was filled with an array of amazingly beautiful birds.  Rene knew the names of just about everyone of the animals, and fruit that we saw while there.  This is one fact that blow my mind about Brazilians.  They all seem to know sooo much about all the vegetation and animal life within their own country.  This normally would not be an amazing feat, except for the fact that they have what seems like thousands of fruits, hundreds of animals, and countless birds.  I was really glad that Rene joined cause he made it like my own personal guided tour.
      After our tour, I really had my eye set on doing the helicopter tour over Iguacu falls.  Again reccomended to me by my friend Rob from Honda, who had not led me wrong in Rio with the hang gliding.   I talked Rene into joining me for this wacky adventure as well.  It was a complete sensory over load.  I had never been in a helicopter before in my life, so I was eating up every second of it.  At somepoints, I was almost more concerned about capturing the whole thing on camera than enjoying it.  I had to take a step back.   I think this was one of the best bang for bucks I had spent on my trip so far.  This was no ordinary helicopter ride either.  The pilot took us for a 20 min rollercoaster ride.  We banked up and were nearly on a 90 degree angle looking down on the falls, a sensation I will never forget.  The pictures will never do it justice. 
     I was planning on visiting the Argentina side of the falls the next day, but needed 4 people total for the hostel to arrange a bus to go there.  Luckily enough, in the morning I was woken up by Daniel, the fellow working the front desk telling me two other Canadians and a guy from France were also up for going.  We all hoped in the bus, introduced ourselves and all connected right off the bat.  Samuel, Mandy, Sonia and myself did our formalities at the border and a short ride later we arrived.  We had 6 hours to wander the park before our driver would be back for us.  It was a bit of a head trip bouncing back to spanish after speaking portuguese for so long, always saying obrigado instead of gracias.  We made a mini game plan to see as much as possible in our given time.  There are incredible walkways that go right along the top of the falls.  Just the volume of water required to keep these falls going are mind bending.  Every path we took would yield a better view or photo opt.  At some points you can't even hear each other because of the thunderous roar.  Every where you look, water.  It is damn near imposible to not get misted on.  It was an overcast day, but as if someone new we were going to visit, the sky opened up for some great photos.   We had tickets for the boat ride that takes you literally right under the falls.  They provide dry sacs to put your belongings in.  We had no idea what was in store.  Our boat of roughly 40 people was by far the party boat.  People cheering and chanting our captain on to get us closer and closer to the falls.  I think he wanted to give us exactly what we were asking for!  Waves came crashing over the front of the boat where I was sitting, litterally soaking me in one fail swop.  Wearing a rain coat was pointless, I may as well have been in a bathing suit.  I recorded a video of the whole adventure, and you cannot imagine how much water is actually coming down.  At some points you can't even open your eyes!!  I will try to put the video online, but it is a little long, and trying to edit out the swearing.  :)    There was a hiliarious Argentinian man behind me, that I guess think I spoke spanish.  He kept yelling and chanting with me, hands waving in the air.  All I could do was smile and agree with whatever he was saying!  Well worth every penny of the boat ride. If you ever go to Iguacu, do the boat ride under the falls, just be sure to bring a towel...and your trunks!  
      After this whole excursion, we were all so mentally drained from the rush of adrenaline, and walking from the day that we decided call it a day.  I must say that I enjoyed the Argentinian side of the falls more because of the better view and activities, but that is simply because of my experiences.   We headed back to the Brazilian side where our hostel was located, to enjoy my last night in the country that I had called my home away from home for a month.  And what better way to do that, go for one last amazing chohasqueria(I so know that is wrong!! Brazilians...please correct me!)  The place we went to was a fantastic deal, with even better food selections.  The servers bring meat on a skewer to your table, but not just one..or two...or even three.  It was almost every minute and a half, they would come with another kind of meat.  Lamb, beef, sausage, chicken, pork, chicken heart (which I had to try! and not bad at all.) Each one kept looking better than the last, it was hard to pass up.  We ended befriending our waiters enough to take us to the back and meet the chef and see how all this meat was prepared.  There was a fire pit, about the size of a mid sized sedan, with approx. 40 skewers and meat.  Unfriggin real!!  They were just as happy to show us as we were to try all of them.  Great times!!
    Well, this blog has been a little delayed, as for the fact that I have left Brazil.  It already feels like so long ago in one aspect, but on the other hand, it was one of the most memorable places I have ever been.  I know that many of you likely get sick of hearing me constantly giving thanks to all these people, but wow...... that's all I can say.   BRAZIL....I loved every minute I was there,  Thank you for the lifetime of memories and stories, you are officially my home away from home, and always will be.  I would like to thank each one of you personally, but that alone would take up a whole page.  I wouldn't want to leave anyone either.  I will miss each and everyone one of you, you all know who you are.   Words can't describe what you all did for me.  I don't even think that is humanly possible for me to repay you in a single lifetime.  All the best......take care, and please message or call me anytime, would be a pleasure to hear from you.

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