I cross the threshold
Trip Start Oct 19, 2007
126Trip End Ongoing
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I have a hell of a day ahead of me as today will be my border crossing. I wake up pretty early to catch a bus to the main road from the hostel. Then I catch a bus on the main road and take that bus to another stop down the street and then cross the street in order to catch another bus heading the other direction and onto Argentina. I go through customs at the Brazil border and then I have to catch another bus which crosses the river and stops at customs for Argentina and waits for everyone. This is nice since I only had to take 4 buses as opposed to 5. Whew. Customs was actually no problem what-so-ever. Brazil was a little tricky because I didn`t know exactly where to go but Argentina was cake. I cross the border and I`m in like a whole different world. Everything is in Spanish now and just when I was getting used to Portuguese I have to switch my mindset to Spanish. I have to get Argentinian pesos but what sucks is I can only get out 300P at one time which is the equivalency of $100USD. I am going to take a flight from here to Buenos Aires and I need 450P just for my flight so I have to make 3 transactions, weak. As I buy my ticket to Buenos Aires for tomorrow, I also buy a ticket to the Argentinian side of the Falls and a ticket for the Jungle Tour (the highlight being a boat trip under some of the falls). Awesome, now I have Dollars, Reals and Pesos in my wallet, this is going to get confusing. I buy all this crap at the bus station from the same company, it`s like shopping at Target. I need to take a whiz and I see a sign at the bus station that says Sanitarios and it has an arrow pointing a certain direction and I follow the arrow figuring that would make sense, but no, it doesn`t, there are no bathrooms anywhere let alone in the direction of the arrow. Hmmmm, maybe Argentina isn`t so different from Brazil after all. But it actually is, it amazes me how different this place is even though it is just a stone`s throw away from Brazil.
Ok, check into the hostel and catch another bus to the Iguacu Falls. I`m fairly proud of myself as I have taken 5 buses now, crossed the border, got money, bought 3 tickets and checked into a hostel all under 5 hours. The Argentinian side of the falls is a bit better than Brazil`s. The Brazil side gives you a nice overview and is much more panoramic and the Argentinian side lets you get really up close to the falls. I guess the Brazil side is prettier but the Argentinian side is cooler. There are catwalks which cross the river that allow you to stand over the Diablo Gargantuan. BTW this is the largest river I have ever seen and has to be 3km across. It is enormous. As I am walking I see an alligator or crocodile or maybe it`s a caiman (it`s like the snake to my mongoose, or the mongoose to my snake...........I don`t know animals - Dr. Evil) in the water which is pretty pimp. I get to the end of the catwalk and stand more or less over the Devil`s Throat and it`s like looking into some sort of void or bottomless pit but filled with water. You actually can`t see the bottom because the force of the water hitting the river below creates so much mist that it becomes opaque. There are rainbows everywhere and I feel like I`m walking down Halsted. I hang here for about half an hour just taking in the scene and trying to makes sense of what I am seeing. I have to get back to the beginning of the park in order to take the Jungle Tour (Hah, Heis, remember that Jungle Tour (I`m almost positive that`s what it was called) we took in Cancun, the really safe jet ski`s with outboard motors and we kept weaving in and out of the wakes and not following the correct path and then we got in trouble and I believe you fell off the back and could have easily have had an apendage severed, sorry I digress). First we take some huge truck through the jungle, it was decent but I couldn`t really hear what the guide was saying because it was loud, some chick kept talking to me and I wasn`t really all that interested anyways so I wasn`t really listening (sort of like when your girlfriend talks to you after a hard day`s work or any other time as a matter of fact). The boat ride along the river and under the falls was sweet though. Everyone on the boat got completely soaked as the driver just kept steering the boat under various falls. That chick sat next to me on the boat and now it looks as though I have a friend for the rest of my day. She`s cool though and she laughs at all my lame ass jokes and thinks I`m funny and doesn`t get offended when I make fun of her so she turns out to be a lot of fun. We still have two different paths to take in order to view all the falls from the Argentinian side.
After the falls we go get some dinner and I am absolutely dying for a beer. It appears that the beer of choice in Argentina is something called Quilmes and it is probably the best fucking beer I have ever had. Ok, it had more to do with the timing and my wanting a beer so badly then the actual taste of the beer itself but it was one of those rare moments where you just sit back and love every gulp and it tastes like Jessica Alba`s buttcrack lined with Fruity Pebbles. We have a nice dinner and I actually speak some Spanish to the waiter, not good Spanish, but he understood. The girl (I forget her name) is 50% Mexican and 50% American and 100% ugly. Ok, not ugly, but she isn`t going to win any beauty pagents at the Peoria shopping mall (but then again, either is Brenna, inside joke, but I dated this chick in college, dumped her and after this she comes over one day or calls and tells me she got 2nd in a beauty pagent (trying to make me jealous or something) and I`m like "Oh wow, where was it", and she was like "at the shopping mall" and I`m like "you mean the shopping mall here in Peoria" and she`s like "Ya" and I start cracking up and she goes "why are you laughing" and I go "because you didn`t get first". If you can`t get first at the Peoria shopping mall you shouldn`t ever ever ever ever ever, enter a beauty pagent). She wants me to go to her hotel so she can give me the number or business card to where she is staying in Buenos Aires, ummm, ok, I guess. She finds the card and I tell her thanks and that maybe I will see her in Buenos Aires and I start to leave and she says to me point blankly "Come here, I want to kiss you". Hah, I bet you do. If I were you I`d want to kiss me too. I`d rather take a picture of Janet Reno, put it over a light socket and stick my tongue in that rather than your mouth. I`d rather kiss a blind rhinocerous w/ a staff infection, I`d rather lick a keyan`s toe after setting a new record for time in the marathon (not me setting the record, the kenyan), I`d rather, ok I could go on forever here. I make up some bogus story how I have a Brazilian girlfriend and that I don`t want to cheat on her and stuff. I think she buys it and she doesn`t feel too bad, once again, I`m a heck of a guy.
Get back to my hostel and meet my two roomates. They are both Isreali chicks and one of them is pretty dope. Believe it or not, Isreali women are for the most part good looking. None of them are smoking, but the majority of them are very decent. I meet another Israeli chick at the hostel and she is good looking as well (see, I told you) but in a cool hippy sort of way. She has dreads and stayed in the army for an extra 2 years because she is a badass and she just has a very laid back, cool ass vibe about her. Anyways, she thinks she is older than me, and knowing that this is a sure thing I tell her I will bet her a beer that she isn`t. She takes the bet and she tells me she is 26, hah, 26, loser, you should buy me two beers for not even being close. Hmmmm, this gets me thinking, I could probably win a lot of beers this way. Hang with the two roomates later for a bit but for the most part I`m really only talking to Moran (the good looking one). They teach me some Hebrew words, and I forgot all of them by now except for Sababa which means cool. They aren`t really into going out tonight even though I try to persuade them. They tell me I should just go to bed and we can lay awake talking and crap. Yeah, well, that sounds fun and all but I really want to go out since I am only here for 1 night. Moran and I hit it off pretty well and if I knew then what I know now I would have stayed in Puerto Iguazu longer. But, I end up going out with dreaded girl and two other Isreali`s. Dude, Isreali`s are everywhere and in the next month I will hang with more Isreali`s than any other nationality.
Drink some more beers and me and Dreads have a lot of fun together. I can say anyting in front of her which is my number one criteria for determining how cool someone is. I tell her in college we had a joke where we would rate a girl not on a 1-10 scale but on how many beers you would have to have in order to fuck her. She tells me a whooper of a tale where she was on a bus in Bolivia and the bus had no bathroom so some lady simply stood in the middle of the aisle, squatted,.took a shit on the floor and then picked it up with a piece of paper and chucked it out the window. I believe it, it is Bolivia remember. She tells me how awesome Bolivia but at times it can be so ugly and I say to her "How many beers would it take to fuck Bolivia", she gets a kick out of this. She asks me how many beers it would take to fuck her and I say probably 0 and she tells me that is the best compliment she ever got. Once again, all I do is wander the earth and make people feel better about themselves. We all go back to the hostel at like 3am and she busts out her guitar and plays a couple songs. She`s very talented, or maybe it`s because it`s 3 and I have been up for about 20 hours straight doing shit non-stop and I am super cashed. I actually fall asleep during her 3rd song and I have to drag my ass to bed. This has been an awesome but very long day indeed.