Over to the other side - Brazil time!

Trip Start Jun 11, 2008
Trip End May 14, 2009

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Where I stayed
Pousada Da Laura

Flag of Brazil  ,
Monday, April 13, 2009

Today we were on the move to our final South American Country - Brazil.

We checked out at 10am and then relaxed round the pool for a couple of hours. We didn't need a ticket for our trip to Brazil as we were just going to jump on a local bus when we were ready. The bus goes straight from Puerto Iguazu (Argentina) to Foz De Iguazu (Brazil).

We set off just after lunch and was at the Argentinean border in about 10 minutes. Everyone on the bus had to get off to get stamped out of Argentina. There was a very large queue of tourists there when we arrived, all who had come on the tourist buses. This is when one of those beautiful moments occurred.
Because we were on the 'local' bus, and therefore with all the 'locals', who were either going to work or going home, everyone on our bus was waved to the front of the queue to get us through faster. Even me & Lorna, who were the only foreigners on the bus!! It was so funny walking straight past all the other disgruntled tourists who had to move out our way so we could get through!
Even our bus driver was laughing at us as we just swanned straight through immigration as though we owned the place!
Within 5 minutes of arriving, we were stamped out and back on the bus on our way to Brazil - brilliant!

At the Brazilian border it was slightly different. The bus doesn't usually stop here as the locals don't get stamped in to Brazil ....

(by the way, good tip for Americans if you just want to visit the falls on the Brazilian side but don't want to pay for a visa. Just use this bus. It takes you straight to Foz bus station where you jump on another 30 minute bus to the falls, then just come back the same way, on the same day. No stopping at the Brazilian border - easy).

....so, anyway, we had to ask the driver to stop for us as we need to have a stamp for when we depart from Rio. He told us he wasn't allowed to wait for us, but gave us a free ticket to jump on the next bus that came along - nice!
As it happens, we filled in our immigration form and got our stamp into Brazil within about 3 minutes!! So easy - actually, we were surprised how easy it all was.
We hung around for about 15 minutes until the next bus came along and then were on our way into Foz De Iguazu.

When we arrived in Foz, we only had to walk about 3 blocks to our hostel - Pousada Da Laura. We had a double room booked, but ended up with a quadruple all to ourselves. The hostel itself has a really nice feel to it, but there's only about 7 people stopping here at the moment - nice and peaceful.

Took a walk around the nearby streets. Foz is a bit plain if I'm honest, you only really come here for the falls, but because the hostel is nice, we should be able to relax for a few days before our 24 hour bus journey to Rio!
We had a few problems withdrawing cash here and were worried we were going to be cashless, but it turns out that the machines are a little more sensitive with the cards - no, I don't mean they tell them how nice they look and how smooth they feel! I mean that you have to slide them in and out more slowly......I really don't like where this conversation is going actually......no more talk of sliding in and out or machine sensitivity please!!
(Perverts! One innocent mistake with a blender & a vacuum cleaner in the past and you never let me forget it, eh?!)

Moving on, we managed to get the cash out eventually, so all is well!

Having now lined our pockets with some variation of the local currency, we headed to the supermarket to purchase dinner. It's here we remembered that we now had a language change - Spanish to Portuguese!! And just when we were getting the hang of Espaņol! Gracias becomes Obrigado, Hola becomes Oi! Oh dear.
Poor old Lorna has become completely confused (yes, again). Already struggling with Spanish and historically challenged with English, I think a third language may have pushed her over the edge! She has now just resorted to grunts and pointing!! Poor girl.

We safely returned to the hostel and knocked up some steak baguettes before planning what we need to organise tomorrow. (And what time the footy will start.....ssshhhh).
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