Published: February 25th 2005February 25th 2005
Crikey, how are you all? It's been a while since we last spoke. What's new with you?
Am writing this update in a cybercafe in Buenos Aires, after an 18 hour bus ride from Foz do Iguaçu. Before carrying on, let me jump back a few days to the last time we spoke.
Santa Catarina was pretty cool, and we stayed there for about 4 days. The one downside was that there really wasn't a lot to do apart from lounge about on the beach and top up our tans (bummer). We did make it out one night, despite a power cut that wiped out the whole island. We found a club a few miles away and got a lift off a mate of the waiter in the bar that we were in, because taxis are very thin on the ground. We got to the club and it turned out to be pretty similar to a school disco. Lots of drunken youngsters and pretty random snogging. As you can imagine, Joff was in his element and made a couple of special friends, both of whom seemed of legal age. The rest of us drank and danced and when it
came to closing time (about 5am) we realised that getting home would prove to be even more difficult than getting there. We finally got back to the apartment at 7am and the next day was a write off. Nothing much else happened there, apart from Andy and Jamie nearly drowning after underestimating the strength of the currents in the sea.
From there we took a bus down to a place called Foz do Iguaçu, which is renowned for its cataratas (waterfalls). Foz is on the border of Brazil, Argenina and Paraguay and after arriving at 7am on Tuesday we decided to check out the Brazilian side of the waterfalls (they stretch across both Brazil and Argentina).
Having not really seen a great number of waterfalls in my life I've not got a lot to compare it with, but the sight we were met by upon arrival was quite simply awesome. There were so many different waterfalls you couldn't count them, of varying shapes and sizes. It was such a humbling experience and is really difficult to explain - perhaps when we get some photos against this entry it will be a bit clearer.
After being wowed by
the falls we headed back to the hostel for a quiet evening in front of the footy (the hostel was showing Champions League games). Halfway through the first game, however, we were challenged to a Europe v S America match by some Paraguayans on the next table to us in the bar. The hostel had a footy pitch, which opened for an hour a day, so we headed over there with a couple of extra honorary Royals for the match.
The winning record was upheld, despite the handicap of not being able to wear shoes on the pitch. After an hour of 8 v 8 football the Europeans came out 9-4 victors, in no small part due to braces from Steve and Andy. With Joff and Andy holding fort in defence and Jamie and Steve terrorising the South American defence the Royals abroad came out trumps yet again.
Another early start the next day saw us go over the border to see the Argentinian side of the falls. Before getting there the bus took a brief detour to a lookout point from which you could see both Brazil and Paraguay a few hundred feet away across the river.
We got to the Argentian side of the falls and were again blown away by the sights. It was pretty awesome, with raised platforms taking you right to the edge of the falls. At about 5pm we made our way down to a dock where we caught a boat for the second part of our day. We got on a speedboat which whisked us under the falls, where we got totally soaked, and then down the River Iguaçu through rapids to another dock where we caught a jeep back to the National Park's entrance. It was absolutely brilliant.
After two hectic days there was no stopping, and we caught the bus to Buenos Aires yesterday afternoon at 2pm and got in mid morning today. The first thing we noticed was the traffic, totally mental. There seems to be no real traffic laws and we've already seen a few pretty bad crashes including one that held up the bus for about an hour this morning.
The hostel is great, really clean and very well run on first impressions. There's a trip to a local club tonight which we've signed up to and we'll probably just chill tomorrow. It
seems that Buenos Aires could prove quite a fun stop on our trip. We're also going to a Boca Juniors football match on Sunday.
Just over a month of our trip has gone now, and it's flown by. Thanks for reading - speak soon.