Published: April 25th 2011April 25th 2011
Getting to Igaucu from Rio took 22 hours on the coach, but we were used to long haul journeys by now, so it wasn't too bad! Unfortuneately we didn't have time to see the Brazilian side of the falls and make it back to the border crossing, as we were told the border closed at 7pm, so we crossed straight through to Argentina with no problems and headed straight to our hostel.
It was huge and more like a hotel to be honest, it even had a swimming pool, which we were impressed with, it seemed like luxery to us compared to some of the places that we had been in previously!! At the hostel we bumped into one of the girls that was with us during carnaval, so we all shared a bottle of Argentinian red wine (lovely) by the pool and arranged to go to the falls the next day.
We got the bus there the next day, standing the whole way in the heat. At arriving at Iguacu National park they didnt accept card payments, so we had to walk to the nearest ATM which seemed like a mile away! Not convenient at all!!
Eventually we entered the park, and it was huge! There were lots of Coatis walking around everywhere. There lovely but I got quite intimidated at one point as I was munching on a huge baguette, they saw this and immediately about 10 surrounded me and looked ready to pounce and steal my sandwhich. They were harmless, but I couldn't help thinking, 'I haven't had a rabis jab!!' I quickly polished off my sandwhich, and they just as quickly lost interest and we all moved swiftly on!!
We could hear the falls well before we could see them, walking along the bridges towards them you would suddenly see huge clouds of spray appearing and we all got excited! It was literally roaring as we turned the last corner and finally came face to face with Igaucu falls!
It was singulary the MOST amazing and beautiful thing that I have ever experienced, it didn't seem real. Pictures do not do it justice at all! It was like a dream, with glorious sunshine and there were numerous rainbows in the spray. Unbelieveable.
We went on a nautical adventure, where they take you out on a speet boat right up to the
falls, and you just basically get soaked, but we were gratefull for that as it was so hot! It was fantastic, and a great sight as you (attempted) to look up from the very bottom. We were soaked near enough for the rest of the day, as the viewing bridges take you really close to the falls so its like your constantly under a shower! This proved quite difficult for taking pictures though, although we still managed to take a few.... hundred!
Seeing the falls was definitaly a highlight for me, such an amazing sight. It looked like a screensaver!!
That night there was a BBQ at the hostel which was lovely, although the meat was so salty, which seems to be a reoccurring theme in South America so far! We saw some guys that we met in Brazil, Paraty and had a quick catch up. We were told that we would bump into the same people along our trip as lots of people take the same route, but I didn't expect it to happen so soon!!
After the BBQ, the hostel put on a Samba show which I was quite intrigued about, as on the internet someone had
reviewed it saying that it was, quote, 'embarassing'..! .......
...It was!... it was basically just 2 girls in the typical rhinestone g strings, not really doing any samba, but grabbing guys, sitting them down and jiggiling around in front of them! HA I completly understood the review!
We didn't stay long in Iguacu as we only had 6 weeks left to get through Bolivia and Peru for our next flight from Lima, so the next day we got another 22 hour coach trip up to Salta to spend a couple of days there before crossing the border to Bolivia.
Arriving in Salta, I discovered that I already had an impressive hole in my bag, after only 1 month of travelling!! So not going to last a year! We arrived at 7.30am and walked 15 minutes to the next hostel. Salta was lovely and very quiet, there wasn't much to do, apparently you could go white water rafting but it wasn't available at the time as the river was too flooded! We were quite happy to do nothing for a couple of days, as the trip through Bolivia was going to be jam packed full
On the first night we found a lovely resteraunt and sampled some Argentinian steak, which everyone raves about. It was lovely and ridiculously cheap. The next day we just wandered around town for abit, buying cakes and food to make ourselves tea. Only ham sandwhiches, but we were so hungry that they tasted amazing! We also booked a coach for the following day to take us to the Bolivian border, leaving at 7am.
In Salta it was so much colder than Brazil and southern Argentina, that we had to wear walking trousers, jumpers and socks for the first time!! Which felt strange from being in bikinis and flip flops in Brazil.
We actually managed to get up in time and the coach was meant to last 7hours to La Quicha, where the border is, although we didn't have much faith in the time keeping skills from previous experiences, we were right not to! 2 and a half hours in, and the coach broke down, luckily we had managed to reach a depo where we eventually swapped coaches and carried on with the journey.
We had been told so many stories about how amazing the coaches in Argentina
are, offereing hot meals, films and blankets..... we must have got the cheapest, crappest one, as it was cramped, hot had spanish dubbed films, no food and smelt a bit funky to! The views though made up for it, driving past mountains with layers of rock all different colours, and cacti everywere! It was beautiful.
We weren't looking forward to crossing the border, as we were walking across it and people had told us that you could queue for up to 5 hours for your exit stamp! But at arriving there it seemed fine, we did origionally walk past the office, but they called us back and gave us a stamp, it took all of 5 minutes and we were in Bolivia! It seemed too good to be true.... it was!!
It wasn't until 4 days later, in Bolivia, in the middle of nowhere, 4098 metres up a mountain, that we discovered that we had an exit stamp, but not a Bolivian entry stamp!
We were in fact, illegal in Bolivia! But that's where the Bolivian adventures start next blog!!
Sorry about the delay in this one, Bolivia entry soon...
There are more photos below