Published: January 24th 2008January 20th 2008
For various reasons, some of which are too long to explain here and some of which made little sense even at the time, the next step from Iguacu involved a 70 hour sleep-deprived road trip, more of which later...
But first an extra day in Iguacu because of bus schedules gave us the perfect excuse to indulge ourselves. The rest of you 'dam fans´will already know that Paraguay is the world´s largest exporter of hydro-electric power, produced by the Itaipu Dam just across the border from Brasil. Imagine our disappointment then, when having run across the border (in retrospect not such a good idea - long queues, sweaty clothes, but fun at the time) we found the dam closed to visitors. Cuidad del Este is pretty grim so we beat a hasty retreat to the hostel pool.
The bus left at 7.30 that evening and arrived in Cordoba at 6pm the next day (slightly delayed by an enthusiatic set of gendarmes - luckily no hassle for us). Cordoba is a jesuit/university town which I like to think we got a good feel for on our trot through to La Nieta è la Pancha (restaurant)... Maybe not, but the food
was excellent - good enough to make us forget about the next bus. By now we are highly proficient at maximising our available time - or something like that, so settled in for the overnight trip south to Mendoza.
We arrived there at 6am and jumped straight on to a 7 hour minibus ride across the Andes to Santiago. Spectacular views - the Andes are 'manly´mountains: rugged, rocky, remote and vertical! Santiago was a bit of a blur - wide open tree lined avenues with mountain views, picturesque colonial style buildings and lots of icecream. With no place to stay we pushed on through a typical south american night out and slept on the bus on the way back to Mendoza.
There are more photos below