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Published: April 2nd 2013
If there is one crazy week-end to travel in Argentina, it is Semana Santa. On top of that, the next Tuesday is a public holidays...in honour of losing the Malvinas War 30 years ago...and to make things easier, the government, has given Monday off too. For info, Argentina is running high the last three years as the country with the highest number of public holidays...a lot of them just given out by the current government...don't try to ask to speak of effiency here!
This means people are off from Wednesday evening to Tuesday evening....that's even better than Chinese New Year...so they are all heading out...well, when they can afford it.
To start well....Buenos Aires was a full traffic jam and I knew we would never reached our bus on time...so instead of ruining the all week-end, we headed for the next stop 30km north...and ended up at Pacheco bus terminal a good 30 minutes before our bus...you can't even imagine the crowds! We were on for a pretty comfortable 18 hours bus ride to Puerto Iguazu and the border of Paraguay and Brazil.
This is my second visit to the Falls, but
a first for Leslie and Tiffany. I was first here back in 2008. At that time, it was a short stop for me...between Antartica and Galapagos...I know, that was my most incredible month ever! That time I stay for 2 nights at the Sheraton, with fast jumps to Brazil and Paraguay, and yes, I did fly in and out!
This time it's Semana Santa, aka Easter...so we have more time...but the crowds are here...the prices are also seriously up. Forget the Sheraton, even with a full hotel I have a garantee room there, but the rate was simply crazy. So we stay in town, little nice hostel....Hostel Bambu Mini....nice room for 3 of us, breakfast, the all lot, for less than 60usd a night...not bad for this crazy week-end. Oh yes, and I did book 3 months ago!
A normal day on the Brazil side gets around 1000 people....last friday, the Brazil side had 13,000! Imagine!
All the hotels are full, but interestingly enough, due to the fact that they are not many hotels right in town, Puerto Iguacu still feel pretty peaceful and realx...not the mad crowds here for sure!
We arrived just for a late lunch, than made our way just out of town to the Tres Fronteras monument...before heading back for a nice dinner and an early night...after 18 hours on a bus....a shower and a bed were all we needed!
Next morning, bus to the National Park on the Argentine side. I knew the crowds would be there...it was actually insane...but I love Argentinians and Brazilians...as they were a good 99% of the tourists...with the crowds, they queue, they don't push, and they are actually really cool....crowds here, I can take...this is not Chinese New Year experience, I can tell you!
We spend the full day walking all around the trails...did all of them...Tiffany was dead...but they loved the place! Friday, crowds...Falls...done!
Next day, Saturday, we went to explore Ciudad del Este...one more country for both of them. We spent few hours here...first to find an ATM which would give us USD...but they were all empty. Went also around the shopping...a little....this is a mecca for people from Brazil and Argentine. They don't even stamp your passport to go in...Ciudad del Este...it's all about the shopping. No real
need to explore a little further as the security reputation of the place is that...away from the first few blocks...be seriously careful!
We came back pretty early to Puerto Iguazu....for...guess it..more icecream, and some relax time for Leslie and Tiffany.
Sunday...it's Easter time. Ok, I have to admit, the Easter eggs were safely in the fridge at home...thanks to my parents who had brought them from Europe. So no Easter hunt...just a wonderful day.
Good news, the Brazilians do work monday...so as most people came here by bus from places like Sao Paolo or Rio...it was time already for them to be back on the bus, back home! I knew the Brazilian side would be...quieter...
We had crowds, but way less...and way less than on the Argentine side. This is not obvious as there are a lot less view points from the Brazil side. But best of all! Tiffany and Leslie went on their first helicopter ride. I did it in 2008 and found it...wow! So yes, I spoiled them...they went for the 10 minutes ride...while I waited nicely for them. I guess they will remember that day
for their life. You only live once...and we would all have dream to do this at their age...well, me at least...so let's spoil a little (I'll pay later for sure!).
That day was another great day, where we spent the full day in Brazil. Ok, Leslie count is now at 44 countries...but we will be back for the best beaches of Brazil in July...and when I write the best, I mean the best!
It was already time to head back for another 18 hours back to Buenos Aires....to find Buenos Aires under water on Tuesday...tomorrow Wednesday it's back to school....and the sun should be back tomorrow night!
Enjoy the pictures...that was something! Next trip in Argentina...in 3 more weeks...we are going North and West...for more great adventures! Never stop!
oh, and if any of you is in Lima, LAX, Bangkok, Saigon, HK, Shanghai, Brussels, Paris or NY from the 8th to the 22nd April....let me know...ready to meet for a drink!
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