Where the hell are we?

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
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Trip End Feb 26, 2011


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Flag of Brazil  , State of Parana,
Monday, December 6, 2010

After about a couple of hours interupted sleep on the plane we finally landed in Foz de Iguacu, due to the thunderstorms and lateness of the flight it may have been 4:30am we were knackered and feeling very worn down but we still had the chance of a few hours sleep at the hostel we had booked. We grabbed the bags and went to find if our airport pickup from the hostel had waited around for us. There was only one guy at the airport and he was holding up a sign for 'Weg' so we didnt think it was him. We scouted the taxi ranks to no avail there was no one there. We were very unorganised and hadn't printed out the address of the hostel but we knew it was called the hostel Klein. We asked at the information desk to see if they could get us an address but they had never heard of it and indicated they didn't have the internet. I went and spoke to the guy in arrivals again and managed to converse with him in German but he was mystified that I wanted a place called hostel Klein. We then queued up at the TAM desk (our airline) to see if they could give us internet, we were so physically and mentally exhausted we were not in the mood for all this.


The lady at TAM looked at our boarding cards as the password for internet access was usually on that, and without commenting on the wifi code at all just said "you need to speak to my supervisor". I started to get a little impatient and told her I didn't need a supervisor I needed some bloody sleep and couldn't get any until I got to the Hostel Klein in Iguassu. Without any smile at all she said "sir you are many hundreds of miles from Iguassu". Now we were shellshocked and struggled to get our warped minds back on the job. "What do you mean, do we need to get a bus I thought the airport was very close", "the bus will take 9.5 hours you really need to talk to my supervisor". We were lost, what transpired is that the plane had to undertake an emergency landing due to the horrific weather conditions as Foz airport had closed this had been explained to everyone on the plane..... in Portugese of course, and we didnt have a bloody clue. When we found out our first reaction was horror followed by side splitting laughter, if we had actually had an address we would have ended up with a bill for a 9.5 hour taxi ride with a driver who we would not have been able to discuss our potential problem.


It was pretty awful for us really I managed about 30 minutes asleep in the middle of the airport floor (much to Erica's disgust however I was woken by a cleaning ladies mop in my ribs which was nice) and then we were told we had been booked on a 13:30 flight for the same day, at first we had been offered a hotel and told it could be a few days, but with our speed touring schedule we had already booked our transport to Salta and all our tours. If we felt worn out, perhaps burnt out and drained in Rio now we were physical wrecks. After spending our breakfast vouchers on a fillet mignon for two (nice skills considering we saw our fellow passengers having a croissant) we headed for the gate and I found a couple of seats next to a couple of nuns who gave me some rather odd looks as I instantly fell asleep next to them on Erica's lap for another 45 mins.


The plane eventually boarded and again instantly I was straight asleep, thankfully we gained an hour back on our clock so arrived at about 2:30pm. While Erica got the bags I went off to try and hussle up a bit of falls action (if we could stay awake) and try and dump us back in Argentina. After trying all the taxi drivers, taxi companies and tour companies we decided to do it. We were leaving the day after tomorrow and we didnt want to have come all this way without seeing the Brazilian (I'm talking about the falls not.... you know....). We knew we were paying way over the odds but having got about 60% off the price it wasn't too bad considering the situation.


Our driver was a miserable sod who barely spoke once other than to say about 6 times make sure you leave all your bags in my car and was deeply unhappy I was taking my bag with my valuables in them. The falls themselves were amazing but after 6 days of non stop rain (this is the other thing the driver said) were more powerful than they had been in a long time. Whilst perhaps making them dramatic this heavily increased the amount of spray given off by them so taking any decent pictures was a bit of a mission. We could hardly keep our eyes open as we walked the hour or two around that side. Lots of beautiful wildlife though. At the area of the falls called the Devils Throat we were taken aback by the areas you get into, some of the walkways hang over the edge of the falls. You get absolutely soaked wet through and taking the camera was a big no no considering the repair cost of the camera in Buenos Aires.


We got back to the car and were soon driven to the border, whilst manically trying to explain we had to make sure we got a customs stamp (there is a big fine if you don't and is a common mistake for foreigners), he just took everything off us without responding and basically told us to shut up. To be fair we were through the border very quickly and with no problems, and alas we were back in Argentina a place that we love.  I don't know it just feels so safe and familiar.
He dropped us off at the hostel which had a special eat as much as you can for $20 argy peso (about 3.30) so we did that at 8pm, in the mean time I got another 3 hours sleep but still felt exhausted. Dinner was lots of meat, pasta, potatoes and salad god knows where the meat came from but it felt like a steal after the prices of BA and Rio. By 9pm we were in bed asleep and again there was lots of thunder, lightening and rain however it did not keep us awake at all.
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