Our FINAL Destination- BRAZIL! Country 21, Blimey!

Trip Start Dec 29, 2007
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Trip End Dec 22, 2008


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Flag of Brazil  , State of Parana,
Sunday, November 23, 2008

Our FINAL destination - Country 21, BRAZIL!!!!
 
Day 1 - Over the border to Foz do Iguacu, the Brazilian side of the falls!!
 
Our early start to Brazil got slightly delayed as we had a few million final postcards to write which had Argentinean stamps on (doh!) plus we got chatting to the American couple Tony and Anna too and time just slipped by...... Eventually we were on our way to the local bus station after visiting the monkey in a house nearby, weird! The border crossing was pretty simple, within 20 mins if that, we were at the border attempting to suddenly learn and speak another language, Portuguese. It felt so weird after speaking Spanish for over 4 months now to suddenly not being saying 'gracias' and 'ola' and the Portuguese version of words in many cases was totally different, aaaah!! We just about got thank you from the customs guy, then hopped on the next bus to Brazil! We felt quite sad to be leaving Argentina after hopping in and out of the country so many times but as Arnie says, 'We'll be back!'
 
Instantly the town on the other side of the falls was completely different, gone was the small, low rise buildings and tranquillity of the Argentinean side and here we were in a mini city with high rises and lots of traffic, not what we had expected at all! On disembarking off the bus and attempting to navigate the map, a taxi driver came over and was incredibly friendly, he didn't speak English but really tried to help us find our hostel which was great. The American couple had just spent a month in Brazil and had told us how friendly people were which was a good thing they had as other reports had been slightly different and we probably would have thought he was trying to mug us or something, new country nerves and all that!! But he was great and from then onwards the people of Brazil were ALL incredibly friendly and helpful, really chatty and welcoming, a great society from our experience!
 
We finally made the hostel, it was the cheapest in the book but for the money was lovely, had a free big breakfast (where you got chocolate cake, result!!) and a swimming pool for all of 12 pounds, result! We knew that Brazil wasn't going to be cheap money wise so if all of them were like this then we may just not starve for our final 4 weeks, if only!! The guys there were really helpful so after sorting out washing etc.. we wandered out to find food. We were abit out of the centre and it wasn't the most picturesque of cities but we found a cheap buffet Del Dias and finally managed to order after some difficulty, buying a phrase book was definitely needed! The food was ok though and after bumping into a Brazilian guy from our last hostel in Argentina who had half a beard, (don't ask!) we crashed to bed in the heat and slept.
 
Day 2 - The incredible Panorama of the Brazilian side of the Falls!
 
The morning got wasted abit trying to sort how we were going to head south. Transport here wasn't cheap so we could either catch a 10 hour bus south to Curitiba and have to pay cash or fly for double the price but be able to put it on our great friend MasterCard and not pay it back, so as we were now very cash poor this was our only option! Ads was pleased as it meant a 1 hour flight rather than 10 hours on a bus, for me either was hell!
 
Soon we were back on a local bus to the falls, then caught yet another double decker in the park, this time with the windows cut out (thank god!) to the falls. I was tired and getting weary of transport now after 11 months.
 
The falls on this side didn't disappoint either; many travellers had said that the Argentinean side was the best but for us they were both equally amazing as the experience was totally different. Here you got the full perspective and panorama of the falls, the size and breadth of them being way more immense than we had thought from the other side, just fantastic! You didn't get the intimate up close feel and the walkway only took an hour or so but still the Brazilian side was equally spectacular!!
 
Many photos on route were taken, then we managed to get soaked again on the Devil's Throat part which was awesome, plus here you could get right up close to the sheer curtain of falls which was staggering for the sheer volume of water and noise, plus to watch the birds dive bomb into the falls and out again was spectacular! Unfortunately our washing needed to be collected so we couldn't spend as much time as we would have liked and after missing the local bus back we had to pay out for a taxi which wasn't great. It was that or leaving all our washing and having nothing for the rest of the trip......so had to be done! Cheap pizza for tea then bed after another spectacular day ready for our 4am taxi to the airport the next day!! Yet another must to see the falls from this side on anyone's' holiday agenda!!
 
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