Meet the family
Trip Start Nov 24, 2010
89Trip End Nov 23, 2011
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Where I stayed
Alex's mum's apartment
pictures to prove it. So I must be one of the few gringos to head to Foz without the express intention of visiting the falls and the only thing on Alex's mind was sleep, sleep and much, much more sleep. His mum, Bernadete, met us at the airport. Alex had told me that her favourite thing in life is talking and she was true to form, chatting the whole way home with Alex contributing just the occasional monosyllabic response. I immediately liked her and understood why Alex is so widely seen as a man of few words... And just minutes after arriving at the apartment he was a man of no words whatsoever, just sounds of fitful sleep as he crashed out on the sofa for the night. I busied myself with drinking beer with Alex's mum, taking advantage of a loaded fridge I was encouraged to exploit and, later on, revelling in having my own room.
Immediately it felt like being back in a South America akin to that which I had experienced in Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. The hustle and bustle on the broken pavements, the chaos on the roads, the noise, the street vendors hawking every few footsteps... it was all there in abundance with the added caveat of numerous stores and
With four passport stamps from two countries already freshly inked it was time to complete my hat-trick with a visit to Puerto Iguazu in Argentina for dinner and drinks with Alex, his mum, his sister Danielly and her boyfriend Alvaro. I have really good memories of my stay in Puerto Iguazu in 2009, crazy memories...
We had pencilled in a visit to falls for our last day in Foz but the weather was miserable so a change of plan was needed and where better to go than the bird park. I wanted to see some toucans and parrots close up since I had only seen both from a distance during my trip to Cuyabeno. And I was not disappointed as the huge park featured large cages which we could walk into and get as up close as personal with the birds as we liked. I loved seeing the toucans just a few feet away as they hopped and flapped around emitting odd grunting sounds. But my
My stay in Foz was topped off with one of the greatest carnivorous experiences of my life. Alex's cousin was celebrating his birthday at his apartment upstairs and to mark the occasion was serving up beef ribs slow-cooked for six hours to absolute perfection. The other attraction on offer was the sight of Ronaldo making his final cameo appearance for Brazil. What a sight. Surely the fattest but happiest player to make an international appearance in many a year. Farewell to a legend. And the only way to mark this moment was to chomp on some huge ribs with the meat literally falling into my mouth and melting. Delicious only does the experience some justice.
As we headed to the airport on Wednesday the sun was blazing and the sky was blue - perfect conditions for waterfall watching. But we were headed back to Curitiba on non-reclining seats. I was already thinking about pushing back my scheduled flight to Buenos Aires the following Monday...