***Be sure to check out pics from NZ in the photo album.....many of them show '0' views.....or don't, see if i care, haha ;OP ***
The 'interesting' stories must stop.....i've had enough of being ripped of by dodgy taxi drivers....so Sharan and i organize a cab ride from Ciudad Del Este, Paraguay to Puerto Iguazu, Argentina.....but you have to go via Brazil. So Hugo, our first cabbie, tries to convince us we don't need to bother with Brazilian immigration....the police say otherwise and our trip with him is cut short. We are turfed out at the first checkpoint, pay far too much for this short trip, and he w***s off.
The police direct us to immigration, we get stamped in to Brazil, then dodgy cabbie Jorge comes along and is very keen to help but extremely evasive on how much money he wants....that's the first warning sign right there....but we were confused and turned around and wanted to get where we were going.
So off we go, i ask him about 5 times to make sure we get our exit stamp for Brazil, he says no problem. The next thing we know we are pulling up to Argentinian immigration....did we miss a step Jorg!? He says, no worries....i ask the sullen looking border official if we need an exit stamp .... he says no worries... and then we are in Argentina....with worries. So then Jorge wants 50 dollars...we were only going to pay Hugo 20!!! We play along, give him more than we should but not 50 bucks, go to hell Jorge!!! We listen to his tales of having to pay off the police at the borders but don't really give a flip and are glad to see the back of him. Ptoo!
Check in to a clean and cheap hostel, change and then comes the payoff for the hassle we have been through - Iguazu Falls!
We catch a very cheap bus to the national park, pay the 12 quid entrance and wonder if we were being ripped off again. After catching a neat little train and a 15 minute walk we now understand that this was why we came....the waterfalls are immense, spectacular and a plethora of adjectives to describe this marvel of nature. The walkway and rails were lined with people but it was late afternoon and i get the feeling we missed the rush from earlier in the day. Mist was falling everywhere, rainbows sprung forth left and right, and all you can do is gawp....and take as many pic's as possible. WOW! We could even see Brazil across the river.
Phew! There are several walks through the park, and we saw butterflys and massive ants...no jaguars or other biting mammals, luckily.
We caught the inexpnsive and regular transport back to town and sought travel to Brazil....an expensive but hopefully luxurious bus ride awaits, 16 hrs, to Sao Paulo...we poured our little hearts out about our potential VISA issue to the ticket guy, who seemed bemused but not all that concerned....tell the bus driver was the upshot of that one, and he handed over the tickets.
We would have liked to have moved on earlier, but this was a popular bus and we ended up with an extra day on our hands.....so we found little things to do....visit a cafe, browse emails, watch a bit of tv, read, eat dinner....live music! Nice. Nearly had a lie in to to start the day but we had forgotten to change the time on the clock from Paraguay and the next thing we knew i was speaking with the manager to arrange the extra night, as opposed to rising in time for breakfast....ho hum.
Anyhoo, our Brazilian adventure awaits....looking forward to immigration and explaining th above story in stilted spanish to a Portugese-speaking man with a gun - i am wearing my Brazil t-shirt to see if i can curry favour. This is the kind of stress that i could do without....luckily there is usually an upside to all of this....isn't there? Wish us luck, see you in Brazil.
J and Sharan