Brazil and Iguazu by Baz
First stop in Brazil was Porto Alegre. It was a brief 2 nighter on route to Rio.As we walked through the heat to our hostel we noticed subtle differences between Brazil and the rest of the countries we had visited.There were some of the most stunning women we had come across, as well as some of the most deluded.Slender tanned ladies wore bikini tops and short skirts and walked down the street alongside fat monstrous women who were not only wearing bikini tops and short skirts, but the same size of clothes as their slender sisters.Butts, boobs and bellies were hanging out all over the place, quite spectacular!We later realised that the street we were walking up (beside the bus station) was where the local prostitutes made their living, but this was the style in Brazil.
We travelled the 27 hours from Porto Alegre to Rio and arrived in the capital on a Saturday.Off exploring to Ipanema beach, which was a comfortable 27degress and packed with people.A very popular way to spend a Saturday.Ive been working out and am looking quite buff, so as Seonaid and I walked along the beach I took off my top.I became aware that peoples attitude to me changed when they saw just how pale I was, some laughed at me, some had a sympathetic look, others had a look of disgust and Im sure I saw some parents cover their childrens eyes.When I looked down at myself I realised that no Irish man should ever take his top off in a warm country.I was so white I was almost transparent… Im sure I could see my major organs through my torso.
Other highlights in Rio included visiting Christ the Redeemer, a spectacular 28 meter tall statue which sits overlooking the city, on Corcovado Mountain.We were lucky to get some great pictures of the city as the mist cleared on top of the mountain.Seonaid went in to the little Church below the statue and said a prayer for both of us, but after my eyes were tainted by those ladies of the night in Porto Alegre, I fear I am beyond redeeming.
We met up with a great bunch of Australlians in our hostel and went out on the Sunday night to a little bar called Bip Bip for some live Samba Music.The bar was tiny, with only enough room for the musicians inside.They were gathered round a table, interacted with each other and had little camios very similar to a traditional set back in Ireland.The shutters were lifted at the front of the building and people spilled into the street to enjoy the music.Everyone listened when the musicians played, no talking was allowed.The bar operated an honour system, whereby you took whatever drink you wanted and paid at the end of the night.We spend a very enjoyable 4 nights in Rio and met some great people.
Off to Iguazu, and a hellish 24 hour bus journey which involved a breakdown and 2 hour delay for missing passengers.The Falls span some 2.7 km and are located on the border with Brazil and Argentina, the highest waterfall is around 82 metres.Around two thirds of the falls are located in the Argentine side.
Upon visiting the Falls, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt reportedly said "Poor Niagra", despite the fact Iguazu is much larger than Niagra Falls.We visited the Brazilian side first and it was just spectacular.So much water cascading from a tremendous height, a powerful force of nature.Seonaid and I got drenched from the spray, but enjoyed it thoroughly.The next day we returned to Argentina and visited the Argentine side.We spent a half day taking the various treks, viewing the falls from below, far away, and finally the Devils Throat, which takes you to the very peak of where the water flows over the edge.I cant describe how spectacular it was, the sound of the water exploding below, the feel of the spray on our faces and drenching our clothes, watching the birds dive and disappear into the spray.I hope the photos do it justice.
Went out for Seonaids birthday in Porto Iguazu, and a romantic meal turned into an exciting and enchanting evening. As we ordered in the restaurant there was a massive thunder storm and all the power in the town went out.Candles were brought out and of course in Argentina they cook in massive wood-burning grills so we still enjoyed a lovely meal. The place brightened up further as Seonaids face lit up bright red when the waiters gathered round to sing happy birthday in Spanish, and present her with a piece of chocolate cake.
We are back to familiar turf this evening, Buenos Aires.We have a flight booked to Pategonia on Thursday.Looking forward to visiting the glacier there and hopefully some whale watching.