From Mendoza to Cordoba - we needed to break up the otherwise 34 hour bus journey to Iguazu Falls so Cordoba was the place to do it. We only spent one night here but really liked the place. It's a university town so full of students, night clubs and good bars. We stayed in a lovely hostel called Rupestre, just a few blocks away from the main bus stop. I secretly booked a 10 person room again (Andrew doesn't like anymore than 6 person dorms because he's high maintenance like that) but it actually worked out well because the place was empty so it was only me, Andrew and some Argentine who claimed he was working there but I never saw him working. This was the cheapest hostel in Cordoba but one of the best reviews so the cheaper option isn't always the worst or so I keep explaining to Andrew. We didn't do much in Cordoba expect walk around the city, people only really go there to go out as its more of a party town. We were exhausted so a early night was on the cards for us. Breakfast was good too but be warned the eggs are not already hardboiled.... I made that mistake with a full breakfast room of travellers and cracked a raw egg all over myself and the table. Everyone found it very amusing. We went straight to the bus stop after the egg incident (I had to hide my face in shame) to get our bus to Iguazu. This was a 19 hour bus journey and quite a comfortable one too. We were obviously both delighted when our ham & cheese lunch and dinner that was brought out.
Arrived in Iguazu the next morning at 8.30am and went straight to the hostel which was conveniently right beside the bus stop and in the centre of town. We stayed in the aptly named Iguazu Falls hostel. I hated the hostel to begin with, they wouldn't let us check in until 12pm, there was practically no kitchen which was really annoying because I had a big bag of food to store and the wifi was also crap. Oh and how could I forget the guy working there was useless at his job. He couldn't tear himself away from his "exciting computer" game of the very nerdy Modern Warcraft to check us in. Ok so it didn't help that I was in a bad mood to begin with but as I said before I can deal with all the negative aspects but when it comes to people just being rude... I can't handle it! This guy was as helpful as a 2 month old baby. He just sat there, staring at a computer all day. Honestly, don't even bother asking a question if you need a response because he isn't giving it to you. Anyway after not being able to check-in and me in a very temperamental mood, Andrew managed to drag me away so we could go to the Brazilian side of the waterfall also known as Foz de Iguazu. There is no question about it, if you go to visit these spectacular falls, you do both sides, end of! They are completely different and worth every penny of the total 300 pesos entrance fees (that's for both). The Brazilian side is smaller with less to do so you only need half a day while you'll need a full day at the Argentinian side. Off we went on the bus to the Brazilian side,we befriended some people from our hostel including 2 lovely French girls, an Argentine named Juan Pablo (only the most Argentinian name ever) and a highly entertaining American called Jonny. We love our Americans at this stage. You have to go through passport control to get over to the brazilian side which was fine by me because it meant more stamps on my passport. Once we got off the bus, we could see the outline of falls, it wasn't until we got further up that we could appreciate how incredible they actually are. The first thing you'll notice is the sheer noise of this natural wonder. Millions of litres of water just pounding its way through rock and earth. Supposedly there are a total of 275 falls that stretch over 1.67 miles. The highest point in 82 meters on the Argentinian side, all very impressive facts by my standard. I'm actually finding it hard to describe how incredible this thing actually is especially coming from Ireland where our biggest wonder is probably a stone in Blarney or Powerscourt falls in waterfall terms. There is a reason every traveller going to South America goes here.
There is a point on the Brazilian side where you can stand on three bordering countries. Basically you can be in Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina all at the same time, try tagging that location on Facebook. Although the falls is the main attraction, Iguazu is also a nature reserve and wildlife park. We saw loads of monkeys, lizards and birds including a Tucuman (there those Guinness birds with the big orange beaks) really impressive in real life. There was also of course my least favourite and probably the most annoying animal in the world called the Coatis. Don't be fooled by their cute, furry little selves because by the end of your 2 days at the falls, you'll want the whole bloody lot of them extinct. They look like little possums with these really long horrible noses which help them smell absolutely any type of food from a mile away. When I first saw them I was like 'awh there so cute, looked at them climbing the bin' and then when I went to take a picture, I was basically attacked by these monsters who tried to take everything I had on me including my camera. To escape them I had to throw my sandwich at them as bait which they fell for and I ran off screaming like a little girl. Also Jonny our American friend learned the hard way that these little s***s love plastic bags. These things are vicious and can jump far to high for such an irrelevant animal. Lets just say poor Jonny was left hungry that day.
After an eventful day at the Brazilian side, we headed back to my "favourite" hostel to try and cook some Dinner in a kitchen which I shouldn't even be calling a kitchen because a gas ring and a few pots doesn't constitute as a kitchen in my book. We made do anyway with what we had and cooked the old travellers favourite... Pasta.
Now I've had to "eat my words" a lot on this blog where I've said something about a certain type of people and ended up being wrong. Well my hand is up!! I was wrong about the Israelis. My original opinion about Israelis was very low, I'm only saying what other people are thinking... They don't have a great reputation, they travel in huge groups and only mix with other Israelis and they are maybe a little bit rude too but..... We met two that changed my whole opinion, Idan and Roey and our two best travelling partners to date. We met them this night in the hostel and instantly we were all bff's. We actually ended up travelling with them for nearly 3 weeks after but more about that in the next posts. Back to Iguazu, we stayed up far to late chatting and drinking with our very multicultural mix of new friends. We had a very funny Aussie called Teddy, our American friend Jonny, a Spanish guy, the two French girls, two Israelis and a Swedish girl who was far too pretty and nice for my liking called Nina. We had a very good night.
Next morning and very worse for wear, I dragged myself out of bed along with Andrew who is incapable of waking up to do anything if its before 9am. We had our s***ty breakfast of stale bread and this horrible tang orange juice that you'll know all about in South America and off we set for the Argentina side with all our new friends.
Wow!!! ..... Those previous few dots indicate my speechless-ness, lost for wordness (yes I can make up my own words, it is my blog after all). The Argentina side was unbelievable, so beautiful and so powerful. As soon as I saw it, scenes from films like Jurassic Park, Last of The Mohicans and Planet of the Apes were springing to mind. It was just breathtaking. We did a boat trip into the second largest of the falls called San Martin. This was terrifying and amazing both at the same time. Obviously the boat can only go in so far but its enough for you to see and feel the power, impact an sheer size of the fall. A very scary but definitely recommendable experience. Like I said, you new the full day here at the Argentina side, there are loads of walks taking you to all different parts of the falls. Be warned, there are even more of these disgusting rodent beasts on this side of the fall so be prepared to run fast at any moment.
Back to the hostel after a lot of walking at the falls and another variation of a pasta dinner (it's amazing how a many different pasta dishes you can make when you put your mind to it). We spent another night up late being sociable only to pay for it again in the morning. We were just glad our bus wasn't until 9pm the following day. We got to spend the whole next day sitting by the pool being eating alive by Mosquitos. Please buy a good repellent which works on most normal people but if your like me and repellent seems to attract the most horrible insect in the world then you'll just have to learn to deal with it. I counted 41 bites that night on the bus, that is fact, a very painful, itchy and sleepless fact.
That's it from this part of Argentina, next stop and sadly the last one in Argentina... Salta.
I'll keep you posted!!!