Andrea: We returned from Petropolis to Rio on the 11th and just chilled in the hostel that night. They were doing an all you can eat BBQ, but it was the promise of 8 different types if salad that sold us. It was the best meal we have had thus far on the trip.
The 12th was another travel day as we said our goodbyes to Rio and headed to Foz do Iguazu. We were quite cocky and turning up our noses at everyone taking cabs to the airport since we figured we had mastered the bus system in Rio. Well, we stood at a very crowded bus stop with the promise that the airport bus came every 30 minutes. After about 15 minutes we saw the blue bus coming and danced on the side of the road begging for its attention. Unfortunately, in Rio they think it's OK to drive a bus in the fast lane and our choreographed attempt to flag the bus just left us looking like we were trying to start a macarena flash mob. We were gutted as the bus flew right past us. So, we waited for the next one. This time ready to jump out in front of it. We waited for an hour and still no blue bus. I think a passing cabby recognised this frustration and offered us a ride to the airport. We thought it was a fair price and jumped in. Luckily we didn't see the airport bus pass then, but we did feel a bit silly for judging everyone else taking cabs! We made it to Foz and got to our resort-like hostel and went for a dip in the pool.
The next day (13th) we went out to the famous Iguazu Falls on the Brazilian side. The Brazil side of the falls is supposed to be like an overview of them whereas the Argentinian side is closer up. We were going to do both. We walked along the mountainside path and were treated to incredible views of the falls at every break in the foliage (photos to come). We were also approached by some furry creatures of Iguazu Falls called coatis. They look like racoons a little and were very used to humans. We even heard a story of them stealing a girl's lunch from her hand! We walked and walked and took lots of photos at every stopping point. At the end of the trail was the climax: a steel walkway out into the 'Garganta del Diablo,' or, 'Devil's Throat'. A curtain of water thunders over a massive concave rockface at 1746 cubic meters per second (61 660 cubic feet). More than Vic Falls but less than Niagra. An invisible line down the middle divides Brazil and Argentina. Ingenious engineers have allowed tourists to walk out to within several meters from the crashing 'cataratas' and to get somewhat damp trying to commit the experience to digital memory cards.
A few hours later we started our journey to Argentina. Unbelievably, four buses are required to cover the only 8km (we only found out the distance later) between Foz du Iguacu (Brazil) and Puerto Iguazu (Argentina). One to get us from our hostel to an unmarked bus stop on the outskirts of town, another to Brazil Immigration, another across the border to Argentina Immigration, and finally one into the Puerto Iguazu central bus terminal. Trying to stand up with our heavy backpacks on the crowded first bus was an awful experience as the driver somehow turned a straight road into a death defying rollercoaster, and two Irish girls who were on the same bus were equally rattled by the experience and hailed a cab. Luckily they were happy for us to join them, and the cab sailed across the border in relative comfort: 5 people and 4 backpacks in a sedan is the new definition of luxury travel.
We arrived at our hostel exhausted and had to battle for space with a group of Israeli friends who were making an insanely complex multiple-course feast in the two-hob, three metre-squared hostel kitchen. But finally we cooked and ate our pasta and sauce and retired to our bunk beds in an eight-sleeper dorm. What a day!