We only had a half day today as we were leaving on the 4pm bus to Florianopolis (more about that later).So it was off to see the falls only this time from Brazil. What we had read and heard made us think that this would not be a good as the Argentine side. Not so.
They say if you want to see the Empire State building dont go up it. View it from the Chrysler building. The same is true of the falls. The Argentine side is amazing but you are very close so dont get a true impression of their size and power. You also dont get as close to the Devils Throat fall which is the daddy of them all. There are 275 individual falls in total all coming together at this location.
It was about an hours bus ride out to the falls park, then a short bus ride once inside. We walked along the trail to see the full splendour of the falls stretched out before us. They are truly awesome and we could have stayed all day just taking it in. The trail leads you along the length of the falls and from this side you get a true picture of their size.
Just when you think it cant get better its on with a plastic mac and out on to the walkway that takes you on to the river to view the Devils Throat. The noise is immense and the spray like heavy rain. Then there is a lift up to an elevated viewing platform. Each viewpoint gives you a different perspective. Two fabulous days.
Then it was back to the hostel and fire off some emails to the estate agents (what a bunch of w****** they are). Its all getting a bit fine for getting to the bus station but we jump in the taxi and get there.
More often than not the cross country bus stations are about 5 miles out of town so our stratergy has been to book the ticket out when we arrive. Usually there are about 15 or so booking desks for various companies. Generally the routes arent duplicated. On this occasion there were two companies offering tickets to Florianopolis. Only one desk was open though so we booked with them.
We believed it would be 14 hours overnignt. I think we got their version of the slow train to Waterloo because it took nearly 20 hours !!! Fortunately the bus was half full and the seats fully reclined so we slept through most of it.
We arrived at Floriap as it is known locally quite chipper and had a coffee and booked our ticket to Montevideo in Uruguay for a few days time. While we were at the bus station I was waiting for Jill to powder her nose. A stray dog came and laid down near me. She scratched and stretched. Then a half naked dirty tramp came over. He clearly felt sorry for the dog and broke off a lump of bread and put it on the floor. The dog looked disdainfully at him. Not to be beaten he got a plastic cup from the bin and filled it water. Nope the dog was having none of it. I guess you've hit bottom when a flea bitten dog looks down its nose at you.
Our instructions for the hostel were pretty clear. Walk to the local bus station and get the 410 to Terminus Rio Tavares then change and get the 120. Get off at the second stop. We even asked the conductor who duly indicated the second stop.
Walk 400 metres to the hostel. Yeah but which f****** way. Anyway we asked about 5 people 2 had no idea and 3 pointed us in different directions. Eventually we saw a guy who looked like a courier. Yipee someone with a brain. He spoke a little English and drew a map in the dirt. 20 minutes later we were at the hostel. Its very rustic and run by a chap and his mum. Very Norman Bates but we have seen him and mum in the same room !!!
We dumped the bags and went in search of a beer. Most places were shut. We found a small roadside counter which sold food and drinks. Now Jill has been doing sterling work with her Portuguese but the old dear behind the counter had just had braces fitted to her teeth. I doubt her family could understand her. I suspect she had a deaf aid fitted to as we pointed at the menu and asked for Dois Cerveja. What we got were two fruit juices. They were very nice though. Being a little on the slow side we then asked for some food. One cheese and one chicken snack. I got a chicken pasty with cheese in it and Jill got something with lamb and cheese. One for Ready Steady Cook I think.
The weather is much cooler here by the sea so no need for aircon tonight. Tomorrow we are going to find the beach and relax. It will soon be time to leave Brazil. Things Ive liked are the weather, the excellent bus service and the stunning scenery. Things I havent liked. They dont blow their noses, they just snort it into their throats yuk. They only serve what they call beer in eye bath glasses as if it was a fine wine. Trust me it aint. Old people just go to the front of the queue and push you out the way. Its quaint to start with but old people in queues it takes forever.
Overall the Brazilians are nice eager to help and fab footballers.