As the bus winds its way through the Brazilian countryside, the pain in my lower back becomes almost too much to bear. My feet are cramping and the base of my neck feels as if it has been wrung out to dry. About five hours in, I realise this bus ride was no longer fun. I still had 20 hours to go.
I turn to my right. My travel partners looked in similar pain. The locals didn’t seem to mind. I reach down to the lever in the hope that my seat would lie flat further. Nope. I was stuck in a semi angle that was neither sitting or lying down.
Eventually I close my eyes and try to sleep. I’m offered maybe twenty minutes. I look at the time. 19 hours to go. Sip of water. Toss and turn. Close my eyes. Day turns to night and the same routine continues. Toss, turn, water.
Arriving at Foz de Iguacu felt like a small victory. My sanity was still intact and I congratulate myself for surviving my first long haul bus ride. We cross the border into Argentina effortlessly and arrive weary and hungry at our hostel. The bus adventure now behind us and the excitement of seeing new sights swept over us. Within half an hour of arriving, we were tucking to a juicy argentinian steak and sampling the local beverages. It was a vast improvement on the bland flavours we had in Brazil and much needed nourishment after a long 26 hours on the road.
Puerto Iguazu is a small town, a far cry from the madness and city lights of Rio. I was instantly relaxed and had already decided to stay a few extra nights in order to delay another long bus ride to wherever we were heading to next. Our muscles finally thanked us for a good nights sleep that night.
The next morning we set off on our first trip to the falls. A bus ride and short walk later, I was greeted with a phenomenal site. My senses overloaded; the thunderous roar of the falls, the fresh smells of the rainforest and seeing masses upon masses of water gushing over the cliffs that stretched across the horizon, the mist in the air rising above. The power, size and sheer energy of the falls were breathtaking.
Walking along the many tracks offers beautiful views of the falls, from the top and below. We also experienced it up close on a speedboat which took us in and under the falls, leaving you soaking wet but instantly energised and refreshed. Our first day was dampened by heavy rain and we returned the next morning to see the Garganta del Diablo, which turned out to be a highlight. The energy and size of the ‘Devils Throat’ is incrediblle and unexplainable. Unfortunately as my camera was not waterproof I wasn’t able to get photos up close.
Tonight is our last night in Iguazu and tomorrow I head for Buenos Aires. Every night we’ve been enjoying our Argentinian steaks, and last night we went to a Parilla restaurant and was being entertained by a local flamenco guitarist who impressed us by playing with his teeth 🙂
My espanol hasn’t really improved, everyone here speaks English but I’m slowly getting there with some basic terms and in BA I will book into a language class. For now, I think my most used term so far has been ‘una cerveza por favor’ !
All photos in this post were taken by the author and subject to copyright.