Here we go! we left Buenos Aires and her nostalgic and magic labyrinth (actually, it has a secret life : the true spirit of the city wakes up at night, when everyone dance or play pool) and embarked in a long journey of 17 hours by bus : we traveled through a flat, grassy and rather swampy land inhabited by cows and horses, with scattered ranches and beautiful sunsets. I must say that our “omnibus” was very comfy and clean : large, extendable seats, cushion and blanket, a nice and acrobatic steward, eatable food and hollywood films. What else? (George Clowney, help us with good coffee! this beverage gets really transparent in Argentina). It was nicer than going by plane (yet, choose well your traveling company and don’t hesitate to bargain on the price)! After Entre Rios, the landscape became to change, and it dawned over a red soil covered with luxuriant plants and palm trees. Waking up in the tropics, leaving the winter behind us – that was quite impressive! As soon as we got off in Puerto Iguazu, a beautiful sun greeted us. We just left our bags in Marco Polo Inn, a neat Youth Hostel just in front of the bus station, and ran to see the Falls in the National Park. You can take a bus for fifty pesos to and fro (ten euros) , with Rio Uruguay company, and be in the park in twenty minutes from the city station. The entree fee for strangers is quite expensive (130 pesos), but it is ten thousands worth it! Although we promised to take few meaningful and beautiful pictures, we couldn’t help broking our vows immediately and portray every corner of the two hundred falls of the Park, but also the butterflies and coatis that fluttered or sniffed everywhere.
Our eyes were glittering with awe (or was it because our glasses were covered with waterfall mist?) and our ears were still hearing the roaring of the huge Garganta del Diablo and echoing with “wow!”. We spent the evening resting at the hostel and (trying) to play ukulele, in company of Harley from Manchester (whose name everybody thought was “Holly”) : you should have seen Janyce and him playing cards, two tigers!
Next morning, we got off early to pass the frontier by bus and go in Foz do Iguassu, where our host Carina was waiting for us : however, there was a strike or some protest from the brazilian side, so the bus stopped at the immigration bureau of Argentina and we had to cross the frontier by feet, slaloming between the camions and cars left still in the middle of the road. Pheeeeew! It was a bit tiring, but those accidents are part of the adventure and leave funny memories!
The Brazilian Side of the Falls was more panoramic, but less magic in a way (so Disneyland, I may say), even if the hazy light of a clouded day gave to it more dramatic shades : it was great to pass at the feet of the Garganta del Diablo and be almost showered by this huge mass of falling water.
And now, where are we? By the countryside again, in the Misiones Argentinas, San Ignacio. Lovely, red and green, full of nice birds and juicy fruits, very nice people and… a damn cold weather! We had a walk in Santa Ana and San Ignacio ruins (we got lost a bit and a kind old man guided us and offered us very good medlars, but that’s another story) and it was very peaceful, even if our nose and fingers were freezing.
It was really interesting to know a bit more about the story of the Misiones and the culture of the indigenous people, the Guaraní tribes. They thought that words were sacred and that each man must tell a story, leaving his eloquent experience and knowledge to the next generation : silence was reserved to the dead. They also believed they were the guardians of nature and that they should respect the delicate balance of their land. The guaraní name of San Ignacio is Mbuá. They were also very artistic people, and the Jesuites used art and creation to spread the Gospel among them.
We are seriously thinking to bring a thermos of mate with us in the future, like the wise folks do here. As the shower and the bathroom are outside, in the garden, waking up is quite a challenge, but then you get ready very fast : not indulging in the bathroom is a matter of survival. Hace frío!
Hasta luego, chicos!