They say the Argentine side of Iguacu Falls is the best. It’s larger, less commercial. But what mattered to us, was that it’s in another country. Hello additional passport stamp! Not that getting that stamp was easy.
Trapped in an '80s Toyota commercial
We first take a bus around 8:20am (we missed the 7:40 bus because we were in the wrong place) that takes us to the border of Brazil and Argentina. Since we couldn’t communicate with anyone linguistically, we ended up just following others who appear to know what they’re doing. This could’ve been a cultural experiment on how confused foreign travelers throw away all cognitive judgement and morph into cattle.
Chow, this is what I think of your stories
We get off our first bus and follow people through the customs line to get our Brazil exit stamps, then jump on another bus to get our Argentina entrance stamps (fortunately no visa is required). We proceed to sit on a curb (there are ironically no bus benches for border hoppers) for a new bus to take us to Puerto Iguazu, where we have to jump on yet another bus to take us to Iguazu Falls. In Puerto Iguazu, we have to change our Brazilian real into pesos, because few people take credit and no people take real or dollars. If this doesn’t sound like a large enough hassle, we also go through a time change – at this point I don’t even know if we’re gaining or losing hours, and since neither Pete or I have time-telling devices, it almost doesn’t matter. Except for the fact that there’s a last bus that leaves Argentina to go back to Brazil at 5pm. Fortunately, everyone speaks Spanish in Argentina. Unfortunately, my Spanish is unintelligible. Sorry Senora Torkelson. I guess there’s a reason I got a 1 on my AP Spanish test (but yet straight A’s in class… who's your daddy?!).
Devil's Throat (full frontal)
I don't know what this is. But I
hear Richard Gere does. Oh snap!
When we finally get to Iguazu, it’s October. The Argentine side is far less populated than Brazil, but they still have a snazzy train that circumnavigates the park and prevents lazy asses like us from walking.We take the train to Iguazu’s biggest fall, Devils Throat, which actually looks like a mouth. A plethora of rainbows emanate from the bottom of the falls. Somewhere Youtube-double-rainbow-guy’s head exploded.
I felt compelled to show this dude's
sunburn. He's from Wisconsin.
This makes me have to pee
Up next is our boat ride underneath the falls. On our way over, we get lost, which has become an annoying recurring theme. I don't remember when my navigational skills turned into Columbus (whatever - dude had no clue where he was, then had audacity to identify them incorrectly... and mass murder them). Before we take the boat ride, we go on this jeep tour through the rainforest. It was beyond boring and the guide was worse than James Franco at the Oscars.
The boat ride itself is pretty awesome. The falls are more powerful than UConn women’s basketball. The spray from the falls is so heavy that you’re blinded, so you can imagine what it’s like when you actually go underneath one of them. You actually can’t keep your eyes open because you’re just getting belted from all angles. I was amazed my contacts stayed in. Here’s some Aronofsky-like video Pete shot (I say Aronofsky not ‘cuz it’s good, but crazy angles!):
The view from below
A Brazilian leprechaun was at the end of the rainbow. He asked if we wanted sexo.
After the ride, and considering we took about 5,000,027 pictures, we started to get some waterfall fatigue. I started to veer off the trails wherever reasonable to add some juice to the pics, but ultimately, when you see 275 falls in 36 hours, well… you see 275 falls in 36 hours.
This leaf inspired the Christian Slater eco-animated classic"Ferngully"
Getting back to Brazil proved relatively easy. Although, I think one of the customs officials stamped an Argentina exit stamp over an old Mexico stamp. Come on brosef! I’m working hard to acquire more stamps. This is like taking away $500 in stamp/international travel value.
Villa Park represent. Go Bobcats & Spartans!
For dinner we eat at some Libyan, or Lebanese, pizza restaurant. It was good, but they gave us a pizza with toppings on only one side. The difficulty ordering food continues. It did not however follow us to McDonalds, where despite having just eaten dinner, Pete wanted to try the fries. The meaning behind this is because when Pete went to India for a month or so for work, he had the greatest McDonalds fries of all time. They tasted the same.
At this Mickey D’s though, I found myself infatuated with the tray paper place mat. It had all the different languages where McDonalds are served, with these awesomely stereotypical illustrations. China had a big ass dragon. There was a Pikachu for Japan! Medusa and Zeus for Greek. No America, but some British soldiers for English. The picture for Sweden had a woman with an accentuated chest! This thing was awesome.
Our flight for Rio left at 4:30am, so we headed back to the hotel and fell asleep to some Sylvester Stallone flick in which people are gruesomely killing each other in the snow. No, it wasn’t "Cliffhanger". That movie's a classic. "Season's over, a-hole!" (As Michael Rooker character blasts terrorist with shotgun before throwing him over cliff.) So good.