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The little adventures of Jo! Travel with me on my overdue gap year around the world :)

Visiting Iguazu and Beyond

BRAZIL | Tuesday, 30 April 2013 | Views [568]

The Iguazu falls were a spectacle to behold from both sides. Unbelievable in every regard - huge, plenty and powerful - perfectly framed with rainbows and butterflies. It was just as you would picture paradise to be. It reminded me so much of my favourite cartoon "UP!" The only thing different was that the evil explorer and his talking dogs were replaced with immense floods of tourists and greedy coaties.

I didn't do too much planning with my visit to Iguazu unlike other places I previously visited. Needless to say, I had a few interesting moments surrounding my trip to the falls.
I decided to save money and spend 17 hours on the bus both ways in true backpacker fashion. The ride  from Buenos Aires was better than I expected with reclining, business class sized seats. Service was also aboard providing food, movies and blankets.
Going to Sao Paulo was a little different and involved a lot more of going with the flow without entirely knowing what the flow encompassed. Crossing borders was the first challenge that proved to be no challenge at all. All that was involved was paying 8 pesos for transport and some waiting. 
When I finally got to the bus terminal in Foz do Iguaçu, I quickly discovered that there were two separate stations for travel within and out of the city. The terminal I was at was for travel within the city and included buses to the Brazilian side of the waterfalls. To go to Sao Paulo, I needed to leave from the other. I knew this was going to be interesting without a firm grasp of Portugese and on my own.
There was someone at the local station willing to help. Referred to him by his fellow colleagues, he greeted me with a wonderful American accent "Good morning miss!  How can I help?" I quickly noticed he didn't really know much more English than that. I reluctantly left my backpack in his care and let him sort out my bus ticket to Sao Paulo while I visited the falls. Proving my fears wrong, all was good when I returned and I had my backpack and ticket in hand.
Priced at a similar cost to my previous bus and with a reputable company, I was expecting a similar level of comfort. I was surprised that I was the only foreigner on the bus. Though the seats reclined well, the bus was more economy class without food, movies or blankets. Thankfully, the guy sat next to me was so kind to share his blanket. 
With little knowledge of Portugese, negative phone credit and a dying phone battery, I was happy to see my friend, Renata at the correct bus station. (The guys at Foz had told me there was just one station in Sao Paulo when in fact there are three. I think they just didn't understand me.)
Since getting to Sao Paulo, all I've been doing is enjoying Brazilian food with the expert guidance of Renata. I love Brazilian food! From breakfast at the padaria to indulging in churrasco. From traditional fare at the main market to freshly squeezed juices everywhere. From home-cooked feijoadas to everything at Renata's wonderful café, Santo Grao. Brazilian food is fabulous. The traveller who told me good food is hard to come by in Brazil, must have definitely been lying.
I'm off to Rio de Janeiro tomorrow. Looking forward to more good food, beautiful beaches and great views of the Marvellous city.

Tags: animals, argentina, brazil, buses, cities, crossing borders, food, friends, languages, nature

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