I am now back to writing about my time abroad! (Hopefully) Not more soapbox rants for a while.
Picking up from where I left off:
Megan and I got back from Santiago at 7am two Tuesdays ago. Not much more than a day later, we were back on another bus (this time for 24 straight hours with no bus change) to Iguazú City. Once we got there, we were able to meet up with a few friends who didn’t come on the same trip as us but decided to rent a car and make the drive up that way. Which sounded like a good time until I remembered I would have been a free loader if I had joined them since I cannot drive manual cars.
Question: Is the US basically the only country that prefers automatic cars to manual?
The next morning we had an early wakeup call of 6:30 am (an ungodly hour in any country under most circumstances) and hit the road to Iguazú national park at 8 (well a little after 8. Blame the high maintenance people who take 50 minute morning showers). After around 30 minutes of just dawdling outside, we finally were able to enter and begin a 10 minute hike to the first sight of falls of the day.
Our guide’s name was Susy. She was great but probably the pushiest tour guide I have ever had. She had this little purple umbrella that she waved around everywhere and it always seemed like as soon as I stopped to get a photo, she would yell “Vamos chicos!!!!” and wave her umbrella around, trying to herd us to the next spot. Like excuse you can I have one minute please?
But, her guidance was much appreciated, because we were able to see most everything without too many crowds.
And it was…incredible.
Actually, to be honest, incredible is a complete understatement. Every time someone has asked me how the falls were, I cannot seem to find the exact words to describe what it was actually like.
The first view we had was from the very top of the falls. You look out and at first you hear the rushing water, falling into the river below. The mist that comes up from the falls is so heavy, that you can hardly see the bottom. We went lower to the second level, and got to be face to face with the very edge of the falls. It was raining a little, but I swear most of the water that swept onto my hair and face was mist from the falls. Then we went lower. We saw another little pocket of waterfalls and then as we climbed up and down stairs carved into the cliff, we got to see the whole expanse of waterfalls along the river. So, of course we stopped for many many photo ops.
Then came what was probably my favorite part of the day: the boat ride. Or, nautical adventure as it was called. The boat took us along the river, briefly reminding me of summers in high school when I would go out on my friend’s family boat in the sound at Emerald Isle. And then I remembered, “Oh wait, I’m in Argentina at one of the 7 wonders of the natural world, there’s not really a comparison”. Seeing the falls from underneath was completely different than the previous views we had. The driver then decided to actually take us underneath the falls (Not completely, because we would have most likely drowned). We got soaking wet (my shoes disgustingly squish squished the rest of the day) but it was completely worth it.
By the time we all got back on the bus we were soaking wet and exhausted. But that didn’t stop us from going out to a boliche! Even though Alexis and I decided to call it quits at 3:30, when most everyone was coming out. We ended up in a group of French people (there are so many French people here) and they began asking us (more like shouting) how to get back to the hostel. Alexis and I were walking the right way, they were walking the wrong way and they began yelling at us in French that we were wrong. So, we promptly turned around and shouted, “JE NE PARLE PA FRANCAIS!!!!!” That shut them up real quick. I was very very proud of us.
The next day, the Americans on the trip had to sit out the second trip to the falls since the rest of the group went to Brazil and for us, the visa would have cost $200. So for us it was a wildlife refuge, Brazilian barbecue, and finishing off the day at the Tres Fronteras (you can see Paraguay to your left and Brazil to your right while standing in Argentina). It was actually a relaxing, yet satisfying day. I will get to the Brazil side of the falls eventually, but just not this time around.
A lot of people in our group decided to take on a second night of all-night clubbing, but yours truly decided to stay in and get a few precious hours of sleep before we had to haul ourselves back onto the bus for another 24 hour journey (I have never seen so many drunk people at 7am).
We arrived back in Córdoba around 10am the next morning, which began my and Megan’s week of not really doing anything except for attempting a 7 day diet cleanse (for the most part it worked, we made it 4.5 days).
And it was a great week.