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'18 Oct: Buenos Aires, Argentina
A few days before Uruguay and then back in November.
'18 Oct: Iguazu Falls, Brazil and Argentina
2 nights in Argentina
1 night in Brazil
1 night in Argentina
'18 Oct: Asuncion, Paraguay
Only four short nights.
'18 Sep: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
First stop in a big city run through the East coast of South America. Here you'll find many of Rio's greatest hits.
'16 May: Cuenca to Quito, Ecuador
From Cuenca to Quito and a week of homestay and Spanish class.
'16 May: Galapagos, Ecuador
This is going to be amazing.
'09 Feb: Antigua, Guatemala
The town center is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a very cool place to visit.
'09 Mar: Lago Atitlán, Guatemala
Visiting the lake villages of San Pedro, San Marcus, Panajachel, Sololá, Santiago, and the market town of Chichicastenango.
'09 Mar: Copán Ruinas, Honduras
Another UNESCO World Heritage site (can't go wrong there), a sweet town, and another week of español.
'09 Mar: Finca El Cisne, Honduras
Worth a trip to Honduras.
'09 Mar: Flores & TIKAL, Guatemala
Isla de Flores, a veeery small place, and TIKAL, the largest Maya city yet uncovered.
'04 Oct: Patagonia
Breathtakingly gorgeous Patagonia including Punta Arenas, the Seno Otway inlet, some other places but most staggeringly breathtaking of all, Torres del Paine.
'04 Nov: Machu Picchu
As Utterly aSTOunding as they say.
'04 Nov: Amazon Jungle
Puerto Maldonado, our camp, Reserva Amazonica along the river Madre de Dios in the Zona Reservado Tambopata.




Click HERE and all the pictures in this chapter will get big.

October 7

I left Paraguay by bus this morning for the nine hour transfer to my final destination in Argentina. I had to pass through Brazil which meant four border stops - out of Paraguay, into Brazil, out of Brazil, into Argentina.

internet.

Here is another internet picture that shows the Brazilian and Argentine sides of Iguazu Falls.

internet.

My home for the next two nights. See that door at the end of the path and nice big window looking out at the garden..that would be mine, and it was lovely.

The other residents of this magic three room guest house are a mother and son from the Canary Islands. He's working in Argentina as a engineer on a big solar project in the desert. We had fun.

The guest house provides a good breakfast here on the patio and a cocktail hour in the evening. Top marks Secret Garden, good job.

October 8

Oh goodie, time to go see Iguazu Falls.

These guys are pretty much a menace. At first they're just odd and a little cute and then they quickly evolve into semi-dangerous semi-wild constant seekers of food from any available source, particularly the visitors.

At first there was one and then there were one hundred.

They are called coati and look like a cross between an opossum and a racoon, and actually are a member of the racoon family.

I was wondering how these crowds were going to work out.

So I got a picture of myself real quick not knowing what the future would hold, although the computer was pretty insistent that the future would hold rain.

I asked a guide if this was a lot of water and he said it was twice as heavy as usual. It was, like, monumental.

Usually in the heaviest season water runs over the whole course of the falls at 3 million liters per second and now, he said, it is going at 4 million liters per second. I forgot to ask but I'm guessing that's why the water is brown.

I've got a lot of this.

Notice all the people in the upper left and lower middle. It was actually totally fine much to my delight. There were plenty of quiet places and everyone politely took their turn on the rail and then moved on.

This is what everyone wanted to do. As you walk along you run into the same people which is fun too. One of these ladies took that picture of me earlier in the day.

Yikes.

Ok, yes, more.

Because of the rain and the mist generated by the roiling water, it didn't really look like this. It was more like trying to see something in a steam room turned to the highest setting. Photoshop's 'dehaze' filter did its best to bring out the detail.

People tend to clump at the viewing stations and then thin out along the trails.

Mono mono.

The computer was right regarding the rain.

I had an umbrella and my raincoat and plastic around around my bag which protected my camera well enough but not my body that ended up soaked to the skin anyway including squishy soggy shoes that now, the next day, are still not dry.

As a matter of fact I haven't stopped sneezing yet and I'm getting a little worried.

Let's just roll by the pictures, shall we.

More.

How about another one.

Everyone was soaked and it could happen again because once you're here, you've just gotta go.

Tomorrow I'm going over to the Brazilian side and if it's still pouring I will have to consider the state of my health.

Back at the Secret Garden with the folks from Gran Canaria ("the finest of the Canary Islands") for our cocktail hour treats, this is Roxy, a sometimes sweet and often ill-tempered dog.

The wifi password there is RoxyRules, and indeed she does.

October 9

Another internet effort to see the whole of the falls, Argentine and Brazilian sides.

internet.

And this is where I'm staying in Brazil. The biggest luxury of this trip, the Belmond Hotel das Cataratas.

internet.


Out the front door, down the lawn, across the street, et voilá.

Look, no rain! I was still sneezing like crazy and feverish and sweating but since I wasn't going to get wet again I decided to make a run for it before the rain came back.

The feeling was very different on the Brazilian side compared to the Argentine side with the paths more at a distance from the views until you get all the way to the end.

Nice...

...vistas.

Down there you can see the Devil's Throat.

I could not face getting wet again and hey, the internet is full of videos people took out there. I'm going for prudence.

It really is stunning.

And here's the end of the trail.

Upon my return to the hotel, blue skies!

Wow this was fun. The guy behind the bar is a big contest winner of several years, the best bartender in Brazil according to three different waiters who came up to me while I was watching him teach the bartenders how to make several different drinks.

The were all speaking Portuguese except from time to time the bartender would catch me up in English and then as they were passing around the finished beverage I ended up 'in the line' and got to sample them all. It was a full hour for about four drinks and a delightful hour it was.

Sunset from my window. You can see the mist of the falls in the distance.

October 10

Look what I woke up to...I surely did luck out with yesterday.

Here is the view of the three countries from the map on the first day - Brazil to the right, Argentina to the left, and Paraguay straight ahead.

I'm in a shared taxi with a guy from Spain and another guy from Italy. I've been doing a lot of taxi sharing and it's fun!
Click HERE and all the pictures in this chapter will get big.


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