Friday, April 17, 2009

Igua-zoo and the Phoney Planet

I'm sure you all apreciated my amazing Igua-zoo pun, and now you are wondering how much more witty can I get. Oh I get wittier.... and stuff... you just wait.

So we ended up going to Parque Iguazu 3 days in a row!!! I think that is very strange for a tourist to do, as most people just rush in for day try to see as much as they can and then move on. It worked out very well for us. Saturday, the second day, was amazing. We spent all day on the move gawking at the amazing waterfalls. There was probably a hundred in the park, scattered throughout and acessable by catwalks. First we took this mini train out to Diablos Gargante, which I think translates to Devils Throat. It was absolutely breathtaking... once you managed to sift your way through the crowds. Once I got through the front and broke through the barracade of bodies the immense power of this huge waterfall stunned me. I have never seen anything like this, and am sure I will never see anything like it again. It was tonnes and tonnes of water running from a far as the eye could see wide spread river, then falling with a deafening crash over the edge of a half circle of cliffs. The spray that rose up from the basin soaked your face and body, but dried the minute you walked away in the baking sun. We probably stood there staring at this exceptional waterfall for an hour, amazed at how quickly the crowds moved on! After about twenty minutes the hundreds departed and there was maybe thirty of us hanging out, plenty of space to move around and mutiple places on the rail to view from. That was awesome. Soon the hoardes moved in, the next train must have arove, so we moved on. The other waterfalls were all different. Some still very large, while others barely a meter wide, yet all had their own type of beauty surrounding them. There would be places were about 10 of the small ones would be lined up in a row, pouring over a cliff, watering the plush and vividly grass that was thriving. Amazingly gorgeous. The surroundings for this whole affair was pure jungle, every bit of earth had something growing, the dead simply fertilizer to grow. Death birthing life. Awesome.

Near the end of the day we took the boat to a fair sized island in the middle, but when we arrove we were told there was only a half an hour til the last boat left for the mainland. There was a small swimming area that we really hoped to dip into, as the water was fresh and warm, but instead went to the miradors that showed you a different view of the waterfalls. We saw a couple trees with almost a hundred vultures lurking on them, and below a natural rock arch that you could see a waterfall through. Crazy beautiful.

Unable to restrain ourselves we returned the next day to lie on the beach and swim in the water hole. I call it that because it was about four meters out and 15 wide with 20 people in it at least. A little squishy but when the whistle happy lifeguard was away kicking other rebels out of the water you could swim under the rope and swim where you can't touch. Very nice. I felt a little bit bad for the lifeguard because everyone knew it was a ridiculous situation, even him. So without a moments rest he was walking up and down the beach kicking people out of the water or telling them to get back in the designated water sitting area.
After Iguazu we did a terribly uncomfortable and rattly TWENTY FOUR hour bus ride to Salta. We were soooooo happy to be back on the ground and on our own terms. We tried to bus out to the municipal camp ground, about 2 km out of town, which promised a massive swimming pool and supermarket, but ended up getting a cab. We arrove to a bit of a scummy campground with a truely gigantic empty concrete pool, and a supermarket down the street. Oh Phoney Planet, you fucker. Oh well... they never said it would be full now did they.
Salta was really nice, we spent the first day relaxing and recovering, then the next day exploring the town and eating empanadas. We toured the Contemporary Art museum which was awesome. There was a really cool metal art exibit based on chickens, i know, sounds wierd but was really cool. Inspired Orin and I to get collecting old metal stuff and get welding. There were two more exibits, one a fairly lame pencil 'artist' who had an obsession with badly drawn laundry, the other a couple of photographers. The photographs were really awesome, I love when photos are exibited really large. I couldn't stop obsessively photographing all day after that.
Next we walked over to this gondola that took you up a mountain over looking the city. It was pretty neat, some nice views and a series of man made waterfalls.

The next day we got up at 530 to get the bus to La Quica, the town touching the Bolivian border. We had the front seats on the top of the double decker bus, which they run a lot of in Argentina, so we got to see amazing views. After 7 hours they dropped us off 1 km out of town, as there was road construction so everyone had to walk. Lame. We walked down the dusty stretch by the fresh laid tarmac, the hot stink blowing in our face, but made it there. Crossing the border went by without hassle, not even a bag check. From there we waited an hour, drank some fresh squeezed orange juice and looked at all the beautiful woven blankets....Welcome to Bolivia!!! It was a three hour bus ride to Tupiza, where we are now, but it was quite hellish. First of all, we didn't get a proper ticket, instead a stamp on the back of a picture of a crazy Muslim guy holding a plane with Osama bin Laden's name on it, looking very happy. What? When we got on everyone else had proper tickets and we were told multiple worrying things like we were on teh wrong bus, one by this girl with a breast hanging out. What? She seemed very nice but how can you take anyone seriously when you are trying no to look at her right breast? She noticed and tucked it awayl.. no biggie. Weird. In the end it all worked out, but the bus ride was very bumpy and I got pretty motion sick... I think that this was aggravite by the adverse effects from the Malaria pills we have been having. Shortness of breath, nausea, headaches and terrible nightmares have been nagging me, but much better than Malaria I suppose. We ended up talking to breast girl, introduced as Veronica, andher boyfriend, who she said spoke but when he came to join us he said HI!! and it about ended there. As we talked more he warmed up and we were able to communicate through our Spanglish, heavy on the Spanish, pretty well. It was lots of fun, very entertaining to try to explain what maple syrup is when they have no idea what a maple tree is.

We arrove into Tupiza just after night fall and found a nice hostal and have a four day jeep tour through Southwest Bolivia for tomorrow. Should be awesome, we are going to see all sorts of crazy things, like flamingos, geysers, hot springs, red lakes, white deserts and the infamous Salar de Uyuni, the massive salt flats. The tour ends in Uyuni, which is just where we want to be. I am so glad not to be booking a tour from Uyuni to the salt flats, as it is an aboslute tourist gong show with a mine field of drunken guides, shitty vehicles, and enviornmentally detrimental tour companies. Tupiza is smaller and nicer, and we (hopefully) as far as we can tell, have found a good reliable company. I am very excited for tomorrow, and very hungry now so off for the hunt. Yesterday's dinner was two burgers for under one canadian dollar. And we didn't die. Nice.

And note to readers.... if you exist. Orin and I are considering going on strike if we don't get some damn comments!!! For all the time we spend struggling with shitty south american computers you sitting in your comfy chairs with your laptops can drop us a comment or two. Come on people!!! For Shame. haha. but seriously...


  1. hey there sage...lovin it...keep up the good work...take care of yourselves and have fun on the jeep tour...there...comment made but i'd rather ya and miss ya...deb

  2. Hello my Sweetness,
    Well I would comment on my trip to Saskatchewan but it would seem so tame compared to giant waterfalls and anteaters! Although it was amazing how beautiful flat praire really can be! Dad and I had a great time and it was like being in another country at times - except they speak the same language and have the same money. Once I get the photos on the computer and figured out I will send you a few.

    Take care, and hopefully the malaria side effects will wear off. Do monitor your side effects and if it gets too weird you may need to go off them

    Love mom

  3. HI! Sage:
    Iam a friend of Orins Dad and Mum. I have been reading your stuff and quite enjoy both of your writings. I spend January in Mexico and am able to sort of speak spanish, so I wish I could go on a trip like yours, trouble is I'm old. Have fun, Me monbre es Karlos TA TA