It’s true, you don’t really know what you have until it’s gone! It feels so amazing to be back HOME in the fabulous Buenos Aires. I really missed the city while I was away this weekend! But oh, the things I have to catch you all up on! My weekend in Puerto Iguazú was definitely eventful…
An 18-hour bus ride. That was the fun of Friday night. My friend Amber and I sat in the very back of the bus, and enjoyed the great service, surprisingly good food, and good movies that were on the bus. It was all fine and dandy until the time came to sleep. There were some people in the seats in front of us being ridiculously loud, and that combined with “airplane sleep” wasn’t the most beneficial, but it was still fun because we were on our way to Iguazú! Once we got there, an hour late, we had about an hour to freshen up before going on a little forest excursion that included zip-lining, rappelling, and a little trek! We were on this safari-bus, and driving through different parts of the town, mostly back roads to take us to the forest area. The ground in Iguazú is mostly red clay dirt, and is very thick and squishy. So of course our bus got stuck in it. It was actually quite an adventure! We were on the bus and all of a sudden it stopped moving, and the driver tried for about 10 minutes to get out on his own, before we had to have some help. A tractor came along and attached a chain to the bus and had to pull us out, after which our bus driver started driving like a maniac, I guess to avoid going slowly enough to get stuck again. It was so cute to see all the families and their little houses, with little kids and dogs and animals running around outside. A true taste of the country, I’d say! After the bus ride, we zip-lined (I would talk about it more if there were anything else to say about it), rappelled (same – although there was a lovely photo shoot involved), and trekked (although this was up a hill and kind of painful, so I’d really rather not dwell on it).
We got back to the hostel in the evening (this is Saturday, as our bus got to Iguazú on Saturday morning), and decided to head to the pueblo to get a poncho for me and some snacks for our previously-planned girls’ night for the following day. However, as we went down to our room to leave our stuff behind, we saw that the 6th person (there were 5 of us girls and the hostel rooms sleep 6) in our room was an old man. Literally a 50-year old man. Amber and I thought, no way. So we went to talk to our tour guide who said she’d see what she could do. So we went off to the pueblo, made it there okay, and went back to the bus stop to head back for dinner. We waited at the cold, dark bus stop for about an hour and a half. FINALLY the bus came, and we went straight to dinner! It was certainly dinner and a show at the Hostel Inn Iguazú because all of a sudden, in the midst of our asado, out came a man in a sparkly silk shirt and a dancer wearing a headress and looking like she had just crossed the border from Brazil to Argentina! That was certainly a hilarious experience, especially pretending like we were busy so we wouldn’t get dragged to the front of the dining area to shake our bon-bons in front of all of the guests! During dinner, we found out that the man was not only still in our room, but he was asleep! Amber and I ended up sleeping on the floor of another friend’s room – lucky for us one of the girls in that room had a snore like you would NEVER believe. Those of you who go to Elon know how it is when the train goes by – think that, worse, all night long. Yes. That was another night of bad sleep, BUT all part of the South American adventure I signed up for!
After waking up early on Sunday morning, we headed to the falls for the day. They were wonderful! I’ve never seen so many enormous waterfalls, and there were platforms set up over many of them, so we were able to take great pictures and stand right above the waterfalls! Unfortunately, the Garganta del Diablo, which is the biggest and craziest one, was closed because there was SO much water in the river, as well as the boat ride that takes you under the falls. That was kind of a bummer, but it was cool to know that we were seeing the falls as big as they’d get! We could barely see the Garganta del Diablo because there was so much mist coming off the falls. After the falls, we headed back to the pueblo on the bus to pay for the zip-lining and get some lunch. We had a nice relaxing lunch and then headed back to the hostel. Our girls night turned into more of a girls pre-dinner afternoon! We spent a few hours chatting, painting our nails, eating, doing the usual girls stuff, which was great since it’s hard to plan things like that back in the city where we all live with different families in different barrios. After a successful girls night and a yummy buffet dinner, we spent some time playing ping-pong and hanging out before a band came to play live music! They were great, and we definitely burned off some of that dinner with some dancing! After the dancing was over, we played some more ping-pong and met some porteños (remember? Porteños are from Buenos Aires) who live in the city! They were 2 brothers, and we all exchanged names, so maybe we’ll all be able to hang out or something while we’re here. I certainly need to make some Argentine friends – my Spanish is now at the level where it’s not going anywhere, and the best and only way to improve it at this point is to converse as much as I can with natives!
After a late night, we woke up on Monday morning to grab some breakfast and get our things together and check out. We spent some time in the lobby playing cards and eating since it was raining outside (awful, but great bus weather!), and our bus left around 2 pm. The bus ride back was not as comfortable, especially because we made lots of stops on the way back, and it got back an hour and a half late this morning (instead of the 8:40 am arrival time we were told), so I didn’t make it to my grammar class, which was probably a blessing in disguise because I was able to come straight home and unpack and get some things done. Today I just have a class at 4:30, so I have a few more hours to get some work done and just relax, especially since I didn’t get the greatest sleep last night either – the buses were comfortable, but sitting, eating, and sleeping all in one spot for 18 hours is not the most desirable thing.
Despite an eventful and fun weekend, I have to say I was totally relieved and relaxed to be back in the city. I think I had to be away for a while to realize how much I truly love it here. No doubt about it, I am totally a Buenos Aires girl at heart. Just getting on the subway to come back home made me so happy, and I’m actually looking forward to taking the bus to class later! I guess not being able to go really anywhere while in Iguazú made me appreciate how easy it is to get from place to place here. What an enlightening experience, and now I sound like a total cheeseball. Pictures are below!