Am actually in Puerto Iguazu, but don’t want to write about it until after I’ve seen Iguacu Falls. The best waterfalls IN THE WORLD! They reckon.
So – in Fray Bentos – I went back to the first bar I went to on arrival. Group of guys, including barman, playing cards. I help myself to a beer, and watch. A couple of the guys are smoking inside – tut tut. Uruguay’s had the no smoking in bars/public places since March, I believe. Stop at a sports club on way to bus station for another beer. A poster on the wall with scantily-clad girl on sports car. I think it’s an ad for a car battery. At the bus station, I get my thermos filled with hot water from a candy kiosk – and drink my yerba mate, just like a local.
Get to Salto, and it’s raining. So, go to nearest bar, of course. Which happens to be more of a shed, really. Parilla (barbecue) outside though, so a beer and some food. Get to hotel – pretty cheap. $150, less than my ‘dorm’ bed in Colonia. The guy opens the door – it’s a huge room, with cool huge antique furniture. (I think, I didn’t check to see if it was fake. Possibly, but still would be worth heaps in NZ). Too big to stick in the pack though.
Woke up late, so spent day wandering around town. The fountains here actually work. So – sorry for photos of fountains, but it was really rather surprising to see fountains with water in them. Go to information office, and figure out how to get to the thermal pools. Stuipidly easy, and feel guilty for not bothering to do it today. But, go to the shed/tent/bar I discovered last night, and watch Uruguay vs Peru in the Copa America, have a few cervezas, chat to the locals, same old, same old.
Went to the thermal pools. Pretty sweet, just hanging out in a thermal pool for a few hours. Got bored of it, and decided to leave. Got changed, and then discovered the spa & sauna. But, too lazy to backtrack – so carried on. Bus back to Salto, and then – of course – back to my local for a few drinks while waiting for my bus to Argentina. Eventually got on the bus, crossed some dam which forms the bridge between Uruguay/Argentina – and arrived in Concordia, with no idea of what to do, or where to go. Find a bus to Posadas at 1am. Not really thinking clearly, but book it. Go to restaurant, and order dinner. With a bottle of wine – forgetting how much I’ve already had to drink (well – it was a while ago).
Arrive in Posadas. But, I’m on a roll. Immediately start looking for buses onward. Find one, buy a ticket. Then – discover a bus company called “KRUSE”. Have already committed myself though – so follow through with bus to San Ignacio on a bus called “M. Hermandies” or something equally stupid. Get there, leave pack at a store near the bus stop, and check out some old Jesuit ruins. Wasn’t really expecting much. But pretty cool. Big complex they’d set up. Self sufficient, they reckon. I reckon “Prove it”. One thing the jeebers-believers had done right, apparently. Actually set up communities which were self sufficient, and were pretty sweet to live in. I’ve heard them described as “utopian”. I reckon “Prove it”. Had at least one grapefruit tree though – so I reckon they must have got pretty close to utopia at least. Prices for entry were cool too. Different prices for locals, Uruguayans, Latin Americans, and ‘General’.
Then, let me think… (overnight and constant travel screws my perception of what happened on which day. No – it’s NOT the booze) … right, walked a little bit around San Ignacio – not much else going on really. Then, got on a bus to Puerto Iguazu. Watched a DVD on the bus – rather obviously from some guy in a cinema with a video camera. Constantly the video would disappear, or nearly disappear, as a jacket is placed over the camera. I’m guessing cinema workers were walking past. But eventually, made it to Puerto Iguazu. Enjoy some more good beef and good red wine in Argentina, before Paraguay – which is far from being renowned for fine dining or wining. Am staying at a place called Residencial Noelia, in case I go missing.