After the cold gusty winds of Patagonia, it was a pleasant change to fly into the warmth of the tropics again. Iguazu falls is fed by 275 waterfalls and the sheer volume of water thundering through every minute makes it one of the most impressive waterfalls in the world. I can see how one can just sit and watch for hours on end which I do and Peter goes into a complete photographing frenzy. In fact, a lot of the tourists here are equipped with serious photographic equipment and Peter admits to suffering from lens envy despite having 4 separate lenses already on this trip.
Our first day is a sweltering 34 degrees, not a cloud in the sky and we decide to take a powerboat ride right up to the falls themselves. We are completely soaked and the dunking we get is deliciously cold and a respite to the baking heat of the day. It must be something about the thousands of negative ions generated at the bottom of the falls that have an effect on one’s mood the closer you get, as we notice people in semi-states of laughter and delirium, especially those on the boat ride with us.
There are hundreds of birds swooping and diving in between the mist generated by the falls and the whole place is surrounded by lush foliage clinging to the face of the rocks. The river at the bottom of the falls is a beautiful rich emerald-green which is a change from the light aquamarine colors we have just seen in Patagonia. I think if you were to get lost for a minute in your thoughts as I do, you cannot help but think momentarily that you are in some lost Jurassic world and expect to see a triceratops grazing somewhere in the distance. We get lucky and manage to spot a toucan in the treetops, different varieties of fish, water turtles and these big furry rodent looking things that look like ant-eaters who walk all around the place seemingly nonplussed by the hundreds of tourists in their way. In fact, one even bites a lady on her bum while she is trying to take a picture of a small herd nearby sending her squealing! After 2 weeks, we’ve finally come to the end of the Argentinian leg of our trip and I leave you with some observations of Argentina:
People here are an extremely affectionate lot, there is a lot of cheek kissing going on, hugging as well as bum pinching and that’s just among the men. It seems this extends not just to friends but also to work colleagues as we witness these displays in airports, stores, restaurants, street corners, hotels…everywhere! They kiss each other at the start of the day AND also at the end of the day, we observe baggage handlers kissing the ticketing counter people as they start their shifts, or busboys kissing their managers as they punch out and have finished for the day…extraordinary! Now I have to say that I am one of the really fortunate people who genuinely like their work colleagues very much, but I don’t quite know how I’d feel about kissing all of them, not just once a day but twice!
Argentinian food consists largely of meat, meat, and more meat. In fact, their cuisine has a surprisingly stronger Italian influence and include other dishes of pizzas and pasta rather than Spanish based varieties. Apart from that there is a distinct lack of other cultural varieties available compared to the plethora you get in Australia where you will find Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indian, Thai, Greek, Italian, Spanish sitting side by side with burgers, or fish and chips in any food court let alone the great food neighborhoods of West End, Brisbane where we live and frequent. Peter and I decide we cannot stomach anymore steak and go across the road to the corner store for groceries. What is our final meal in Buenos Aires? A packet of Instant noodles!