Archive for July, 2014

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In keeping with the general theme of “disaster” we didn’t actually leave Uruguay for another couple of days due to bus availability. We booked ourselves in for a day of fun and frolicks with the local horse man, Fabian. I was sad to see he wasnt in fact a centaur but we had a lot of fun anyway. Have you ever been drunk on a horse? I have. Horse man gave me the only horse with an attitude problem. Aptly named “Borracha”. She decided to bite any horse brave enough to come within chomping distance, which meant I spent most of the trek off to one side on our own path while the other horses were well behaved in single file.

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So my drunk horse and I ventured through the forest and galloped across the beach, with a quick pit stop where horse man whipped out two bottles of red wine. We all swigged the bottles dry and did some drink riding. Now I dont know but I imagine I looked a little something like this:
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Oh wait no.

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I spent the next two days feeling like I’d been punched in both butt cheeks.

Then it was time to leave Uruguay. After spending 4 long hours sitting on the floor of a desolate bus terminal, we eventually got to Brazil. I really feel like the worst part of travelling is the travelling. Endless bus and coach rides begin to take their toll. I woke up after this particular ride with a wet, brown trouser leg. Something you never want to see as a traveller. Turns out I had just laid my legs over an open carton of chocolate milk.

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Our first port of call was another beach town,  this one definitely more populated than the last, Florianópolis. The taxi ride from the bus terminal was pretty terrifying. There was a World Cup match on and the driver, by some sort of witchcraft, had turned his sat nav into a mini portable telly. This meant he gave most of his attention to the score and cursing at the screen than to speed bumps, increasingly subtropical temperatures in the car or the fact that the BLOODY BOOT FLEW WIDE OPEN FOR ABOUT 15 MINUTES. We made it eventually, which was nice.

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Our private double opened out onto this amazing view and also came with.. wait for it. . A ceiling mirror. Interesting feature for a hostel.

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As usual there were lots of friendly dogs around. I found this one wearing a necklace. Apparently there was a dog who turned up wearing a tie for about a week once.

I’m going to take this moment to dispel a few travelling myths now.
1. “Don’t touch the dogs.” WRONG. Touch ALL the dogs. (Actually this probably isn’t sage advice considering rabies is an issue but out here in South America they’re just so gosh darned friendly.)
2. “Exotic food! Yay!” No. You will mainly eat bread, cheese and ham.
3. “I will wear foreign garments and flowers in my hair and look like a beautiful traveller hippy.” You will look like a dirty hippy. Your fingernails will always be inexplicably black, your hair will be matted and sticky-uppy from the endless bus journeys and you will find ways to wear your underwear for more than one day and convince yourself that’s OKAY.
4. “I will come back speaking a beautiful new language.” I’ve tried to teach Chris some Spanish but he still comes out with some cracking mistakes. He spent a good ten minutes asking someone to take him to the “puerta” (door) instead of puerto (port). “You there! Take me to the door!”
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Okay moving on. Florianópolis was pretty nice but once again, off season, cold, blah blah blah. We made a quick exit and on to Foz de Iguazu, famous for the Iguaçu/Iguazu/Iguassu Falls.

The day we planned to see the falls the weather was (obviously!) bloody grey so we asked the hostel owner what else we could do that day instead. He told us to go see the dam and that he thought we’d “really really enjoy this!”

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To this moment I’m not sure whether this was his idea of a joke. I mean.. It wasn’t terrible, it was just.. a dam. A 2 hour tour of a muddy brown, dull, dam. You couldn’t help but laugh. The bus would cart you along for 5 minutes and then stop somewhere for 20 just so you could see this dam from all angles.

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The falls were quite a bit better. There was a sign hailing them as “one of the 7 wonders of the world” and I wouldn’t argue. They span across the vast borders of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. There are different viewing points including one called Devil’s Throat where you’re pretty much IN the falls, getting absolutely soaked from the spray.
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Look how much fun I’m having.

Now we’re on to the next and last leg of this trip. Sao Paulo and finally Rio. Looking forward to it very much. Hasta pronto!

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