So yes, we are finally back in Argentina. We only have one week left on our 3 and a half month adventure and wanted to catch you up on the past few weeks. They have been relaxing, awe-inspiring, and breathtaking. Beaches in Northern Brazil, Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, and Iguazu Falls on the border with Brazil and Argentina. We have been taking buses to all of these destinations... some okay and some that I had to say more than one prayer while we were in it. But we are doing great and enjoying the final days that we have in South America. So, the past 3 weeks...
When I last wrote we were leaving Salvador, Brazil to find some beaches. Did we find them? Absolutely. The pictures say it all. We took a bus north first to a town called Praia de Forte where the beach wasn´t that great but it was a beautiful town and had a turtle reserve. That is the picture of me touching a very slippery stingray and then the picture of a Hawksbill turtle, one of 5 different species of turtles in Brazil. Not as good as the turtle lady in South Padre Island but hey we were in Brazil! After Praia de Forte (praia means beach by the way in Portuguese) we headed south to Ilhues, Itacare, and Transcoso. The beaches were fabulous with lots of good waves that Eric body surfed and I did my best to bodysurf. The currents were very strong. But eating fresh pineapples and watermelon on a tropical beach all made for a very relaxing and refreshing time.
After the beach scene we headed farther south on a bus for 18 hours overnight to Rio de Janeiro. Again with almost no sleep on the bus, as in the other postings that I have written, we arrived in Rio at 11:30 am a week ago this past Thursday. We headed for our hostel in Ipanema called "The Girl from Ipanmea," (does the name ring any musical bells?) and our dorm room for 3 nights. We shared a room with 2 Aussies, one Brazilian, and 2 Americans (both from California). Seven of us in all, 3 of the seven (including Eric) in a triple decker. The guy in the top triple fell out one night... more on that from Eric. Thankfully Eric nor I did any falling. The hostel was nice enough on a sort of alley way with about 4 different hostels and residences and it felt like Sesame Street. We met people from all over the world and enjoyed Rio immensely. We went to both Ipanema and Copacabana beach, bodysurfed once more. We went to Station 9 (a post on that beach) where the song "Girl from Ipanema" was supposedly written and lay in the sun with all of the other Brazilians and tourists from around the world.
We also, along with half of Rio, headed up to see Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain, which means "hunchback". We took a bus and then a tram to get there. We have many more pictures of this icon but have only posted 2 of them. The view of Rio from above was stunning and you certainly feel something special standing in the presence of a 30 meter tall Christ. A definite must see should you ever visit Brazil. Another day was spent in downtown Rio and we walked around to see some (if only from the outside) historical buildings like the Municipal Theater, lots of museums, and the Imperial Palace. We went inside the Candelaria Church from 1775 which combines a Baroque façade with a Neoclassical and Neo-Renaissance inner decoration. And we visited the MOMA, Museum of Modern Arts, with a few very interesting exhibits. We both enjoyed Rio de Janeiro and all that it had to offer.
After Rio, we got on another bus for an almost 24 hour ride to Foz do Iguacu. Still in Brazil we were now at the tri-border area between Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. We stayed in Foz for a couple nights and visited one of the most amazing falls the world has to offer... Iguazu, the largest (by volume of water) in the world. We hiked about a mile to get to some stunning views of the falls. This is another one-of-a-kind places (like Machu Picchu) that you really have to see to believe. The inspiration that I felt at the falls is something that I will never forget. The next day we crossed the border into Argentina to see the falls from that side. Two-thirds of the falls are in Argentinian territory. Although I believe the view of almost the entire falls is better from Brazil, the power that you feel while standing at the mouth of the Garganta del Diablo is unreal in Argentina. That is one of the pictures that is posted where Eric and I look superimposed. But it´s real! We spent 2 days at the park hiking trails, admiring the rainforest, animals, colorful birds, and lots of pretty butterflies.
We head back to Texas a week from today and will be happy to share our many pictures and stories with those of you who would like to see and hear them. We take a 17 hour bus ride today to Buenos Aires on a bus with a, wait for it..."Supercama!" Also called "Tetto Letto", whatever that means, must be Italian for "Supercama!" What it really means is that instead of the near zero sleep that we´ve been getting on the other bus rides we will have a big chair that reclines into a bed! Along with wine and champagne! Heaven, I´m in heaven...
We will send another update from Buenos Aires before we leave detailing our final week in South America. We hope that you are all well and will be home before you know it!