Sunday, June 5, 2011

Iguaçu Falls (Foz de Iguacu) from Argentina. And some legal/illegal border bypassing fun to get there! Largest Black Market in the World in Paraguay!

So Chris and I are in Cuidad de Este in Paraguay ready to visit Iguaçu falls, the largest water falls in the world, and we realize we have a huge issue.

The map didn’t show it very well, but now we are aware, but in order to visit the Argentinean side of the water falls, which people say is the best, you have to go from Paraguay, drive through Brazil a short distance, then cross back into Argentina.

I have my Brazilian visa, but Chris does not. So this was not a viable option. Lucky for us Chris completely transferred the bike to his name and took me off of it when we crossed into Paraguay.

So the plan was to wait until Monday to take the ferry. But I started to investigate more crazy and exciting options.

I found out that there’s a city bus that goes directly from Cuidad Del Este, goes through Brazil, then into Argentina, without stopping at the Brazilian border to do immigration or customs.

Genius! Illegally smuggle Chris in a city bus through Brazil to reach Argentina, what could possibly go wrong!?
As we made our way to the bridge we passed by what is considered the area of largest amount of money to money- hand to hand exchange of currency in the world….aka-the world’s largest black market.

Because Paraguay has less laws and little taxes, this country has become a haven for stolen vehicles from Brazil and Argentina, and cheap and dangerous merchandise passes through this area on a vast scale every day.

I will also take this moment to say that there some messed up money in Paraguay

As we reach the border, I have never seen such chaos of traffic and cars in my life.

I saw people carrying loads of goods like TV’s. Stereo systems, video games, clothes, you name it from Paraguay into Brazil and Argentina. Things are so cheap around these parts you see everyone hoarding mass amounts of supplies across the border like pack mules.

These helmets in the USA cost upwards of $130 or more, here they are $40 (without bargaining)

Change houses, electronics, fake designer watches, clothes, you name it, and it was on the streets. It was quite impressive.

Lots of moto taxi's as well

There were even tazers, guns and other dangerous weapons on the street in plain sight being sold.

The guy who showed me the tazer guns was nice enough to shove it into my face as he pressed the button sending 2 million volts of electricity flying centimeters from my face!

So we eventually stamped ourselves out of Paraguay and found the “special bypass” bus.

a weird picture for a weird bus

After more transfers, we arrived in Iguazu.

Not to get ahead of myself here but.... I know I mentioned that my Uyuni Salt Flat Post was visually stunning, this might be on par to that or more depending on your likings.

After a quiet train ride we arrived at the “throat of the devil”

As we walked over the vast expansion of the water on these bridges we sensed it was going to be good.

Saw some turtles on the way.

Even took the opportunity to make an video update

As we got closer, what a sight and sound it was!

The shear sound of such a vast amount of water falling hundreds of feet was fantastic

If you’ve ever see Niagara falls, it was something similar to looking at it from the Canadian side.

Chris looking cool

But Iguazu is definitely much much bigger! 

This was only one of the falls as you will see.

The view was breath taking.

The walk back

At this point in time all the most amazing things I’ve seen in my life came rushing at me.

Here these amazing waterfalls. Bolivia’s salt flat and mirage, the construction marvel of Machu Pichu, the Perito Moreno Glacier and more. The epitome of beauty on a natural scale. I have seeked and found my goals and dream of such wonders of the natural world and this seemed to complete the list. I was very proud and happy at this moment.

We continued walking around the falls and I kept taking endless pictures and video.

It was so astonishing I couldn’t stop.

Hello Iguacu!

I got up to 400 pictures.

Some creature stuff like these butterflies too.


And these cool looking guys that are cocoons of butterflies and baby butterflies too

And these little guys are a plague around here looking for tourists to feed them food.

So for all those interested, the Argentinean side is great, it has lots of trails and such, but takes a complete day to visit. My next post will be from the Brazilian side so you can decide which is better.

Went back the next day at half price to finish all the crazy long circuits

So more beauty

And more beauty

And more

I couldn’t stop!

The visit to the most glorious falls in the world is complete! 

Chris and I had a celebratory meal of Argentinean beef. $10 US for all this plus more.

Tomorrow again to Brazil to the falls from a different perspective.

1 comment:

  1. Alex, were you able to connect with Helena ????
    Hope all is well !!!


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