Into the Rain Forest of IguassuMay 31 in Argentina
Well today had just about everything. It began with a 4 am alarm and an early morning dash through the back streets of Arequipa to beat the blockade around the city by striking workers. It certainly was an interesting way to start a new adventure. At one stage the road was blocked by a large rock in the middle, but our driver managed to wriggle the bus around it.
Then we entered the tiny check in area of Arequipa airport to find it in a state of complete chaos. The check in queues stretched as far as we could see. If that wasn't bad enough , the departure time for our flight was actually brought forward by 25 minutes.
After eventually boarding our flight to Lima we arrived at the Lima airport just in time for a full blown fire alert, with sirens, flashing lights and an immediate full evacuation of the terminal buildings. For some time we stood on the tarmac, surrounded by fire and emergency personnel. It was one of those moments.
One thing we did notice and appreciate was the extra oxygen in our air. After spending the past three weeks cycling, trekking and living between 3000 and 5000 metres, it was a real delight to be able to exert ourselves without having to gasp for air.
We finally got back in the building in time to board our flight to Iguassu. The flight travels over some of the most incredible barren landscapes you could see anywhere (see the images). Most of the plane was filled with Japanese and Koreans whose behaviour was dreadful. Every time the stewards asked people to return to their seats because of turbulence, the aisles were full of these people wandering and stumbling all over the place. You would think they had never been on a plane before.
We finally landed in Iguassu in Brazil just after dark, only to find only 1 immigration desk open resulting in a very long wait time. When we finally reached the primitive baggage collection area we were relieved to find all our luggage, but many other people from other groups were not so lucky. Apparently many bags went somewhere else. That was a problem we could well do without.
We left the terminal and were relieved to find a new guide and luxury bus waiting for us. We were also bemused to see the first rain we had seen since leaving Melbourne. After first crossing the border into Argentina we took a short 30 min bus ride to the best hotel, right next to the famous waterfalls - surely one of the natural wonders of the world.
We are now all safely ensconced in the lovely Melia Hotel, right next to Iguassu Falls in Argentina. The rooms are sheer luxury and the free dinner they provided for us (because we are the famous Ghostriders) was divine. It's a pity that we could not spend more time here.
Tomorrow we tour the falls from both the Argentina and Brazil sides.
We were warned not to leave our hotel windows open because the monkeys will enter our room and steal our stuff. We really are a long way from Peru now.Read more