iguassu falls, part two

Some more pictures, too many pictures from our visit to Iguassu Falls.

In Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, we stayed at Klein Hostel. Thinking back, we booked it because it was very cheap. It was actually in a residential part of town, but nobody is staying in Foz do Iguaçu to see Foz do Iguaçu. The hostel was a couple of minutes from a bus that took you to the main bus station and then you grab a bus to Iguassu Falls, or the airport, for about R$3.

The hostel had a swimming pool, most welcome, as it was very hot and the most inland we’d come in Brazil. I didn’t realise I’d take the beach for granted! Good breakfast, of course, we’re in Brazil, and a little shop down the street so you can cook for yourself. I had a tasty caipirinha or two at this hostel, about R$5 each, a bargain! The guy on the desk was called Rodney, who looked like ‘fat Bruno Mars’ in his own words. In my own words, he looked like Bruno Mars but about 19 years old. Turns out he had a wife and two children which I couldn’t fathom. He perpetuated this teenage look by smoking weed most nights in the hostel. He was great and he ordered us a pretty good pizza.

Along with Rodney we met an Indian guy who’d married a Brazilian lady, he was called Jack, and a Dutch guy called Bjorn. We had an unexpectedly lovely little time at that hostel, went for some drinks one night and watched football, drank beer and ate meat on a stick. Oh Brazil.

Oh yeah, and saw this…

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iguassu falls, part one

Either Iguazu, Iguaçu or Iguassu Falls… click here to know all you need to know. We stayed in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil and visited the Brazilian side of the falls. We paid R$3 each for a local bus and R$50 each for entrance to the national park (about £26 altogether). You can also see the Argentinian side of the falls by staying there or with a transfer from the Brazilian side. We decided against it, which I’m sure many would be aghast at, because we saw the falls and they were spectacular. We also saved ourselves about £75 by not crossing the border, a big chunk of money on a trip like this.

If you wanted to see both, I think it’s cheaper staying on the Argentinian side, because generally things are slightly cheaper and it seems that an Argentinian transfer to Brazillian Iguassu is cheaper than a Brazilian transfer to the Argentinian Iguassu.

Sorry for the dozens of pictures to come. They don’t do it any justice, the sight is spectacular!

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stuff we ate: acarajé (Salvador, Brazil)

Arriving in Salvador, on November 7th, I was desperate to eat something local and traditional after months on Wikipedia while I should have been working. A couple of days later we took a walking tour of Salvador and saw the famous ladies in white dresses selling acarajé and other treats. Of course we didn’t hesitate.

Salvador’s history is largely founded on African slaves brought to Brazil to work on sugar plantations. So there is a lot of typically African food, stews and beans and spice, all over Salvador and Bahia state.

Sad to say, whether this particular white dress lady is selling something representative or not, we didn’t really enjoy our acarajé. It was especially gelatinous and stringy, which kind of turned my stomach. I was aching to love it, but I didn’t. You can read a description of acarajé here and a picture below. It’s a mashed bean patty, fried and halved, filled with very fishy shrimp and local vegetables and topped with some spicy sauce.

When we travelled north of Salvador, we ate moqueca every day and enjoyed it far more! There’s also a picture of me with the white dress lady, looking especially awkward, our guide insisted on the picture! Mostly I hate it because I’m wearing a smock and look like I’ve eaten every acarajé going.

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pictures from all over

Here’s a quick selection of pictures from nowhere in particular that we’ve taken over the past 10 weeks… (warning: third picture down is vile!)

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Too comical/obscene to be scary? Three of the various cigarette health warnings we’ve seen, there are some corkers!

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The last caipirinha I tasted. A nice lady taught me how to make them in Foz do Iguassu and it was delicious.

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The havaianas I bought in Rio de Janeiro, when they were pristine and beautiful. And how they look now.

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Bolivian Bolivianos. Catchy currency.

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The most satisfying day doing nothing in Mendoza, Argentina. We made fruit salad, ate tomatoes, bread and butter and a huge piece of cheese. The best cheese we’d had since leaving England. And then we watched Sherlock. Perfect! (Oh, and some Gatorade. Embarrassing.)

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Tastefully decorated Bolivian beds in our current B&B in Tupiza.

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Being taught all that our fancy camera can do in Colonia, Uruguay. We’re still clueless.

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Bit of sunburn from Buenos Aires.

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Harry and Darius, two guys we met in Buenos Aires, past drunk on Christmas Day.

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Flags from everywhere in Punta del Este, Uruguay.

stuff we ate: empanadas (Argentina)

I was hoping to jump on the empanada bandwagon as soon as we reached Argentina. Cheapo local snack food, just eat enough and you’re full for a few pesos! We were pretty distracted by the other food in Buenos Aires, the expensive food. Huge bife de chorizo steaks, tasty Thai curries, some not so great greasy Japanese to name a few. By the time we reached Salta we were ready for empanadas and it was the right place for it. Around pretty Plaza 9 de Julio there are dozens of bars and cafés selling docena, a dozen of course!

We tried one place and decided it was the best, tried another place and confirmed we were right first time! The tasty little pies filled with cheese, beef, chicken, whatever you like, were paired with cumin and a little spice and a pot of salsa picante. At about 5 pesos each, 50p, you can’t go wrong. With a litre of beer, £3, you can spend a lovely hour or so just watching everything happen.

As soon as we got to Bolivia we found empanadas twice the size and half the price, lighting my frugal fire. Not quite as tasty as the Salteñas though!

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still Salta, Argentina

A few more pictures from yesterday in Salta! Today we’re going to meet up with our Irish friends, Diarmuid and Darren, as they just arrived from Cordoba. I hope we can fit in some Salta beer and empanadas before we get our bus to the Bolivian border tonight. There is some information on crossing the border in this little article, if you were curious!

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