My parents and I parted ways in Sao Paulo, with a lovely and well-timed send-off. I was flying to the local city of Foz do Iguaçu, while they were flying back to Canada. It was hard to say goodbye after 3 fantastic weeks together .. but I made my way over to Foz and arrived at my hostel – which was nestled down a dirt road and a ways from the main drag – at 11pm. It was a little unnerving not to be shown the bathroom, showers, or breakfast room .. and to then have to join other girls in a dorm with the lights off and a few people already sleeping .. but my flashlight and a few friendly Dutch girls helped me out 🙂
My first day there I had planned to see the Falls (Cataratas in Portuguese) but was delighted to be invited along with a group of students from Spain. One of the girls was in my dorm and asked if I was travelling alone, after I introduced myself in broken Spanish. All of them were either studying in Brazil (near Sao Paulo) or in Costa Rica. We ventured to Foz and definitely got some great pictures, nice and close! They had all been to the Argentinian side the day before and told me it was a different experience; we concluded that perhaps it can be summed up as follows: The Brazilian side gives you the whole picture and may be better for photo opportunities .. while the Argentinian side takes you closer for a more “intimate” waterfall experience.
I didn’t spend long in Foz, only one more night, as there is not much to do there besides the falls. I planned my flight out from the Argentinian side (there’s a small airport) and was lucky enough to catch a ride with our hostel van to the border then walk, bus and cab from there. I have to say I did appreciate the transition to Spanish, although the Argentinian dialect (as I later realized) is not quite as easy for me to understand than that of Mexico or other South American countries.
Therein ended my journey in Brazil .. and what an amazing few weeks it has been. I would wholeheartedly tell any curious traveller to come to this incredible country and sample what it has to offer. The land is varied, the beaches are plentiful, the people are unassuming and kind-hearted .. and yet there is no nutshell or pidgeonhole within which Brazil can be placed. That is precisely what made this such a unique experience; I leave knowing that there is so much more to learn about a country that has it’s roots in both the European and the African cultures, that is proud of all things indigenous to it’s land .. and that somehow makes everything it’s “own” – be it the language, the dancing, the passion for futbol, or the subtle eagerness to help a traveller find his or her way …
Até a vista.. mucho obrigado!!