August 31, 2010

iguazu

our next stop was iguazu falls, a waterfall region on the border of argentina and brazil.  we started on the brazil side.



the visitor's center is covered with friendly caricatures of the quati, a south american aardvark reminiscent of the bear cats i encountered in bali.  i was excited to see them until we read in the visitor's guide that many of them are rabid and prone to attacking people in search of snacks.  boo.


next we traveled by bus to the argentina side.  in a region where tourism is the dominant economic driver and buses of tourists travel between brazil and argentina every day, the process for crossing the border is frustratingly inefficient and slow.  for example, this seemed to be the best way to get a busload of people through border patrol:


the argentina side was, indeed, different from the brazilian side, and i think it preferred it...maybe because we had to take a little train into the park.


we walked out across the river on an elevated platform to see the main part of the falls...


...where i encountered the most endearing tourists of the trip, who taught me that awkward body contortions are key to memorable vacation photos.


on a small hike to another part of the falls, i did a remake of a throwback FIJI water label.


we finished our hike through the argentina side at sunset.


my peak cultural encounter was at a brazilian buffet where the dessert bar appeared to include peep casserole.  i tried to find out if the pink sugar-coated marshmallow bits were, in fact, dismembered peeps.  several rounds of portugese miscommunication later, the answer from the chef was "vanilla."


with respect to the rest of our time in iguazu, i think it's also fair to say that a group of 100+ students will never again be welcome at the turrance green hotel in foz do iguacu.

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