Steve's Adventures in South America

I bought a one-way ticket to Venezuela and I'm not coming back until my tube of toothpaste runs out...

Iguazu Falls

Quoted as "Niagara on Viagra!" Iguazu is a massive and stunningly beautiful waterfall.

Iguazu Falls

Iguazu FallsIguazu Falls

Today we invade Argentina to peer down it's Devil's Throat (a big ass waterfall to all those don't know). Our bus driver over the border was a class funny character. Everytime he walked up and down the bus handing out forms, passports and maps he would chant "Be dum de dum" and called everyone "Chica" or "Chico". Someone figured he was humming the start of "Yellow Submarine" which quickly became our anthem. Manoeuvring out of a view point overlooking Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina he screams, "Polica!" slams the bus in reverse and all these sirens start belting out from behind. It's his "Warning, Vehicle Reversing" sound. Quality!

On entering the national park I loose everyone and hitch up with a fellow truckite, Nick (a trainee lawyer for Slaughter and May in London City near the Barbican, yah!) to do some exploring. The falls themselves are a majestic landscape of a sequential series of falls serenely plummeting over a plateau. Most excellent! We hitch up with Isi, Lloyd and Lynn and catch the train to the Devil's Throat - the main attraction - Niagara on Viagra! It's quite an awesome sight which constantly throws up volumes of spray.

Iguazu FallsIguazu FallsIguazu Falls

As well as the infestation of butterflies we also saw Coaties and Caiman (my first sighting of a wild one in South America!!) The Coaties are like large raccoons and whilst Isi was half way through reciting a story of how a friend of hers lost a thumb to a hungry monkey, I bend down and start stroking the wild Coaties. She wasn't impressed.

Steve & Isi

In the evening we shower, spruce up and scuttle off to a cheesy Cabaret in a Meat Buffet Restaurant called Rafian. The stage performers were real bad; half baked cheesy tourist bad (except for the guy twirling fireballs on chains!) I missed some naked carnival chicks whilst queuing up for more meat. Still Lloyd (a fellow trucker and a 60 year old Aussie OAP) was sat at the front and copped an eye full, much to our amusement!

Merry Dragoman Crew

Tonight was the night the crew from all our trucks decided to get jolly. Whilst we sat at the hostel bar they sat in the pool. Then, one by one, they began throwing in their passengers - who then joined in the "pool assassination". The numbers of wet people grew exponentially until everyone was in. Loud music from the bar accompanied the drunken merriness. I guess you could call it a "Pool Party" complete with cocktails, belly flops and pool inflatables. I took a volley of the deadly Caprihinias. Later, to get dry, I play Ping Pong, first with Michelle then with Isi. My time is up when I realise I'm too drunk to return any of the shots! I passed out a happy man on a hammock at 04:30. A few others lasted until 05:30 - I wasn't last! Gee, I guess there's a first time for everything!

Power Boats and Helicopters

Up and out for 10:00 to see the Brazilian side of the falls. First up is a little train ride through a jungle - it quickly transpires that I know more than the guide with it comes to water vines and useful palm trees. I acquire my first audience and recite jungle stories, facts and episodes to swoons and disbelieving faces. From here on in, I'm known as "Jungle Steve"!

We hop into a powerful speed boat and are told to prepare for a soaking. It then blasts off up the river to the waterfalls, stops and bobs around for a bit enabling us to take photos. Then powers up some rapids and into the falls itself! The spray was so hard it hurt as it ripped into your face. A soaking we do get. Isabella, being a non-swimmer, gripped the grab rail with impunity the whole time. Brave girl.

The Power BoatView from Power BoatIguazu Falls from Power Boat

Off the boat, back through the jungle and onto... a HELICOPTER! I've never been on a helicopter before. I was really excited about it. It lived up to every heightened expectation - it was awesome! Even better, I was led into the best seat in the house, the co-pilots seat in the bubble cockpit. The helipad is on the road side, so as soon as you take off you see cars and tree tops whizzing past just meters under your feet! Over the falls themselves we pull a few stomach churning tight turns as not to invade Argentinean airspace and pull a few Gs to boot! It's way cool! On landing I bounce out of the helicopter with an ecstatic smile on my face and skip down to meet the other passengers. Yeah!

The HelicopterView from HelicopterIguazu Falls from Helicopter

Come evening we all opt for the Italian buffet dinner at the hostel to save cooking. When everyone complained the food was really bad I realised I'll happily eat anything!