06
Jun
2004
James

Into the Heart of Darkness

Iguazu Falls, from GreatestPlaces.orgThe two day journey from Colonia Uruguay to our inland destination of Iguazú Falls up the Rio Paraná wasnt exactly a trip into the heart of darkness, however it was rather boring and slow, just like the book. I guess also like the book the climax hit once we reached our final destination. The enormous horseshoe-shaped falls lie deep in the heart of a tropical forest where three countries (Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay) that are divided by two rivers (the Paraná and the Iguazú) come together.

So we had a hell of an adventure getting out of Urugauy that Friday night. We were basically dropped off in the middle of nowhere in the Uruguayan countryside at a place known as the radial where the principle road along the coastline forks; the upper fork would be our route inland to a northern border crossing with Argentina, such that we would end up in Santa Fe. We sat at the fork of the busy highway for a few hours watching darkness creep up and hoping that we would be able to recognize our bus and successfully flag it down. The hour came at which time the bus was supposed to pass, but no bus. I was getting worried because I had already seen three buses pass with our border crossing destination lit up in the windsheild. We were starting to think up a “plan B” when our ride finally rolled up. After boarding this extremely nice double decker overnight semi-cama bus whose ticket we purchased for $5 dollars back in Montevideo, the attendant promptly served up a quality whisky on the rocks to our surprise free of charge, afterwhich all was smooth sailing to Santa Fe. Our stay in Uruguay was short, maybe too short, but well worth the detour, and certainly a worthy point on the map to return to in the future.

Saturday in Santa Fe, was uneventful. Since our bus had arrived at 4 am,we slept off a few more needed hours of sleep in the bus terminal. Our connection up to Puerto Iguazú, the Argentinian town located nearest to the falls, wouldnt leave until 5 pm. So we stored the packs at the station and walked around the city. Nothing expectacular, just a normal city in the middle of nowhere Argentina. There were churches, plazas, and pedestrian malls. The fad among the youth of the town seemed to be sweatpants, everyone was wearing them, and every store on the ped. mall sold them in multitudes of colors and stripes; the girls usually opted for solid white, the guys, whatever Adidas striped pair matched their shoes.

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