After our time in the massive city of Curitiba, we were ready for some time outdoors, away from the bustle of urban life. We boarded the Serra Verde Express, a vintage train that travels to the rural town of Morretes, Brazil. The train is more of a novelty than an efficient means of travel as what would be a one hour trip by car takes nearly four hours on the train. But the scenery that unfolds as you glide over the tracks at a blistering 25 kmph is stunning.
After seeing the town, we took a taxi to Pousada Graciosa, the bed and breakfast where we were spending our one night in Morretes. The Pousada is made up of a handful of little bungalows scattered throughout the grounds, connected by little gravel paths winding through the vegetation.
The owners of the pousada brew their own beer and serve home made pizza for dinner. The beer above is a passionfuit hefeweizen which was a delicious break from the monotony of bland pilsners so ubiquitous in Brazil.
After a night in Morretes, we bussed back to Curitiba to catch a long range bus to Foz do Iguacu, the town on the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls, one of the “New7Wonders of the World” (who knew there were so many different lists of world wonders?) The falls is part of the Iquazu River, which acts as a border between Brazil and Argentina, so you have the option of seeing the falls from both the Brazilian side of the river and the Argentine side. We spent one day on each side exploring the many viewpoints along the falls. Below is a smattering of pictures from both sides of the falls. To give you an idea of the size of it, the falls is made up of between 150-300 individual waterfalls stretched over 1.7 miles and parts of it are nearly double the height of Niagara.
Above is a peek at the Garganta Del Diablo, The Devil’s Throat, which is the most intense part of the falls. The power of the falls and the humble awe one feels being in the presence of the waterfall cannot be conveyed sufficiently by photos. Notice the size of the people out on the walkway in the above photo. When you stand out on the walkway with the storm of mist raging around you and the pounding roar of the falls in your ears, you can’t help but be caught up in the wonder of it. I’ve had the privilege of seeing many beautiful things in nature, but nothing has quite matched the awestruck rapture I felt in that moment when I stood out in that mist, drenching wet and exhilirated.
We decided to go for a ride on one of the boat tours available. The skipper drives the boat right up to the base of one of the waterfalls (pictured below) and it seems as though the boat is mere feet away from being swamped by the falls and driven to the bottom.
From Puerto Iguazu, we hopped on another bus, this time an 18 hour bus ride, to Buenos Aires. 18 hours sounds miserable but we actually really enjoyed the trip. We paid a little bit extra for the first class seats which lay flat so we were both able to get a full night’s sleep. That combined with a Walking Dead marathon made the trip a breeze.
We arrived in Buenos Aires on a Sunday, when the San Telmo flea market was open, so we spent a few hours shopping the market and eating a cafe to kill time before we could check in to the Airbnb where we will be staying for 2 weeks.
The face of Eva Perron, former first lady and “Spiritual Leader of the Nation of Argentina,” is illustrated on the side of a nearby building. Eva is sort of a Jackie Kennedy of Argentina but even more popular. She died in ’52 but is still loved dearly here.
This nondescript plate of pasta is one of those things that’s so bad it’s remarkable. What was supposed to carbonara turned out to be plain penne pasta with a bit of scrambled egg and ham. Sarah was so disappointed that we ordered carbonara again later that day to make up for it.
I have mixed feelings about structures for the dead. On one hand I see the importance of having a physical place to honor those we’ve lost. On the other hand it feels stuffy and unnatural, and I’d prefer the atoms of my own body to more quickly become parts of grains of sand on a remote beach and tiny bits of snowflakes floating to the ground on Christmas morning rather than to be confined to a dark tomb for so long.
So far we’ve been in Buenos Aires for 5 days and we’ll be here for another 9 days before moving on to the beaches of Uruguay.
Up next: Buenos Aires, Uruguay & Cordoba
Yours in adventure,
Sarah & Denny