Odin & Tiara’s comedy of misadventures – Part 1


I wake up slightly drunk from the night before and walk into the Hostel Natura reception area at Foz do Iguacu. I see Odin sitting at the one and only computer, his face furrowed in deep concentration, and there was something else strange about this scene that I couldn’t quite put my finger on…

Odin, without turning from the computer monitor – ‘ We’ve missed the bus. Everyone’s gone. They’ve left us.’

Head implodes… FUCK!

And I had left my passport in the safe-keeping of some girlfriends with the assumption that we were all going to be on the same bus!

Odin – ‘I have your passport’

Breathes sigh of optimism

Thanks to a capriniah too many (lethal Brazilian cocktail), I’d missed the Tucan tour bus that had left 3 hours earlier that morning with ALL OF MY LUGGAGE!

Thankfully, I still had my handbag and daypack (money & notebook), Passport, and the clothes I had on my back.

And Odin. At least I had Odin with me, the other drunk idiot that had missed the bus. (by ten minutes)

T, feeling stupid and irresponsible with a hangover that’s pounding in ears and left eye, shakes head in disbelief – ‘Of all the fuckwits to be left behind, it had to be us.’

Just another day in Paraguay, Argentina, or Brazil?


The borders of Paraguay is as little as a 15 minute drive away from Foz do Iguacu in Brazil. This meant a 4 hour shopping expedition to this tax-free haven (to purchase cheap Dior makeup, a new ipod nano, and some hot Brazilian made heels) was as convenient as a quick bus ride in an out of Paraguay!!

15 minutes in another direction is Argentina, providing Foz do Iguacu with quite unique recreational options.

On a spontaneous night out, Odin, (Australian), Orla (a lovely Irish lass) and myself find ourselves drunk at 2.30am, in the car of our very own Cheech & Chong-like, friendly, local Brazilian bartender, Rodrigo, as he drives us towards the border of Argentina.

Rodrigo, smoking weed and speaking English in a heavy Brazilian accent – ‘You guys have your passports? The best clubs are in Argentina ‘

T, surprised at the option of crossing countries for a night out – ‘No, we don’t have our passports..’

Rodrigo, swings the car around – ‘Ok then, well I know of this great party that’s in Paraguay tonight and you won’t need your passports‘

Odin, smashed – ‘Sounds great man, let’s do it!’ continues to discuss the beauty of Brazilian ladies descriptively to Rodrigo.

Rodrigo, as we’re just about to reach the border to Paraguay – ‘Only thing is, the police in Paraguay are corrupt and because you are foreigner’s . . . ‘ trails off.

T, warning bells – ‘Hmm, I don’t really want to spend money on paying off cops, why don’t we just go out in Brazil?’

Orla, sobering up, gives me a serious ‘how the feck did we get here’ look – ‘Yeah, let’s not mess with corrupt police in another country without our passports hey’.

Rodrigo, swings car around again – ‘Ok, then lets just go out in Brazil. Tonight is country music night. BRAZILIAN country music!’

This was the beginning of what can only be described as a comedy of errors, misfortune and misadventures featuring Odin and myself.

A day at the Acquamania Water Park – Foz do Iguacu


Having spent one day too many at Foz do Iguacu in the searing heat, when it came to a decision between the Bird Park and the Acquamania Water Park, I chose… water park!

And what do you see at a Brazilian water park? A whole lot of boobies! Perfectly rounded silicone oranges so perky that they could have doubled as a chin rest. And on all age groups including teens and grandma’s. Not that I was paying close attention..

The water park made for an ultra fun day where we were able to forget the tragedies of camping in leaking tents and drinking out of boredom, and instead enjoy the cheap thrill of screaming down a water slide on a sun-kissed arse.

A super fun day! 🙂

Iguazu falls – Argentinian and Brazilian sides.


Saying farewell to Buenos Aires, it was time to rejoin the Tucan tour group moving onto the Iguazu falls.

Iguazu (meaning Big Water) Falls consists of 275 waterfalls along the Iguazu river that connects Argentina and Brazil.

On the Argentinian side you are able to walk over the falls along walkways that provide up-close views of these thunderous curtains of water, and as I watched this flowing mixture of river browns and misty whites I knew I had the answer – This is where dulce de leche (caramel) comes from!

Ok, maybe not. But the colour and texture of the falls did look incredibly similar to perhaps what a caramel version of the waterfall in Charlie and the chocolate factory would be. And Argentina is the home of Dulce de leche..

The Brazilian side of the falls provide spectacular panoramic views that offer the full scope of how mammoth and powerfully raw these falls are. Up to 82 metres in height and 3kms in length of magnificent and majestic pounding water, with the novelty of beautiful rainbows and heavily sprayed mist that will have you drenched and exhilarated.

As with Jiuzhaigou national park and the panda’s in China, I felt a moment of privilege and gratitude to have been able to stand there with this awesome wonder of nature.

It made me so happy that if I had found a puddle of mud I would have rolled in it.

Personal highlights of Buenos Aires

Serrano st


Samba school
I was very proud to have learnt to samba! Well enough to at least join in with the slow, old and retired samba dancing crowd of Brasil.

The FOOD
If only the ashram in India could see just how unsuccessful they were in flushing out the meat and dairy eater in me..tsk tsk. The rumours around the world are true – the steak in Buenos Aires is simply irresistible to any carnivore.

Tango
Only in Buenos Aires will you see a young couple in love slowly and ever so tenderly start dancing the tango while waiting for the bus at the bus stop. It was so sweet and adorible that it actually induced feelings of nausea in me … show ponies..

The Nightlife
Between the food and the nightlife, I would have surely died a blissfully high and heavily cholesteroled death in Buenos Aires. Much respect to the talented DJs at Club Bahrain, especially for it’s Drum & Bass Tuesdays, and its dual electro and reggaeton saturday nights which satisfied both the needs of K and myself. (I can’t stand reggaeton, K can’t stand electro)

And most importantly, the People (Che!)
I’ve never met a friendlier bunch of people who were willing to share their thoughts, opinions, customs, country and their homes. Whether it was standing in line at a bar, waiting at the bus stop, finding like-minded music lovers at a club, or attending a pool competition and being welcomed into the pool circuit crowd. These people are coool!

Vic, my dear Argentine friend who took K and I on his infamous ‘undercover pub crawl’ once said ‘The air in Buenos Aires is so thick and humid you have to swim through it’, true in so many ways. There is a graceful movement to Buenos Aires, a current of heat and pleasurable indulgence that’s hard to resist and much easier and more enjoyable to just ‘float along’ with.

‘Buenos Aires is the gem of South America’ a statement made from several foreign and local acquaintances.

‘The gem’, .. perhaps. ‘A gem’, definitely! 🙂

The joys of living with K in Buenos Aires

During our stay in Buenos Aires, K and I went through the amazing Super Panchos, hot dogs at 4am in the mornings phase, followed by the ultra fatty ‘I’d give up an Argentinian bbq for this!’ deliciously cheesy pizza phase, before finally mastering the nachos phase becoming excellent Best Nachos in town critics. In addition to K, I was eating an average of 500 grams of yummy Bife de Chorizo a day. Life was good.

One lazy afternoon while enjoying watching cable TV in our apartment on Serrano St, K excuses himself to go to the bathroom and did not return for a whole Big Bang Theory episode. (45 minutes)

K eventually emerges from the bathroom.

T – ‘What happened to you?’

K, exhausted and sweaty – ‘The toilet wouldn’t flush! And I can’t fix it, so I’ve been using the garbage bin in the bathroom to throw water down the toilet for the last half hour… the shit just wouldn’t go away! It was hard work man, I felt like I was back in the village or something.’

T – *rolls on floor laughing*

Considering how much K hates the use of ‘effort’ in any way, it came as no surprise when for the next couple of days until the toilet was fixed, whenever a bathroom run was needed, K would rather take a walk to the cafe across the road, or plan a day near the Buenos Aires Hard Rock Cafe where ‘the toilets were so amazing I didn’t want to leave!’

A Big Bang Theory quote that reminds me dearly of K – “If outside is so great, why has Man spent CENTURIES perfecting INSIDE?”

Ha!

I can samba baby…SAMBA! – Samba 4


By the 5th lesson it was all coming together. Feet, hips, arms. There were even moments when I thought not only was dancing the samba heaps of fun, but that it was actually starting to look good!

T, referring to the music – ‘So is this the type of music they play at carnival in Rio?’

Belu and Matias, another dance instructor at Bailer, laugh at me, then positioned themselves to do a demonstration… An amazing demonstration with leg action faster than I could count!

The music for carnival was about a hundred times faster than the songs I had been practicing to.

T, lets out a long – ‘… shiiiiiiiiiit!’

Martias, laughs – ‘I felt that come straight from your heart! Yes, for every 1 2 3 that you do, Belu just did 4 or 5.’

Belu – ‘And the girls in Rio do it in high heels! That’s why when you see them dance they have big muscles in their legs, and big butts.’

With this confirmation that I was far from being Rio samba ready, I booked another week of private samba classes.

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