12.07.2008 - 15.07.2008 26 °C
We left Argentina on Saturday and crossed into Brazil. The drive from our campsite to the border crossing was about 15 minutes, and our campsite in Brazil was about the same distance from the border. So, Saturday was a short drive day.
We spent Saturday walking around Foz do Iguaçu, shopping for cook groups and relaxing by the campsite pool. I was recovering from a bout of food poisoning and went to bed early. Chris, however, enjoyed some of the left over free wine from the Estancia and got to bed around 3.30am!
On Sunday we went to the Brazilian side of the Iguaçu falls. It was a very different experience to the Argentinian side. It was a lot more tranquil and panoramic. We got a much better view of the vastness of the falls.
The park wasn´t as big as the Argentinian side (the falls are mainly in Argentina), so we only spent half a day there. After the falls we went to a bird park. The bird park is a private enterprise and is used a lot by scientists to study bird behaviour. It is also an important park for breeding rare and endangered species of birds. There were all sorts of birds: parrots, toucans and parakeets as well as some reptiles. Chris and I went in to an aviary with a lot of large macaws. They dive bombed us and flew very close to us. It was a very bizarre experience. I went on to hold a Macaw, I had no idea how heavy they are, or how sharp their talons are. A Toucan pooed on my foot, is that good luck?
Sunday evening I was feeling much better and found a taste for the Brazilian drink of Caipirinha. Caipirinha is made with cachaça, lime and sugar. Cachaça is made from fermented and distilled sugar cane juice and has an alcohol content of somewhere between 38% - 48% hick, hick...
Monday morning we set off for 2 days driving to get us to Paraty . We bush camped on Monday night. This was our last bush camp on this trip. The roads are in a pretty bad way in Brazil so the going was slow and bumpy. Even around São Paulo, the roads didn´t improve that much. We got into our campsite in Paraty about 1am on Wednesday.
The scenery became more and more tropical and more mountainous as we moved towards the Atlantic and closer to the equator.
Brazil is the largest economy in South America and the 10th largest in the world but it was hard to believe this as we drove past some very poor areas with people living in makeshift tents and small houses. I was surprised to see such poverty, as we had seen very little in Argentina. I guess the reason is there is a much bigger disparity between the classes here in Brazil.