Hell Week plus Iguazu Part I

I know, I am finally posting about Iguazu! Aren’t you all excited?? If you want to skip the rant, just scroll down to the small break and start reading there.

This week is going to be a total sh*t-fest in terms of the things I have to do, so I’m getting a blog entry done before I throw myself into a series of sleepless nights and delirium.

What do I have to do, you ask? What could possibly make me dread this week more than any yet in Buenos Aires?

Well, for one thing, my parents get here on Tuesday! Which is not a reason to dread this week but is a reason why I won’t want to be working, which is bad because my largest paper of the semester is due for my hardest class on Thursday. I’ve been working on this paper for over a week and a half now, but almost none of the work I’ve done can be used because I have had three topics rejected before finally finding one that I could fudge into existence. Even so, it will be a challenge to write 10 pages 1.5-spaced on this topic– comparing Obama’s 2010 executive order clarifying parts of the separation between church and state and Chavez’s request to reexamine a Venezuelan agreement with the Catholic Church. It will be even more difficult to pull together a 15 minute presentation on the topic, after which my 6 professors and class of peers will pick apart my arguments. Whoo!

Still, it sounds pretty doable. Or it would be if I didn’t also have a presentation for my Spanish class on Wednesday and yet another trip to migraciones for Thursday before class when this monster paper is due. Yes, that’s right– a third trip to try to get my residency. After they messed up the first time (by spelling my name wrong) they told me to come back in 15 days… and after I went back last Thursday, day 13, they told me that it still wasn’t ready and that I would have to come back in another 7 days. Meanwhile, the paper they gave me saying they messed up expired yesterday, so I just think I’m illegally in the country until I get this sorted out? And I can’t even wait until Friday to deal with this mess because the fam and I are leaving for Mendoza on Friday morning! Which will be fun, if I can survive the week.

But okay, I’m ending my rant. Mostly because my friend Jeff just showed me this video from The Daily Show and I can’t stop laughing.


Anyway, I believe I owe you all an Iguazu story time? Let’s do this in chewable chunks– I’ll start with the bus ride there. How does that sound?

All in all, the bus ride to Iguazu is around 20 hours. There are three levels of buses you can take on long trips– the basic difference is the level of comfort– and we opted spending the extra pesos for a bus with cama con servicio, or bed and food service. Because the trip is so long you need to sleep for part of it, so having a bed was a good choice!

My deathly, terrible parcial (midterm) ended at 19.00 on Thursday and our bus left a couple of hours after that, but I was so dead from my exam that I didn’t take any pictures of the first leg of the trip. We were only awake for a few hours and they were essentially filled with dinner, a B-rated movie, and general post-stress shenanigans. We fell asleep early and slept well.

Most people forgot to close their window shades before going to sleep, so my friend Maya and I ended up waking up at 6.00 AM with the sunrise. I was so glad we did, because we woke up to the most spectacular views. Seriously. We were driving through oneof the flattest, greenest, most beautiful areas I have ever seen. It was absolutely nothing like the city. I suppose by the time we went to sleep the night before we had left the city outskirts, but because it was dark I hadn’t realized it. Waking up to these vistas was definitely something else.

Here is an example of what I experienced. Imagine spending a few months surrounded by this:

and  this:

(sorry for how crooked this is, I just held my camera above the crowd and shot)

and waking up to something like this:

Shooting out the window was a bit difficult from a moving bus with the low light at dawn, but as the sun came up the lighting improved and the scenery was so exquisite that I just kept shooting. There are a bunch of blurry photos, and a bunch of shots ruined by roadside trees, but how could you not want to try to capture something so beautiful?

After a while of looking at the scenery, we all went back to sleep and woke up for breakfast at 8.00 am with a lot more bus ride before us. During the ride watched some truly horrendous movies and got pretty stir-crazy. For the last few hours of the ride we were the only ones on the bus, minus an old lady that sat way up front, which meant that we could wander freely without worrying about bothering all the other passengers. We finally made it to the bus terminal in Iguazu sometime in the afternoon. Our hostel was only a few blocks away, so we lugged our bags over there and got settled before tackling what was left of the day.

Isn't it adorable??

After lunch at a nearby parilla called Lo de Juan, we ventured to the Punto de Tres Hitos, where Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay all meet. The photos for that will come next time. Until that, stay tuned! And wish me luck for this coming week!


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