Friday, April 24, 2009

how i learnt to trust south america and love a bus driver

I have to start this blog entry by recounting todays little adventure at the brazil-argentina border...
we left brazil yesterday on a 14 hour bus to come to the iguazu falls, a national park with 420 waterfalls. after getting off the overnight bus (slept a dream after necking back a few Piriton) we got on a local bus to cross the border and disembarked at the brazilian side. once i got to the the booth to get my passport stamped i realised i had left my shoulder bag with passport, wallet, cards, ipod, camera, EVERYTHING on the bus. at that stage racing off after it as it sped to argentina was pointless and i couldn't even follow in a taxi becaause a) the border is in the middle of nowhere and there were no taxis and b) because i didn't have a passport i wouldn't have been let me into the country. so, after 30 minute of freaking out with the brazilian police, border control and some poor chap who was doing surveys for the brazilian toursit board (the only person who spoke english acting as my interpreter), my only option was to wait at the side of the road for the bus to come back.... after it had gone into the border town in argentina and picked up another load of people who were crossing to brazil.
at this point i should probably remind everyone that south america is not known as the safest place in the world....
when the bus arrived back 40 minutes later there was no option for it but to stop, given i stood out in front of it flagging it down like a madwoman. when the driver pulled my bag out of a compartment above his head with my passport and all of my belongings intact i practically floored the man. i do remember telling him i loved him and may have proposed... it`s all a bit of a blur really. the fact that i am the jammiest girl alive right now was confirmed by all the people at the border who couldn`t believe that i got it back, "in this country, it`s a miracle"someone said to me. i haven`t stopped smiling since it happened. the prospect of a 2 day bus journey to sao paulo to the irish embassy to get an emergency replacement and everything else i would have had to have gone through (and put mary through) was so horrible... but it's all good man... it's all good. another reason to love brazil and one very good one to start to love argentina.

besides being the stupiest and luckiest girl alive today, myself and young healy have been knocking around florianopolis since my last entry. with mary not feeling well for about 5 days and the weather staying really good we decided to linger on there and maximise on our beach time. we moved hostel to a much more lively place for 3 nights and as soon as we did that the weather took a turn for the worse. the last few days in floripa were rain-sodden which doesn't leave much for a body to do when a place is all about the beach. we did however manage to have a couple of savage nights out. with mary back in full health we spent a few nights in a club called De Raiz in front of a massive sand dune fomarmation hanging out with the local brazilians, dancing to live samba and folk music and drinking (very strong) caiprinhas. the atmosphere in this place was amazing... sexy locals who were amazing dancers, the place was like a converted barn and was heaving with people... mary and i kept feeling like vinny jones was going to crash through the window because it was just like being in a bacardi ad! fun times, persian massages, samba lessons, 7 people packed into a vintage beatle, it had it all. another fun night out involved drinking champagne all night in a dance club and having a lock-in and mixing drinks behind the bar with the owner. ah, floripa, we will miss you.

it was sad to say tchau tchau to brazil but i've a good feeling about this argentina place (and not just because of getting my bag back today). there's something inside me that knows i'm going to love this place. off to see some waterfalls tomorrow. will leave passport behind.

hasta promixa,

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