After a couple of days visiting them, from both the Argentine side and the Brazilian side, we were definitely in awe.
From our hostel in Foz de Iguacu, our landlady, Evelina, gave us very clear and detailed directions on how to get to the falls and what to do when you get there – “look to the right, look to the right, look to the right and all along you can see animals, wildlife, the river, the animals, the jungle and the falls – amazing!”. She has been running Pousada Evelina for we guessed over 20 years and had various photos and cards of thanks to prove it! She stated that the hostel was like a home and that she was now like our Mum – inclusive of a few house rules but generally just a concern for her guests to enjoy themselves.
So in addition to seeing the falls, we did our own churriscaria (Brazilian BBQ!), met some other travelers and just relaxed after 6 days on the road! We took a young guy from the UK (Kevin from Lamington Spa) with us to the Brazilian side of the falls and he was glad of some English speaking company after a week camping in Argentina. He was surprised that people didn’t just speak English (with an accent!) in South America so was struggling a little with Portuguese and Spanish. Yet he was in South America experiencing a different world whilst his mates wasted their money on the usual as he explained it.
We also met some newlyweds on a 4 month honeymoon – Tim and Vicki from London (via Buckinghamshire and Liverpool). When I returned our hire car to Curitiba, 8 hours away, they hitched a ride to keep me company, much appreciated at 3 in the morning! Tim is (almost?) famous as the lead singer and writer with The Sneer………..really good tunes and available at iTunes!
The most noticeable thing was that in the state of Parana, everything seemed better than what we saw in the North and East. Certainly wealthier than the Eastern towns we passed through but with no more (or less) charm than them. Little things in the small city of Foz de Iguazu stood out as more modern than places like Rio’s Copacabana – condominiums that were modern and livable, not old and caged, churches that were clean and proudly located in the town centre with lots of trees and gardens. When Tim and Vicki and I turned up in Curitiba to return the hire car we found that Curitiba is maybe the most modern, clean city in Brazil – certainly the most impressive city I saw and by all accounts I have read I saw it as it is – just like a modern city you might find in Australia. A nice part of Brazil to leave from – off to Argentina.