three countries corner argentina brazil paraguay

All sound but no picture..

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As the title suggests Im afraid the next couple of posts will be all sound but no picture. As I was packing the last of my stuff for my trip to Iguazu my macbook decided to pack up without warning and just flash a little folder icon at me. Charming! First laptop ever to completely die on me and its a macbook. Looking at the design its not hard to see why, lovely to look at but poorly thought out, very little air circulation for the hard drive, hence its expiry after 2 years of not much use at all. Still, it looks nice.
Half an hour of shouting at it and calling it nasty names didnt really help the issue, just rapidly reaching the conclusion it was ‘donald ducked’.
So no net access for the next couple of days, no photo editing and processing and one of the backup streams gone. Now just relying on the original cards and an external hard drive.
So up ridiculously early the next morning for the 830am flight to Iguazu. Taxi had already been booked and he even turned up early so a good start to the day. I have to admit dozing off in the taxi on the way to the airport because thats ok, the taxi driver did too. I only noticed when my head hit the roof of the cab as we hit a speedbump doing about 70. One of the ten commandments says that you should not take the name of the Lord in vain. Well I wasnt really using his name in vain, just calling for help really loudly.
Every intersection the taxi driver would fall asleep and this is the point where you really should get out and just call it a day. Of course,no, just sit on and pray.
So we got to the airport and I felt like doing the whole get out and kiss the ground type thing.
Now Id booked my flight with LAN airlines, primarily because every travel forum you go on tells you not to book with Aerolinas Argentinas because they have a nasty habit of saying ‘nahh we dont fancy it today’. Sure enough they dont appear to do mornings as a lot of the flights were delayed or cancelled. What was worrying was that my already delayed flight wasnt showing a gate number on the tv displays. Having no water and it now being only 20 mins before the supposed departure time I went through security anyway and sat next to a gate. Departure time came and went with the display still showing ‘on time’. Yes indeed it may be on time but which time? Eventually word spread that the flight was delayed by another 3 hours. The reason given was ´non-arrival of aircraft’ or in other words ‘we couldnt be arsed’.
Now you can approach this issue one of two ways, you can go up to the LAN desk and let the whole airport know you are pissed off and just annoy the staff, or you can go up and ask if they are laying on free coffee and sandwiches. So as I tucked into my coffee and sandwiches I noticed one group of north american tourists shouting a lot and telling everyone who would and wouldnt listen that they were annoyed.
So sure enough at 1130 when they had solved their technical difficulties or ´filled the plane´ as it now became apparent we took off.
About 20 mins out of Iguazu I just happened to look out of the window and noticed that all you could see in any direction was rainforest, no sign of human habitation at all. It was a stunning sight. Only as you approached Iguazu did the trees become more in lines and the odd road etc.
10 mins out we commenced our bombing run, sorry meant to say final approach but the angle the airbus turned at it did appear that this would be somewhat final. As we bounced down the runway maybe someone had just bombed it before we arrived. Ive never been one for clapping as an aircraft finally comes to a stop but I have to say the clapping noises were preferable to the screaming heard only minutes before.

Brazilian rainforest near Iguazu

Iguazu airport really is just a clearing in the jungle. I hadnt seen things this green since I left Ireland which is a bit of a lie because when I left Ireland, it was all white.
One of the best bits about travel forums is that you pick up loads of little bits of useful information, like book a seat at the left hand window to see the falls as you come in, dont book a hotel taxi as theres a bus at the airport that will take you to your hotel for 20 pesos, dont go anywhere near the hotel you booked etc etc. Oops I read the last one too late. Still seemed nice enough. Well lets put it like this, it had hot showers, soft bed and seats that wouldnt make an imprint on my arse after 5 minutes.
So after a nice long shower I put the tv on to see what was happening with the world, the tv turned on to last years Tandragee road races. You just cant escape.
The hotel was deserted, the town was deserted, the point where three countries meet (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay) was deserted. It took a while to work out that everyone and their dogs must be at the Falls.
Three countries corner

Good job too, walking through town, sweat pouring out of me, dark grey shorts looking like Id pissed myself , trying to look everyone I passed in the eye saying ‘Hola’ just wasnt working. I grabbed some bottles of water and some apples in the supermarket and retired to my air conditioned room.
Time to lie down, watch some american movies and just chill out, quite literally. Tomorrow will be a long day.
To see the photos from the Argentina Trip, click here

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