Wot no carnival!!
Well here I am in sunny (well it is now) Rio. The second leg of my journey is all but over and the final stretch is about to begin.
The journey from Ushuia to Buenos Aires was relatively uneventful scenery wise in that the west coast side of Argentina is unbelievably flat and lacking in anything of note. There was some excitement, however, when a drive shaft bearing thingy on the truck went. I think it went west and we didnīt, this resulted in our being stranded in a most interesting place called Tres Cerros (a beer to the first person who can find it on a map!).
Tres Cerros means three mountains in spanish. I can only tell you that the three mountains had been reduced to practically nothing minllenia ago. With no scenery to look at, no mountains to climb and no rivers to cross we had absolutely nothing to do except drink beer.
The problem was resolved once the local police stopped a car and got Nico (our co-leader) a lift to some town where they managed to get a bearing for the truck. Well, not for our truck but one similar enough that it could be used providing a custom mounting bracket could be made. Using up to date technology (the phone) Nick (our trip leader) managed to describe to Nico what was needed and gave him the relevant dimensions. The bracket was made via remote control and despite power cuts arrived with Nico the following evening.
Nick proceeded to make some fine adjustments (belting it with a hammer) to the bracket which was duly installed and we were off for a night drive to Peurto Madryn for our whale watching excursion. As the scenery was still boring the fact we were driving through the night didnīt cause us to miss very much. The whale watching was successful and we watched whales. Quite what they were doing Iīm not sure but whatever it was we watched them do it!
After watching whales we carried on Northwards towards Beunos Aires where we spent a couple of really chilled out days revelling in the fact that the temperature was now in the 20s.
The only thing of note that happened in Beunos Aires was the Tango show. Well, the show. There was no tango and the compere was a 6ft 4in transvestite! Although a lot was lost in translation (we didnīt understand a word) it was hilarious. People were dragged up and made to do all sorts of interesting things (well the blokes were). I managed to keep my head down and not get noticed (result!!).
From Beunos Aires we travelled to the Iguazu falls which are reputed to be the widest in the world (there are 275 falls in all). We got to the falls and it was absolutely chucking it down. In fact, Iīm not sure I have ever been so wet. We took a speedboat trip up the white water and got really close to the falls. I suppose it was good that it was raining as I didnīt notice how wet I got under the falls.
The following day saw us cross into Brazil and visit the falls from the Brazilian side. And a lovely day it was too. In the 30s with the sun shining. The following day was even better and so I decided to go back into Argentina and visit the falls again. They were still there but looked even more spectacular.
From Foz I abandoned truck and rather than swan around on a beach and take a boat trip I took a 24 hour bus ride to arrive in Rio a couple of days early and so get more time in this most amazing of places. We arrivcd on a beautiful sunny day with the temperature being around 36 degrees. The next day was a little overcast and drizzly, the one after that it chucked it down. Now Iīm getting ready to leave its brightening up.
Anyone see a theme here. When we arrived in Machu Pichu it was raining, I couldnīt climb the volcano in Pucon īcos it was raining, skiers couldnīt ski in Ushuia īcos it rained, got to Iguazu and it was raining, went to see Rio from Sugar Loaf mountain and it was raining. Anyway, despite all this I bought some shorts to cope with the heat and humidity so its pretty much guaranteed to piss it down when we get to Angel falls!
Donīt know when Iīll be able to send another update as finding Internet access has been quite difficult (At the moment Iīm writing this in a photocoping shop!) but will do so and as when Iīm sure you are all waiting with bated breath.
Thinking of you always (NOT!)
Matt somewhere in South America !!!
Telephone: switched off