Thursday, June 7, 2007

Iguazu Falls, what a sight!

Yesterday we spent the whole day visiting one of the natural wonders of the world. These falls a re a truly breathtaking sight. They are located in a natural reserve and border both Brasil and Argentina. We visited the Brasilian side which is known for having the bigger falls and were amazed by their size and span. Once again, words and pictures cannot truly describe what one sees and feels at thsi awesome display of natural beauty and power. The whole opertion is fantastic on the Brasilian side. The entrance fee is very, very cheap $10 US (in comparison to equally famous sites we have visited such as Machu Picchu) and that includes transportation to and from a very nice visitor´s center and stops at various attractions within the park including whitewater rafting and nature walks. In short, this is in my opinion the best value thus far in terms of natural attractions.
After the falls, we visited a bird park where we had a chance to see an incredible array of fine feathered friends. When Kevin got hungry and decided to have a snack, we found out that birds have a keen sense of smell and that they love apples! We were in the toucan area and all the birds started going loopy for the apple and following Kevin wherever he went. It was pretty crazy and I thought this was cruel to the birds since they couldn´t have any of Kevin´s apple, so I made him throw it away (after he finished eating it of course).
Among the most interesting birds we saw, was a large and colorful distant cousin of an ostrich with a kind of horn-fin on top of its head. According to the information in front of his cage, these birds are very aggressive and they have even been known to kill humans with their strong feet (claws). Yikes!

Day 100!!! Celebrating a milestone with new friends in Brasil.

Today marks our 100th day on the road. Wow, I cannot believe it. We rode over 300 miles from Iguazu to Dourados. When we arrived here, we stopped at a gas station to try to get some information about local hotels. While we were there a young guy stopped and introduced himself. He said that he was a motorcycle enthusiast and he asked us if we had a place to stay, we said no, and immediately he asked/told us that we should stay with him at his house! So we said yes (all this between Spanish and Portuguese). We followed him to his house not really knowing what to expect, and to our delight we found out that we hit the jackpot! Our new friend EDINHO lives in a beautiful house with his parents and his girlfriend. He led us into the open courtyard behind his house and showed us where we could park and wash our bikes. Then he showed us to his room and told us to make ourselves at home. He then proceeded to call some friends and family on the telephone and organized an inpromtu churrasco in our honor. What a guy! What a great night! In no time, Edinho´s home was filled with fun and friendly people and we ate and had some great fun. This was a truly great night in the siprit of what this trip is all about, finding the good people in this world.

PS: When we were returning to Campo Grande and another perfect stranger on a motorcycle flagged us to pull over and insisted we spend the night at his beautiful home! Thanks again Ruhben.