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Iguazu Falls, Brazill… 24th June.

June 23, 2014

We finally departed Montevideo last Monday. Three weeks after leaving home. It has eaten into our time away which necessitates cutting back on our ambitions somewhat. 

Before leaving there was the matter of filling up the gas bottles, a challenge as the Sth African fittings are very different than here. But no problems, the gas man took the cylinder and headed off. Thirty minutes later he was back with it filled. As we were leaving he gave us a Uruguayan flag to fly out the window. Supporting the local team and all that.

We followed the coast north spending the first night in a secluded spot metres from the sea and with a 180 degree view of house and street liights reflected in the water. Then on up to a idylllic fishing village of Punta del Diablo, I should say it was that way before an onslaught of subdivisions and holiday homes sprouting mushroom-like from the sand. Nearing the Brazillian border we swung a left and headed on to Tucaruembo across flat marshy land, ideal for rice growing and a fantastic habitat for birdlife. At one point a hide had been built for easy viewing. The birdlife here is very diffferent.

Tacuarembo is the centre of ‘gaucho country’ and it was great to see them still using horses to muster cattle arrayed in their berets, not the horses or cattle that is. That night for the second time we stayed at the Municipal camping ground. In Uruguay, from what we can make out, they don’t charge tourists for staying. And yet they provide firewood, hot showers and all the amenities, sometimes less salubrious than at other times, but very much appreciated. The people that we have met so far have been just so welcoming and helpful. An example was at the said camping ground at Tacuarembo. A bloke was driving by, saw us, gave a big wave out and ten miinutes later he was back shook ouur hands and gave us a good map of the country, a CD of some local singer, and insisted we vsit his horse stud. There was a little kiosk across the road, we couldn’t make out what they were selling so I wandered over. Tortas, here have one!

We crossed iinto Brazil at Rivera. A strange town with the actual border running down the middle of the main street. In that part of Brazil bush camping spots are hard to find and there are no camp sites. The big service stations usually have a large parking area for trucks and don’t mind people camping the night. The facilities we have come upon so far are very clean and many have hot showers as well. Even finding a spot for morning tea break becomes a hassle. These servos also have very good buffet lunches where you can eat all you want for $7AU. Beats cooking.

A right hand drive vehicle is the cause of much consternation, surprise and amusement. Especially amongst the younger men. Our second night in Brazil we were having a devil of a time to find a place to camp the night.. Then we came upon a truck stop and Restaurant and Bar Berti. The owner insisted we back the bakkie under the shelter near the front door, there were clean ablution blocks and hot showers and in the morning a good ten minutes was taken up before we left getting photos taken of the bakkie, us, but mainly the right hand drive steering wheel. The coffee they served was the next morning was truckies’coffee: strong, black and sweet. They found it difficult to comprehend a little milk wouldn’t go astray.

And so to Iguazu Falls. Amazing and well worth the visit. We will take in the Argentinian side tomorrow. But how does it compare with the people we have met and what we have experienced on the road so far? Not sure on that.

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