Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Brazil to Argentina, how hard can it be??
Ok, having the hangover from hell did not help, but we did not anticipate how hard it would be to get from Iguaçu in Brazil to Salta in Argentina. It would in fact take 3 buses and 2 days and a lot of confusion. The problems started on arriving in Paraguay in the evening. Who inconveniently placed this appauling country here I don´t know, but someone should have a word? No one spoke English and they all pretended not to understand our Spanish. In fact everyone was in total denial that our next connection existed. Exhausted we decided to check in to a cheap hotel, regroup, and try again in the morning. I went to the cash machine to take out 10 pounds of local currency, which would have more than sufficed for a night in the hotel and some food in the morning. Whether it was the hangover, the lack of sleep, or the fact the ATM conveniently knocked 3 zeros off the end I don´t know, but I found myelf standing there with approximately 150 pounds worth or local currency, some 150,000 in notes. Erroneous. Many expletives later we checked in to the "Royal hotel", expecting, as you would from the name, for some serious luxury. Instead we encountered some kind of concrete prison, with a stone slab for a bed, missing windows, showers that looked like they´d electrocute you given half a chance, and bedsheets originating circa 1900. Thank God for sleeping bags and ear plugs. The next day, by random fluke, we encountered the one friendly Paraguayan in the country who spoke English and furnished ourselves with a bus ticket to Resistencia, Argentina, which contrary to popular opinion, did in fact exist. Unfortunately we were held up so long at the border we arrived at the bus station 7 minutes before our connection to Salta was due to leave. Vicci hauled ass to the ticket office and I rescued the bags. Luckily Argentina is as relaxed as every other South American country and the onward bus was in no danger of leaving anytime soon. We settled down at the front of the bus, thankful our ordeal was over. Until we were hauled off the bus because the incompetent tart at the ticket office had sold us a ticket not for today, but 6 days in the future. We finally got sorted and the bus pulled away with us on it, along with quite a few angry passengers who weren´t loving the fact the bus had been held up to sort out our little problem. Thankfully it soon became dark and the baying masses fell slowly asleep, leaving us to reach Salta in the morning with no further incident!