Check'em out!... Revisalas :)

We put new pictures in the Salvador, Brazil doozie! Check'em out, they're great!

Pusimos fotos nuevas en la entrada para Salvador, Brazil! Revisalas, son geniales!
If you want to translate this blog from english to whatever language go to
and you can easily translate this page. I mean, it´s not perfect, but it´s pretty good!

Si deseas traducir nuestro blog de inglés a cualquier lenguaje, vaya no mas a y puedes facilmente traducir la pagina de web. No es perfecto pero es muy bueno!


Mountain of shrimp anyone? Florianpolis, Brazil

Hostal Lagoa 5 minutes from the Lagoa de Concepcao bus platform.

Floripa (as it's commonly referred as), a small island about 20 hours south of Rio de Janeiro, is the quaint vacation destination of southern Brazil. We decided to stop off here because there are about 40 bus hours between Rio and Montevideo, Uruguay. After our recent marathons, we shouldn't be phased... but honestly, I'd rather sleep on a bed of nails than spend that much time on a bus again. We decided to stop off at the ever so talked about Floripa.

It was really just a quick 2 day leg stretch, but very peaceful and stomach-filling.

After a little aimless wandering (with our heavier than ever backpacks) we found our hostal and an all you can eat buffet. Perfect! Soon our backs and bellies were very happy.

We've learned during our travels that we are "Extreme Girls." Not meaning that we do extreme things (remember my surprise when Lori suggested a horse back riding tour), but better said: we do things in extremes. Allow me to explain. We panic when we realize we haven't eaten fruit in a few days and wolf down a pound of grapes each. Bad idea. We don't have a lot of money so we don't eat for 12 hours stretches of time. Hungry, bad idea. We find a good party scene so we do it up for 2 weeks straight. Sleepy, bad idea. We cook enough food for 5 people, we're only 2. Full, bad idea. We decide not to shower for 4 days. Smelly, bad idea. Things like this.

At the moment we were at extreme levels of weight in our backpacks and extreme levels of hunger (nearing the point when our personalities change.) After the all you can eat buffet, we were at the other extreme, extremely full to the point of possible sudden explosion. We unbuttoned our extremely tight pants and went for a not so extreme walk.

Floripa was quaint island with a lake, Lagoa de Concepcao, around the corner and other various rinky dink places. It was quiet. We had missed the Easter Weekend crowds by only a few days.

The next day we checked out the quiet, waveless beach on the otherside of the island, Barra de Lagoa. Continuing our extreme streak, we ordered Sequencia de Camarao (The Shrimp Sequence, whatever that is...) at a beachfront restaurant. Our waiter explained "Oh yeah! It's enough food for 2 people, don't worry!" So we splurged. To our surprise, not just two plates of shrimp appeared on our table, but 5 heaping plates of full bodied shrimp - heads, legs and all.

We beheaded, delegged and gobbled down as much greasy shrimp as we could handle... but really, they weren't all that good and all their eyeball corpses were just staring at us. We had to call it quits after an extreme shrimp eating frenzy. I still can't think about shrimp in the same way.

From there, on account of our extreme fullness, we made the extreme decision to walk back to our hostal from the beach. Once again, we unbuttoned our pants, said a prayer (being that the hike was slightly highway-like) and trudged 1 hour back to our hostal, cursing those greasy, leggy, eyebally shrimp the whole way.

The last noteworthy event, which wasn't really all that noteworthy, was our trip to the bus station. Ready to leave our hostal to check out bus times for the next day, I take one small step outside and note it's raining. Ñ¿*%Ç!!! Our raincoats are rolled up in the bottom of our bags which are crammed under our beds which is a pain in the butt to get to... blah blah blah. We turn around. Mission: Raincoat Retrevial.

Now, I don't want to seem ungrateful for a gift from my mom, but my raincoat is bright yellow (it's meant for biking or highway construction maybe?) and I feel ridiculous wearing it (hence the backpack location.) I'm hemming and hawwing to anyone who'll listen about my stinking raincoat. "I look so ridiculous! Why do they make them in such silly colors? I look like a duck, don't I look like a duck? Why don't they make them more normal looking? I look ridiculous. Seriously, do I look ridiculous?" This and that. Finally, we're all suited up and ready to weather the storm, which by now must be torrential considering all the time it took me to complain and joke and unbury the jacket. I step outside, with only my eyes exposed to Mothernature and... the sprinkler in the front lawn. What a knucklehead.

We brave the 20 sprinkler drops with our rubber lined bodies and then tumble over with laughter for the next hour about my idiotic confusion.

I think it's about time we get out of Brazil :)


Rio 'Did I Miss Something?' Janiero

Overnativa Green Hostal Rua Bento Lisboa 83A, near the Catete Subway Stop, (stay there!)

We did miss something, Carnival. That's when all the magic happens in Rio de Janiero; streets filled with loud music, girls in small costumes with big feathers shaking their perfect bods to samba, parties that go day and night, drinking, dancing... high prices, more robberies, violence...etc. Okay, so we didn't mind missing Carnival. Salvador was just about all the partying we could handle, but we were still expecting something special from Rio... and when we got there, it was just a normal city. There did seem to be a higher number of gyms and in consequence, a higher number of muscular bods, but no, not all Brazilians are tan, fit and beautiful. The beaches were spectacular with crystal clear water... We of course caught a rainy afternoon when we checked out Copacabana, thinking, at least we have finally reached the place that inspired Barry Manilow to write the famous song, Copacabana!!

'At the Copa (CO!), Copacabana (Copacabana)
The hottest spot north of Havana (here)
At the Copa (CO!), Copacabana
Music and passion were always the fashion
At the Copa....they fell in love'.

We later realized while analyzing the lyrics more closely that we weren't north of Havana and Lola the showgirl actually lives in New York.

Rio does have some notable sites; Sugarloaf Mountain, an oddly shaped peak that you can reach by cablecar for a view of the whole city and the 30 meter statue of Christo, one of the 7 wonders of the world. We spent a laughter filled day visiting the Cristo with two, should be professional British comedians, Rob and Adrian. While at the top, clouds rolled in and out giving us a peak of the amazing panoramic view of Rio including the favelas (slums) in the distance.

The favelas that surround Rio are known for being some of the most dangerous slums in the world. Check out the extremely powerful movie, City of God for a shocking and horrifying view of the favelas... the Brazilians we met said that the movie is not an exaggeration.

We then pondered what is so wonderous about this 'Wonder of the World'... We were able to think up a list of more wonderous things in the world. So we decided that it had to be political... a need for more tourism in Rio when carnival isn't happening... maybe a pull from the Catholic church? Hmmm, for now it remains a mystery.

While in Rio our quest to hear, understand and dance to all kinds of Brazilian music continued. One night we went to Bip Bip, a hole in the wall with live music, supposedly where many Brazilian stars started their careers. We found ourselves amongst a serious crowd of old men who told us not to talk and not even to clap. ooook.

We also spent an evening dancing forro at a big club with a 1970s feel. We watched girls in cute dresses float and twirl across the dance floor, led by handsome partners... seriously, did we go back in time? We too gave forro a try, but there was less floating and more embarrassed laughter.

Of course there was more samba and we watched, still amazed as girls and guys alike shook it all night long. We then decided that we just can't possibly learn every South American dance.

After a couple of days we made the good decision to change hostals in order to avoid being moved into the 15 bed, mixed dorm, with a group of guys that our British friends referred to as, the prisoners. We ended up in a small, quaint hostal run by Dida, one of the kindest Brazilians we'd met. Actually everyone we met at the hostal turned out to be cool.

We celebrated Easter by going to one of the most interesting Catholic masses that I've ever attended. There was minimal talking during this mass. Basically everything was sung.

We stayed in Rio a day longer than planned, just so I could buy a nut agogo... an instrument usually made with two metal bells, but mine is all natural. The extra day turned out to be worth it, not only so I could take home another strange instrument, but also because we found a big crafts market, the most interesting and creative one that we had ever seen. Brazilians really know how to recycle. They turned what might be trash to most people into some really cool wall decorations, purses, shirts, etc.

We drank one last acai (strange fruit, drink, meal... supposedly very healthy) and chose our next destination Florianopolis, 20 hours South by bus. That would be our last stop before cruising straight on to Uruguay.


Get ready... it´s a long one! Salvador, Brazil

Albergue Brasil Hostal Rua Recife and Rua Florinapolis in Barra, Salvador
30 reais a night, great staff and good breakfast

A friend we met while traveling told us he liked Salvador during Carnaval, but afterwards he had a hard time finding music... where ever we were in Salvador, he mustn't have been. We spent 8 unforgettable, music-filled, food-filled days in this huge coastal city. One of my personal favorite cities that we've visited so far. Unforgettable for so many reasons. It was our first real Brazilian experience with so many differences from other places we visited.

We literally got off our airport shuttle bus in the middle of a huge concert crowd. With our huge backpacks and bags we battled our way out of the crowd and hunted for our hostal. It was an abrupt welcome to Salvador but was softened when we asked around for our Hostal's street and some guy went out of his way to bring us to it's doorstep. Expecting nothing in return, he patted us on our backs, wished us luck and was on his way.

When we arrived we immediately met Edison, a Brazilian from Porto Alegre (a city farther south.) We humorously battled with the language barrier trying to communicate with our first Brazilian friend throughout our entire stay in Salvador. Later that night, we returned to the concert, back pack free and hungry.

In our quest to fill our stomachs we passed a million shish kebab stands and finally Lori spotted a different food stand. Little did we know we had stumbled across acaraje, Salvador´s famous local food. We ordered two of whatever concoction the lady had in each pot and watched as she slapped mushy something, a different mushy something, shrimp and a spicy sauce on a big fried dough thing. We both stood there, utensil-less with a $1 shrimpy mess as big as our heads and thought "How the hell do you eat this?" Some how, we ate it up and after, decided it wasn´t our favorite new food. (To give it a fair chance we tried it again after a few days, at a different place only to arrive at the same conclusion.) We also ate $1 shrimp shish kekabs. These are not peel and eat shrimp my friends. Only the shrimp head is removed and you eat the whole crunchy shrimp. Lori decided it was too leggy looking and we chuckled as Edison talked to us with a little shrimp leg stuck, hanging out of the corner of his mouth. He laughed too when we told him.

To top off our first few hours in Salvador, we entered the crowd and did a little dancing... but more people watching in this new land. We noticed that there we no rules. People danced wildly, flailing their arms, moving their feet at lightening speed, hips in every which direction. It was amazing. No dance move was off limits. Not even our gringa ones. Here is where we noticed our skin color that seemed so different from everyone around us... we seemed to be the only ones to notice though. Very few people even batted an eye.

Salvador is the heart of Afro-Brazil. Many years ago, Salvador was one of the main ports where slave ships from Africa made their stops. They say some 1.5 million slaves (double the number sent to all of the U.S. That´s alot!) were shipped to Brazil´s state of Bahia (where Salvador is located.) Because of this history (and there´s alot more, as you can imagine), African everything is unavoidably present everywhere. People, music, dancing, clothes, food, you name it and there´s some story. They say Salvador has the most well preserved African culture in South America. (For more information on the history of Salvador, Bahia go to

There was an amazing thing present in this city that we haven´t felt in other places, including the states. Without a doubt, we were the minority here, but our skin color occurred to us two times in the 8 days we were there. It was amazing how much no one cared about our skin color. We went dancing (with our rough attempts at Samba) and no one looked at us with the "Let´s watch the gringas dance" critical face that we´ve gotten so many times. The vibe here was so tranquilo and indifferent to our skin color. We were surprised at how much we differed, but no one seemed to care. It made us realize how much The States needs to progress.

We found Brazilian music and dancing everywhere we went. Saturday we visited the neighborhood Pelourinho, 15 minutes away from Barra where we were staying, and effortlessly found a capoeira presentation in the street.

What is capoeira? It´s a type of fight dancing done to music. The music is an energetic harmony of loud drums, tambourines and the birimbao which is a unique instrument. From afar it looks kinda like a fishing pole, as you can see from the picture.You play this instrument by holding it in your hands and hitting the metal wire with a little stick. You make a vibrating type sound by putting a stone against the wire after hitting it. You can also make a different sound by pressing the hollow fruit against your body while playing.

Ok, let´s review... in capoeira we have drums, tambourines, the birimbao, clapping, singing that alternates between a leader and the group, and dancing. Wow!

The history of capoeira is that the slaves were prohibited from fighting, so they created a style of "dance." It seemed as if they were dancing, but really they were practicing self defense. The idea in capoeira is to move with your partner but never touch him. When a pair is moving with the same energy, seemingly connected it´s amazing how close they can come with spinning kicks, flips, etc, skimming their partners face practically... but never making contact. We joined the circle of observers, watching partners switch off, clapping for a few hours ("These two girls are clapping more than you guys, let´s get going!" proclaimed the animator of the group... we think :) and watching the show. It was great!

Here we met Sebastian, an Argentian whose brother is studying at Brown University in Providence (WTF!?!?) He is crazier than us (our parents will be thankful.) He´s been traveling two years through practically all of South and Central America... hitchhiking. He plays his guitar, sells his cds and makes his survival that way. Having practically seen it all, he spent a few days in Salvador with us, but was headed to Mexico. He had fallen in love with Mexico and decided that´s where he wanted to stay for a while.

The next day, Edison and Sebas went with us to the local beach. We relaxed, ate more shrimp shish kebabs (the most delicious in the world with lemon juice, garlic sauce and a spicy sauce all prepared with care by passing vendors) and tried some hot cheese. Apparently cheese roasted on an open fire is all the rage. Vendors walk around with hot coals in a can (I did not approve of this when I also saw vendors walking through a crowded street full of dancing people, coals a blazing!!) and a tupperware container full of blocks of cheese. When you ask for one they start up the coals and put your sticks of cheese, dipped in oregano, on the fire. Hot cheese coming up!

On the beach, Sebastian tried to sell some cds to pay for his hostal and food and life. He said he had some trouble, people didn´t seem to want to buy his cds. We later found out why people were closed to helping him out.

We went to Pelourinho a few times at night and the quantity of people selling anything and begging in the streets was mindblowing. Children asking you to buy them food, mothers begging for your loose change, old tired women selling plastic necklaces, men giving you a "free" gift to buy some beads, people askance for some of the food your eating, people sleeping on every bench in the plaza and in every dark corner they can find. It was unlike anything we had ever seen in our travels. Everyone asking for money, wanting something, selling something. You felt heartbroken and helpless. Which one are good people, which ones are not? Is this 10 year old boy going to trade in the powdered milk and crackers for drugs, like they say? This pregnant woman selling peanuts for a few cents... what will she do in a few months? How will she survive? How do all these people survive? Poor people and stray starving cats crowded the streets of the party neighborhood at night. Beggars side by side with partying tourists put a real perspective, a dark shadow over the party scene.

This is why people ignored Sebastian. It seemed everyone wanted something, including him. This was the second time in 2 years this situation had come up.

Pelourinho (Pelo) was the party place. Any and every night you could find music. Restaurants with a two man band jamming away (Sebastian stole the microphone for a moment) capoeria school practicing their loud percussion and cd stores blasting a little of everything.

Our friend Fernanda, a spectacular, perfect english speaking, we-were-friends-in-a-minute Brazilian, arrived just in time to go with us to Music Tuesday in Pelo. Every week Pelo organizes music groups to perform all over the city. We danced our hearts out with Edison and Fernanda to every possible type of Brazilian music. Our favorite being the drum circles slowly traveling around the city. You can join the crowd of dancers doing their African/aerobics type dancing or hang back and do your own thing. It is so high energy and contagious that you can´t help but move your feet... and hands... and shoulders... and everything!

There was music not only on Tuesdays in Pelo, it seemed every night hosted various live music events. We, Fernanda, Edison, Lori and I, danced our pants off a few nights to Forro (pronounced Fo-ho) which is more of a rock/polka type music. It originates from the north of Brasil. They say there was a bar up north called "For All" and it started this music. The people said the name in english, eventually smushing the two words together and creating the nowadays Forro :)

We also saw a Samba show, which we now know isn´t only high energy, women-dancing-half-naked-in-the-streets-with-feathery-costumes music. It also can be more chill. We really enjoyed the samba band we saw, as well as the impressive mom who shook her money maker like I´ve never seen before. Unfortunately, all our staring caught the attention of her sons, who were not so impressive. So what´s your mom´s name anyways? :)
Being that Salvador is a beach city you´re never more than a 10 minute walk from the water. We frequently took advantage of this after our nights on the town and jumped in the well lit ocean at 4am. We walked back in the rain feeling like superheros coming back to an abandoned planet after battle. Walking home, in the middle of an empty city street with nothing but our bathing suits. What a sight!

During the day we had to relax (and sleep) from our nightly fiesta. We visited Arembepe, a beach an hour and a half from Barra, where we were staying. They say there´s a hippy colony in Arembepe created by Mic Jagger and Janis Joplin. Strange. More than just hippies, Arembepe was a beautiful, deserted beach. Edison, Fernanda, Lori and I were the only people in the water and the people on the beach could be counted on your fingers. There were more palm trees I think. We relaxed, enjoyed the pristine ocean water (Surprisingly, Lori more than anyone else. I´ve never seen her swim like such a fish!) and headed back, pooped.

In Salvador, we did some other touristy things, shopping at the market where there was an array of brightly colored, unique, African inspired souvenirs. We visited one of the churches in Pelo which had every square inch exquisitely decorated in golden angels and leaves. We also visited the Afro-Brazilian museum, which explained where in Africa, more or less, the slaves came from and had an amazing display of the African saints, which are a big part of people´s faith in Salvador. The interpretation of the saints were carved beautifully in wood and awe-inspiring.

Almost done!

Last but not least, we must mention the people of Salvador, who were more than friendly. From the moment we got off the bus and the man made sure we made it to our hostal ok, to a few other people who went out of their way to show us the city and make sure we were having fun. Salvador´s people are amazing accommodating. The man in the market took 30 minutes explaining to Lori how to play all his strange, new instruments. The man in the music store was in no rush, playing every entire song on the 20 cds we were trying out. The taxi drivers patiently wait 5... 10 minutes for you to say bye to your friends and hop back in. Another guy we met took us to meet his mom and give us a personal tour of his neighborhood. He also told us all about his carnaval stories and his preparations for next years carnaval. (They say carnaval in Salvador is better than Rio´s!)

Our last night, for a grand finale, what we thought couldn´t be a more memorable city, was finished with a cherry on top. A local guy who worked at our hostal, invited us out with some of his friends. Fernanda, Lori and I climbed into his friend´s small car and off we went. First to a jazz show that finished just moments before we arrived. Then, to a forro show that played two songs before packing up. Deciding our fate would be to go to places and events that were ending, we tried again but this time the party was in full swing. You might say 20 parties all at once were in full swing. We arrived to a big parking lot with a huge painted sign saying "Noise pollution is prohibited! Law 319" I tried to tell Lori and Fernanda about it, but it was impossible to hear me due to... the noise pollution. Cars with huge speaker systems crowded the parking lot, blasting whatever crackly music they could find. While people hung out dancing and partying behind the cars. We decide that they must be deaf. At least we felt like we were. Every step was like changing the station on a roaring radio. It was dizzying. As we passed car after car, we arrived at the end. We were stunned. How could... what... why... can´t someone... the buzz in our ears and brains was too loud after passing the 30 or so vibrating speakers.

Just as we thought it couldn´t get better, the cops arrived and slowly as they passed each car and the sea of people parted, speakers turned off. Finally, the cops stopped, jumped out, grabbed a guy by his shirt, yelled and wrestled with him for a few minutes, put him in the back of their car and... music back on! No one missed a beat. It was something you´d have to witness in person to truly understand.

Our last stop of the night with our friends was to a plaza where surrounding restaurants had their tables set up in the streets and a local capoeira group was singing and playing everything and anything that could be made into an instrument. Fernanda helped us practice our terrible samba steps and here we decided we should just stay out and not sleep before our 7am, 26 hour bus ride to Rio.

Yawning and puffy eyed, we hung out with Fernanda until the wee morning hours. It´s amazing how you can have a connection with someone from half way around the world. We sadly left our good friend Fernanda and fell asleep on the bus so fast we didn´t even notice it pulling out of the terminal.

Hasta luego! We´re off to Rio de Janeiro!


Curitiba: An Intro to Brazil

Hotel Maia directly to the right, across the street from the bus station 25 reais a night

Due to a lack of time and funds, we decided to only make two main stops in Brazil. We wanted to get a good taste of this new country in little time, so we chose the most distinct cities; Salvador da Bahia and Rio de Janeiro.

Our first stop, Salvador: To get there, we would take the first flight of our trip. The bus ride from Iguazu to Salvador Da Bahia would have taken an unbearable 35 hours and been just as expensive. So we opted for a 10 hour ride to Curitiba where we would catch a flight.

We spent 24 hours in Curitiba, long enough to realize a few things... Brazilians come in all shapes, sizes and colors. It´s a huge country, so that makes sense. The irony of it all: we´d finally reached a place where we could blend in and we couldn´t speak a word of the language. Throughout our time in Curitiba, people would mistake us for Brazilians until they picked up on the confused look on our faces. Even ordering dinner had become complicated again.

Curitiba is known for being one of the cleanest, most modern and most organized cities in Brazil. We were met with skyscrapers and streets neatly lined with businesses and restaurants. We didn´t have time to do anything in Curitiba besides look for plane tickets and eat at a $2.25 all you can eat buffet. After a day of traveling and an overload of Argentinean ham and cheese everything, we couldn´t have found this at a better time! Beans, salad, rice pudding!!! We hadn´t seen these things in so long!!

After enjoying some food, spending an annoying 12 hours trying to buy plane tickets and a quick trip the the local mall, with the biggest, most extensive food court we´d ever seen (yes more food!), we were out the next morning, headed to Salvador Da Bahia!


Reaching Brazil

Within our first few minutes in the country we started wondering if what Adrian had told us would prove to be true. "There´s just a lot of little things about Brazil that will really piss you off," he had said.

Crossing the border was pretty irritating because we had to take three buses and in each one they insisted that we pass through the turn style, even though this involved taking off all our bulky bags and heaving them across, then tyring to gather our scattered belongings, falling over and breaking my sandal while wondering if the driver had ripped me off in the peso/reais exchange.

Once in the bus station the ATM wouldn´t´t accept my card and we were forced to show our passports to someone new every step of the way to a point that seemed excessive. (Put it way, take it out, put it away again...)

We tried to look at the bright side; We were enjoying the new challenge of trying to communicate with people who speak Portuguese, using our Spanish skills to scrape by and surprising ourselves by how much we could understand.

The minute we crossed the border, I could feel Brazil all around me. There was a new sensation in the air. Two women in brightly colored clothes walked towards me and a young boy, dark skin, handsome face, baseball cap, who could have been in any one of the Brazilian moves I´d seen, was hanging around the bus stop.

Once on the bus to Curitiba we were surrounded by farms and small country homes framed by endless green fields and fluffy white clouds painted almost too perfectly in the sky one after another. The excitement of unexpected lands and unknown adventures overwhelmed me.

Welcome to Brazil.


Ode to Jamon (Ham) and Cheese

This is our Ode to Jamon (Ham) and Cheese dedicated to Argentina where we ate and still continue to eat ham and cheese prepared in every possible way.

Ode to Jamon (Ham) and Cheese
By Lori and Laura

Argentine: I am Argentine
I am Argentine
My name is Hercules.

L&L: That Hercules!
That Hercules!
We do not like
that Hercules!

Hercules: Do you like jamon and cheese?

L&L: We do not like them, Hercules.
We do not like jamon and cheese.

Hercules: Would you like them on some bread?

L&L: We would not like them on some bread
We would not like them with my neighbor Ned.
We do not like jamon and cheese.
We do not like them, Hercules.

Hercules: Would you eat them on a bus?
Would you eat them on a sandwich with no crust?

L&L: We do not like them on the bus.
We do not like them on a sandwich with no crust.
We do not like them on some bread.
We do not like them with my neighbor named Ned.
We do not like jamon and cheese.
We do not like them, Hercules.

Hercules: Would you eat them in an empanada?
Would you eat them, a little or a lotta?

L&L: Not in an empanda
Not a little or a lotta.
Not on a bus.
Not on a sandwich with no crust.
We would not eat them on some bread.
We would not eat them with my neighbor Ned.
We would not eat jamon and cheese.
We do not like them, Hercules.

Hercules: Would you? Could you?
Baked or fried?
Eat them! Eat them!
Don't you hide.

L&L: We would not, could not, baked or fried.

Hercules: You may like them.
You will see.
You may like them as much as me!

L&L: We would not, could not as much as you.
Not baked or fried! There's nothing you can do!

We do not like them in an empanda
We do not like them not a little or a lotta.
We do not like them on a bus.
We do not like them on a sandwich with no crust.
We do not like them on some bread.
We do not like them with my neighbor Ned.
We would not eat jamon and cheese.
We do not like them, Hercules.

Hercules: 5 times a day!
5 times a day!
Could you, would you,
5 times a day?

L&L: Not 5 times a day!
Not the months of Jan, Feb, March, April or May
Not baked or fried! Hercules! Not any way!

We would not, could not, in an empanda
We could not, would not, a little or a lotta.
We will not eat them on a bus.
We will not eat them on a sandwich with no crust.
We will not eat them on some bread.
We will not eat them with my neighbor Ned.
We would not eat jamon and cheese.
We do not like them, Hercules.

Hercules: Say!
On the bus?
Hey on the bus!
Would you, could you, on the bus?

L&L: We would not, could not, on the bus.

Hercules: Would you, could you, in a casserole?

L&L: We would not, could not, in a casserole.
Not on the bus. Not in Hawaii or the North Pole.
Not baked or fried. Not 5 times a day.
We do not like them, Hercules, if we may.
Not in an empanda. Not a little or a lotta.
Not on a bus. Not on a sandwich with no crust.
Not on some bread. Not with my neighbor Ned.
We will not eat them here or there.
We do not like them anywhere.

Hercules: You do not like jamon and cheese?

L&L: We do not like them, Hercules.

Hercules: Could you, would you, in your soup?

L&L: We would not, could not, in our soup!

Hercules: Would you, could you, by the chicken coop?

L&L: We would not, could not, by the chicken coop.
We'll really throw you Argentinians for a loop.


Iguazú, Argentina: Let Me Hear You Roar!!!

Hostal Marco Polo, across from the bus station, 40 pesos

We got off the bus and tested out legs; luckily they still worked. We were neither sleepy nor well rested, so we opted to spend the day by the pool in our hostal. (Yes! our hostal had a pool!)

As the day went on we slowly met the four characters we´d be sharing our six bed dorm room with; Andrian, a talkative, quirky Brit with a dry sense of humor; Bart, a young guy from Connecticut with a story to tell about Afghanistan and who´s driven by my house off of Rt 6 countless times; Jesús, a friendly, easygoing Spaniard (in fact the 1st Spaniard we´ve met on our whole trip); and the old Norwegian philosopher with a kind smile who took a moment to share some of his ideas about life with me. "Nothing you do in this life is wasted," he´d said. "If you want to be a pianist in you next life, start preparing now." At night the 6 of us ate a mediocre parillada (Argentine barbecue), but with some exceptionally good conversation.

On our second day in Iguazu we had one main goal, get a Brazilian visa. We´d heard horror stories about this process involving yellow fever vaccination papers, entry & return tickets, proof of finances, etc. To our utter amazement, we didn't have to deal with any of this; one small picture, an easy form, 520 pesos ($130, twice as much as all other nationalities pay) and less than two hours later it was done. We can definitely attribute this to some great advice, get the visa form Iguazu, not Buenos Aires. Perfect!

On the third day we were the first ones at breakfast, ready to beat the usual bee invasion around the breakfast table and the crowds that would swarm to the famous Iguazu waterfalls. We packed our lunches to avoid the 45 peso buffet, hopped on a bus and arrived within 30 minutes.

While entering the park we met Nick, an Italian-American, jazz musician from New York whose grandfather´s name is Nick and his uncle´s names is Nick... his cousins, etc... (sound familiar?) We hit it off right off the bat, as if we were hanging out with an old highschool friend. The three of us teamed up in our quest to see each of the 275 cascades from every possible angle, height and distance. We took Adrian´s advice (which he´d given us about 10 times) "start at the point closest to the entrance instead of the other end like most people will do. You´ll avoid the crowds!"

He was right. For the first half of the morning we ran into more ring-tailed raccoons than people, as we worked our way from the top down and the front inward, each time getting a closer look at an even bigger waterfall.

The view was so picturesque that it was hard to believe it wasn´t some sort of man made attraction. All of this natural beauty, discovered in 1541 laid out right in front of us. The oohs, ahhs and wows didn´t stop, as we gazed at one fall after another, trying to absorb the peace and tranquility of the thundering waters.

We took a two minute ferry ride to Isla San Martin where we cooled down from the unbearable heat in the refreshing water and ate our lunch in the company of several lizards just before the heavy, but welcomed rain came pouring down.

We hurried, sopping wet to the trolley that would bring us to the ´Garganta del Dibalo´, the biggest and most famous part of Iguazu. When off the train, we followed the path leading to the fall stopping along the way to snap photos of colorful butterflies, that fluttered around us proudly displaying their blue, red, green and magenta wings.

As we approached the Garganta del Diablo, I was taken aback by the unmatched power and beauty of this natural marvel. While looking over the edge at the gigantic roaring beast, I felt how easily this magical cascade of crashing waters could swallow me. We stayed long enough at the fall to see a rainbow just as the sun started peaking out again.

One more night in our hostal and we were shipping out the next morning. We had a new destination before us; Brazil.

(Moms, Dads, we all remember this face, now don´t we?)