How I went to Brazil
The flight between Buenos Aires and Iguazú was uneventful, and once the formalities had been completed, and the luggage collected, our group met in the arrivals hall and waited for the local guide to herd us onto to the coach.
We were all excited to be so close to the Iguazú Falls and an excursion had been arranged on the Argentinian side for the next day
The drive to the hotel took us through lush forests and groups of large white butterflies and our party was tired but in high spirits.
The guide explained that we were on the border of three countries. Here we were in Argentina but close by were Uruguay and Brazil.
Then he asked us where we were all from and as it happened we were all from the UK.
He was all excited and said that as UK citizens didn’t require a visa to visit Brazil, for a modest supplement we could visit the Brazilian side of the falls straight away.
No time to waste, just the time to drop off our luggage at the hotel, take some sunscreen, a mosquito repellent and hats and return to the coach for the short ride to the falls.
I was excited. It felt magic to arrive finally on Brazilian soil, a gift that was unexpected and unplanned, a break from the rigid itinerary that we had been following day after day since arriving in South America three weeks ago.
A further surprise awaited us on the drive to the falls.
Seated on top of a double decker coach we had a commanding view of the jungle that stopped abruptly on either side of the narrow road.
Without warning, the bus stopped and turned off its motor. In the near distance, we noticed another coach, coming from the opposite direction, and it stopped too.
Then, between us, a large dark cat emerged from the jungle and took a few steps onto the tarmac. It looked towards us, and then in the direction of the other coach before, returning regally back into the jungle.
A solitary jaguar, usually a creature of the night, had graced us with its presence.
I was spellbound and couldn’t believe my good fortune. My fellow passengers looked and stared, fascinated.
As the bus finally pursued the trip to the Iguazù Falls, our guide came up to us and said that in 25 years as a guide, he had never seen one.
It was an amazing experience, and we were still bemused as we stepped off the car.
As we crossed the road to enter the park, the roar of the falls became more and more insistent. When we turned the corner and walked up to the viewing area opposite the falls, I had one of those jaw-dropping moments that you only get once or twice in a lifetime.
I was giddy and high from the simultaneous onslaught on all of my senses. No film could capture it, and no photos could do it justice, but at least I can still replay those vivid images in my head.
The massive and mighty Iguazú Falls.
I wanted to dance the samba on the esplanade, but everyone else was too busy, glued to the spot, eyes wide open, laughing and smiling.
And that’s how I went to Brazil.
It was only for a few hours, but it was full to the brim with memories.
That is the first in a ten-part series of travel tales.
8. The Bali Run
This is in response to today’s my500word challenge. Today’s challenge was to write about travel. (645 words)