Into Brazil!

Today we crossed the border for a look at the Brazilian side of the falls. As 80% of the falls are in Argentina, the Brazilian side was a poor second. Still it did offer good panoramic views over the array of falls in Argentina and also an encounter with the Salto Santa Maria. Best of all was a chance at last not to feed the Coatis! A small troop of the little bandits was hanging out around the food stalls, looking cute, posing for photographs and hoking the bins for scraps of food. In the afternoon we visited the Itaipu Dam, a joint Brazilian / Paraguayan project that is the biggest hydroelectric plant in the world. The visit was free and consisted of an introductory movie at the visitor centre and then a coach ride out to see the dam – an ugly wall of concrete, that made for an excellent siesta on the air conditioned coach! We returned to Argentina after an hour of hassle getting through the messy Brazilian border checkpoint (2 guys handling all the ‘ins’ & ‘outs’ at one desk, neither of them seemingly interested or clued on the due processes). The confusion was caused by a group of Israeli kids who had thrown their entry visas away thinking they were useless bits of paper and a Scottish guy who had previously left the country at Rio de Janeiro, without getting an exit stamp. $50 fines all round amidst howls of protests & abuse, whilst we had to wait whilst more forms were filled in and processed. Fortunately we had collected the appropriate stamps in the morning so our departure was quite straightforward.

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