Foz do Iguaçu

muito agua from the Brazilian side

tourists with the park's friendly coati

Iguazu Falls

a portrait of smiley creating a self-portrait

mucha agua!

coati on the train platform

badly timed jumping


Road Block in Puerto Iguazu

the highway between the town of Puerto Iguazu and the famous Falls was blocked - not because of agricultural concerns, but because the citizens were fed up with their municipality and its ties with local mafia. When we wanted to go to the falls, we had to wait from 10 minutes to 30 minutes for the locals to open up the road. There were usually more people waiting in vehicules than there were protesters. Their concerns were pretty ambiguos; one guy gave me a sheet with bullet points. They were against slavery and the mafia, and were for equality and the freedom of the press. I think the bloccade began after a local radio station was shut down. The local police stood around close by to presumably make sure everything was peaceful.

they let a bus of children through the blocade

even pedestrians had to wait and most folks seemed patient enough

the mood was more jovial than hostile

and finally, the road was opened to let everyone pass through including all the omnibuses


Bus Ride to Puerto Iguazu

at dawn. Smiley and I ventured from Salta to Puerto Iguazu on a 22 hour bus ride with Flecha bus. There was a Will Ferrell movie during the night, Semi-Pro, and we were laughing so hard we were probably disturbing the other passengers.

smiley, dozing in the morning sunshine with a lama sweater

Road Trip with Smiley: Day 5

el cerro de 7 colores in Purmamarca

continuing west on highway 52 in Jujuy with the salt flats in the distance

Las Salinas - Salt Flats

I think they dig holes to harvest the salt

siblings in San Antonio de los Cobres
The sold us bread and gave us hot water.

llama crossing

on the way back to Salta on highway 51

Road Trip with Smiley: Day 4

In the parking area at the garganta del diablo in the valle the day before, we picked up 2 North American girls looking for a ride to Salta. It quickly got dark and I spent a couple hours chewing coca and squinting through the windshield between us and the rain and dark night, thinking about how much better it is to drive during the day and wishing that the lines in the road were light reflective. A low point during the drive was when Smiley realized that the glass inside the fancy metal thermos he bought the night before (the 2nd thermos purchase of the Road Trip) had completely shattered and pieces of glass were spread over his lap and the car floor while Radiohead's Kid A skipped painfully. After Smiley shouted for me to pull over the car, brushed himself free of shards and got back in, we agreed that skipping CDs is a pet peeve of us both. It was super chilly when we finally arrived in Salta and parked the VW Gol in the parking lot of a Casino next to our hostel. We went out for empanadas of charqi (jerky) and tamales at Dona Salta and spent the night in Salta.
The 4th day began with a trip to the amazing mercado in Salta for supplies consisting of grapefruits, mandarins, goat cheese, tomatoes, bread, avocado, coca leaves, sodium bicarbonate and lama and alpaca sweaters. We then journeyed up into the province of Jujuy on a narrow, super windy road, sipping warm mate and gazing at the snow on the tree branches and the thick clouds hiding the mountains. More suffering of skipping discs, but the Police's Walking on the Moon worked. Que frio!

The sisters: Jenny and Julia plus Smiley in Tilcara

outside Tilcara along Ruta 9

in Purmamarca

well, we decided to extend the road trip to 5 days because the landscape was just too awesome