Our last day in Rio, we climbed to the famous Jesus statue that overlooks the city. Everyone is supposed to take taxis or private buses up the mountain but being the cheapest ever, we chose to do the 2 hour walk on foot. Everyone laughed at us and at the top lots of people commented that they saw us and felt sorry (not sorry enough to pick us up though).
The view from the top was pretty amazing. Rio is probably one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The beaches are amazing and there are narrow mountains everywhere with city surrounding them. The official language in Brazil is Portuguese but at the Jesus statue I am pretty sure it is English. If we were the only ones there it would have been a pretty good experience but pushing through all the tourists damped the experience quite a bit. After that it was back to the beach. The waves were huge and people were surfing. We had more fun doing the cheaper alternatives like letting the waves swirl us around and contort our bodies.
After Rio we headed towards the famous Iguazu falls. These falls (supposedly) have the most water in the world crashing over them – I think they are probably right. 250 rivers (Koop says so) combine and crash over the falls at the confluence of 3 countries (Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil). We went to the Argentinian side and had another great experience despite the flocks of tourists. Once we ventured off the path and tried to hike closer to the falls then allowed. One of the security guards got angry at us but to us it was actually more humorous than anything – there are some very convenient times to know nothing about the language.
So after 3 night buses we find ourselves in Campo Grande. The bus we just got off of was the most interesting. Last night Kevin located a bed at the back of the bus where the driver was supposed to sleep before switching off. Kevin slept there for a bit until the driver came back and got really angry at him "you think this is your house?". Later on in the trip a Portuguese person told us the reason for the outburst. Kevin had stumbled upon some drug smuggling. Throughout the night there were people opening compartments and making odd stops along the road. After that, we decided to keep our mouths shut and mind our own business. As much as we didn't want to look interested, it was impossible not to keep one eye open and see everything that was going on. We made it though! We just signed up for a 3 day trek in a region of Brazil called the Pantanel. It is kind of a wetlands area where the best animal viewing in Brazil is possible. Later!