Wow, time has totally flown and I can hardly believe that it is Monday night. Everyone in Brazil has been more than hospitable, I feel like their motto should be "welcome, sit down, stay awhile." I didn´t know what to expect but I love it here and totally plan on coming back. As with anyone country or city, there are parts that aren´t the safest but we have found the most reasonable and highest quality hostels and pousadas (a step up from a hostel). God has blessed every step and every stop with helpful, warm and welcoming people. Here are some more daily recaps-
Day 4: Sunday (Bonita plus Rio de Prata)
We actually had the chance to sleep in a bit and didn´t even leave our room until about 7am. Breakfast was pretty typical-ham, cheese, lots of bread, butter and all types of fruit preserves. We weren´t getting picked up until 10:30 by Joe so we walked around Bonito´s main street to check it out. We kind of forgot it was Sunday so not much was really going on in town but we still got to see the town. Once Joe picked us up we drove about 40 kilometers to a fazenda on the Rio de Prata (Silver River) to go on a snorkling trip for three and a half hours. Again, I had no idea what to expect but the fazenda was crazy beautiful. It was actually a working farm and had Brahman cattle, sheep and a small garden. The snorkling was fun--kind of reminded me of some rivers in Florida. Very clear and over 50 different varieties of fish. When we were done we had a late lunch at the fazenda and it was pretty much amazing once again. The largest spread of vegetables I´d seen up to this point and five different types of meat. We took quick showers and then settled in with Joe again to head south four hours to pick up an overnight bus in Dourados. On the way there though we passed through major Ag country here--a ton of soybeans and sugar cane are grown in this region and as we drove we saw tractors still working in the field and truck after truck bringing the soybeans into different silos. We boarded the bus at around 11pm and settled in for a long drive south to Foz de Iguaçu.
Day 5: Foz de Iguaçu (Falls of Iguaçu)
Amanda and I slept pretty well on the bus but Kir didn´t sleep much at all. We were picked up by another driver and dropped off at Hostel de Natura--basically the best hostel we´ve stayed in so far. Located outside of town, the hostel is surrounded by farmland. It is so quiet and serene, it is just what we needed this morning. The hostel owner offered us breakfast right away and it couldn´t have hit the spot anymore. After breakfast we walked to the road and caught a city bus to the Foz. The Foz de Iguaçcu have been described as taller than the Niagra and wider than Victoria Falls in Africa. They were amazing--I wish I could upload the video I took of it tonight because my words will not do justice to the amazing creation we saw today. One of the neatest parts of the park was seeing a plackard that quoted Psalms 93:4 from the bible-God can calm the biggest waves and water. It is true, but it was awesome to read it while standing next to the Foz. Next we headed to an aviary across the road and it was pretty neat--I´m not really into birds but it was still pretty cool to see so many varieties of parakeets, macaws and toucans all in one spot. By the time we had traversed the aviary I was more than ready to jump in the pool at the hostel to cool off because it had become quite hot. The pool was great and again, the tranquility of the hostel was great. We have access to free internet (yay), an awesome dinner tonight and the shower was really hot. That was actually my first hot shower of the trip.
Tomorrow we are going to check out the Argentinian side of the Foz and actually take a boat and go under/behind them. We are also going to check out Itaipu, the dam that generates most of the electricity for Brazil. We board another overnight bus at 6:45pm and will proceed to travel about 13 hours to Florianopolis. Floripa (the abbreviated name) is a very popular vacation spot for Brazilians and has also been called the surf capital of South America. I can make do with another overnight bus ride but am anxiously awaiting stepping off the bus in Floripa.
Again, much love to you all! I can´t wait to post pictures upon my return!