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Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

A little taste of Islam

sunny 35 °C


Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque

Brunei is an oil-rich country, home to nearly half a million people, described as the green HEART gateway to Borneo. Brunei is ruled by the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, whose official title runs into some 31 names. As an absolute monarch, the Sultan combines the roles of prime minister, defence minister, finance minister and monarch, with various members of his family forming the government.

On becoming a Malay Muslim Monarchy in 1991, alcohol was outlawed in public, creating an underground drinking scene, including the non-muslim Chinese restaurants serving up wine and beer surreptitiously from traditional teapots and expats regularly making the 90 minute round trip to the first off licence over the border into Sarawak.

Due to the Sultan's wealth from the oil resources found in Brunei at the turn of the twentieth century, most things are subsidised, including the pilgrimage to Mecca.

According to the Brunei Times, tourism is on the up with nearly 200,000 visitors in the first nine months of 2013; however you would struggle to believe this on arriving at the capital Bandar Seri Begawan known locally as BSB.

Brunei is over halfway through their five year tourism initiative and so far, they have failed to reinstate the centre's tourist information, which was closed in 2008 and the remaining counter in the airport was withdrawn within the last year. There was also no evidence of their '8 hour transit tours' which had previously run for those with long connections. Buses which are scheduled to pass by the airport do not, with the car park man stating 'maybe tomorrow' when enquiring about the bus.

The night before our flight, we stayed at a hotel in KL Sentral, which had a dual aspect view.....of the monorail looping around our building, at the same height as our window. Just beyond that was a mosque, which issued its first call to prayer at about 4am. It is incredibly disorientating having an Arabic prayer call, something you associate more with the middle east, penetrating your sleep when you are fast approaching your eightieth hotel of the trip, and you were pretty sure you were still in Southeast Asia when you went to bed.

On our flight, the air steward double checked we were in fact travelling to Brunei as a final destination before handing over the landing cards. As we left the plane, we were wished in an unsure voice, 'a good time in Brunei'.

On landing, it was announced that there were renovations going on in the airport, causing disruption and delays at immigration. Knowing it could never be as bad as clearing immigration in London, we were pleasantly surprised to find separate desks for Brunei, ASEAN communities and foreign passport, with a clear run for us.

Our accommodation was the newly renovated four star Radisson, which has to be our poshest hotel to date. Out of town sits Brunei's one and only contender for a Dubai style six-star hotel in the Empire Hotel and Country Club. With rooms starting at £200 a night, this was sadly beyond mine and Chris' meager £17.50 a night budget. Maybe next time?

First impressions Of Brunei, with its pristine new tarmac and immaculately maintained painted pavements, are of a wealthy nation; however a lot of the buildings are low rise concrete eyesores, which could have done with being demolished, shortly after they were built in the 1960s. BSB is often compared to as a diappointing low key concrete version of Dubai, yet I would say that was not doing the place justice as a destination in its own right. BSB is a quiet Islamic capital with a wealth of culture and makes for a pleasant change from other more Buddhist Asian countries.

The whole centre of the capital takes barely 15 minutes to cross on foot with a lush green jungle like park called Tasek Lama on the outskirts. We set off on a short 1.7km loop, which for the first third was on a tarmac road, with overly maintained flowerbeds. It was still a better park than the supposed botanical gardens we attempted to visit in Georgetown. A third of the way round there was a viewing platform, which offers great views of the park. After this, you squeeze down a narrow concrete path past a water plant and the terrain completely changes. The remaining kilometre or so involved you scrambling up and down muddy near vertical tree root covered hills in a mature jungle. As we had set out for a stroll in the park, I was, as ever wearing my inappropriate Birkenstock sandals with their worn smooth soles after 5 months of continuous wear.

Down by the entrance, there was a group of monkeys playing around in the trees, swinging from the branches over the stream before letting go when the branch stopped swaying. They were having so much fun cooling off and pulling each other by the tail as they scrambled up the bank ready to go again.

Afterwards we returned to the hotel with a dripping wet Christopher and enjoyed a refreshing swim in the pool. I have my suspicions that this pool could have been chilled rather than heated.

The following day we visited the local market, which is said to be its busiest on a Friday morning. (Today.) The market is squeezed on to the riverbank and sold every kind of fruit and vegetable imaginable. There were a few other stalls selling cooking equipment and the odd one selling food.

The majority of BSB's housing can be found in the village of Kampung Ayer, which literally translated means 'water village'. This village, which is home to 30,000 people, sits on stilts within the rivers Kadayon and Brunei. A water taxi across the river takes you to the Kampung Ayer Tourism and Culture gallery, which serves as an excellent starting point to explorations of the water village. This centre shows village life through the centuries and includes a viewing tower, which offers 360° views of the village.


Kampung Ayer water village

Towards the front of the village, immediately outside the centre, you will find a collection of large new builds, with smart painted wood cladding, which look better suited to dry land. It seems incomprehensible that such a large and proper looking house could be built over water. These identical, soulless new houses have concrete walkeways between them with railings along the edge. Every street is the same. Fortunately behind these houses lies traditional Kampung Ayer, with interconnecting rickety walkways between the traditional wooden built houses with large veranda gardens out front. These houses are a lot bigger than you would expect and also other houses we have seen on water. As we wandered around, the locals would call out to us, one of them you could hear the faint end of a hello, turned round to find a guy some 20 metres away madly waving.

Within the village are schools, police station, fire station, grocery stores and medical clinics. Although it seems strange that a capital city's accommodation in a rich country is timber built housing on the river, it is through choice and tradition, as there have been many attempts to try to relocate the families to land, but they do not wish to be moved. It would be interesting to see if more of the area is given over to spacious new two storey housing as time goes on. For now, it makes for a very pleasant and authentic walk along the maze of interlinking wooden walkways.

Unsurprisingly, Christopher was drenched after this trip in the midday sun and so as everything shuts for lunch on Friday, it was time to return for a dip in the pool.

We headed back out to the Royal Regalia museum. The main entrance is a large domed round room with a magnificent chariot for transporting the sultan during parades. Around the perimeter were various rooms exhibiting photos of the sultan from his childhood, including one from his circumcision ceremony. The majority of the museum housed the many gifts the sultan has received from different countries, including an cross stitch portrait which looked like an unfinished child's school project. The head was completed, and the person had clearly begun the yellow background, covering a square inch with thread. But that was all, therefore the background was just the yellow hessian material it had been done on.

In the evening, we tried to visit the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque in the centre, which is sat in the middle of a pool of water and has a large long boat in front of it. This mosque is a grand white building with a large gold dome in the centre and several smaller domes off of turrets around the edge with a high minaret to the side. It is the simplicity of this white mosque reflecting in the water with the ornately decorated blue and yellow mosaic patterned boat in front which makes this mosque so beautiful. We returned at night to see it lit up with some questionable green lights to take some photos.

As Brunei is dry, before dinner we enjoyed a coffee overlooking the river, watching the water taxi speedboats zip up and down, wondering how they manage not to crash all the time.

We headed to the food market, which has been dubbed the most atmospheric place to dine. We had high hopes after the one in Georgetown; however this was clearly more for locals. The food was really well presented, as if we were in a classy restaurant; the drinks came in a 1.5 lite plastic bottle served into china mugs.

Our final day in BSB started early with a boat trip at 8am in search of the proboscis monkeys. Brunei is one of the best places to see Borneo's native proboscis monkeys, identifiable by their oversized noses. These are larger and more pronounced on the male, flapping up and down when they call out. You can do an official tour from $85 (£42.50) each for an hour's trip, or book privately with one of the local water taxis for $10, the difference is they might potentially speak little to no English and lack of lifejackets. Chris and I can both swim and dislike organised tours.

Proboscis monkeys!

We found a boat man and clearly struck gold. He obviously enjoyed doing this trip as much as we did, was very good at spotting the monkeys and even imitated their calls in an attempt to get them to appear. He named all the males Bob, and females Betty. We had a running commentary most of the way and when our hour was up, as we had just found a group of ten monkeys swinging in the trees, we just stayed for an extra half an hour, watching them jump through the air between two sections of trees. We also saw a family of three sat on some half metre high mangrove bushes right by the water's edge. We were so impressed with the wildlife on this trip which also included sightings of two crocodiles, a monitor lizard, kingfishers and an otter.

The trip along the river to where the proboscis monkeys hang out passed along the two kilometres of the Kampung Ayer before opening out to dense tranquil mangroves along both sides. Another kilometre or so up the river, you pass the royal palace and a little further along, perched high up on the hillside overlooking the river is the new palace which is currently under construction.

We were dropped off in the Kampung Ayer village, on a different section which is attached to the mainland and wandered through to the Omar Ali Saifuddien mosque, where before entering, despite wearing a long sleeved shirt and trousers, I was still required to put on a gown and as well as the headscarf.


Me in my Muslim attire

Inside, the ceiling was very grand with simple gold patterns. We didn't see as much of this mosque and were not offered a brainwashing, I mean tour. Next stop on our mosque trail was the Jame 'Asr Hassanal Bolkiah mosque, which was a bus ride out of town; however we could not enter as it was closed to non-muslims due to a function. All the same the outside is so grand, it made it worth the trip just to wander around the grounds. This temple had lustrous temple towers rising high above the glistening gold central dome, with intricate mosaic patterns around the edges. The car park for this mosque was larger than your average supermarket car park, with two 25m long archways leading up to the mosque serving as shoe racks.


Jame 'Asr Hassanal Bolkiah mosque

Our hotel was offering complimentary late check out, which was perfect for us with a 7 o'clock flight. We tried our luck leaving the 'please make up our room tag' out and were very surprised to find the bed had been made and fresh towels! I am definitely more suited to this style of backpacking. After lunch in town, we passed the final couple of hours at the pool before showering and taking a taxi to the airport, where due to torrential rain, our flight was delayed by an hour. Could be worse I suppose.

Bandar Seri Begawan served as the perfect weekend city break being one of our more relaxed city breaks. Without a guidebook, you would struggle to know what there was on offer in BSB, but it is most certainly well worth the effort of finding out.

Posted by Roaming Rolts 01:41 Archived in Brunei Tagged monkeys water mosque park river muslim water_village sultan oil wealth Comments (0)

Bangkok Calling, Déjà vu

Same same, but different!

sunny 28 °C

Returning to Thailand it felt strangely quiet. Nobody was trying to sell us anything and nobody was shouting at us in the street. There were times in Vietnam when we weren't sure how we would cope if there was no one there telling us we needed to eat or drink but somehow we managed it. In fact, we managed to buy more here than we had done on the rest of our trip, yet not a single person had actively tried to sell us anything. Interesting that. There was one Vietnamese market we had wanted to browse, but stallholders began to almost fight over us in desperation that we bought their goods that we ended up just walking straight back out.

After a busy few days, the remainder of the morning was spent relaxing in our hotel, taking full advantage of the complimentary hot drinks and pool table. I am still awful at pool and Chris only appears better because I am so bad!

In the afternoon, after booking our train tickets to Surat Thani, we enjoyed paying 20p for lunch from the street vendors before heading downtown to the endless shopping malls. We have visited about 5 in a row, each one incredibly fancy and surprisingly busy considering the competition. We stocked up on a few necessities before heading to Lumphini park which has a pleasant circuit around a couple of lakes. We returned here the following night to take some night shots of the lake with the tower blocks rising up in the background.

The next day, we headed back up towards old town, taking the riverboat. We were trying to find a street Thanon Tanao, which wasn't named on our city map and didn't link together across the various maps in our guidebook and so a little guesswork was required! As expected, we went wrong, but found ourselves walking down a very pleasant residential street set on both sides of a canal. It was so peaceful along here with flowers and plants along the canal edge and the bridges that you could forget you were in Bangkok. We also passed a park where a group of about 50 school children were taking part in band practice and flag dancing. Although some sections were impressive, others still needed a lot of work and watching them walk the wrong way and then run back while still playing their instrument or waving their flag was quite amusing.

We eventually found Thanon Tanao, described as a street lined with restaurants, to find it pretty bare and nondescript. At least the walk there had been interesting. We found ourselves at Khao San, the backpacker street where we enjoyed people watching on our previous visit. Unfortunately we were a little early this time and although busy, it was more just passing people than drunk backpackers.

We took a riverboat back down to Wat Arun, in order to see it lit up by night. This temple is made of colourful bricks and rises high up on the water's edge.

As mentioned previously, we took a tuk tuk back to Lumphini park to take some photos before having a delicious dinner in the food market just outside. As we walked around the park it began to get a little chilly and I had to put my cardigan on. I didn't know it ever cooled down in Bangkok! Generally it was a much more comfortable temperature here this time round, especially coming from Cambodia.

After that, we caught our night train to Surat Thani in our very comfortable but freezing cold second class seated air conditioned night train.

Posted by Roaming Rolts 06:48 Archived in Thailand Tagged parks shopping river downtown Comments (0)

Buenos Aires

The most Spanish feeling place we have visited.

sunny 25 °C

Saturday 19th October

After our exciting trip almost into the bad lands of Boca, we finally arrived at our appartment, in one piece late on Friday evening at our apartment block to find that we had been moved to a different building some 8 blocks away. The lady also decided to put us in a standard studio as opposed to the 'deluxe' apartment we had booked, claiming they were comparable as this one actually cost more. We finally managed to track her down the night before we left, and the company we booked with agreed to refund us $75, by card and so we needed to pay in full, and we'd submit receipts. Anyone reading our blog regularly will see we have no luck with valuables or money... She rang the company back after we had left, claiming she'd refunded us the $75 (which she hadn´t) and to cancel the refund with them. And so the fun commences!

Our first day was spent wandering around the city, visiting the main square and the government building La Casa Rosada, the main square and the bi-century museum from 2010, which marks Argentina's 200 years of independence. This museum showed the Argentinian history of the past 200 years up to 2010. I found it really informative, particularly for understanding a lot of the influential events which took place during the 20th century and shaped Argentina into the country it is today. Chris enjoyed a cup of coffee and some 'me' time as the whole exhibition was in 'foreign' (Spanish).

After lunch, we visited the neighbourhood of San Telmo, with its streets lined with retro antique shops and a massive indoor antiques market. There was one really cool stall, which sold original 1960s plastic food containers which were all brand new. There was also a large Colonial house which had been converted into a little shopping arcade and another very white narrow arcade with the buildings jutting out at awkward angles.

Sunday 20th October

Today wasn't a particularly successful day. We'd planned to go to a cowboy fair, which took place every Sunday; however despite saying online it was open, it clearly wasn't. As you have to buy a top-up card to use the bus to get to the feria, and these aren't sold on a Sunday, we wasted a little more money on a taxi there. Nevermind! This is how it seems to be in Argentina! We spent the afternoon walking along the docks lined with architecturally interesting converted warehouses and some of the famous high rises which make up Buenos Aires´skyline, before stopping for some dinner at a very tasty mexican.

In the evening, we visited a huge bookshop in a beautiful converted cinema, with a café on the stage area and books lining the balconies. About half of the people in there were just fellow tourists visiting the building for its originality.

Monday 21st October

In Buenos Aires, there exists the prestigious profession of pasaperros, which to you and me is a professional dog walker. These dog walkers will take up to 30 dogs out daily, and will groom them and check them over for any problems. Most have some sort of veterinary training. There is a famous park called el 3 de noviembre, where all the dogs are taken for their walks. There were so many dogs all over the place with non-stop barking (and humping). Within this park is a fairly authentic Japanese garden, which brought back memories of our honeymoon.

Across the road from the Japanese garden is an art gallery called MALBA. Chris and I are not really into art galleries; however with the exception of the first room which we did not get at all, we rather enjoyed this collection of contemporary and abstract art. The best display was a pile of broken stuff on white blocks with tiny figurines hidden within the objects, with many performing clean up tasks.

Tuesday 22nd October

Within the district of Boca, there is a small area considered safe for tourists, or rather set up for tourists! There are about 5 roads, the most famous of which, Caminito, which used to sit alongside the former railway. When the railway closed, the area was earmarked for demolition, however an artist saved it by painting all the buildings in various different bright colours.

In the afternoon we went for a pleasant stroll around the nature reserve, which is located just the other side of the docks. It was most strange being in a nature reserve in the middle of a large capital city.

In the evening, we went out for a steak at a parrilla recommended in the guidebook, to give Argentina the chance to catch up with Uruguay on the steak front. Unfortunately, although a sterling effort, Uruguay took the point to make it 4-0.

The following day, we are doing a short overnight excursion to San Antonio de Areco, a town within las Pampas, which is Gaucho cowboy country.

Posted by Roaming Rolts 15:21 Archived in Argentina Tagged art river nature_reserve Comments (0)

Colonia, Uruguay

A colonial port with the water on three sides

sunny 23 °C

Wednesday 16th October

We arrived in Colonia at about 6pm after a 3 hour bus ride from Montevideo. We arrived at our hostel to find it was swarming with teenagers. It turned out all but a couple of the rooms had been set aside for a school trip. We headed back out pretty quickly and wandered around the historical old town. We watched our first sunset over the water from a fairly deserted sandy beach. Colonia is a colonial town with plenty of character, with interesting buildings and cobbled streets. In the old town, you can't walk much more than 100 metres in any directiom before finding yourself back at the water's edge. Around the town are several old fashioned antique cars which are privately owned and well maintained. (Well, the exteriors have been at least.).

Thursday 17th October

Today we visited the town museum. It is split across about 7 different buildings. As we bought the tickets from the main building, the lady explained that was shut for now and to do 2 others first, then come back and it should be open. 3 of the museums were having their 'rest day' today so we couldn't see those. The museums told you a little bit about Colonia's Portuguese history prior to the Spaniards conquering it.

Afterwards we went up the lighthouse which was great fun with my gammy leg. The people in Colonia either discuss my leg amongst themselves in Spanish and assume I won't understand or they'll just ask what happened. Maybe they're just more used to seeing people with manhole related injuries inn Montevideo and therefore just don't bother asking? The lady at the hostel took particular interest in my leg and said she'd get me some plant leaves to treat it. On returning to the hostel in the evening, she gave me 3 really big aloe vera leaves to cut open and wipe the pulp on my graze.

For dinner, we went to a pizzeria, which has made the best pizzas we have had in South America, all for the princely sum of £3 each. We asked them to make us some cheesy garlic bread; however they refused to do this without putting on a lot of parsley as well. Nevermind, still tasted pretty good. This was all washed down with a jug of sangria, which we suspect was just chilled red wine with ice and lemon slices.

Friday 18th October

Today we hired bikes and cycled up the coast next to the empty beaches. We visited the bull ring from the early 1900s, which has begun to fall down in places. There is talk of it being restored in the future which would be good as it is different structure to a lot of the bull rings you see in Spain.

Behind the bullring was a train museum (Chris' favourite type of museum) which had examples of British built carriages they used to use on their railways, a long with an example ticket office. They had restored the dining carriage and used it as a restaurant.

We cycled back along the coast, past the docks in town and long to the picturesque white sand beach of Fernando. We went for a paddle in the sea, but despite walking out some 25-50m, we were only up to our shins.

We caught the catamaran to Buenos Aires at 6pm and set off from the port in search of the metro. It turned out we'd been dropped off at dock 4, considerably further South from where we thought. We headed off looking for the metro when a guy sorting out his truck stopped us and asked where were trying to go. It turned out we were actually in Boca and heading towards the part where it's not at all safe for tourists to go. He sent us towards the main road and told us to be careful as they would rob us if we went any further the other way. Another pair stopped us and confirmed we were heading the right way to leave Boca and reiterated that we didn't want to be there. Once on the main road, we flagged down a taxi who said where wanted to go was quite far from there and would cost £5-6. He was right, the metre stopped at £6.50 some 50 minutes later!

Both times, the men spoke to Chris and only to Chris. Even when I did all the responding, they'd still ask their next question to him as he just stood there. It seems to be the same with virtually everyone here in Buenos Aires, with the doormen at the apartment doing the same. Are women still now allowed to speak here with their partners doing all the talking for you? They don't even look at you when they are addressing your man.

We headed to our apartment, had some dinner before bed, ready for our Argentinian adventure!

Posted by Roaming Rolts 13:19 Archived in Uruguay Tagged bikes coast beach river hostel lighthouse catamaran Comments (1)

Iguassu Falls, Brazil and Argentina and the Itaipu Dam

What a dam good river!

sunny 30 °C

Tuesday 24th September - let the border hopping commence: Paraguay - Brazil

We left for the Brazilian side of Iguassu Falls from Ciudad del Este in Paraguay first thing in morning. The journey is only about 20-30km, yet took us the best part of 2 hours. The first bus for some reason left empty and would not take us. The second bus took us to within a kilometre of the border before we were kicked off and made to walk to the bus at the front of the queue, which was about 15 buses up. We explained to the driver we needed to stop at the border to show our passports as the locals do not need to go through immigration.

We then sat at the side of the road for 15 minutes for some unknown reason before changing bus driver. Maybe the new bus driver was late? We forgot we would need to tell the new bus driver we needed to stop and so went soaring past immigration. We got off the bus and walked the hundred metres or so back to immigration to be stamped out of Paraguay. Before alighting, we had been given a transfer ticket for the bus so that in theory we could board the next bus on the same ticket.

The next bus pulled up from the same company, yet would not accept our tickets, saying we had to pay. We decided that seeing as we still had to get off the bus at the Brazilian immigration after we had crossed the river, we would walk the 500m bridge of no man's land to cross the border and catch a bus in Brazil. We cleared the Brazilian immigration and flagged down a bus. It turned out this bus was a Brazilian company as opposed to the Paraguayan company we had started with; however they were more than happy to accept the tickets.

We were not looking forward to having to do it all again the following day when we crossed into Argentina.

Itaipu Dam

In the afternoon we visited the Itaipu dam, which is situated on the Paraná river and forms the border between Paraguay and Brazil. This dam generates 75% of all Paraguay's electricity and still leaves 90% of the supply for Brazil. Itaipu is a binational company and you could tell our guide loved this with endless binational jokes. The tour begins with a 30 minute brainwashing video about how amazing the Itaipu dam is, forgetting to mention any negative consequences which have come from its construction. Afterwards you're driven around the site and it is explained how they use the water to generate electricity. The dam is 200m high. It is unbelievably big. All the equipment they use to generate the hydroelectric power is completely oversized. The turbine hall is a kilometer long and each turbine has a diameter of about 25m. It was really fascinating to see something so different. For this tour, you have to wear a hard hat. For part of it, you are within the working dam; part of the tour takes you through the offices, where you still have to wear the hard hat, to the amusement of the workers.

After the dam tour, we found an all-you-can-eat churrascaria for £8. These are found all over Brazil and for your £8 you get a pretty decent self serve buffet of rices, pastas, salads and a couple of mains. This is not why you go though; the staff continually come round with various different meats on skewers and cut you a piece off. We must have had about 10 pieces of meat. And it was decent meat as well. I think we could be visiting a few over these over the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday 25th September - Iguassu Falls, Brazil and border hop number two: Brazil - Argentina

We got up early to go to Iguassu Falls in the hope that we would beat the crowds. Although it was busy at the entry gate and on the bus which takes you around the national park, the bus nearly emptied as people decided to do the visitor centre first. This meant that at the Falls, there were only about 15 of us. The waterfalls were magnificent and well deserved of their title of one of the 7 wonders of the world. That are high, loud and powerful along some distance. They were beautiful. The speed at which the water travels was unbelievable. I am so glad we have seen the Falls as these are definitely something anyone who gets the chance should go to see.

Next door to the national park is a bird park which we decided to visit, not really expecting much. We ended up spending over 2 hours there and have never seen such a vast range of birds. There were a few walk through aviaries, including one with some very impressive toucans. Their beaks look so fake and stuck on the front. They posed very nicely for photos.

Afterwards, we collected our rucksacks from the hostel and crossed the border into Argentina, which was fortunately a lot more civilised than attempting to cross over from Paraguay with only one easy bus change. And back to understanding when you're being spoken to and what is written down. For Chris though, it's all in 'foreign' but at least he's 'got his translator back', which coincidentally was the first reason he listed for not wanting to travel alone. Nice to be valued by your husband.

Thursday 26th September - Iguassu Falls - Argentina and third and final border hop: Argentina - Brazil Enjoying the fact we got our passports back and can therefore re-enter a country.

Once again we got up early to beat the crowds; however this time that was not possible. The Argentinian side of the Falls is reportedly the better side from which to view them and is a lot more accessible with the majority of the route being completely flat. We personally preferred the Brazilian side as you can see the Falls as a whole and get an idea of the magnitude. With the Argentinian side, you are right on top of them and so you can only really see that section of the waterfall. The wildlife is probably better on the Argentinian side with more colourful and exotic birds, as well as a few different smaller breeds of toucan.

We also went on a speed boat ride up to the waterfalls and under 3 of them. It was worth seeing the Falls from water level and looking up at them.

That evening, we made our final trip over the border back to Brazil and went out for dinner. Over dinner, we began to notice the number of very attractive and natural women, to which Chris commented that we were going to need to tie his mouth shut. I didn't get this at first so questioned him. His response was so they can't tell I'm gawping at them and demonstrated his open-mouthed, transfixed expression. Hmm....

Itaipu Dam brainwash part two

Included in the price of our dam tour, were 'free' tickets to their eco-museum which showed more reasons why the Itaipu dam was so brilliant. It was a strange museum with a few unrelated themes, and only English or Spanish translations in the first couple of sections meaning we were really not too sure what was going on in most of the museum or what relevance it had to the construction of the dam. I mean one section was a dirty cartoon comic strip competition.

After a late lunch/early dinner, we caught the 16 hour night bus to Sao Paulo, where the temperature is in the 30s. I can't wait!

Posted by Roaming Rolts 08:23 Archived in Brazil Tagged waterfalls river puerto dam border passport iguassu foz itaipu Comments (0)

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