Uruguay to Iguazu

Getting to Iguazu, was such a mission. I was in Montevideo Uruguay, the capital of weed, looking for some decent weed all day. Sick as a dog. I was in a really shitty hostel and so far had only met an Australian who had a long thinned out beard and kept talking about how he just wanted some hard drugs like meth and heroin. I immediately was wigged out and locked all of my stuff. Suffering from a cold I slept all day, and had just come from an apartment Joe was staying at. Joe and I had met on the coast of Colombia two years ago and ended up traveling for 2 months together after running into each other again in Medellin. This time I reached out letting him know I’m coming to Uruguay the day before he’s leaving. So I had hopped on a boat and he had a crash pad offered to him by one of his friends, who’s dad uses when he comes to Montevideo. It was rather shanty, but it was free, so it was perfect. Joe had treated me to an incredible Asado meal, at 1am, which is apparently the standard dinner time in Montevideo.

Fast forward a shitty breakfast and a day of sickness at a really shanty hostel later, and I wake up after sleeping all day and night to the smell of weed. This was a blessing considering the fact that for being the first country to legalize cannabis in the world, it was extremely hard to come by. As soon as I take a sniff, I immediately stand up, walk to the room they are smoking, and a lovely Brazilian girl is holding a roach to her mouth, I smile and ask if I can join her. Politely she lets me know that she doesn’t have much, but she will gladly share. I warn  her that I’m sick, so she should just give me the last hit or two. At which point she insists that a take a drink of her water which will help me. “Flores de amazónicas” is apparently the added secret ingredient. After smoking even a bit, I immediately feel better, and the by the end of the day am not sick at all. Still trying to figure out which flower of the amazon it was exactly that she concocted in her recipe… so I decide it’s time to move on. Turns out LTC spiked hard while I was sick, not sure if it’s just the coincidence that the market helps me when I’m sick, or the Devine just feels pity, but I really don’t mind at all. . .

I go to the bus stop to get a ticket to Iguazu falls, and find out it’s a 20 hour ride. 20 hours on a bus is bad enough, but when you’re 6’5 and the seats in South America recline so much that you’re basically allowing the person in front of you to rest their head in your lap, well then it’s impossible. I book another hostel, this time making sure it has great reviews. I go there, borrow a Uruguayan electricity adaptor from the hostel manager and start looking for flights to Iguazu. I realize there is a flight from Montevideo to Buenos Aires, where I can hopefully spend Chanukah, then it connects to Iguazu through Sau Paulo. All I would have to spend is 12,000 points and $30, cheaper than the bus. So I go for it. I roll up the rest of the weed I got from the crazy Australian into a giant doobie, and smoke it with 3 Brazilians, a German, a Czech  guy, 2 Argentineans and some other worldly individuals. Once it is gone I say good bye. In great surprise they are all upset that I’m leaving so quickly and individually get up to each hug me. I get a partial refund on my hostel payment and uber to the airport. Ubers in most South American countries are illegal, and they get bullied by the cabs. So you have to act like you’re buddies, sit in the front, don’t mention uber when you arrive somewhere, and be ready with a whole backstory about how you guys are friends.

Once I got to Buenos Aires I wandered the city with my backpack and try to get to Chabad. I find it, but it’s closed, and the local rabbi recommends me to go to another party that is way to far. So I decide to just walk around. As I’m walking through the park a crazy dog starts running at me full speed while growling and snarling aggressively. I realize quickly it’s a homeless person’s dog, I raise my hand and let the dog know I will conquer it today, this is not the human to be bitten. She turns right before reaching me. “Ella esta loca!” The homeless guys yell. Thanks buddy… no shit. As I keep walking on my way to the airport I see a giant menorah in the park. A random Argentinian on a bike rides over to me and warns me to be careful at 2am walking through the parks. Then we light up by the menorah. I eventually get to the airport and get on my flight to São Paulo. They try to get my to go through customs, I tell them I’m just passing through, not exiting and they insist that I can’t do that. Apparently there are two airports right next to each other, both called Iguazu, one is falls (foz) and one is port, (puerto). My airline only gave me one option upon booking tickets, but the problem is that one is in Brazil, and the other is in Argentina. The one I was at was in Brazil. And considering how Brazil forces of all countries, for just the US to get a visa upon entry, they were telling me that not only can I not enter or exit the airport, but now that I have entered without a visa, I must fly back to the states. I politely informed the customs agent that this was not one of the options in my itinerary regardless of his perception. He phoned the airline and the lovely Argentinian lady from the airline informed me that it is their fault for allowing me through to the flight without a visa, but that she can’t get me a free flight credit since I bought with points, and that I either buy a flight back to Argentina  within the hour, or customs was going to force me to fly back to Los Estados Unidos 🇺🇸. I informed her also that that simply was not going to happen, and my phone is currently dead, and there are no places to charge it, and even if there were, I don’t have a Brazilian adaptor. She informed me that there are plugs in the men’s bathroom, so this attractive Argentinean flight attendant and I make our way to the men’s room and she shows me the plug in the wall, which was very different from the Argentinian  one. She didn’t have an adaptor either. And then I remembered that I had the one from Uruguay still that I borrowed from the hostel manager and forgot to return, which happened to look very similar. I tried it, it worked, i bought a flight back to Argentina that was taking off in 19 minutes. She said I had to be on the flight 18 minutes before. She radioed them to hold the plane, I bought the ticket and ran for it. Went back to Buenos Aires, just to try to get to Iguazu falls again the very next day.  .  . In the end it was very worth it.

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