Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Litoral Argentino and PANIC at Paraguay !!!

When we left Salta, we came across a protest blocking the highway. Considering that most of the protesters were hiding their identities by wearing similar clothes and scarves. The police were present but I did not like the look of their rifles. Traffic was backed up and the heat oppressive. Fortunately, V and I did not need to wait long before the blockade was disbanded. We quickly past everyone to get ahead of the traffic.

The ride to Formasa was interesting. I love watching the gauchos on their horses but although the road towards Formasa had cowboys, there seemed not to have fenced estancia. Cattle, horses, goats, pigs, wild boars, and other animals roamed freely on the side of the road. This made riding after dark dangerous so we stayed in Ingjuares at a truck stop. Surprisingly, nice, new accommodation.

We decided to leave at 5:00 am the following day because the heat is becoming unbearable. Formasa is a border town on the Parana River separating Argentina and Paraguay. Not much to say about the town. However, overall I found the people in the Chaco region very friendly.

Panic at Paraguay

We got up early on Sunday and arrived at the Paraguay border by around 8:00 (115 km ride from Formosa) to take the short-cut to the Iquaza Falls. As we prepared to cross the border, V discovered that he had lost his passports. Both of them. At first I was not concerned. V has the tendency to lose things but the “lost” objects are always located. Not this time. We unpacked at the border and had that sinking feeling that the passports were indeed gone.

We returned to Formasa where Victor made telephone calls to advise the Canadian embassy of his lost passport and the credit card companies. Then a quick stop at the police to report his lost Argentinian passport.

We had to decide what to do and in the end, we decided to do the foolish thing. We will take the 900 km route to the falls through Argentina. The trip from the falls to Buenos Aries will require about 700 km riding every day for three days to arrive in time for my departing flight.