Argentina 2: Mercedes to Puerto Iguazú

During the optional rest period, Simon and Ang enjoyed Sam and Nora’s hospitality.  They assisted with meals, Ang made beaded jewellery with Nora, hopping in and out of the welcoming pool and generally relaxed with wine in hand.  Trips into town were had to sample some of Argentina’s finest ice cream at Cremolatti and to visit a local bar with Nico, Sam and Nora’s son.

Sam’s farm pool Sam’s farm well
A cow next to Sam’s farm Nora inside Sam’s farm
The throne Racers at a bar in Mercedes along with Nico
Nico after time in the work shed

Ang really admired Nico’s gorgeous craftsmanship seen all around the house (carpentry and paintings) so Nico began making Ang two lovely timber bracelets and a painting. With the relaxing and hospitable time given by Sam, Nora and Nico the team said they would like to return sometime in the future when they weren’t in a race. Ang said “Mercedes is such a nice French colonial town and We have to go back to collect the Nico painting master piece someday”.

With the rest period over, and sadly too short, Simon and Ang once again packed their bags in preparation for the start of the next leg of the Amazing Exclusive Race.  Soon, they received their clue and were on their way to Puerto Iguazú.  The journey began with the team being driven to the Mercedes bus station where they boarded a bus to Corrientes.  There they purchased tickets for the fifteen hour overnight bus to Puerto Iguazú.  Once again this was a bearable, but less than comfortable journey.

Sunset outside of Mercedes

They arrived early the next morning in Iguazú and were given the task of finding suitable accommodation. Both Simon and Ang were confident that this would easily be achieved, but they soon realised that there was a big bubble of people heading towards Brazil. They walked around for a couple of hours in the intense heat before they were able to secure beds in a dorm room at a party hostel.

With this challenge completed, the team received their next clue.  They were to make their way to Iguazú falls, a massive watercourse that has flows three times greater than Niagara falls, a natural wonder previously visited by the team.  Once at Iguazú, Simon and Ang would be required to complete a grand tour of the Argentine side.  Racing back to the bus station, the team jumped on a Iquazú bound bus and arrived at the national park at two pm.

Iguazú falls

They entered and raced through the lower circuit, heading over to San Martin Island on the last ferry of the day.  Simon and Ang were impressed at the sheer majesty of the spectacular cascades.  Ang was disappointed that no one had mentioned you could swim, but had little time to wallow as the team still needed to see the other two sections of the extensive Argentine trail system.

Falls panorama
Iguazú from another angle is still spectacular

Racing out of the lower circuit, the team jumped on the train and were driven around to the Gargantra Del Diablo, the largest plunge of the falls. The team was impressed at the scale of the waterfall and took a number of photographs before they raced back to the train station for the last returning train of the day.

The main Iguazú falls plunge, Gargantra Del Diablo
Rock within Iguazú

They arrived back at the second train station soon after and instead of giving up and riding the final train back to the entry gate, set out to complete the last component of the race.  They headed back to the entry of the upper circuit where they jumped over the closed gate and raced along the boardwalk.  The upper circuit provided the final perspective of the falls and the team was able to enjoy the magical sunset light and take a few photographs before a nice park ranger gave them their final clue directing them to make their way to the pit stop and kicked them out.

Returning to Puerto Iguazú, the team checked into their accommodation, the pit stop for this leg of the race.

That evening, they enjoyed the rest period by walking around town, eating exceptional steak and finally more Cremolatti ice cream.  Both Simon and Ang knew that from this point on the race would be turned up a notch so they both took advantage of the rest.

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