It is hard to imagine topping our day yesterday. In fact, we are not even going to try it! We began our day with a plan. We first went back to Iguazu National Park to see a little bit more before our plane took off to bring us to Buenos Aires for the last time. Gustavo was there for us in the morning as usual.
We made our way through the similar paths that we walked from the day before. I was praying that we could avoid the rain. You have no idea how difficult it is to take photos of any kind when it is pouring. At this point, I am thrilled that my camera still works!
We only had a few hours to spend in the park and agreed that going back to “La Garganta” would be a little risky with the time it takes to get there (2 trains, lines and then the mile long walk) and a flight that we have to catch. So, the Lower Trail was our path. We also wanted to do some shopping in the gift shops – priorities!
The air was very still this morning – almost unsettling. The various sounds of nature were there – but different. There wasn’t much of a breeze and the humidity was so heavy. In my mind it could only mean one thing; we were going to get blasted by a major storm. What was wonderful about this morning is that there was a myriad of different birds flirting with my camera, a lone deer forging for his meal, spinning spiders waiting in a stealth-like fashion for their next victim and living things presenting themselves to us. I was so excited to see the deer; I had to work very hard to get the photo you see here.
Shopping was even more interesting. It was HOT. It was HUMID. It was GROSS. And there we were… looking at winter, wool sweaters for ourselves. I am please to report that Mr. Szymanski was able to find a very cool sweater unlike any he has ever seen. Mr. Sanders was not so lucky.
We then made our way to the airport. If you can understand that when I said the air was gross, the airport was even more so! Sitting still meant having a drenched shirt full of your own perspiration. We thought about changing our shirts but that would have been a temporary solution. We would just be sweating through the new clothes in moments.
And then it came – the rain. It wasn’t just any rain. Before it came, you could see airplanes on the tarmac, people moving luggage and trucks going by. Suddenly, the windows became WHITE. It wasn’t from the steam of the humidity. It was because the rain was falling so hard. It was a complete RAIN OUT. We wondered if this was what it looked like when we got hit in the monsoon the day before – probably. Our flight was delayed because of this – and all we could do was sit. Eventually, our flight was ready and we made our way back to Buenos Aires.
We found our hotel and got ready for some fun New Years Eve celebration! Mr. Sanders has been very handy with his iPhone map skills. We made our way 2 blocks from the hotel and found a great outdoor restaurant with a fixed menu for the evening. We made friends with the people around us and reflected on what an awesome trip this has been. As midnight came, people took to the streets. Fireworks lit up the sky and there was a magical feeling of happiness emanating from the crowd.
Wishing all of you – my friends, family, my penguins in Room 108 and readers a most healthy and happy 2015!
Mr. Szymanski is a 1st grade teacher at Walt Disney Elementary School in Chicago, IL. He is bringing the world to his classroom with the help of National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions. Here, he chronicles his adventures to Antarctica and South America in December 2014.