Tag Archives: Border crossing Salto Concordia

One of those little travel moments

11 Aug

The beauty of travelling here in South America is that nothing is certain and there is always more than one correct answer. For example, when we arrived in Salto, Uruguay we asked at the bus station about getting to Puerto Iguazu, about 12 hours away on the Argentinean side of the border. The lady told us that it was not possible to get to Iguazu from there and we would have to get into Argentina and buy a ticket there.

A day later we went back to the same counter and asked a different lady that we wanted to get to Iguazu, she said “no problem, what you have to do is pay for your ticket here, you will travel 1 hour across the border into Argentina and will be dropped off at the Concordia bus station. There you will have to get a taxi and ask them to drop you off on the side of the highway 20 minutes out of town. I will ring the bus driver that will be passing by around 10.30pm on its way to Iguazu and tell them to pick you up”. Perfect.

Well it seemed perfect until we were still standing on the side of the highway at 11.30pm in the cold with buses and semi trucks passing. Standing there wondering if the lady back in Uruguay had gotten around to ringing the bus to let them know they had to keep an eye out for two back packers on the side of the highway.

But without that happening we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet our two new friends, hoppy the stray dog that had been hit by a car and Neddy the highway policemen who took a break from fighting truck crime (or sleeping) to chat. All so often whilst travelling you forget where you are and what you are doing, it all just starts to feel so normal. But at that moment I thought to myself, this is great, here I am, on the side of a highway in Argentina, it’s 11.30pm, I’m eating soup with a badly limping stray dog and talking to a 19 year old Argentinian highway policeman, and I don’t know if I have missed my bus or what is going to happen.

The story has a happy ending, the bus comes, bang on time (South American time), only an hour late, we are welcomed to a warm bus and leave our new friends. Hoppy goes back to being a stray dog eating left over soup that the two humans with big packs left him. Neddy goes back to fighting crime (or drinking mate) and will wake up in the morning look at the photo on his camera phone and think to himself “that guy from New Zealand spoke good English for his second language” (during conversation Mandy said she was an English teacher and Neddy says “did you teach Hap how to speak English”!)