After living it up in Brazil for the few days with Rod and Adriano, it was back to the map reading and navigation. Lucky for me by taking a wrong turn, (its good sometimes not to agree with the map,) nothing to do with me not reading it correctly, we ended up at this lovely place for our overnight stop. Mocona, or in true Guarani language means ‘he who swallows everything’.
Mocona is a 3 kilometers long canyon, with parallel waterfalls normally of 5 to 15 m high. They are unique because they are longitudinal to the course of the water. Also here there are nice walks you can do through the rainforest which protects birds, mammals and fish. The only sounds other than our footsteps where those of the birds and mammals, loads of multi-coloured butterflies were to be seen when we hit a sunny spot, and how abundant tree ferns, canes and old trees all live in this thick vegetation.
We pretty much had the place to ourselves, wonderful.
Not really on the tourist trail just yet, but by the looks of it a Visitors Center is in the process of being built. We eventually managed to see a Toucan, so they do exist after all, and not just for show on the Guinness Adds.
Traveling along you can just about see anything or everything in one day, from oxen pulling wagons like they had in the westerns,
entire families traveling on motor-bikes, some even try to take the mog on, huge trucks transporting cattle, cars so old you actually wonder how they are still moving, then you have the lovely new cars, what a contrast, people cycling usually with a person on the front and the back, plus the shopping, and then of course the ‘gaucho’ which is a lovely sight to see as they ride through the fields herding their cattle. On a few occasions we have actually parked and watched them as they gather their huge herds and just as well they are on horse-back as there are no ditches, the fields seem to go for miles and miles.
The roads are okay but we do travel on some off-road ones also, makes it much more fun and interesting, even if it does take longer to get to our destination and it is on these ‘not so popular routes’ you see how the people really live and how they work the land, some with machinery and some by hand.
We like the smaller sleepier towns the best, folks take the time to say hello, and will spend the time to help us butcher their language while trying to be polite. We were even given a stack of sandwiches by a guy who learned we were from Ireland and driving all the way to Ushuaia! We even found a hairdresser looking to sort Merv out.
Most people cook outdoors usually on a Asado, an open-air barbecue for grilling cuts of meat and they are an important community ritual for gauchos and country-dwellers, and most of them grill the meat with the skin still attached. Most little parks that we stop in to have our lunch usually have asado’s which is super,and you will always see some locals their cooking up something to eat with their family and friends and just having fun, they can even buy a kite to play with too.
Some petrol stations/truck stops also have places to BBQ, you might not be able to buy a pint of milk, but you can cook and buy a large bottle of cool beer, happy days !