Up a lazy river where the robin's song
Wakes a brand new mornin' as we roll along
There are blue skies up above...and as long as we're in love
Up a lazy river, how happy we could be
If you go up a lazy river with me
Ah said with me now.....goin'up that... lazy river..... with me
Hoagy Carmichael, Sindey Arodin
In the morning I went down to the buffet breakfast, and explained that my son couldn’t have wheat products. I asked if they could make him potatoes or rice or something. they said I had to wait until 10 for the chef to come in. That meant we would have to take the 11am bus to the water park, instead of the 9am bus. I took Aodhan some fruit. I checked out, and had him adjust the bill, as they were charging me for an executive room, and they only gave me a standard room. It was only a few dollars, but it is more the principle. I confirmed with the concierge the time and location of the bus to the water park. He gave me a ticket that gave me a discount at the water park. At 10:15 I went back to the breakfast buffet, and after asking three more times for something gluten free, the chef finally dumped a bag of potato chips on a plate for me. This took him about 20 minutes. I guess no one else could have done that. Good thing I waited and hour and a half for the chef.
I gave up and took Aodhan the potato chips, and some more fruit. It was about 10:45 and we went to the bus stop. He said the bus would come between 11:05-11:10. I asked about a dozen people at the stop while I was there, and they all gave me different stories, yes the bus came there, no the bus only came to “El Chopping” There was no bus, the local bus went to the park.
At 11:30, I walked back to the hotel and asked again. They said they have no one that speaks any English. Their Spanish is kind of half Portuguese, and difficult to understand. But I was clear that he had told me that the specific bus for the water park came to that stop. He seemed confused and phoned two different people. Yes, he said, the bus comes there, I have no idea why it didn’t come today. I was really annoyed and left again to go back to the stop to get a bus for “el chopping”. At the bus terminal, the person in the tourist information booth paused from her important phone call long enough to point at a sign that said that the buses to the park leave at 9:00, 11:15 and 3:15, and 5pm. They come back at 4pm and 6:pm. Aodhan said he really wanted to go. I knew the only way now, because the next free bus isn’t until 3pm, was to take a taxi. $25 later, we arrived at the water park. The taxi driver smiled at me and gave himself a generous tip. I could have argued about it, but he had been nice and did deserve a tip. Another $25 later we were in the water park. Apparently, according to all the write ups, they have secure lockers. When we got in, I found out that the “secure lockers” were similar to old school lockers with bent doors. that didn’t close properly. There were no locks. Apparently, you were supposed to bring a lock with you. Their kiosk apparently sold small locks that could be opened with a toothpick, but of course, they seemed to be out of them today.
Aodhan absolutely refused to put his bathing suit on. He said he went in the water yesterday and there is absolutely no way he is going in today. I have just paid $50 so that he can take a stroll in the woods to look for snails. Great. I am going to kill him if he disappears and I cannot find him for the 4pm free bus back to town. He refuses to look after my things so that I can go swimming. I am not sure I trust him enough anyway. I now have four hours here to kill, and maybe some of my anger, frustration, resentment and stress, will wear down by the time we can go back. It could be a pretty fun day. There are a couple of big water slides, and lazy rivers and a wave pool. You have to bring your own inner tube if you want one.
Last night I read a news story from November 13th, that says that Iguazu has had major flooding, and is closed to the public. So, I might get there and have nothing to see there too. Aodhan just wants to get back to Arequipa, but there is no apartment there either.
We still had over an hour to wait. I walked to the gate, and Aodhan was sitting patiently on the grass by the gate. I asked Aodhan if he wanted lunch, and he said he was really hungry. The food was pretty expensive, but it was good, and it was big portions. We paid about $15 for a big plate of beef ribs, and another $10 for some shredded lettuce and a some sliced tomatoes.
Overall, I think Salto is a nice place, and Uruguayan food is quite good, as long as you like beef. The people are really nice. It is just a crazy tourist area though. I have found in tourist areas, the level of customer service is either really high, or really low. I think in this case, it is pretty low. For example, the concierge at the big classy hotel, doesn’t know the schedule and route for the bus to one of the two major attractions in the small town.8
We are sitting here in the park, waiting for the ferry across to Argentina. If I was with anyone else, I would have put a blanket down to sit on, but if I do that, Aodhan will shriek and never give it back and it will be a nightmare. I would also go for a walk, and leave the suitcase with him to watch. He has gone for a few little walks already. But I know, if I do, I may come back and find Aodhan gone, the suitcase unattended or the contents of the suitcase unpacked and turned into clothes for Aodhan, or all of the above. I did in the end, go for a walk after Aodhan was quite settled, and he didn’t do anything. He watched the stuff and everything was fine. The ticket window had finally opened, and I got tickets, and went to the immigration office to go from Uruguay to Argentina
The boat was a long, low wooden launch with windows all along the sides. The driver and first mate were very nice, and took photos of people pretending to drive the boat. When we got to the Concordia side, we went through Argentina immigration, and then took a taxi to the Terminal Omnibus.
There was a bus that left very soon, and I decided it would be good to be on it. I asked a bunch of the companies, and none of them had seats left at the front. I asked the guys if we could ask the people (well actually if they could ask) to trade with Aodhan because he is Autistic and gets very upset if he doesn’t have a front seat. The people agreed to it, and Aodhan was ecstatic. It was a lovely bus. They played music, and put on a movie, and served a delicious airplane level meal, but alas, it was all wheat based, so we did not have it. It turned out to be spaghetti, and that was even harder for Aodhan. I told him the meal costs extra, and we had brought our own food. Luckily I had pate and rice crackers, popcorn and some other things.
Furious storm the morning we arrived in Salto. This is the first rain we have seen since we arrived in South America. However, we were living in a desert for the first month.
Lovely meal (steak dinner) in the hotel restaurant. If felt so luxurious just charging it to the room. I guess I miss that. I should start staying in better hotels more often :)
Our lovely hotel.
An interesting tree with paper flowers strung around it
A car brand for Greg!
Aodhan peeking out and watching the view, with the curtains pulled shut so that I couldn't see out.