America by RV: Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina
trip to South America was meant to be much more than just a return
to the continent. Silvio had readied his RV for the three-country
excursion, and more importantly, planned particularly enticing
meetings with alligators and presidents.
in Buenos Aires we almost immediately crossed to Uruguay where
we spent an hour with José "Pepe" Mujica and enjoyed the beach.
Then we drove north into Brazil where Silvio had promised tropical
swamps and alligators. After hundreds of kilometres crossing rich
farmland and marveling at the country's infrastructure, we came
to the pantanal region. The vast swamps of the pantanal
were rich with life, and although the tourist trade had slowed
to a trickle, we spent our time watching for the sudden animal
through the trees and listening for the prehistoric calls of birds.
abortive attempt to cross the Bolivian border and an equally effective
attempt at Paraguay, we photographed butterflies and coatis in
the world famous Iguazú Falls area, talked to locals and learned
about police corruption and cross-border smuggling. Back in northern
Argentina we went against the advice of nearly everyone, and set
out to explore the poverty-stricken and forgotten provinces of
Formosa and Chaco before we turned south to Cordova and Sante
Fe. There we spent long days in the mountains before seeing the
cousins on our way back to Buenos Aires.
by motorhome meant that we were more versatile than most tourists.
We could pull over at remote vistas and extend a conversation
that otherwise a set schedule might cut short. We didn't require
anything other than the truck's shower and bathroom, water tanks
and refrigerator, and cooking stove and furnace. This is not so
much a story about the hardships of traveling as it is a report
from the hidden corners of countries that are only accessible
when you travel by RV.