When Quatis Attack!

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This blog entry about the events of Sunday, February 08, 2004 was originally posted on February 10, 2004.

DAY 113:  Iguaçu/Iguazu [Brazilian/Spanish spelling] Falls, one of the world’s greatest natural wonders and a UNESCO site as of 1986, is a massive collection of 275 waterfalls at the borders of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina, where gravity pulls down millions of gallons of water in a great spectacle that looks great on a postcard.

I had been recommended by everyone who had already been there to visit the Brazilian side first for an overview of the falls before seeing it up close in Argentina.  I passed this recommendation onto Lara and so we went off on our own to the national park just 3 km. away and accessible by public bus.

On our way to the bus stop on the main road we stopped in a small grocery store for some munchies.  The snacks we ended up buying were two bags of bacon and cheese puff that were dated October 2003 — we figured they might be okay since they were in a sealed bag.  However, when we opened them up on the way, we realized just how stale something could get in three and a half months.

“This is what they package electronics with,” I said.

Luckily in our plastic grocery bag we had a big bottle of water to wash out the taste and some chocolate wafers to replace it with — they weren’t stale at all.


AFTER TEN MINUTES ON A BUS, we arrived at the national park with a very developed welcome center that looked like something out of Disney World.  We waited on the long line to pay our admission fees, making fun of the petite Japanese woman with the obvious and ridiculous boob job, and the old Japanese guy that looked like the old man in the back of the store in 1984’s Gremlins.  We got our tickets and them hopped on a fancy double-decker transport tour bus which took us to the beginning of a trail along the falls.

On the bus we had been warned not to feed the animals and at the trail there was a sign that reiterated the rule.  Nearby a cute little quati (pronounced KWAH-chee) — which looks like a raccoon with a longer snout — casually strolled by.  I had put down our grocery bag of munchies for a second to switch tapes in my camcorder when suddenly the critter starting coming towards the bag.  When I went to grab it, the quati turned from cute, furry little critter to ferocious little monster with sharp claws and teeth.  It pounced the bag and dragged it behind the fence and began to devour the stale cheese puffs that we didn’t want anyway.

“[You’re not supposed to feed the animals,]” a nearby woman tourist told us.

“Uh, yeah, we weren’t meaning to do it,” Lara retorted.

Next to the “Don’t Feed The Animals” sign was one that said it was prohibited to climb the fence.  “We should get the water at least,” Lara suggested.

Watching the animal I hesitated but figured a little raccoon-like critter couldn’t be that bad — besides it was occupied at the moment.  “I’ll get it.”

I took my pack off and stooped under the fence like Steve Irwin The Crocodile Hunter at a zoo.  I kept my eye on the quati as I slowly approached the bottle of water, still in the big grocery bag.  I reached my arm out, but then suddenly the little monster lunged at me with its claws. 

“Oh shit.”

I flinched away quickly.  In the end we let the quati have it all.

“Oh man, there go the wafers,” I said.


WATERLESS AND SNACKLESS we continued down the trail with the other tourists, taking photos with the various falls that make up “Iguaçu Falls.”  None of them looked as impressive as in the postcards.

“Don’t get me wrong, they’re beautiful, but I thought there would be more water,” Lara noted.  As we continued down the path along the river, there the abundance of water was, at the postcard photo-worthy Floriana Falls — made accessible for close ups with a pedestrian bridge — and Iguaçu’s crown jewel, The Devil’s Throat.  We continued to take photos, trying to get out of other people’s way — even most of them didn’t reciprocate the favor.  Lara and I actually tried the reverse tactic, posing in hopes that someone would block the view — the old Japanese guy with the foot-long beard.


AFTER A COLD DRINK UNDER THE SHADE, we took the transport bus back to the entrance, stopping briefly at the optional safari that turned out to be more money than we thought.  We took the public bus into the city for an internet session instead.  On the way, I went to visit France, the man who helped me the day before during my accident  He said that I might be able to get in the newspaper if I e-mail him some photos and started to make some calls.

Lara and I went out for a nice dinner at a sidewalk cafe and then to a nearby supermarket to buy provisions for our journey to the Argentinian side of the falls the next day.  Lara, still determined to be on a diet (although I didn’t know why), decided to stock up on fruits — apples, pears, plums, nectarines — in addition to some bread and lite cream cheese for sandwiches.

“People are going to think we’re vegetarians,” I told her, looking down at the contents of our cart.  I went off and got a small pack of ham.


DENIED McFLURRY’S AT A JUST-CLOSED McDONALD’S DESSERT STAND, we just left the city and took the bus back out of the city, singing random songs and jingles from the 1980s — a addicting habit from Lara, the former drama student.  We walked from the main road back to the hostel through the night with our grocery bags of food, hoping there were no more quatis lurking in the darkness waiting to attack.






Next entry: Great Adventure

Previous entry: An Episode of E.R.




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Comments for “When Quatis Attack!”

  • first!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/10  at  05:47 PM


  • HEY GANG:  The hostel’s internet place is down… there’s only one computer anyway and it’s a DIAL UP—can you believe that? 

    Bear with me… I have to take trips into the city to post stories…  Sorry I’m behind a day!

    BTW, I’m leaving Iguazu tomorrow… could be NIZ for a couple of days… 

    Coming soon:  photos of the falls from the Argentine side…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/10  at  05:55 PM


  • New desktop too!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/10  at  05:57 PM


  • New desktop background too!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/10  at  05:57 PM


  • i starting to hate NIZ. Can we pelt him w/ rocks?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/10  at  06:04 PM


  • Um, re: your pic at the top of this page.. can’t decide on which this is..

    1. this animal’s tongue actually comes out of its ear, and it’s sticking it out at you
    2. some parasitic worm is making an attack on the animal like the worm that takes a person over in Star Trek: Wrath of Khan
    3. it has overactive snot glands in its ear
    4. it tried to eat a really Really REALLY old Cheezie and its body is rejecting it as soon as possible..
    5. it escaped from the animal handler as he was trying to clean its ears with a pipe cleaner..

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/10  at  06:23 PM


  • oh NO!!!!!  more signs!!! ... Great pics!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/10  at  06:40 PM


  • is it me, or does it look like they outlined someone’s arm/hand (like playing shadow puppets) of the animal in the no feeding the animals sign?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/10  at  07:36 PM


  • markyt: not hand puppet…its a replica of the new Red Power Ranger ‘zord, OstrichZord.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/10  at  08:07 PM


  • You and Lara look great together. Any chance of anything happening.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/10  at  08:23 PM


  • I love the japanese guy with the long beard!  He looks like he has a big bun or ponytail in the back too.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/10  at  09:15 PM


  • Darcy: It’s probably an identification tag of some sort.

    Erik: DAIL UP?!  WTF!
    Thanks for the new desktop! I haven’t changed it since the salt flats.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/10  at  09:39 PM


  • Love the Devil’s throat pic, but after seeing your face drowned in blood it pales in comparison. I’m with Neven!You guys look good…vday around the corner too wink

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/10  at  11:13 PM


  • oooh NEVEN!  i was wondering that, toooo!~!!!!!! smile

    Posted by hanalei  on  02/10  at  11:47 PM


  • Erik: I agree with Neven.. you guys have quite a collection of couple shots..  looks like you’re on your honeymoon =)

    heehee

    cuidado

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/11  at  03:01 AM


  • Hey I just found this site in the middle of my search for flight attendant career information…this is very interesting. I only read your AirFrance Fiasco and When Quatis Attack, but I think I’m going to be it up. btw, where the heck do you get the money for all these trips?? Can you explain “freelance”? I sorta have an idea, but ya know, I’m just a college freshman. lalala…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/11  at  05:43 AM


  • welcome Zoe to the Blog Hogs!

    as for the money question, erik saved his pennies…and he has an online store to supplement his daily spending of oreos and stale cheese doodles.

    check it out: http://www.cafeshops.com/cp/store.aspx?s=whatexit

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/11  at  12:58 PM


  • Zoe: Oh, and he pimps me out to do work for him (his bro)...

    hahaha…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/11  at  01:14 PM


  • see, i told you a while back that you and lara make a cute couple. i think you guys should continue your travels together. =) and i love those photos of the waterfalls. they are so beautiful. man, i am so jealous right now.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/11  at  01:38 PM


  • ZOE:  Hello and welcome to the Fellowship of the Blog!  Enjoy and spread the word!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/11  at  02:06 PM


  • HEY GANG… Still sort of NIZ right now…  everything is up in the air… I was meant to go to Parati today , a small coastal town, but now, in forty minutes I’m off to Rio, racing another team in a bus leaving at the same time…

    Until Rio, blame it on something else…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/11  at  02:08 PM


  • I agree with the rest of the thread.  You and the quati would make a lovely couple.

    Posted by matto  on  02/11  at  02:22 PM


  • It looks like the sign is saying “Do not feed the animals Hamburgers.”

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/11  at  04:04 PM


  • cristina, hanalei
    Notice how erik has no comment about lara.
    Come on ERIK fess up: yoooooooouu likkkkkke
    herrrrrrrr

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/11  at  04:26 PM


  • uh huuuuuh!
    ::makes kissy noises::

    Posted by hanalei  on  02/11  at  04:39 PM


  • a gentlemen never tells (can’t we just leave it at that?)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/11  at  05:43 PM


  • whoa! Serial Animal Killer in Brazil. There’s a rumor that they were killed by stale cheezy puffs.

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/science/02/12/brazil.zoo.ap/index.html

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/11  at  06:17 PM


  • hey Erik, great website. i send a email to you but i just realize that you are not in NYC. Good luck into your 16+- months of adventure. Take care. Alex.

    Posted by alex  on  02/11  at  10:35 PM


  • hey, i was looking for the Kusillo Museo website and this pops up in google. i’ve been reading it all wk, excellent writing & photos!

    I was in Bolivia this time last year volunteering at the Kusillo in La Paz as a graphic designer, then i went to peru and brazil. did the exact same Pantanl trip as u! but i got bitten buy a sandfly and picked up an arm eating parasite virus! so if u notice any glands swelling up and insect bite holes getting bigger - then u’ll need to see a doc asap!!

    anyway thought i’d just recommend some places for u. the Newton hotel/hostel in copacabana, Rio is really cheap - but mega friendly, u’ll love it. also u should head up to Salavador, it’s a great city - check out a traditional afro-brazil church ceremony if u can - they channel spirits! also 2 hours by boat from Salavador is a little island called Morro De Sao Paulo. It’s all sandy beaches, palm trees and sun! man i wish i was there now! and it’s cheap - we stayed at Pousada Aradhia. On a night u should check out Joe (http://www.fotosdomorro.com/Personajes/joe.htm) and his portable street cocktail bar. he’ll most likely play u some bossa-nova on his drum and guitar!

    Also Brazillia has some awesome 60’s architecture, but nowt else, only worth visiting only as a stop through.

    I can’t believe u carry around an ibook - what an ace idea, i should hav thought of that, i could hav done some freelance whilst on road!

    anyways…hav fun & keep safe!

    Posted by Graham  on  02/11  at  11:15 PM


  • awesome pics!  like everyone else, i wish i was there!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/12  at  11:30 AM


  • OK folks ... anyone have the cure for the NIZ’s?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/12  at  04:28 PM


  • SIM: you could watch this over and over again:

    http://umsis.miami.edu/~mwaarna/stfu.swf

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/12  at  04:29 PM


  • Markyt: HAHAHA ... Did the trick .. thanks ... anymore?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/12  at  04:33 PM


  • OMG…I can’t stop watching it!
    ...and now I am singing it too.

    “...and I feel…waaaawaaah…*thump*”

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/12  at  04:52 PM


  • lalalalala .. !thump!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/12  at  05:17 PM


  • HAHAHAHAHAHA… thump.  5 times in a row went by before I got over the shock and stopped laughing…
    Parati, that place is beautiful, in most towns you have cobblestones, this place has cobblerocks.. whoever has the cart repair business makes a killing!
    Ditto on the Salvador bit!  A medium sized city but over 360 different churches, can you imagine visiting a new church every DAY?  Awesome

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/12  at  05:24 PM


  • Well, Erik is not Running from the Bulls in Spain just yet, but here’s why he’ll need to RUN (like Forrest Gump):

    http://64.106.216.34/heavy/heavy/qtdemand/contagious/video/boitarado.mov

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/12  at  06:33 PM


  • new desktop!

    Posted by Alyson  on  02/13  at  08:30 AM


  • HEY ALL:  I am writing this in a mall near Copacabana Beach in Rio…  Rio is one big LVIZ (Low Volume Internet Zone)... so my time on the web will be brief…  There’s internet in my hostel in Botofogo, but there’s only one computer for about 30 people.

    I’ve typed up the past three days on my iBook and will upload the stories and pictures when I can…  please be patient!  New Users, it normally isn’t like this, but I am at the whim of internet availability around the world.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/13  at  11:10 AM


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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by BootsnAll.com. It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

Praised and recommended by USA Today, RickSteves.com, and readers of BootsnAll and Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree, The Global Trip blog was selected by the editors of PC Magazine for the "Top 100 Sites You Didn't Know You Couldn't Live Without" (in the travel category) in 2005.


Next entry:
Great Adventure

Previous entry:
An Episode of E.R.




THE GLOBAL TRIP GLOSSARY

Confused at some of the jargon that's developed with this blog and its readers over the years? Here's what they mean:

BFFN: acronym for "Best Friend For Now"; a friend made on the road, who will share travel experiences for the time being, only to part ways and lose touch with

The Big Trip: the original sixteen month around-the-world trip that started it all, spanning 37 countries in 5 continents over 503 days (October 2003–March 2005)

NIZ: acronym for "No Internet Zone"; a place where there is little to no Internet access, thus preventing dispatches from being posted.

SBR: acronym for "Silent Blog Reader"; a person who has regularly followed The Global Trip blog for years without ever commenting or making his/her presence known to the rest of the reading community. (Breaking this silence by commenting is encouraged.)

Stupid o'clock: any time of the early morning that you have to wake up to catch a train, bus, plane, or tour. Usually any time before 6 a.m. is automatically “stupid o’clock.”

The Trinidad Show: a nickname of The Global Trip blog, used particularly by travelers that have been written about, who are self-aware that they have become "characters" in a long-running story — like characters in the Jim Carrey movie, The Truman Show.

WHMMR: acronym for "Western Hemisphere Monday Morning Rush"; an unofficial deadline to get new content up by a Monday morning, in time for readers in the western hemisphere (i.e. the majority North American audience) heading back to their computers.

1981ers: people born after 1981. Originally, this was to designate groups of young backpackers fresh out of school, many of which were loud, boorish and/or annoying. However, time has passed and 1981ers have matured and have been quite pleasant to travel with. The term still refers to young annoying backpackers, regardless of year — I guess you could call them "1991ers" in 2013 — young, entitled millennials on the road these days, essentially.




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