We finally got everything cleaned up and packed up in the camper and truck. But the truly hard part was saying goodbye to our farm-family. These folks mean so much to us and took such great care of us. But we have a journey to complete here in South America.
Leaving Dois Irmaos meant that we needed to head North. We wanted to see Iguazu Falls and a few things along the way. Lots of jungle to pass through meant hot temperatures and humid nights. We found relief by parking in the shade and opening all the windows.
Our first stop was at the Mission region in Brazil. These religious settlements were developed by the Jesuits from Spain. They intended to save the heathen natives of the area. This created some problems for Portugal who was actively using the indigenous for their slave needs. The Guarani were already well-organized as a culture, but have now essentially vanished into mixed-race locals.
There is a Hollywood flick about this- “The Mission” released in 1986 starring, Robert DeNiro, Liam Neeson and Jeremy Irons. I fine cast of young fellas, and well worth a few hours of your time. It was refreshing to see that the information in the museums aligned with the story told in the movie. So often that point is not on-the-mark. This mission was established in 1726 and many of the artifacts were pillaged over the year. But the restorations were well done and the place is nicely maintained.
The heat and humidity was very hard on all of us. So we chose to take a two day break and rent a house with air conditioning. We all really needed it, after many long days of driving and miserable, sleepless nights. It was a $25.00 per night, well spent! We also had the energy to go visit some of the local highlights.
The town was named Ametista do Sul and was known for the underground mining of amethysts, large geodes and similar gemstones. There were many processing warehouses, shipping companies and jewelry stores. We enjoyed a delicious meal in a cave! An underground restaurant decorated with HUGE crystal stones and glass table tops resting on geodes and half-shells of amethyst. (Terri Smith, I know I am making a mess of this part! Sorry.)
Oddly enough, this little town also had a “Bambu Museo” which featured bamboo products from around the world. There were many interesting displays and even samples of snacks, drinks and health products made from bamboo. These cute items are just a few examples of what we enjoyed.
We were almost to Iguazu (aka Iguacu) and one of the wonders of the natural world and we have really been looking forward to it! But we are still in the jungle heat!