Iguazu Falls was an amazing experience on the Brazil side, but we had plans to visit the Argentinian side and from what we have been told is a must do as it is the best way to see the falls. We started looking into our entry requirements for Argentina and as it turns out there are 4 countries in the world that are required to pay a fee on entry. This fee isn’t for a visa, it’s just there because these 4 countries charge the same for Argentinians to visit their country (the 4 countries are Australia, Canada, USA and China.) Sounds fair to me, so we tried to pay the fee which must be paid prior to arrival to the border and must be paid online. However, when we went to pay the website was down! After calling embassies and the border we were told we have to just wait until the website is fixed before we can enter the country.
We thought we would get a good night sleep and try the website again in the morning. So, it’s 5:30am and I kind of start to wake up after some noise in our dorm room and then I feel like bugs are crawling on me. At first I shrug it off, but it keeps happening so I open my eyes and turn the light on and bed bugs are crawling all over me! Lucky for me, bugs don’t tend to weird me out so I casually flick them off and I almost considered going back to sleep (I mean its 5:30 and I really cant be bothered) but then I think ‘shit Bailey is asleep in the bed above me’ so I climb up to wake her up just incase she was getting eaten like me. At first we didn’t spot any in her bed, but we both got up anyway and packed up our stuff to leave the room as quickly as possible. We had no idea how many bites we got. For those that don’t know, bed bugs leave a red bite mark which is really itchy and lasts about two weeks.
We were then stuck in Brazil with no way of knowing when the website will be back online so we couldn’t get the bus to Argentina. With little sleep and no idea where we would stay that night we started walking around looking for a new hostel (one ideally without bed bugs.) We found a nice new looking hostel called Tetris, it’s made out of sea containers and had good reviews online so we asked if they had beds available and then tell the hostel we would be back with our passports to book. When we made it back to our original hostel to get our bags and go, I decided to check the website one last time and it was up and running! Within 5 minutes we were walking to the bus station to visit Argentina.
After deciding on a hostel we checked in and jumped straight into the pool. After a short swim, I hop out and began to feel itchy. As I scanned my body I started to notice red lumps all over my arms, shoulders, and stomach – the bloody bed bugs absolutely mauled me! I had 70+ bites, all itchy and bright red! Not the best way to start a trip, the only positive is that Bailey has no bites as it seems they all went for me.
Welcome to the life of a backpacker. People always see the nice photos on Facebook and all the amazing experiences they have but there’s another side to it. It’s something you have to embrace and deal with and do it with a smile because it won’t always be a perfect day because you’re not in a resort with everything pre-planned and worked out. Backpacking is about improvisation and laughing at all the shit that goes wrong, if you can do that then your trip will truly be the best time of your life.