In our everyday passages, we spout idioms and cliches;
“It is, what it is”,
“It’ll work out for the best”,
blah blah blah, thinking that sometimes a misstep or misadventure will some how work out for and have a completely positive result. I typically find that one must set and put things in motion for positive results to occur.
Tonight, was one of those mythical nights where good things came out of a complete mistake. After running around the jungle photographing everything in sight, I was starving and had no intention of dining at the Sheraton, with its overpriced buffet. So I thought that I would grab the 5 peso bus into Puerto Iguazu, get a couple snacks and meet up with David and his mother for drinks at the hotel. Wait! Who??
Well it happened that while I was getting into my room, they occupied the suite next door. David and his mother Nadine, were both traveling through Argentina. She happened to be working in the HR field and David is a young lad who works at JP Morgan in NYC. We chit chatted, had a glass of champagne and made plans to share travel stories over dinner at 9pm.
So after getting into town with the 5 peso bus, I was informed by the bus counter staff that there were no more buses back to the Sheraton that evening, even though I specifically asked the front desk staff to confirm that there was bus coming back from town. Naturally, I was livid as this meant that I had to spend 60-70 pesos to get back to the hotel. So I thought to myself, “Well I’m in town, I might as well look for a nice dinner in this place … make some lemonade from lemons” and started walking down the street looking for a place to grab a bite.
So I stopped in front this restaurant named Color Parilla Pizza and it looked nice enough, even though I was dressed like a complete backpacking bum. It was 7.30 and the restaurant looked like this.
This was a blessing in disguise as I sat at the two seater table and proceeded to decipher the menu. At that point, the manager/owner Louis comes over and starts chatting and asking where I am from and of course he was quite happy to hear the Trinidadian in Toronto story coming all the way to Puerto Iguazu for a bite. So we continue chatting and he takes me behind the grill to show me the meats and shows me the meat locker and how they store all the river fishes prior to making masterpieces of them.
So order the Bife de Chorizo, which was basically TWO huge tenderloins on his recommendation. The meat that was I had upon completion, ranks in the top 3 pieces of beef I have ever had in my life – an almost spiritual, revelatory application of fire and spice to meat with perfect aging and cooking. Upon experiencing this beef epiphany, I asked Louis to grant me a favour and allow me to use the house phone to send a message to David and Nadine. Sure enough, I get David, we make arrangements and I spend the next hour savouring the rest of my meal, while having a couple very generous drams of Chivas Regal. All this time, there was a live singer going at his craft with some very respectable renditions adding to the overall dining pleasure.
All this time, the restaurant is packed with diners, Louis grants me another favour and moves from a 2 seater table to a 4 seater to accommodate David and Nadine. He also let me occupy the 4 seater table during a busy time that he could easily have asked me to move to accomodate the diners who had lined up. That never happened! Eventually, we all got together and had more food with tons of stories and conversation.
Now another two young ladies were eating at the table across from us, when this huge flying cockroach (it is a jungle, this happens) flew on top of the women. Of course, we all know what happened … so of course, I make a joke of it and have a couple chuckles and next thing you know, I invited the two young ladies to dine with us. So now the table had gone from 3 to 5… I was still sipping my 4th or 6th dram of Chivas.
Of course, we can’t forget our screaming lass Paloma.
Of course, dinner and conversation continues till 12.30 i.e my 5th hour at dinner, when Nadine decided to head to hotel and left David in “my care” …. additionally Louis gave us free drink pass for two other bars in the area. So Paloma, Itzy (I can’t spell her Basque name), David and myself set out looking for new places to drink. In the end, we decided to head to the Casino in the area, but it was hot and we had walked a bit, so instead we camped out at this complete local dive where we got these massive bottles of Quilmes Cristal. By the time that all was done, it was about 2.30am and David and I still had to traipse back to the Sheraton.
All in all… one wrong bus ride turning into an amazing night of restaurant tours, new friends, good liquor and spectacular food. This is why I travel!