Published: March 12th 2012March 11th 2012
Zodiac Boat Tour
So, this is why there was so much water coming at me in the boat.
Well, today's title refers to all that I have done here so far. At home I am a quiet, stay at home kind of person. I would never dream of zip lining, rappelling, taking a helicopter ride or whatnot, but here all that has changed. If it sounds fun, I am on it like (insert your own metaphor here, this is a family blog.) In other words, the active Jeannie is on the loose here.
My driver picked me up at 8 again this morning. We went through immigrations to go to the Bazil side of the Falls. I knew that they were not going to be as extensive as the Argentine side, but I knew I would find some good views and things to do. We were there a half hour before the Park opened, so I stood in line and was one of the first to buy a ticket. Our agreement was to meet at noon, giving me a good 3 hours to see everything. In this Park, everyone is bussed into the Park area. As I was leaving, I understood why my driver wanted me there early. The line was huge. The views were spectacular and being
that it was early, the crowds were non existent. I was quite pleased. It was a nice walk along wooded paths with view points indicating great photo opps. From this angle, I could see some of the walkways that I had walked yesterday, bringing a better perspective of where I had been and what I had seen. The big draw on the Brazilian side was a large walkway that extended out over some nice falls and were also in the spray of some huge falls. The day was another very hot one, so the mist felt great. I hung out to watch and see exactly where the boat tours went. I will put a picture up, but dang, I now understand why it felt as if someone had a fire hose pointed at me. Hopefully it will come through in the picture.
After wandering up and down the trail, I was done with it. As much as I enjoy seeing and hearing the falls, there is a limit to how much I can take. I caught the bus back to the parking lot. Now, this next section goes out to one of my brothers, we shall call him T.
The Casual Tourist
My nice cargo shorts were still soaking wet from yesterday, so I had to dress in my gym clothes.
He loves the Amazing Race and thinks that we would be good on it. True, we probably would be, but after some of the misadventures I have had traveling, he is setting some parameters. In reference to my forgetting where I hid my safety money this trip, he told me that he would take care of the money and passports. Probably not a bad idea. Ok, so today I purchased some magnets to give to people. Great idea. I was happy with them and stuffed them into my shorts pocket. About an hour later I went to buy a water and realized that I had shoved the magnets into my pocket with not only my cash, but also my credit card and ATM card. Great, another minor melt down about whether I had demagnetized my cards. If so, I would be down to credit cards and no cash once again. All the way back to the main parking lot I ran through the scenarios and what I would do. Fortune smiled upon me today and the ATM card worked like a charm. Phew. I had actually planned on wearing the same shorts I had on yesterday because they had lots
of pockets, but they were still wet from the boat trip, so I wore some gym shorts. See, it wasn't my fault. I was just grateful that everything worked out.
Since I needed to check my ATM card, and had about 50 minutes to kill, I chatted up the helicopter tour workers. No, I certainly wasn't planning on taking one, but gee, the next one was in 20 minutes and needed just 1 more person to fill the 3 person requirement. It was kind of my duty to help those other 2 people out by purchasing a ticket so they could get into the air. What a kind person I can be. As it turns out, one of the guys lives about 10 miles from me. Small world. The 20 minute wait stretched into 40, making me nervous about meeting my driver, but it was out of my hands. This helicopter tour company has it down to a science. As the helicopter approaches, we were ushered out near the landing pad. The passengers hopped out and we were virtually pushed in and took off. All of this took less than 5 minutes at the most. (My thought was that
they should run airlines and cut down on some of the dead time there.)
The helicopter ride was fast, furious and a heck of a lot of fun. We took off like we were leaving a bad date, and headed over the falls. So that we could get good photo shots, the pilot dipped us way over to the side. Great pics, but I don't think the passenger up front was enjoying the intense acrobatic movements so much. I really really enjoyed this ride. It was so spontaneous, so intense and so darn much fun. I took a lot of pictures (as if I ever don't) so will post some. We landed just as fast as we went up and off I went to catch my taxi. Luckily I was only about 15 minutes late. Back through Brazil and Argentine immigration, 2 more stamps in my passport, and off to the hotel we went. Before this trip I had to get a new passport, mine was going to expire and I couldn't let that happen, but it looked so shiny and new that I felt like a travel rookie again. Now it is starting to look like the passport
And not a person to be seen. Now that is some trick photography!
of someone travels, which makes me feel a whole heck of a lot better.
I had missed lunch due to the unexpected helicopter ride, so I had a delicious sandwich, fries and a beer by the pool. It was hot and humid again today, so it was nice to sit and rest in the shade. This is very different from my previous trips where I was in cold, snow and rain. I could get used to sunny days and shorts on my trips. After the great lunch I had about an hour before I had to be ready for the next tour. See, I told you I was a madman today. Not sure who Travel-Brendan is, but I would like to take him home with me. Pamper Brendan is still on in regards to the accommodations, but the new me is up for anything.
Two Italians from my hotel were on the tour along with 10 others. We rode in an open air ancient truck along the most rutted and rocky dirt roads imaginable for about a half hour. From there we hike through the jungle until we reached the first Canopy station. Canopy is an 800 meter
zip line 200 meters in the air through the canopy of the jungle. There are 3 sections, 400 meters, 200 meters and the final super fast 200 meter section. The guide told us that there were only ladders at the first and last stations, so if we started we had to finish. It was awesome! I love roller coasters, so it was only natural that I would love flying through the jungle. The tree tops, branches and leaves were so close that it gave the illusion that I would hit them, but I didn't. Still, it added to the excitement factor. I wish we could have gone again, but we were off to rappel down a 15 meter tall waterfall. It was a controlled rappel in that the rope was controlled by someone on the ground. All we had to do was walk down the rocky wall of a slippery waterfall. A bunch of locals were swimming and hanging out in the pool below, so we all had a cheering section as we descended. I don't know what they were saying, so in my mind they were telling me I did a great job by not falling, slamming into the
rock face, or having to be rescued. I don't have any good pictures of me, but will post one of the Italian so you get the picture. As it turns out, she took one of me, and is going to email it to me. If she does, I will post it. Update: She did and it is posted. Love it!
After that, it was back to the hotel again. I stayed in the room working on my pictures and such until the sun went down and then I went for another swim in the beautiful pool. This hotel is over the top beautiful in its setting and layout. I am not a resort kind of person, but because we are removed from the City, I am either here or on tour. I had dinner in the hotel again. Part of me is glad to be out in the jungle where I don't have to worry about where to go for dinner. True, I could call a taxi and fend for myself in the town, but staying in and eating at the hotel sounded much nicer. This is the kind of resort I could get used to.
There are more photos below