Published: September 12th 2005September 9th 2005
Wow, just check out this for a waterfall. There´s been a fair bit of rain around in the last week and so it was really pumping. The Brazilian side has a smaller area available to the public than the Argentinian side but both are well worth the visit. The falls tend to attract some crazy groups. The Lonely Planet guide reported there were a group of Brazilian guys in red speedos on the day that they went to the falls. On the day I went to the Brazilian side there were about 20 guys and girls dressed up in traditional German outfits getting soaked under the sprays. I chatted to one very friendly girl and learnt that they were Portugese speaking, German dancing Brazilians out for a day of fun.
I did the Argentinian side with a small tour group made up of 3 lovely German ladies, 2 Columbians and a guy from Italy. Did the boat trip up the river and then under the falls. There are some serious rapids below the falls and they need every bit of the two 250 hp motors get navigate through the boiling and frothing waters. Mind you they should make an advertisement
for Mercury using the boat that operates less than a hundred metres from the edge on the top of the falls on the Brazillian side! A double motor failure there and they are history.
Due to the high rainfall the middle island was closed and so we didn´t get to explore all of the Argentinian park but we did get to see an alligator just sunning himself in a back creek. The boat ride also ended up being a little longer due to the drop-off platform being under water. On the third day I went back to the Brazillian side and did the white water rafting through the rapids. They were a level 4 on that day and closed the day before due to being a level 5 so were pretty exciting. Not quite the Tully though!
Had a bit of a run in with the law on the way into town when I arrived. The buses have a very small turnstyle where you pay the fare and I mistakenly put my backpack through it thus clicking over the counter. I then had to pass through. I went and sat down and after a while the conductor called
Brazil´s equivalent of a racoon
me back saying that I had to pay twice because the turnstyle had gone around twice. I told him he had to be joking an basically I wasn´t paying. Anyway it aroused a bit of interest and a few other people on the bus started the sign language of telling me I had to pay twice. I refused and had just about reached my destination by then and so tried to get off but there was a policewoman on board and the conductor called her over and explained the situation to her. I thought finally common sense will prevail but then she came over to me, flashed her badge and told me I had to pay twice! Not wanting to spend the night in jail I payed up, abused the conductor and got off. I couldn´t believe it. They really don´t like tourists in Brazil. The waterfalls even have a blantant descrimination policy as far as pricing goes. One rate for locals, one for Brazillians, Argentinians and Uruguans and one for the rest of the world. Likewise in Argentina you cannot buy a cattle class ticket on a plane. You have to pay business or first class.
much more to say about the falls. It´s more of a visual and aural spectactical and so check out the piccies.
There are more photos below