Published: November 29th 2011November 28th 2011
Ushuaia. What to do at the end of the world? Sadly boat trips don't visit the giant waterfall which plunges into space any more as too many tourists were going missing. So we settled for some sea kayaking and a boat trip to some penguins. In case you were wondering, no the Beagle Channel (which flows past Ushuaia) isn't exactly tropical and yes is often pretty unsettled. Despite this, we were assured we'd be fine on the kayaking trip for 'those with experience only'. We chanced on a calm day and had a great experience kayaking round the islands most tourists head round on a big boat - seeing plenty of cormorants, sea lions and holes on an island which were dwellings for the naked native indians. That's not to say it was easy and both me and Leigh were close to losing our arms by the end of the day. Next we headed off on our trip to see some penguins. The big, cushy catamoran was a lovely shelter from the elements and we were happy to doze after the previous day's exertion. However, we thought there was no way such a large vessel would get anywhere near penguins. Not
if you beach such a vessel on the shore of a penguin colony. The residents barely looked up to say "oh, not again" and we ended up closer to some very entertaining creaturs than you could of hoped! Most were magellanic penguins, whilst a lone guy with orange feet toddled around wondering why no one wanted to speak to him. From Ushuaia we had the luxury of a flight up to Buenos Aires for a brief stopover before heading North to see some water.
The world's surface 71% water, your body is 60% and the apple you're eating is 85%. These numbers probably involve a lot of generalistaion but such stats are normally just there to make a point. And my point is water is all over the place. What is then so exciting about some water falling off a cliff? We took a 40 hour round bus trip to find out.
Iguazu falls is certainly the most well presented "water falling off a cliff" I've ever seen. Fall after fall plunge amidst the lush jungle backdrop and the spray created forms a huge cloud of mist which often rises up higher than the falls themselves, sometimes eclipsing
the bigger ones from view. The setting could be either paradise or jurassic park and after we were sure we spotted a pterodactyl, Leigh couldn't stop singing the theme tune of the latter. The falls are shared by Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay and we added to our collection of passport stamps after popping into Brazil to get a panoramic view. On the Argentine side, walkways got us closer to the falls than you could possibly get otherwise (in or out of a vessel). Often standing in a soaking wet mist, we stared down into the abyss or up to the heights. When not entertained by the water itself, many critters wandered around the park to amuse the tourist. Coatis tried to steal your lunch or watched their babies, lizard couples eyeballed tourist, lots of creepy crawlies freaked out the odd person and swifts swooped behind the falls to find their nests.
Since Iguazu, we've spent a chilled out day seeing Buenos Aires. The city is everything it should be - huge in proportion, happening and really quite beautiful with it's old quarters, squares and port. We're now over in Colonia del Sacremento (Uruguay) for a night - grabbing another
passport stamp and spending some time in this beautiful chilled out old town.
Can't believe how quickly time has gone and that real life is soon beckoning! Our next update will probably be our last and come from cold and rainy England (yes it's sunny, spring and 30 deg over here!)
See you soon guys! xx
There are more photos below