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Published: July 27th 2016
Iguazú's waterfalls are among the 3 biggest and most impressive in the world, we guess together with the Niagara and Victoria ones.
You might think, if you've seen a waterfall you've seen them all, well, not quite the case.
The rivalry between the Argentinians and the Brazilians goes beyond football, beyond Gauchos, all the way to this impressive natural wonder, they argue as where the falls are , Argentinians found the right approach into this dilemma, they say, the Iguazú falls are in Brazil, but we've got the view.... And they do.
We adventured ourselves with Francisco's little Esportuguese and the local bus outside of our hotel in Foça de Iguazu on the Brazilian side to go to Cataratas de Iguazú about 45 mins away, the bus took us through the border into the city limits on the Argentinian side where we caught another bus that drove us into the park another 45 mins away.
Once we entered we walked to the zuid " train " station, passing by some Coatis, cute but a bit, lets say determined animals ( when it comes to getting your food). After the Disney-like ride we arrived to the station of the Devils
Throat but before the falls can be reached we needed to lay a 2 kms walk on a path that leads from the train station.
The noise the falls make attract you from far, like hypnotizing you to come, once you are there an incredible force is sensed together with a spectacular view.
Due to the wind and the water flying up, a wet breeze ( we called it simply, getting splashed) is created, luckily for us it was a hot day and the drops cooled us off.
As we looked down into the depth of the throat we saw a broken wooden box on the river bank. In it, a see through bag with what it seemed, someone's ashes.
We thought of the wish he/ she might have had and the family bringing it all the way here to throw the remains into the water.
Was this the story of his/ her life? Not making it all the way? Suddenly a butterfly landed on the box, a meter away from the immense force of the waterfall, as we started to walk back we wished for that person would reincarnate in the red, white and black butterfly and that it
was able to fly over the devil's throat into the heavens of the Amazon.
After taking plenty of pictures of the falls and butterflies we took the time to simply absorb the view ( and the water splashing our faces) for a while before returning to the train.
We had heard of the helicopter flying above the falls, some loving it some not, actually not a bad value for money, $125 for a 10 min flight, that is if you get the right seats in it. As we have a long trip ahead we decided not to gamble the money and headed towards the exit on the little choo-choo train.
As we looked for empanadas to set our teeth into, we came across Pedro who just had helped a couple of people into a safari-tour-like bus. He explained it was for an adventurous water trip that took you close to two of the falls and then down the river close to the gate, it was the very last trip of the day and we needed to rush down to the river, he said.
We felt adventurous to do so we went for it, through the forest's path down to
the river to catch the boat, shooting again pictures of the smaller falls and monkeys.
Eager as little kids ( Francisco) to get the best seats on the boat we hurried up to be there on time, we did and we got the very front seats on the right side, wow, you might say, at first we did, until we saw what was expecting us.
All belongings went into a sealed waterproof bag, even our shoes the skipper said, we wished ( later of course) he had ordered to take all our clothes off as we approached the waterfalls. First we waited about 50-70 meters away, floating on the river's waters with the engine running, kind of surfing, we waited as a predator waits before the kill, patiently, and then...gggggrrrrrrhhhuuuuu full force towards the falls, jumping the waves, fighting the stream like a wild salmon towards them and then...... We wished we hadn't got those front seats as the skipper literally placed the rubber boat underneath the falls. Water splashed all over us, hitting our faces to the point we had to cover our mouth to be able to breath. By now freezing water had been soaking everything on the
boat, full engine running to keep up with the force of nature, "parking" in motion underneath for the longest minute ever... the cherry on top was he did not do it once but 3 times.
We couldn't have been more wet if we sat in a jacuzzi as we rode back to the final station.
Nadine had already started getting a cold as we were in Rio ( getting into a public bus was like stepping into a walk-in deep freezer) and now we would both be lucky if we didn't catch pneumonia after having to drive back through the forest with our ice cold soaked clothes.
20 minutes in which a ranger tried to tell us all about the animals, plants and vegetation of the park, unfortunately we could only hear our teeth ticking because of the cold.
At the end of the ride we decided to catch a €30 Taxi to go back to the hotel, the driver had to put a plastic on the seat to avoid it getting soaked.
Well, that hot shower at the hotel felt incredible, but it was too late.
We both woke up with a cold, big time, were coughing like
no tomorrow but needed to head back to the Argentinean side as our flight to Buenos Aires was taking off from there- arriving at the airport we discovered the bad news...our flight was cancelled!
Ah yeah, the cause of cancelation, a thunder had hit the control tower in Buenos Aires so their systems were down, since it was a bit too dubious we checked it on the national news and yep, it was true, it happened during a storm the previous night.
Back in to town. We decided to stay not too far from the airport this time and used the day to chill and try to recover from our cold, eating empanadas and watching movies.
The next afternoon we got on the plane to Buenos Aires where Tango, Parrillada, wine and more empanadas were waiting for us.
Cataratas de Iguazu park is located on the border of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. The waterfalls are the largest waterfall system in the world, 80 mtrs high and are surrounded by protected areas the size of 672 sq kms.
The entrance to the falls is around $22 usd, and you need a full day to appreciate them, again, the view's best
on the Argentinean side, this was said by both - the Brazilians and the Argentineans.
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