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Published: March 6th 2009
Day 682 (09.02.09)
After finishing up our bus trip we arrived in Puerto Iguazu into noticably more tropical environs - lush greenery and a hot and humid climate. Had a little trouble finding a place to stay but ended up with a nice place conveniently sporting a pool for us to wile away a few hours before the weather turned from blue sky to torrential downpour. We hadnt even left the hostel and with the rain literally coming down in sheets of water from the sky, we already had a mini waterfall coming off our roof!
Getting a break in the weather we braved a walk into town and scored ourselves a steak dinner which we cooked up with Sally and Niall, a couple we had met on the bus.
Day 683 (10.02.09)
We awoke to blue skies and joined Sally, Niall and another fellow hosteller Sarah, in a trip to the Iguazu Falls. The falls are split by the Argentinan-Brazilian border and are rumoured to be the widest falls in the world (from a fairly reliable source- we will let you find out if its true). Everyone who´d been raved about how spectacular they were so
our expectations were pretty high!
Arriving at the entrance we bought our tickets where (surprise surprise) the tourists get spanked again on the price paying three times as much as Argentinians would. As you enter there is a distinctly ´theme park' feel to the whole set up. Walking past some tourist tat stores we arrived at the station where a mini train carried us further into the park. As we arrived at another little station we were all told to pile off and join a MASSIVE queue for the next one to continue on our magical mystery tour. Not fancying waiting for the train and being told that it may be quicker to walk it we set off on foot. As we walked we were treated to some of the local wildlife with some racoons, a family of monkeys who were jumping from tree to tree across the train lines, loads of butterflies and a massive lizard. Unfortunately as we walked we saw some of our fellow passengers from the first train give us a wave as the train came sailing by - ooops!
We were at the end of the line and we now had a walk
along a walkway over the topside of the waterfall to the section named the Devils Throat, the point where the wide, fairly shallow river turns into thundering falls. The walkway was nice but after our extended walk we were now overheating. Luckily as we turned the last corner we started to feel the spray coming up off the falls. The noise was amazing. Then as we came around we saw the tranquil river we had been walking over suddenly fall over the lip into a powerful angry descent like someone had pulled the plug on a massive bath. Standing on the platform overlooking the canyon two things happened; first your jaw litterally dropped as you took in the awesome sight of the waterfall dropping away beneath you and secondly you got absolutely soaked from the spray coming up from the base of the falls a long way below. We stayed trying to get a couple of snaps whilst keeping the camera and the lense as dry as possible (a fruitless task in all reality) and then just took in the incredible view.
Unfortunately the view was good enough that our once group of 5 had been reduced to just
us two, but we reunited again when we arrived at the train station.
We had two more circuit walks planned for the day and set out on the upper one first. Having been treated to such an amazing view from our opening stop of the day we were looking forward to what the rest of the day would have to offer and were not to be left disapointed. We were treated to sweeping views of the Iguazu falls with water falling over stunning drops in a perfect arc as far as the eye could see. For such a huge tourist attraction we were astounded to find how discrete the walkways had been made taking you to the most incredible viewpoints yet all hidden away making the whole falls area look amazingly untouched.
Wrapping up the upper walkway we set out on the (cunningly named) lower walkway. Again treated so some spectacular views over another section of the falls.
Making our way down to the river we had opted to pay a little extra on our visit for a 12 min speedboat ride to take us right up to and almost under the falls. It was hilarious and
well worth ´splashing´out on. Our first stop was at one of the smaller falls and its prime objective was to get us soaked, taking us right under the falling water. The power was such that it was impossible to keep your eyes open and it felt like someone was constantly throwing bucket upon bucket of water over you - happy times as the sun had once again baked us to a crisp! Now that were were truly wet from head to toe we sped around the river and over to the bigger falls on the Argentinian side. Here we went right up to where the water fell. The spray was huge and the turbulance from the water underneath us rocked the boat like it was a toy, so much so that Chrissie received a wake up from a small tidal wave breaking over the edge of the boat!
Getting out of the boat like a load of drowned rats with HUGE smiles on our faces we continued our walking to dry off with another trip around the Upper Circuit. It had been an incredible day - words can´t really express just how fantastic this waterfall is so you´ll have
to come and see for yourselves!
Busing it back we picked up another steak dinner (well it was our last day in Argentina) and met up with some friends for an evening glass of wine before exhaustedly falling into bed.
Day 684 (11.02.09)
With our plans for a day sunning ourselves by the pool quickly being rained off by another torrential down pour (by now we had realised why there was so much water going over the falls) we went into town to catch up on some internet only to find that the rain and wind had even knocked out all internet communications in town.
Holed up in the hostel for a couple of hours we waited for the weather to subside and walked to the bus station where we were looking to get across to Brazil.
Jumping on a bus straight away we went through what seemed to be a very relaxed border and jumped on another bus destined for Foz De Iguazu. We had a few minutes of the usual new country confusion added to by the fact that we´re now in a portuguese speaking country and don´t know a word and by
the fact that we´d managed to leave our guidebook with phrases and maps in Argentina! We then had a rather uncomfortable (and by now very hot and humid with the sun finally blaring down) walk to our hostel which was further away than we´d expected. Thankfully we arrived to find a great pool and friendly place waiting for us.
Finishing up with a bit of food and some time in the pool our not-so-special day ended on a much happier note.
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