After leaving Ilha Grande, we took a short bus ride to the town of Paraty, a pretty little town with cobblestoned streets. Paraty is also the home of cachaca, sugarcane-derived spirit that makes Brazil’s famous caipirinhas. Caipirinhas are great, the first taste of them is reminiscent of a tequila mixed cocktail, which might put you off, but if you stick with it, you’re fairly drunk after the first glass and begin to develop a taste for it. It’s difficult to drink them quickly because the alcohol is so strong, so even though its served in a cocktail glass, it takes about as long as it would to drink a pint with triple the after effects! Caipirnihas for all!
While in Paraty, we rented bikes and cycled up to see the local cachoeiras (waterfalls), some nearby beaches and cycled through the old town. Never have I seen so many cachoeiras! We used the boulders as slides and created a mini theme park out of cachoeiras and boulders ahoy!
Following Paraty, we went to Trindade for a few days of relaxation and were hoping to get some surfing in, or in my case body boarding, I haven’t quite mastered the act
of standing up on the board yet! There were no waves, so we’ll have to leave surfing for another place. Trindade had some stunning sights on offer, a natural pool, beaches, treks through the jungle and a cachoeira (of course), so we soaked it all up. Our hostel was in the woods and offered outdoor yoga classes in the forest; it was so relaxing to hear the sounds of the forest while throwing our legs behind our heads!
Having hardly made a dent into our travelling itinerary and three weeks on the road we decided to take an overnight bus to Foz de Iguacu which took about 14 hours. We’ve heard great things about the buses in South America; travelling in style with seats that stretch out into beds, with waiters serving champagne and playing bingo all night long! I was looking forward to this bus trip to put it mildly! Alas, our bus was not like this. The seats did recline a bit, but wasn’t much better than a Bus Eireann bus. So there was 14 hours of twisting, turning, moaning and grunting! We arrived in Foz, a bit bleary eyed and checked into the nearest hotel. We
stayed in Foz for one night, it’s an awful place. Seems a bit dodgy, not much to see or do and not many people around.
The next day we went to see Igassau Falls (in the movie - The Mission) from the Brazilian side. As you arrive in the park, you can hear the thunderous roar of the 275 waterfalls crashing down. We followed a trek which gave us, what we thought was a panoramic view of the falls. We were gobsmacked by its magnificence, but as we continued, we realised that what we thought was a full view of the falls was only a small part, as the trek continued on, we discovered more and more waterfalls. Absolutely incredible! While looking out at one set of falls, we spotted a rainbow which framed them perfectly. As we came to the end of the trek, it had a walkway where you can get up close and wet with the crashing water. One thing that fascinated me was how did they build the walkway? A question for my Dad to answer, I think.
After our day at the Falls, we checked out of our hotel and out of Brazil,
over the Rio Igacu to Puerto Iguazu, Argentina where we have set up camp for four nights in a pretty cool hostel, its full of people, good craic, big pool and happy hour!
After a few days of boozing and chilling out at our hostel, we went to see the Argentinean side of the falls. According to Lonely Planet, you need to see them from both sides; Brazilian side for the panoramic view and Argentinean side for the closer look. This could not be more true! At the Argentinean side, we were edges away from the brink of the waterfall with only the barrier protecting us from cascading down into oblivion. How do the fishes survive? Resilience is needed! We peered over the brink of several of the 275 waterfalls of Igassau. Unfortunately for us several of the walkways were closed ,which we originally thought was a bit of a jip, but as we left the park, rain poured from the skies which led us to finally believe the park rangers who said the water level was too high to do some of the treks.
Right, enough waterfalls, cachoeiras or cateratas, whatever you call them, next stop, BA,
Argentinian side of the Falls
Everyone looks like Maradona here
travelling super cama style this time, looking forward to this!!!
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