Iguazu is worth a thousand pictures

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South America » Argentina
January 20th 2009
Published: September 30th 2017
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A nearby hostel named after Peter Pan. Sorry, but that seems creepy - who's their biggest repeat customer, Michael Jackson?
Geo: -25.6836, -54.4757

One of the guys in dorm room was the first Spanish person I have encountered on this trip - I need more of this, but it needs to be of the female persuasion! I wandered over to the Brazilian embassy to see how much a visa would cost - I am hoping to see the Argentinean side of Iguazu today, and the Brazilian side tomorrow. But the cost was $65 USD - way too much to pay to be in Brazil for only a few hours!

They say that the Brazilian side of Iguazu isn't as nice as the Argentinean side, so I won't be missing out - I had hoped to get a Brazilian stamp in my passport, but I guess that'll have to wait until I one day visit Brazil for an extended period of time.

The Danish girls and Joris, as well as a few others from the hostel were supposed to be going for the early bus as well, but only Simon made it on board. We waited a bit for them at the entrance to the park, but they still didn't arrive on the next bus, only a group of Argentineans from the hostel. It costs

Kind of like a raccoon, these coaties were everywhere in Iguazu park.
foreigners about $20 CAD to enter the park, but only about $7 CAD for a local. Here's a tip - get an Argentinean to buy your ticket for you, and get you the lower price.

Simon and the Argentineans decided to do a full-blown tour of the falls, but I only wanted to do the boat ride, so I set off on my own. I went to the upper falls and ate part of my picnic lunch. The falls were impressive from there, but perhaps a bit over-rated, based on what I have so far heard from fellow travelers. The lower falls also offered some nice views, and were an improvement because you got closer to the falls.

Without a doubt, the best part was the boat ride, which made the trip up here worthwhile. You don't actually go under the falls, and you even get that close to them. But the force of the water splashing down is quite impressive, and made it tough to breathe, between the water hitting your face, and the chill causing you to take only short, shallow breaths. This was the perfect thing to do as the peak afternoon temperatures were reached! Next was the

Today's picnic lunch.
train ride up to Garganta del Diablo - the Devil's throat. The ride wasn't very scenic, but the the views at the top were pretty awesome, showcasing the magnitude of the falls.

There was one final thing visitors could do at the park - a 2.5 hour hike through the foliage, with an opportunity to swim at a waterfall along the way. Now that it was the hot, hot afternoon - no thanks! Back to the hostel for a siesta in one of the hammocks. I'm not normally a fan of lounging around when I travel, but it can be quite an enjoyable experience if Sabrina is also lounging around 😊

I ended up having a pretty deep conversation with Mattias - it's funny how sometimes while traveling, you end up talking about very personal issues with people you barely even know. I guess he had met some American girl who was traveling through Buenos Aires, and was having trouble emailing her in English, so he asked if I could help him out. He basically asked me to tell her to meet at a certain day, and that he would explain everything in person, because it was "complicated".

He's a young

The Argentinean obssession with mate - a huge hot water tank for visitors to get their mate fix.
guy, so he wants to do more traveling and partying, but is finding it difficult because has a girlfriend. I told him it was important to see the world when he was young, because those opportunities may never arise again, if not seized right now. I've always wondered how my life would've turned out had I taken a year off to see the world, when I was younger - not that I'm complaining now, because life has been pretty great the past few years. But there's a part of me that will always think I missed out on something. Anyway, I also said to Mattias that if he had an incredible girl who he loved very much, he may never find that again if he lets her go. Such are the dilemmas of life ...

It's always good practice chatting with him, because his English is quite limited, forcing me to extend my Spanish vocabulary. I suggested he come to Canada to become a ski bum working at a resort, because it'd traveling, partying, and learning English, all rolled up into one! I normally need to completely concentrate when speaking Spanish, otherwise I lose track of the conversation or have

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words - if that's true, then the Iguazu falls are worth a thousand pictures. And here are the best ones!
trouble understanding. I was quite proud of myself today, because I was able to focus on the conversation even though I was completely distracted - but it was a very a nice distraction named Sabrina, who happened to be lounging by the pool ... 😊

I asked one of the hostel workers for a restaurant recommendation, and he suggested a nearby street that had plenty of options. None of them were as cheap as the worker had made them seem, so I settled on a $10 CAD set menu, quite inexpensive by Canadian standards. But unfortunately, you get what you pay for ...

Back to the hostel - a guy from California who I had briefly chatted with earlier in the day, was getting a language lesson from the Danish girls. He was doing extremely well, even surprising the girls with his pronunciation. The funny thing is that though he was pronouncing things correctly, we were all laughing our asses of when he was saying "floedebolle". I think it's pronounced "FLOO-da-BOOL-en", and is some type of chocolate candy. Who knows - maybe it wasn't even the pronunciation that made it funny, maybe it was the beer!

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Ah, a beautiful rainbow. I tried to follow it until the end, so that I could kick the Leprechaun's ass, steal his pot of gold, and finally buy that hotel in Spain that I've always dreamed of owning.

The boat ride is a must-do at Iguazu, and kicked up the whole experience several notches. The ride was so refreshing and exhilirating, until ...

... you saw the nasty, dirty foam floating around ... trust me, it's worse in person, because my camera couldn't quite capture the nastiness.

I was glad that I had worn swim trunks and a quick-dry shirt today - I sat on a rock, admired the views, and finished off my lunch while waiting for things to dry.

If only I could photoshop those two other guys out of the picture!

Garganta del Diablo

For the beverage, I had a wickedly refreshing pineapple juice, perfect with the salty salsa I was eating with my bread. It had nice fresh flavours, but I couldn't help but wonder how good it would have been with less salt. I continued to ponder this as I ate more salsa, until I realized that I was actually eating chimichurri - of course it was salty, it was supposed to be eaten with meat, and not bread!

The starter was a stuffed tomato, filled with a mushy crabmeat, potato, and mayonnaise paste. Kinda dodgy, I wondered if I should have eaten it with some Immodium in a preventive strike against Montezuma's likely revenge.

Asado was the main course, beef ribs BBQ'd with that deft Argentinean touch. Very juicy ribs with great flavour, but some of them were quite tough. As I was gnawing away, I saw a few other hostel guests walk by with a HUGE bag of buns - they must be having a BBQ at the hostel, later on.

Dessert was a supposed to be papaya with syrup, because I really needed some fruit after eating so much meat recently. They made a mistake, and gave me cheese with goo - I had seen the goo in supermarkets before, and wondered what the heck it was. It's sold in slabs on a styrofoam tray and wrapped in plastic wrap, much like a piece of beef would be. In fact, it looks almost like a piece of gelatinized liver. It had a disgusting texture with a tough skin that had formed on top ... it was sickly sweet, but surprisingly, seemed to go fairly well with the cheese, if only a little bit of goo was used. Probably 2/3 of the gelatinized liver was left behind when I finished - I felt bad for wasting it, but consoled myself with the thought that perhaps a gummy bear in need of a liver transplant could make use of it ...

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