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Published: March 7th 2009
Day 685 (12.02.09)
So we´d made a bit of a hiccup in leaving our Lonely Planet book in our hostel in Argentina. We don´t actually use it that much but it´s useful for maps and stuff and also contains loads of notes that we´ve gleaned from other travellers about places we´re going to. Thinking that we´d have to head back over the border, Mark managed to team up with the guy who ran the hostel in organising for a driver, who was already doing a run back to Puerto Iguazu, to pick it up for us and drop it off later that night. Well that saved a trip (and a little spcae in the passport) for us!
With the afternoon now for us to use as we pleased and the sky continuing to brighten from the morning´s mist, we headed to see the Iguazu Falls from the Brazilian side of the border. We had been recommended to see the falls from both sides and as we love our waterfalls we didn´t hesitate to put that into our plans.
However, before we went to the Iguazu Park we had lined a bit of a treat. This wouldn´t have been
on the cards had it not been for some generous Christmas and Birthday contibutions to the ´treating us´fund from Mum and Dad Smith and Catherine and Pete so thanks a million for that. We had booked ourselves on a 15 min helicopter flight over the falls to see the whole spectacular phenomenon from the air. To say we were excited would be a mild understatement!
After our bus ride out to the helepad located conveniently next to the entrance to the park we signed onto the next available spots and had just a 10 minute wait until our ride descended from the sky to pick us up. With earplugs in place we climbed aboard with Mark being ushered into the front spot by the pilot (winner) and Chrissie stowed in the back. Making sure we were all settled the pilot took us up and we made our way over to the falls. The helicopter ride in itself was exciting and that combined with the awe inspiring views of the jungle, river and the money shot of the falls themselves made the whole experience unforgettable.
We circled around three or four times to take the views in from all
angles before starting the run back to the helipad. With a gentle touchdown our airborne journey was over but the adrenalin was still coursing through our veins!
It was something that we´d never have done without our gift money and that made it even more special. The overwhelming proof of which was the cheshire cat style grins as we left the helicopter and sat down to check out our pics and relive our flight. Well worth it!
Walking to the park entrance we bought our tickets and jumped on the bus which took you further into the park and the walkway to the waterfall. Jumping off with everyone else we walked the path along the far bank of the falls which gets more and more spectacualr as you walk along and gives a more overall view of them rather than the more úp close and personal´experience we had in Argentina. The views were stunning and we were lucky to have picked yet another beautiful day to see them.
Making our way to the end and our second visit to the Devils Throat, we walked out on the gangway which took you closer into the thick of the
spray, and much more inside the waterfall than we had been before. The last, and in our view the best, view was from the top of the lift overlooking more of the park and we stayed there for ages just taking in the view.
We then had the choice of walking back along the path to where we had been dropped off or simply picking up the bus from where we were. We opted for the former and managed to bump into 5 friends from BA and Puerto Iguazu along the way, the debate on everyones lips being "which side do you think is the best?". In the end it was decided that both sides were the best for different reasons, Brazil for the overall impression of the falls and Argentina for the close-up views - how indecisive of us!
Having loved our time at the falls on both sides we made our way back to the hostel for a relaxing evening finishing off the day with a traditional Brazilian caipirinha cocktail by the pool - when in Rome!
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