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Published: June 29th 2016
On June 27 we flew from Rio to Iguazu, approximately a two hour flight. We were puzzled as to why our seat assignments kept changing, from booking to check-in to gate. The when we got on the plane, we were told to just sit anywhere but not in the first ten rows! It turned out that the cockpit door lock was broken, so for security reasons they didn't want anyone within ten rows of it, and therefore about 50 people had been bumped off the flight! Good thing we were traveling with a group or it could have been us.
Upon reaching Iguazu we drove straight to the waterfalls rather than our hotel, because this was our only chance to see the Brazillian side of the falls, and the park closed at five. We saw some cool wildlife right away at our drop off point, colorful tanagers and euphonias as well as many mischievous coatimundis (raccoon-like) that prey on tourists, snatching food right from their bags or even their hands if they are not careful.
Then we approached the first viewing platform and had our first sight of Iguazu Falls, the widest waterfall in the world, actually a whole
wall of over 200 falls, with the exact number depending on the recent rainfall and water levels. Aside from the massive scale, I was impressed with the emerald green vegetation that grew on the vertical walls between the falls giving them a very lush and tropical look.
We had a fairly long walk this day on the Brazilian side and the next day we crossed over to Argentina. There we took a train that brings visitors all the way to the farthest and largest portion of falls, the Devil's Throat. We did that first thing in the morning before the largest crowds appeared. Then we had three fairly long hikes. Lots of walking today! At lunchtime we saw the coatis again and their rivals, the capuchin monkeys, who hang out near the snack shops hoping for handouts or dropped treats.
After lunch Wayne opted to go on the boating adventure that approaches the falls from below and gets passengers absolutely soaked. He has a very funny video that shows everyone screaming and ducking for cover before the camera shows a big swoosh of water and goes all topsy-turvy. (Fortunately the camera was in a waterproof bag!) I decided
the logistics of packing wet and dry clothes, shoes, etc., were just too complicated and chose to stay dry and continue walking and birdwatching with our local guide Marcella. It turned out that I was the only one walking with her at that point. She is an experienced and respected guide who is president of all the Iguazu guides, so we kept meeting others who would greet her, "Hola, Presidente!", and then look at me with curiously as if to say, "Who is this VIP who gets a private tour from Marcella?"
The bird life here was not nearly as plentiful as in the Pantanal, but we did see beautiful toco toucans, chestnut-cheeked aracaris, plush-crested jays, and a fairly rare rufous-capped motmot.
Our hotel, Bourbon Cataratas Resort, was quite luxurious, and our buffet meals (again) were outstanding. On our last day, June 29, we had a late checkout and were able to take advantage of the resort's walking trail and mini bird zoo with our group.
We are all so sad that our time together is ending. What a pleasant group to travel with. We will all miss Giordanna especially, since she was such an excellent guide
and really put her heart into her work, growing close to each of us. We cannot say enough for her and for Overseas Adventure Travel. This is our fourth trip with them, and every one has been outstanding and worry-free.
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