Iguazu Waterfall and Coatmundi Attacks

Trip Start Nov 15, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Tuesday, July 24, 2007

With time getting short, we didnīt mess around getting from Bonito to the waterfalls at Iguazu. If we remember rightly, it was trips of 5 hours in the day, 8 hours overnight and another 2 hours journey to cap it off! Having access to nothing but junk food during the trip had taken its toll on our energy levels.

Arriving at the falls in cloudy, cool weather, we were horrified to see the mother of all queues waiting for tickets and entry. Terrible timing. One hour later and we were transported in a double-decker bus to the falls.

The tourists were primarly Argentinians and Brazilians and not the most considerate when it came to walking around each other on the narrow paths or keeping their voices down to appreciate a bit of the natural ambience! Also, were good at ignoring the numerous announcements and signs with regards to not feeding the local coatimundis (racoon-type animals). They fed these wild animals as if they were pets, although they can carry rabies! A good case of rabies should be the punishment for feeding the little devils...

One unfortunate tourist was about to find out just why you donīt feed the coatis. There she was one moment laughing and chatting with friends carrying a plastic supermarket bag and the next she was the victim of a stealth coatimundi attack from the rear. Her groceries went flying as his claws shredded the bag and Ed wondered if she needed to change her undies afterwards.

What I would have given for a video of that moment!

But back to the falls themselves - yes they are spectacular due to the jungle-ish setting, the sheer scope of them, the power, the noise and the volume. We were able to walk out on platforms over the falls experiencing the exhiliration of the water and the spray. Condors or vultures circled over the nearby cliffs. We could also see people on the Argentinian side of the falls having their special moment!

The more adventurous (and wealthy) tourists had their experience of the falls by helicopter and or jetboat, but this wasnīt for us. We were just hoping for a bit of peace and quiet near the falls, but the Brazilian side really doesnīt offer that!

Queuing again for a bus out of the park, we completed a painless border crossing into Argentina. It was to be the first time in our trip that we had problems finding accomodation. Everything was booked out due to high season, we decided to camp out of town but found a dodgy little cabin at the camping ground instead. All food and accomodation was heavily overpriced - the locals were making a killing! It was disappointing for us because we had been really missing the great value  food and wine in Argentina since we left - and high season in Iguazu is not the time to find either.

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