Iguacu Falls

Trip Start Apr 20, 2008
Trip End Aug 29, 2008

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Parana,
Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tom: On Monday we went for a walk along the waterfalls. The  foot path was REALLY steep and when we got down there were like 50 steps going up,  all of this took about half an hour. When we got to a stop there was this amazing veiw of the bottom of the rainbow and the water  falls rushing down mile a minute. There was another stop about 300 metres away and it just got closer so I didn't think it was worth it. On Tuesday I went on a jet boat and we were going to go under the waterfalls so we had to take our shoes off and mum took off her pants. When we ACTUALLY did go under the waterfalls we got so drenched! One was rushing down so hard my sister couldn't breathe for a second. I loved it.  

Rachel: A highlight for me in Iguacu Falls was the big waterfalls that were huge and magnificent.
From the upper trail section the waterfalls looked like a whirlpool falling into nowhere.
We went on a jet boat that people had told us you got really wet on from going under the waterfalls. At first I just thought it would be a little sprinkle of water but then when we did it, it was VERY different. We went under the first waterfall and it was like I imagined,  but then the second waterfall we did was drenching as. All the water poured onto us, even more than a shower would, so when we got off the jet boat we were DRENCHED! We thought that it was bad that we were wet but it actually came in quite handy as it was hot. We decided to have lunch with a guy we met called Terry who lives in Melbourne, Australia. He was a really nice chap and was a backpacker. 
We stayed at a hotel called Das Cataratas. It was a huge pink hotel that was nice with traditional colonial architecture. It was nice to be in that hotel instead of the Sheraton which we thought of going to because the Sheraton was really posh and we'd already stayed in one in Rio. The pool had a diving board. My dad made us jump off the diving board and it was freezing as! We had a nice stay at the hotel and in Iguacu Falls.

Mike: On arriving at Das Cataratas Hotel in the Brazilian side of the falls, we were immediately delighted with our choice... a magnificent view of the falls and a lovely traditional / colonial feel and sprawling grounds that were peaceful and calm, sleeping at night without literally a sound to be heard. My famous last words when we first walked towards the falls that were I had often found waterfalls to be somewhat underwhelming... but no more up on experiencing these. The view from a distance was quite amazing and we could readily see that our viewing point the next day from right on top of the falls would be mind blowing... and we certainly weren't disappointed. The jet boat ride was a hell of a lot of fun and I was predictably loud in my YEEHAAAS, and then upon reaching Devil's Throat right at the top of the falls, I was greeted by one of the most incredible natural phenomena I'd ever seen. Seemingly infinite amounts of water rushing headlong into a chasm that stretched forever, this was truly a feast for the senses, WOOOWWW!!!!

Monday 26th May
Alison: We arrived happily at the beautiful Hotel Das Cataratas, a lovely 2 storey grand colonial style place with gleaming polished floorboards and dark woodwork, facing onto the falls - quite stunning. It really reminded me of some of the places we stayed in Sri Lanka years ago. After dumping things in our room we headed off to walk along the trail to the falls which started directly opposite the hotel. It was a lovely walk and the view of Devil's Throat was quite spectacular, but we had been told it is even more amazing from the Argentinian side which we were to do the next day. The only bummer in the walk was that at the end of the walk a  bee stung me on my neck. Luckily as I brushed it away I also brushed out the sting so not too much venom pumped into me but it hurt like hell and as I do tend to swell a bit with beestings I was naturally a bit worried. The next bit of luck is that we were only 100 metres from the visitors centre which had a first aid base and there they put on special cream, gave me ice to hold against it, and also gave me an antihistamine tablet which helped minimise the swelling. This was very good and I was just left with an itching red mark for the next few days.
We headed back to the hotel where the kids and Mike had a swim in the cold pool while I watched! After a very nice meal in the restaurant, we headed off to bed.

Tuesday 27th May
Alison: Our driver Wilson picked us up at 9.30 to take us to the Argentinian side of the falls. We crossed the Iguacu river and entered Argentina. We had planned to do the boat ride last, but that time was booked out so we did it first and it worked out well that we did. First they took us on a jeep ride through the rainforest, pointing out the elements of the rainforest, which Rachel enjoyed telling us about as she had done a project on it last year.

Then we got on the jet boats. They provided big plastic bags for us to put our shoes in and when I saw all these women stripping down to their bathers I got an inkling of what awaited us! I decided to put my shorts in the bag and just wear my shirt and undies which was a wise move. The ride was great fun, but the driver took great delight in taking us directly under the falls where the water dropped so heavily you could hardly breathe!
Next we walked up the ravine to the top with our clothes drying on us in the warm sun, stopping at various scenic spots and talking to a lovely chap called Terry who came from Melbourne.  We invited him to join us for lunch and we agreed to stop at the Sheraton, which like our hotel looks directly out across to the falls but from the Argentinian side.

Much to our embarassment, Mike discovered he had left his credit card in the bus with our passports, so Terry kindly shouted us and we agreed to transfer the money into his account when we got back to the hotel. It was a lovely meal looking out across the grass towards the Devil's Throat.  

Then we walked a bit more and caught the little tourist train out to the walkway that takes you across the top of the falls to the Devil's Throat, where the huge expanse of water pours down the canyon's throat in an extraordinary display. The rainbows glistening in the mist, the roar of thundering water falling down seeminly forever, and the feeling of vertigo as you peered over the railing, quietly imagining what it would be like to slip, all made it a mesmerising experience. Michael wondered to me if the water might be scared falling over, but I said that I thought every little H2O molecule was screaming out 'wheeee!' as it went over the edge. Finally we caught the train back to the Park entrance where Wilson was waiting to take us back to our hotel.

Wednesday 28th May
Alison: We were catching the plane to Buenos Aires at 2.10, so we managed to fit in a visit to a lovely Bird Park on the way. This was a great opportunity to look at the huge variety of stunning South American birds and getting up close and personal to toucans and macaws was especially exciting. I was transfixed by the hummingbirds, with their wings beating so fast it was impossible to see them and of course impossible to get on film, as you can see by the blur on this photo!
Mum would have loved it! 
The aviary for the macaws was incredible too, with them winging backwards and forwards over our heads - the kids found it a bit scary and Mike didn't come in at all! Anyway, it was a lovely way to end our stay in Brazil. Then it was across the border into Argentina and to the airport to catch our plane to B.A.
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