The Magnificent Iguassu Falls!

Trip Start Nov 25, 2004
Trip End Jan 26, 2005

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Friday, September 30, 2005

The day after we arrived ended up being a bit Brazil..I know that´s what we thought! Brazil...the land of sunshine and thong bikinis! So we decided to hang around for the day in Foz and await the sunshine the next day...I got a bit homesick watching ´Calendar Girls´..what a film and looking at piccies that mum and dad had emailed through! Awwwww! Paul found a good kebab shop so he was happy!

The wait was worth it as the next day the sun had his hat on again so we jumped on a bus to see the Brazilian side of the falls. After numerous attempts trying to get a map so we could work out what we wanted to do, we gave in and jumped on the ´free´ doubledecker bus that takes you through the park and we decided to jump off at the start of the Cataratas walk where we randomly raccoons in plenty (not what we were expecting!) Having never seen one before...I got quite excited and spent the first quarter of an hour trying to take a photo! Yes I know there were some amazing waterfalls to see!!! Hee Hee!

So off we trotted and the first views we got of the falls were stunning to say the least...its not just the falls themselves though, it's the setting, the noise, the size, the rainbows...everything really and needless to say we were pretty impressed! The walk was cool as well as it started off a little way away from the Devil's Throat so you kept walking round each corner of the trail and getting wow'd by even more waterfalls, getting drenched by even more spray and getting deafened by the increasing sound of the water as it thundered over the falls! The waterfalls form a horseshoe shape and the number of them varies between 150 and 300, depending on the flow of the River. The water level was really high when we were there but I'm not sure how many there were and funnily enough we didn't count...even if Paul is an accountant geek! Hee Hee!

Once we reached the Devil's throat, we ventured onto a walkway which takes you literally above one of the falls and it feels like you are stood in a torrential rainstorm and the sound is deafening! Paul was loving it as it was just like a great big wet t-shirt competition and it just so happened that the majority of women had white t-shirts on! Hmmmm! I wonder what Paul was really looking at...

By this time, we were completely soaked to say the least so getting even wetter didn't seem to be a problem so the rest of our time at the Devil's Throat was spent at various lookout points some of which gave the best overall views of the falls...if you could see through all the spray! We took some special birthday messages literally almost underneath the falls for Lorna & Hurri...hope you realise just how wet we really were!!! Hee Hee! And then headed back to the bus stop to dry out for abit and decide what to do next!!!!

We eventually decided to jump on a helicopter to get a birds eye view of the falls which was abit spenny as we were only up in the air for 10 minutes but the views were unbelievable and it really gave you the impression that there was a big gap in the earth with lots of water spilling into it! (Apparently they were formed over 100 million years ago due to massive volcanic eruptions!). It really gave you a perspective of how big the falls really are and also showed you all the rainforest surrounding the falls! We can't exaggerate enough how stunning the setting is as well...butterflies, orchids, palms, bamboo and just green everywhere! Can you tell we loved it? We just felt sorry for the Japanese lady who was sat in the middle seat on the helicopter ride as 10 minutes is not a long time when everyone is trying to get the same photos! Bless! Another bonus was that we loved the helicopter ride was Paul's first time and the last time for me was with my Dad on a flight from Penzance in Cornwall to St Michael's Mount! WOWEE! Lots better than micor-planes put it that way! So then it wa sfeet back safely on dry land and back to Foz for some rice & beans!

The next morning we decided to be lazy and joined a tour to do the Argentinian side of the falls!! We had a very sweet guide who spoke very amusing English and were accompanied by three brummie lasses which all in all made for a highly entertaining day! You don't even need to get your passport stamped if you're just going across for the day which we were quite releived about as we ended up with about 8 stamps in our passport for Argentina alone from the all the toing and froing we'd been doing!!!!!

We arrived at the park and headed out for a stroll through the forest to the Upper Walkway and the start of our search for a toucan!!!! No toucans, but we found a very green lizard on a tree and I took some genius photos...definitely the best I've taken since we've been away and guess what...I deleted it by accident! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Our first lookout was just beautiful and for me it started a day of just amazing scenery! Different people prefer different sides of the falls for different reasons but for me...the Argentinian side was just alot more beautiful and you were just alot closer to it all somehow plus the weather was absolutely stunning which I'm sure helped! Rainbows were absolutely everywhere, colourful butterflies were fluttering everywhere we looked and we were mightly impressed with a guy showing off as he made the most beautiful paintings of the falls in 3 minutes...with his finger!!! WOW!!! After a few more lookouts it was time to head back to jump on a jeep through the rainforest to go on a boat ride into the falls themselves (it's alot cheaper on the Argentinian side if you're planning to do this!)! Oh yes...we like getting drenched! The guide was explaining that we were driving through secondary rainforest and infact that there is only 6% remaining in the National Park. Very sad! We saw some parakeets but that was about it really! We arrived at the river, donned our lifejackets and headed onto our power boat onto the river and towards the falls! We passed hundreds and hundreds of yellow butteflies on the riverbanks which just looked like a banking full of daffodils or something! Quite mad!

Think our driver was abit of an adrenaline junkie and why not as he took us bouncing over the rapids at great speed, twisting and turning everywhere! We pulled up infront of the 3 musketeers so we could take piccies literally straight infront of them and then putting our cameras safely away, he revved up his engines and bezzed straight into the Devil's Throat....and I mean straight into!!!!! We had all this water from the falls slamming down on us and we couldn't see a thing...what a rush!!!!!! Someone told us on that particular day, there were 3000 cubic metres of water coming over the falls!!!! Normally, the boat drivers can take you behind the falls but there was just too much coming over!!! Anyway drenched to the max, the driver asked us if we wanted to do it again and like little kids, we all screamed 'Yeeeeeeeeeeeeesssss!!!!' Doesn't take much to revert back to childhood eh? This time as we went under I did some seriously girly screaming for the video camera and Paul shouted in a very manly voice (???) BVS!!!! To finish off, we went under the San Martin falls which again was mighty exhilerating and then it was all over...boooooo...bit more rapid action and some slick moves to get us even wetter which we REALLY needed!!??!!! (one guys at the front just had this huge wave come right on top of him!!!) And onto the jeep to dry off in the sunshine! After a quick lunch of beers and empanadas and some sneaky shots of the worst speedos you've ever seen...we set off to get even closer to the falls on the Lower Circuit! Reluctant to get drenched again but eventually bowing in under peer pressure, we had ample more opportunities to get soaked and were lucky enough to see a perfect 360 degree rainbow which is one of the most lovely things I've seen...think we nearly managed to get the whole thing on camera! Randomly as we were walking along, we had the opportunity to give some money to charity and have our blood pressures taken...funnily enough with our highly stressful lifestyles, everything was fine & dandy!!!!!!

The last part of the day was spent on the train out to the Devil's Throat and on the Argentinian side you are literally standing above with all the water cascading over the falls beneath you....the noise and the sight is just spectacular along with the ypnotic rainbows...even if we were sharing it with all the delegates from a big conference in suits (guess I should be used to that)!!!!! It was quite mad to see the old walkways out to the lookouts which had been washed away when the waters had got really high!!!! They've been designed now so when that happens, the maintenance people can dismantle the walkways really quickly and put them back again once the water has receded to a safe level! Ingenious eh? Resorting to the shade as our skin was frazzling in the sunshine, our second camera decided to play the dirty on us and conk out!!!!!! Not again I hear you say!!! We were just grateful that it had happened at the end of the day!!! If you're going travelling though....allow for camera breakages!!!! Grrrr! So all too soon the day was over and we jumped back on the train and back on the bus to Brazil!!!!! What an amazing experience!!!!
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