Iguacu Falls from Brazilian Side + Parque das Aves

Trip Start Feb 17, 2010
Trip End Apr 15, 2010

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Flag of Brazil  , Paraná,
Thursday, March 4, 2010

A note on spelling.  I spell things as I find them mostly so...here on the Brazil side of the falls, I am spelling it the Brazilian way, and on the Argentina side, the Argentinian way.  Sometimes I will spell things the American way ... if I know what it is.  It is all very confusing and I am probably in error half the time but I have tried to be correct - at least in some language.

We took a local bus to the Brazilian side of the falls.  There was a walkway along the side of a cliff to approach the falls where Louise spotted a tarantula and some coati spotted tourists with shopping bags of food.  We know this because the coati took the food away from the tourists.  As we walked down the path, we came to the viewing platform at the top of the falls where you could get sprayed!  Walkways continued down and around level with the bottom of the falls and then to several other viewing areas where you could see different aspects of the falls.  It is wider than Niagara but not as high.  It is very impressive - mostly I think because there seems to be so much to it.  We spent the morning there and walked on all the boardwalks but I probably could have lingered longer.

I had different camera anxieties during this excursion.  I left the SLR back at the campsite because I did not want to risk damaging it but regretted that I had not brought it in a waterproof bag because it was hard to see the screens on the smaller cameras in the bright light and I tended to bleach out the white water in my photos.  I used the waterproof Fuji to capture the spray and caught too much because quite a few of the photos have big water spots on them. Then batteries in both cameras died on me during the day and for some reason, I didn't seem to have spares on me so I had to limit my photo taking at the bird park.  I did manage to delete some earlier bad photos so I had room for a few more birds.

After checking out the park gift shop and picking up some souvenirs for Theo, I walked to the nearby Parque das Aves (bird park).  It was great to be able to see so many of the birds from the Pantanal that I had missed while I was there because I couldn't really see them.  I don't feel that great about keeping birds in captivity but I did feel grateful to be able to see them.  I spent all afternoon there and saw lots of macaws, parakeets, flamingos and other birds.  I wish I had kept track of what they were though.  There was also a butterfly and hummingbird section that I almost missed except that I ran into Jodie and she told me about it so I went back to find it.  Brazil is known for its butterflies.  Even I was aware of that from all that I had seen so far during the trip. 

Once I got back to the hostel, I devoted myself to charging my camera batteries.  I finally got onto the internet but was in a rage because some guys were abusing the privilege.  You were supposed to sign up for 30 minute time blocks.  They had been on at least 2 1/2 hrs before they got off.  One said he didn't sign up in the right slot so that was why he was still on during the time I had signed up for.  I sat waiting while my battery was charging.  The hostel desk manager said it was up to the residents to deal with it.  These guys were using Skype and speaking in some Eastern European language I would guess.  They were very annoying.  Sometimes I think the backpacker style of travel lends itself to a higher level of competition for available services. 

This was the night of the fancy dress ball and special punch party.  Somehow I missed it because I spent so much time charging my batteries.  I brought my food over next to the outlet and read while I ate although the hostels generally seemed to have very dim lighting and this was no exception.  I did get to see some of the costumes and will have to steal someone else's group photo.  Ben was particularly fetching in his dress and reddish-pink wig.

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