Foz do Iguaçú

Trip Start Dec 22, 2005
Trip End Jan 07, 2006

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Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Mariana and I arrived in the evening into Iguaš˙ on January 2nd from Rio. We went right to the hotel's tour service and set up our adventures at Foz do Iguaš˙ National Park for the next day. We planned to visit the Brazilian side on the first day then the Argentine side on the second day. Foz do Iguaš˙ is a set of waterfalls along the Iguaš˙ River that seperates Brazil and Argentina. They are the second largest in the world behind Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The first night we went into the main town and celebrated our anniversary at a restaurant on top of the Hotel Intercional. The view was great but the service mediocre and food over-priced.

On the morning of the 3rd, we ate breakfast at the hotel then met our tour guide, Iraci, who would escorting us around the park. He was a really nice guy who spoke decent English. He said that he is still has only met females that have the same name as him.

The first event that we did was a 10 minute helicopter ride over the falls all from the Brazilian side. We got stuck with two Eastern Europeans who beat us to the choice seats in the helicopter. 10 minutes went by way too quickly but I still managed to take a bunch of pictures and video. It was cool to first see the falls from above so that we could get a "lay of the land" for when we toured it from the ground.

After the chopper ride, Iraci took us to the front of the line to get in the park saving us a lot of time. From the gate, we drove about 10 minutes to the walking trails through the Brazilian side of the park. We started below the falls getting every angle of them possible then took an elevator back up to the top of the falls where we had lunch. It was a pretty good buffet of Brazilian food but cost about $45 for the two of us (very expensive for Brazil but that included the view.)

After lunch, we drove back down almost to the entrance for next and last excursion. We got on a trailer pulled by an oversized electric golf cart that towed us through the jungle. An interpreter/guide told us a few things about the plants along the way. I wasn't very interested as I was too busy looking for monkeys. Then we got off to walk down a path to a waterfall and the riverfront. Along the way, we saw some huge dangerous snake which, luckily for us, took off in the opposite direction. The water fall was OK because you could walk underneath it but relatively lame compared to the Iguaš˙ Falls. By the time we got the river, we were dripping in sweat because it was so hot and humid. It was the Iguaš˙ River which splits Brazil and Argentina. We were on the Brazilian side so guess what was on the other side. We got in a big Zodiac that sat about 15 people and had twin 225hp engines on the back. It took us about two miles up the river so we could see the falls from the lowest point possible. Being that far down, they looked even bigger. The boat took us straight up some class 3 or 4 rapids to a spot where we were surrounded by the falls on three sides. It was definitely the coolest part of the trip. Unfortunately, there was so much water spraying that I could not use my camera. I did try though by using a plastic bag pulled tightly over the lens. From there, he took us a little bit back down to go underneath one of the smaller falls. We were literally right underneath the falls and it felt like a being in a huge shower. Everyone on the boat was completely drench. The air temperature was very hot and the water not too cold so it was very refreshing. I was mostly glad that a tree had not fallen in the river above and made its way down to us.

I ran 4.88 miles that night before we ate dinner at the hotel. The dinner was included in the price of the hotel. It was a sunk cost so for that, it was good.
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