Journey to the falls

Trip Start Nov 14, 2008
Trip End Apr 07, 2009

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Parana,
Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Having spent 4 nights on Ilha Grande we decided to head for the Igauzu Falls.

We left Ilha Grande less fashionably than we arrived. This time we got a ferry across which took about 1 hour half. 

Once we got to the other end we walked in the baking hot sun for 25 mins until we reached the bus station where it was time to utilise our awkward, pigeon Portuguese to purchase our bus tickets....

Thankfully, a nice Brazilian fellow armed with the equivalent a C grade GCSE English, in awe of meeting a couple of Gringos at some out post bus station was only to keen to help us. We bought our tickets and it was time to board our bus.

The falls contain 275 falls stretching 1.67 miles long, the biggest in the world! But what about Niagara Falls, I hear you say? No they`re bigger, and better, maybe, probably at least. It just so happens Niagara Falls are in America and,say what you want about the Yanks, they know a thing or two about marketing plans.... ¨Hey, Dan , grab us a Coke please mate.¨

And in 20 hours we would be at the Falls, well at least the town. Yes. 20 hours. I feared that that spending 20 hours couped up in a boiling hot, mobile cuckoo clock may be there end of us. I mean, how many times can two friends repeat the same jokes without killing each other??

Dunno what Jims moaning about.20 hours on a brazilian bus was like paradise on earth. we had semi reclining seats, a book each, regular pit stops to buy greesy/salty Brazilian snacks, the equivielent of an unpronounacable  and evenmore greasy ginsters pasty, and (most importantly) travelscrabble. So really we were as happy as a dog with 2 dinners.or 2 dogs with 4 dinners. either way it was fine. ...not really for sleeping, which was a nightmarish,  kind of half sleep, too dreaming to be awake, too conscouse to be really asleep. but defintiely somewhere in between...but apart from that. really it was fine.
So we trundled our way across brazil to the falls, finally a bit chuffed with ourselves that we manged to do a real bit of traveling.

We spent 3 nights on the brazilian side of the falls and then moved over to the argentiniana side for a night. apparenlty you HAVE to see both becoause its a "totally different experience". however waterfalls are a bit like waterfalls whichever side you look at them from i thought? apparently no, and thats not just a bit of responsible tourism on the part of our lonely planet guide.   

yeah, from the Brazillian side they look like one of those generic illuminated, waterfall picutres hanging in your local kebab shop. Sortta. From a distance. Still cool tho but we wanted to get closer to feel the force so...

On the brazil side we did a boat trip under some of the smaller falls and got drenched, which was cool, and took some really good photoes of us standing about a mile away from the ¨devils throat",which is the really big impressive one. it was a bit like watching it on tv,but you get a bit wetter and there are more america tourists to laugh at.
Probably the highlight at our time at the mystical falls for both me and jim was getting a bus to the argentinian side from brazil. Which might not say much about our cultural credentuals but we had some laughs....and isnt that what its really all about?
we mainly had laughs because we gopt picked up from our hostel by an crazy argentinian cowboy, sporting a stenson, constantly waving a boca juniours football flag out his window at any and every passing motorist and, once he found out we were british, screaming the first three cords of yellow submarine over and over for the hour long journey.
"hey, you, in front. me - al pacino. you - robert deniro" was about all he could say in english. and me and jim are still trying to degiher exactly what he meant by that one.


We only realised the song he was manically huming, shouting, whistling all day was once we built up the courage to ask him. We thought it was a football chant! how else did he manage to make Ringos soothing opening harmorny sound so angry and vengeful?

There is a cool photo of Dan, The Argentinan Ringo and I standing in the middle of the Brazillian and Argentinan borders. You can see the flags painted on the curbs and the river which divides argentina, brazil and paraguay and feeds the falls in the background.

Overall the Argentinan side was much better. Lots more vantage points and wildlife, there were  wiley coyoates everywehre (no road runners tho). The most amazing view was looking into the Devils Throat which was a combination of 27 (??) waterfalls all murging into one. Its like the end of the earth, somewhere to thru the ring of power, or something. You really can feel how rentless these waterfalls are!

Ok, yeah, i undersold the falls a bit earlier, but i wrote that when id only seen them from brazil, from argentina, we got right up close and it does take your breath away.

Anyway, we're heading south now, via benos aires for one night and then down to see some whales in Puerto Madryn and maybe even some icebergs in Patagonia if we have time to make it back up to Buenos Aires for Christmas.
The trip to BA (once you've been traveling for a bit you have to call it that apparently) give us our first brush with boarder police last night, we got through safely after a small bribe or 1 pound


and twelve english pennies. but when 3 burley armed guards board your bus with a big dog and point spot lights in your face we probably would of given them a lot more if they wanted it. ah well.....apparently they are big coin collectors here so i feel we got off quite lightly all in all.    

Speak soon we're eating well (m,aybe a little too well....we are going out to sample the Argentinian Beef tonight, apparently the best in the world! Plus it works out so cheap for us as we get approx 5 and bit peso to the pound


Adios amigos (Pfft... Spanish is easy. We havent been on a course or anything. Really.)

J&D x

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juliejim on

fools journey
...must of been one fantastic shower? saves on the soap keep treking on your not near the misty mountains yet xxx

upnorth on

Proper traveling
Now 20 hour bus rides is more what I expected - none of this speed boat business!
Did you crash into a man smuggling illegal birds and have to go off on a romantic adventure to find a stone???? Oh hold on, I think that only happens in mexico.

thecoldzone on

Ringo who?
so was he really called Ringo or was that wot you called him cos of the song? He seems very friendly with Jim in the pic!
sounds like you having great time, hope you enjoyed the beef.

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