Iguazu Falls WOW

Trip Start Sep 25, 2011
Trip End May 08, 2012

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Where I stayed
Garden Stone Hostel

Flag of Argentina  ,
Saturday, March 17, 2012

Leaving Posaas, I arrived in Puerto Iguazu at 5 p.m. after a pleasant 5 hour bus ride on Harianski double decker bus line, which is like a Collectivo which picks people up along the way at different bus stops called Paradas.  Various people got off and on and off and on, all seats were often taken which means they had to stand in aisles and as i was first in my row behind the stairs going up,I often had people standing in front of me blocking the view. 
In spite of that and being right across from the bathroom, the trip was very pleasant, as I have found all Argentian buses to be:  On this one the funny thing was the´Conductor´ offered drinks of what tasted like Kahlua and another like Bailey´s along with coffee and orange crush.  The orange crush was unusual as the drink of choice, a close second or even tied with, coffee or the tea like Mate´' is COCA COLA and not the diet type, the big bottle, sugared one.  It is often oftered as part of a Plate of the Day, where you get entree, pastry, and bebida the beverage, not that I have had it.
I found my hostel, which I booked on Hostelbookers and was rated thie highest, very easily as it was about 4 blocks from the bus station and I must say it was probably the best one I have ever stayed in for places to chill as they say, with a little pool, which all hostels seem to have here, a bar, a beautiful communal kitchen and breakfast area, spotless dorms with bunkbeds the staff actually make up every day, breakfast etc. all for equiv 16 US dollars per night in a 5 female dorm which there were only 3 of us the first two nights.  Two women who had just met at the hostel and were hanging out for the time in Iguazu, one was from Algeria but is living in France and the other German but has a green card for US and works as an accountant.  Of course the highlight and reason for being in Iguazu was to see the Falls, so took the local bus the next day at 9 a.m. for 20 pesos round trip 5 dollars and which left every 20 minutes.  There was a lot of walking involved in seeing the Falls as there are upper and lower levels to view about 6 different falls, and one called Devils Throat which people take a little train ride to and then walk over it along a bridge.  On the map of the Park, there is a footpath indicated  beside the train for walkers which I opted to take thinking it would be a nice shaded half hour walk but was in the 1 p.m. heat and no shade and then walked anotherjhalf hour along the bridge with no shadeªª but it was worth it.  my camera battery went dead about 11 a.m. but i thought no problem for half price i can come back tomorrow to take pics that i missed.  After i took the train back ¿i wasnt walking back>ª  sorry the exclamation mark is not working on this internet cafe computerªª  and then walked back to the entrance i thought that is enough walking in the heat for one day  and that is saying a lot as i walk every day in the heat as that is how i get around,  except once in awhile i take a city bus wherever i am.  So I had planned to go to the Brazilian side of the falls instead the next day which was yesterday, and guidebook and google both said although Canadians need an 80 dollar visa to go to Brazil, when going just to the Park and returinng the say day Brazilian ¿sorry now the computer is bolding? customs officials just look at your passport and stamp you in.  However busline I wanted to take called Cruces del norte, wouldnt even sell me a ticket to the Brazilian side ¿which is called Foz do Iguacu in Portuguese, without a visa.  I got a second opinion from another of their offices and then the guy told me to check with the Portuguese consulate which was across the street from my hostel.  Of course knowing full well it was not in the Consulates best interests to council people not to get visasª but i went anyway and of course they said i needed a visa. I think the guidebooks are only talking about those who arrive by taxi as their drivers probably dont ask if you have a visa.  So I decided Brazil was not to be, although I extended my stay in Iguazu for an extra day to make the trip, so Plan B was go to the Animal hospital and rehabiliation zoo that is outside of town and is highly recommended in the Lonely Planet guidebook.  So I asked the hostel how to get there and they told me where to get on the local Collectivo bus for 2 pesos (everything seems to be dos pesos, a bout 50 cents) so I did, and showed the map to the driver to let him know where i wanted to get off and he nodded his head.  The facility gives guided tours in both English and Spanish.  There were two other English speakers, a couple from Australia, and the rest of the 40 or so people were all Spanish speakers but the guide was wonderful, we got out to the zoo area by tractor and wagon, and then walked the equiv of about 8 blocks looking at the cages and hearing the stories of why and how the animals and birds ended up there. Some were confiscated from poachers, smugglers, out in the wild but hurt from natural more or less causes, and some were given by families who didn´t want  for example, the ferret anymore that grew from a small cute cuddly one to a larger snarling one or even working birds like hawks that were at the airport to scare away smaller birds and the hawks were now into retirement!.   The facility raises quail and quail eggs to feed to the animals.  Some of the animals need to be rehabilitated and strengthened to return to the wild so there are special trainers. It was such a good day so i know the Brazil trip was not meant to be for the alternative. So St Patricks day it now is and I am leaving Iguazu today for a 17 hour bus ride on Cruces del Norte to Sante Fe, and since I arrive at 7 a.m. tomorrow, I may continue onto Parana, about an hour away from there as it will be early in the morning and i have not been able to find accommodation-   I plan to go from there to Concordia, Argentina, where I can cross the border to Salto, Uruguay and make my way to Colonia, Uruguay for a couple of days before i return to Buenos Aries by crossing a ferry.  Mamma Mia is live in Buenos Aries right now and I want to see it in Spanish so plan to get a ticket for Sunday Mar 25 matinee.
There are so many locations that i need to catch up on this blog, i thought the best thing to do is do a blog from today and fill in later... i.Of course pictures are still on my camera and that is another story, i am plagued with issues regarding getting pictures uploaded.
Niagara falls compared to Iguazu is like a faucet to a river (sorry Niagara). I exaggerate, but the falls were spectacular and more than what I expected.
Being St Patricks Day I kind of regret not being somewhere which might celebrate it IE Buenos Aries but i am looking forward to the bus trip. Comes complete with movies, all meals, drinks etc. included in the price Coming from Tucuman to Posadas, 4 movies were showed (15 hour trip) 425 pesos about 110 dollars, including Meet the Fockers, the Kings Speech and Inception,   all in English with Spanish subtitles and we even had a game of Bingo, all in Spanish of course but I could keep up and the conductor said the numbers very slowly, knowing i was trying to play. i better soon make my way to the bus station after i pick up my equipaje - luggage from the hostel where i have left it for a couple of hours.  HAPPY ST PATRICKS DAY!!!! oh it works now!   
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Linda M on

Hi Linda E
What an adventure you're having (as usual!!- my exclamation points work!)
Keep the blog updates coming - I'm enjoying hearing about your travels. Take Care!

Bonnie G. on

So glad you enjoyed the Falls too ! Aaron & Kevin said they were definetly worth it! I had mentioned to you the visa thing with Brazil but for another time ,it too will be a trip in itself ! Travel safe and take lots of pics !

Dianne Paterson on

So pleased I can read about your adventures. China is nothing compared to what you are doing! Look forward to the next stage.

Patricia on

Great adventure! So much of the world to see. Take good care.

Greg B on

Enjoy it, girl! just more snow and cold back in YK. Your spanish must be getting rather functional by now...

Cleo Prellwitz on

Guess I better shake my Diet coke habit if I travel to Argentina! Sounds like a great time at the falls and the zoo.

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