Day 8 (morning)
Weather: Sunny with cloudy periods
Brazil Tour: Day 4 Iguazu Falls
After a delicious breakfast….I know, I know it does look as if I'm repeating myself again but it’s true, it was delicious…..we were picked up from our hotel and transferred to the airport for our 10:22am flight to Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil. I was leaving behind three wonderful days in Rio but looking forward to my new destination and newer adventures! Goodbye Rio!!!...HELLLLLO Iguazu! I was heading to a place where I have dreamt so often of going to in person and seeing with my very own eyes those breathtaking falls called…..IGUACU FALLS!! Hip, hip, hurrah!!
For what followed later at the airport….I was prepared. By this I mean that extra precaution was taken to avoid missing our flight simply because I knew quite well that the boarding gates in Brazil’s airports were frequently changed before the final boarding announcements. Plus to make matters worse, often these announcements were given in Portuguese only!
Sooooo…..prepare as I was or as attentive as one can ever be, at the end all of this extra attention paid off in a way! That even though we were sitting in a place where there was only three gates in front of us in a quite crowded area with lots of people standing up, etc… a last minute change to our gate was made on the board without us realizing it because everything kept happening so fasttttttt!!!! Fortunately for us, several minutes later an announcement on the microphone was given and this time in a language that we could understand like….uh…in English!!! Dahhhh! We quickly jumped from our chairs and in a matter of seconds were in the opposite direction heading towards the revised boarding gate! We weren’t the only ones, neither! Groan!!
We flew with Tam, the largest of the Brazilian based airlines which serves many cities in Brazil as well as a few other South American cities. The flight was quite comfortable and two hours later, we were in Foz do Iguaçu in Brazil under a warm sunny sky and hot weather to my liking! Obrigado!
As the sign read "Bem Vindo Foz do Iguaçu" I was excited and thrilled to be here. We were picked up at the airport by the tour representative without any problems and transferred to our hotel but this, not before a little misunderstanding that had to be cleared along the way.
It started when the tour representative that picked us up at the airport was explaining to us as he was driving to what I thought to be our hotel, the time difference between Argentina and Brazil, the two countries on both side of the falls. He kept on saying that there was an hour difference between the two countries but WHAT DID I CARE…..I was staying on the Brazil side of the falls and for me, I was fine with the timing zone as it was. After all, we were still in Brazil AND STAYING in Brazil in a town called Foz do Iguaçu!
However, the minute he mentioned that we were being driven to the Cataratas Hotel on the Argentina side of the falls……EXCUSE ME….STOP THE CAR….no way…that’s not where I had booked through the tour company and paid an extra $450 more per night to be staying at! My hotel was on the Brazilian side of the falls, that it was the only hotel situated in the National Park and this, right next to the falls. Bla, bla, bla!!! As well, sorry fellow, that the name of the hotel I was staying at was “Das Cataratas” a 5 stars hotel in Brazil and not “Cataratas” a 3 stars one in Argentina. See, I had done my homework before leaving and knew exactly the hotel I had booked at but somehow, deep in my mind I knew quite well that this type of error was bound to happen and this, because of two different hotels with a similar name!!
The car was stopped and after a few phone calls and inquiries to the central tour office, the clarification was made with apologies from his part after he acknowledged the fact that it was his fault, that by seeing the name Cataratas which he had on paper, he assumed that it was the hotel in Argentina! Sure, all right!! A mistake I could have passed!!
Apologies accepted, a u turn was made and we were then being driven passed the entrance gates of the “Parque Nacional Iguaçu” and after a good twenty minutes ride in the middle of all of this beautiful green lush vegetation, of beautiful trees and exotic birds flying all around us, we had arrived at our fabulous hotel Das Cataratas! Being the only hotel in the National Park meant that after all the tourists were gone for the day, since the park closed at 5pm, us living here could wander around the grounds freely and have the falls all to ourselves! A pure luxury!
Stepping out of the car in front of our hotel, I briefly glanced at the falls behind me which could be seen in between the emerald green trees. What a majestic view and to think I had them all to myself for the next three days.
We were given the keys to our room but not before the hostess of the hotel gave us a grand tour of the building and grounds. Our room was on the top second floor with a view of the front of the hotel and the pathway leading to the falls. From my window, I could see the white mist and foam of the thundering falls way above the trees in the beautiful blue sky making me smile in the process. I was finally here, I was in heaven!
After a quick change of clothing, we were out the door for further explorations! By then it was 2:30pm.