Waterfalls, Wonder and Wettness

Trip Start Dec 29, 2009
Trip End Dec 24, 2010

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Parana,
Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sadly saying goodbye to Floripa (sniff!) we boarded our bus for the 16 hour trip to Iguacu Falls

We groggily got off the bus at about 8am and wandered aimlessly through the bus terminal. sometimes we get off these buses we are so sleepy, coffee deprived and just dozey that it takes us a good ten minutes to
a) talk to each other
b) figure out what city we are in and where we need to go

As you all know both of us you will know neither of us are very good in the mornings, much less after 17 hours in a teeny tiny seat curled up with a cardigan as a blanket and people smashing you in the face during the night on the way to the toilet

i swear, going to the toilet is the biggest mission on these brazillian buses

argentinian buses have nice good looking waiters who bring you wine and snacks and hot coffee and open the door for you to go to the loo

brazillian buses have no such hot waiter man and you have a huge process to get into the actual toilet
1. try to not fall down the stairs on way to mentioned loo
2. once make it to loo, figure out if someone is in there. this happens by pulling with all your might, if someone is in there, the door doesnt open so you dont fall back. if its free, the force with which you have to yank the door opens propels you half way down the bus, knocking poor sleeping old men nearly unconscious.he was like that when i found him i SWEAR
3. finally inside the loo, as a lady you need the seat down. problem is the seats are on springs perched against the wall and, once you have pants down, you have to use one hand to balance and the other to push the seat down, weight against the spring, then quickly do a double flip half pike turn to get the butt on the seat, without the lid springing back up mid pike and without falling in

im telling you, you need to be fit! or have a penis. or practice standing up.

anyhoo that was my vent.. to the falls!!

so inside the terminal we found our hostel had a booth. amazing. we got sat down by a nice brazillian dude who gave us fruit and water and planned out our trip for us. that day we would do the brazillian side and the next day the argentinian side complete with boat ride. we decided to pay for a proper tour as although you can do it yourself, you have to cross the border from brazil to argentina and then back again and without being on a tour bus where they do it all for you it is a nightmare. we were so lucky we did this as we found out on our way out of brazil that in fact on the in, from evil hell hole chuy, (remember my chui entry how i said we waited a zillion hours for this bus and then we drove 3kms and waited hours for them to get our passports stamped at the brazillian entrance)... it turns out that even though we went through the brazillian border on the way in the bus driver somehow didnt get out entry stamp in our passports and therefore we were actually in brazil illegally! this can carry a fine of 800 reais (over 500 aussie) plus a big black mark but the tour guide explained what happened and the lady stamped us out with no dramas at all. PHEW. i, however, then encountered problems on the way in as i didnt have my first entry stamped on my visa (we thought we did as of course that bus from chuy to floripa had stopped and gotten the whole buses stamped) and as we had to have entered the country by the 19th of jan (60 days after date of issue of visa) it was a massive dilemma and i just stood there and smiled lovingly at the passport man whilst our tour guide explained yet again, on the way back from the tour, what had happened and got me off it twice!! em had had a lazy passport lady who hadnt even noticed, so luckily we both got off easily but our driver said that if we had been in an airport it would have been a whoooollle different drama. lesson learnt!

so the first day we did the brazillian side which gives you a gorgeous overall picture of the falls. we did this side on our own easily. we went into the park and got on the park bus and got off at the trail which weaves around the edge of the side that looks at the falls. on the way we found an "Adventure tourism" booth where you could choose to do rafting, obstacle courses or absailing over the falls. we excitedly did absailing and being so cheap (like $30) it was worth its wait in GOLD. we absailed off a 55m tower which was suspended out onto the river so it was just me and em absailing down the face of the cliff gazing at the falls, closer than you can ever get from the path. it was spectacular and so serene, and we were able to do it together so it was just us and it was one of those moments where you go, THIS is why we came! Amazing

After that we unfortunately realised we then had to walk back up said 55m cliff. dammit. it was super hot so we finally got to the top in a sweat and collected a cd of all our photos. we will put them up but unfortunately they arent working on this computer. we continued our walk around the path and took LOADS of snaps (nikki in front of this angle of waterfall, em in front of same angle on the right etc..yay slideshow night) and then finally descended down to the base of the Devils Throat. Devils throat is the largest waterfall at the falls and we were soooo lucky as we had chosen the perfect time of year to go. Had we gone any other time it would have been a little trickle compared to the mountainous, misty, strong, loud, thundering waterfalls we had. you couldnt walk along the bridge without being completely drenched and while all the asian tourists were bustling around putting on their ponchos em and i ran out along the bridge fully clothed and got SOAKED. we were so hot from the day and the walk and it was so refreshing we felt so alive and just wanted to dance along the dock all day. luckily i had a waterproof camera to take some evidence (thanks mum and dad!). eventually we draggggged ourselves out and slopped into the gift shop soaked and leaving massive wet trail marks everywhere... giftshop lady non impressed. we then went to the viewing dock and had some lunch. the falls have these little racoons everywhere and they are not scared. for some reason they decided to attack me and climb up my legs to get to my burger! vultures! the staff thought it was hilarious so they didnt even help. pffffffffft customer service.

eventually we made it back to the hostel for some cup a noodles (again) and crashed into the most comfy bed ever for a much needed good night sleep. we had an early morning the next day! (10am hahaha)

So the Argentinian side was more a closer look at the falls. there are about 5 trails which take you above, below, to the side, around all the different waterfalls. the best trip was the lower trail as we went all the way down and then got a boat, like those crazy ones in new zealand which go right up to the rocks, forget the name, and our boat sped up straight to the biggest falls and drove our boat straight under it! amazing video to come! we then went under all the waterfalls and got drenched again, it was awesome and all you can hear on the video is our girly screams! its amazing they can take you so close, one of those things where you knew if it was in australia it would never be allowed!!!

the tour along the top of the falls was beautiful as well as you could see just how strong and powerful the river leading to the falls was and there were beautiful rainbows absolutely everywhere. however by then it was 5pm and we were photo-ed and waterfalled out so we headed back to the van and i slept allll the way home. then was wide awake after near arrest at brazillian border!! home to cup a noodles and a good night sleep (again!)

Which brings us up to date! right now we are having a travel day and hanging around the hostel until 5ish before we board out 16 hour bus to Sao paulo and then 5 hour bus to paraty for 10 days of beaching and island hopping before Rio. we have had 2 days away from tanning and are already suffering from post traumatic stress. eeek.

So must go have some lunch (yes cup a noodles), love and miss you all very much


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