Iguazu Falls, Brazil and Argentina

Trip Start Jan 26, 2009
Trip End Mar 27, 2009

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Sunday, February 15, 2009

Our flight was only a few minutes late arriving at Iguazu and our luggage arrived with us (always a good sign).  Our guide for our entire Iguazu adventure, Samuel, was awaiting our arrival and whisked us across the border into Argentina to our hotel (Sheraton Resort) inside the national park in order to dump our luggage and prepare our warm bodies for the dangers of the jungle.  Jim was very worried about all of the terrible diseases that might be vested upon us during our stay so we took every precaution possible (shots, pills, etc.).  Much to do over nothing as we saw but one solitary fly during our entire stay and Lynne made sure the little beast would no longer be a bother to humankind. 
When we first stepped into our room we were greeted with a spectacular panoramic view from our balcony of the main falls.  Once again we had to pinch one another to remind us that both the view and our adventures to date were not Technicolor dreams. 
Samuel was waiting in the lobby and off we went to catch the train to the boardwalk trail to Garganta del Diablo (the top of the main falls on the Argentinean side that look down into the Devel's Throat).  It is actually quite difficult to describe the falls because they are not simply several spectacular falls, as in Niagara, but almost 200 falls, each with its own unique features.  One's senses are quite simply overwhelmed.  The main falls are in a horseshoe similar to what we are all familiar with in Niagara but imagine each to be twice has high and with four times the volume of water flowing over the precipice and you begin to get a feel for what we experienced.
Heading back to the train station, we took a side excursion to view several of the smaller falls up close and personal and, as we rounded a corner on the boardwalk, ran into three fellow travellers from our cruise ship:  small world, what?  It was late into the afternoon by this time and the park trails were being shut down so we headed back to our hotel for a late afternoon drink out on the main patio with its spectacular view of the main falls complex.  It was hot and humid (think of the worst that a Nova summer can offer and multiply by two!):  the pina coladas were as soothing to the warm body as the view of the falls was to the soul.
Samuel came back later in the evening to drive us across the border to dinner in Brazil; followed by a stage show (separate venue) featuring the history of Iguazu, Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay in dance.  We were quite surprised that the traditional dances of Paraguay were more akin to those of Mexico and Central America than to the sensual dances of Brazil and Argentina that we are all so familiar with.  The quality and variety of the dance routines made for a most enjoyable evening performance.  Most enjoyable for me (I think it's a guy thing) was the spectacular gaucho dance routine with the bolas (spelling?).
We were up at the crack of dawn:  not all that early if truth be known but the hectic pace of the past few weeks was beginning to show and poor Lynne was fighting a wicked cold type virus (regardless, she soldiered on:  what a trooper!).  Samuel picked us up after we enjoyed a huge buffet breakfast .... Burp! ... and we headed across the border to Brazil for more views of the falls.  At Niagara, no matter the angle, the falls have a similar look and feel.  In Iguazu every view is spectacularly different:  one needs a detailed map to remind oneself that these are indeed the same falls.  Our day started with a safari ride and walk through the rain forest:  toucans (not Sam!), monkeys, huge spiders, kowati (spelling?) and rain forest trees and flowers too numerous to mention.  By the end of the walk we had descended to river level (thank heavens they would be driving us back up to the top of the river gorge) where we boarded zodiac boats for a wild ride up river towards the falls.  They handed out rain gear but we soon found this was only for the placebo effect because nothing would keep you dry when your boat backs into a waterfall.  Our skipper was the masochistic type so we did it three times ... woohoo!
Our next stop was Espaco Naipi which overlooks the main falls from the Brazilian side and has an elevator that takes you down to the base of the falls and to a series of boardwalks along the rim of several large falls and right below the main falls.  Then off to lunch at a very nice restaurant located at the top of the main falls and finally, back to our hotel to get our of our falls soaked clothes.  We had a pleasant evening with our fellow cruisers before heading out the next morning for Buenos Aires.
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