Don´t go chasing waterfalls

Trip Start Mar 25, 2007
Trip End Aug 31, 2007

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Friday, June 8, 2007

After a series of 3 flights from Salvador (connecting in Brasilia & Curitiba) our luggage and us made it to Iguazu - our last stop in Brazil.  We were both pretty excited.  The only waterfalls either of us have previously experienced were the Niagara falls (Canada/USA) but we had been told these were 50X the size.  Often described as the worldīs most amazing waterfalls, the Iguazu falls are shared by Brazil and Argentina with Paraguay a stone throw away too.  Argentina has the lionīs share of the falls  

We checked into a hotel in the small town of Foz de Iguacu late on Tuesday afternoon.  With a stomach upset, I wasnīt feeling too great and spent most of the day in the bathroom.  Not sure if it was something I ate at Churasco buffet we had lunch at, meant to be the best barbecue buffet in town.  It was good food and there were pictures on the wall of Ronaldinho with all the waiters - I bet he didnt get the runs after eating there....  

Wednesday was a gloriously sunny day.  Not quite the temperatures of Rio and certainly not Salvador but still a decent 26C.  We took a local bus to the Brazilian side of the falls.  Once we entered the parque naįional, a bus took us to the start of the waterfalls trail.  Even in the distance, the waterfalls were spectacular and the sounds of the gushing water were all around us.  We had great panoramic views and were able to appreciate the sheer magnitude of it all.  You canīt even see all of the falls from any one viewpoint.  Apparently there are actually 270 waterfalls in total that constitute the Iguazu Falls. The trail was pretty cool and there were loads of butterflies everywhere and some strange looking animals, I think they were racoons. The trail took us to the Garganta del Diablo (The Devilīs throat) a walkway where we could stand just over some of the lower tier falls, we could see the water gushing below us and we could see the upper tier waterfalls next to us.  The sound was deafening and it really was a breathtaking sight.  It was a powerful sensation and you could almost feel the energy they released.  We had our outershell waterproof jackets on so we didnīt get too wet like some people did.  After the Devilīs throat, we took an elevator up to see the waterfalls from above, we then left the national park and went to a bird sanctuary next to it.

Having once bred budgies and kept cockatiels, I do like birds and am fascinated by the tropical ones.  Sam was eager to see some toucans so in we went.  We werenīt disappointed - there were hundreds of species.  Most of them were all parrots native to the Amazon and there were quite a few endangered species as well.  It was good to see they werenīt all caged up, instead they had large enclosures and the environment was as close to the real jungle as you could get.   The toucans provided us with entertainment.  Strange looking birds with huge beaks - almost the size of their bodies.  Their beaks almost looked plastic and they themselves looked like something out of a disney film. The size of their beaks made them seem quite unstable and they were very clumsy fliers.  Sam was eating a biscuit and two of them spied him so they flew really close and perched themselves on the handrails next to us.  It was quite amusing to watch them as we put some biscuit down and they slowly eyed it up, picked it up in their massive beaks and then tilted their heads.  They made us laugh with their funny little mannerisms.  We saw some flamingoes and owls.  We couldnīt believe how many different parrot species there were.  One of the green macaws had obviously been taught a few words as an eerie voice greeted us with an īhola!īas we passed by.  At the end there was a giant walk in aviary with lots of red & blue and other types of macaws.  A sign informed us that we entered at our own risk.   Most of the parrots just ignored us and flew high above us but there was 1 particular naughty but tame one who perched on my arm.  He was a heavy weight and his sharp beak tried to peck my hand and wrestle my wristband off me.   

We walked around the town of Foz later that evening but it wasnīt very spectacular.  Not much around and it really did feel like a border town.  You wouldnīt really spend any time in the town if it wasnīt for the attraction of the falls.
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