Water water everywhere

Trip Start Sep 19, 2005
Trip End Mar 19, 2006

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Monday, September 26, 2005

Puerto Iguazu is a muddy little town which seems to exist mostly to host all the tourists (like me!) who come to see the Cataratas de Iguazu. It was piddling down with rain when I arrived and I felt like I had really arrived in the tropical north - all mosquitoes and humidity.

The flight was delayed so I decided to wait until Sunday to have a full day on the Argentine side of the falls. So once I had found a hotel (lovely little place with a courtyard and really quiet after Buenos Aires) I took a walk down to the end of the town from where you can see over the river to Paraguay and Brazil(photos later when I have got them burned onto a disk). A couple of beers later I and I was crashed out in my bed so I could get up early on Sat and beat the tour buses to the National Park.

Well, I can say that the waterfalls are the most amazing thing I have seen in my entire life. Its hard to put into words but if you imagine the perspective of a tiny flea if you held a hosepipe on its head, you might come close. There are a series of falls, the most amazing of which is called "the devil's throat" - its a semicircular vertical drop with so much water crashing over it its hard to see that it is water rather than just huge white foamy material. The noise is amazing and the catwalks that lead you out over the river to the falls are soaked with the spray. The spray reached up a couple of hundred meters into the air and the whole thing is just gobsmacking.

I spent the whole day there, wandering round the trails and taking way too many photos. All around the falls is rainforest. I took a boat ride out into the falls, and the captain delights in soaking all the passengers with the spray - a kind Aussie girl gave me her plastic poncho thingy (yep, I look really attractive) but I still got soaked. Luckily (or unluckily as I thought when I reached the top, panting), there was a steep climb back up to the main path so I was dried off a bit by the time I got there. After some lunch (am loving Argentinian buffets by the way) I walked on another set of catwalks to see the falls from the top. by this point the sun had come out, bringing with it the coatis (raccoon type things) and butterflies and rainbows in the spray. Just beautiful.

Today I went to Brazil! It was quite easy to cross the border - although the Argentines quite like to stamp your passport on the way out, the Brazilians don't seem that bothered about you on the way in - so for one day I wasn't really anywhere at all, at least officially!! I was off to see the falls from the Brazilian side. Whereas Puerto Iguazu is tiny with only about half the streets tarmacked and the rest covered in a reddish mud / cobblestone mix, and stray dogs everywhere, Foz do Iguacu in Brazil is much bigger and has skyscrapers and everything!

At the bus terminal I found the bus to the national park, and off I went. Stupidly, having read it in my guidebook, I forgot what day it was and didn't realise until I got to the park that it didn't open til 1 on a Monday. Luckily, just as I was contemplating leaning against a wall for an hour, I spotted the bird sanctuary over the road and popped over there for a visit first. I spent about a hour laughing at the comedy parrots and being stared at by toucans before I could go back to the park.

The Brazilian side gives more of an overall view of the falls, rather than the up close and considerably damper experience in Argentina. Was great too, and took lots more photos. When I've burned some onto a cd I will add some to the site.

Am flying back to Bs As tomorrow, then its off to the south, wending my way down to Patagonia.

hope you are all well, talk to you soon

Sarah xx

P.s. I got asked today if I was from Spain, which chuffed me no end!!!!
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