Curitiba & Iguassu - the other South West to you

Trip Start Jan 17, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Friday, February 22, 2008

One night in Curitiba
The eco city of Brazil.  Notably very clean, tidy and middle class. Shopping area felt like a newer Broadmead. Completely different from the dirtiness of some of the other areas weīve visited. Pleasant, but one night was definitely enough for us.

Serra Verde Express
Not exactly sure how 25km per hour top speed counts as an express, but the scenery was stunning as we took the train through the Serra Verde mountain range. Huge green valleys and high waterfalls, round precarious bends and passing through mountain tunnels - a lovely way to break up the journey to Iguassu.  A riverside picnic and amble around the sleepy Morretes before taking the return route.... 

(two hours later) Standing on side of the track with four families of drunk Polish holidaymakers after our engine had accidently decoupled from the carriages and left us in the middle of nowhere deep within the Serra Verde mountain range.  Though as a wise person once told me, it`s the unexpected things that make the memories so itīs good when things go wrong once in a while!

Iguassu Falls

Iguassu... truly amazing. Incredible energy and magnificent beauty... the sheer power of the water is overwhelming. Plus you get absolutely soaked..

We visited the Argentinain side first where you are right in the middle of it all... over and under the falls, even indulging in the obligatory boat ride which takes you so close you are as wet as if youīd fallen in. Each one is named eg., Dos Hermanos, Adam & Eve, etc right up to the Devilīs Throat .... an enormous cluster of falls where the water plummets so hard it kind of creates itīs own raincloud, periodically drenching us innocent tourists to much screaming. The legend behind it is that a young warrior fell in love with the Chiefīs daughter who was destined to be sacrificed to the Snake God and to save her, he kidnapped her and set off downstream in a canoe.  The Snake God heard about their escape and in his anger, invaded the earth to form the massive Devilīs Throat waterfall... the young man was punished by being turned into a rock at the bottom of the falls to be eternally battered by the waters and look up at his love, herself having been turned into a Palm tree on the side of the waterfall guarded constantly by a cave dwelling vindictive monster.

The Brazilian side gives a better perspective of the falls as you view them from a little distance... after that and the Helicopter ride I certainly feel Iīve seen the falls from all angles! The current photos attached are from the Brazilian side (batteries ran out first day) and from the air... will try to put some on of the Argentinian side too from Liserīs camera when I get to NZ.

Other memories of Iguassu will be the beautiful butterflies (and moths), our first Argentinian wine, whinging duped Americans, electricity blackouts, and the now legendary Cuba Libre club and mischief caused there by pint sized caipirinhas and strobe lights...

Leaving Brazil

Brazilian memories ...
Guarana, Samba, Caipirinhas, Skol, Cake for breakfast, impossible language dialects.
Top highlights ... Ouro Preto, Rainforest, Hang-gliding, Football , Iguassu
If I came back I would visit ... Pantanal, Florienopolis and I would definitely go back to Rio.
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