18th Aug 2009 - 19th Aug 2009 - South American Adventure
Not too much happened on the 18th of any interest. I caught my boat at 4:30am and made it with plenty of time to catch my flight to Iguazu. I arrived in Puerto Iguazu without any hassles at all. However, my booking with hostelworld.com didn´t go through to the hotel and the guy at Iguazu House speaks no English. In fact, his solution for someone who doesn´t understand is to speak faster. Not to point at something helpful, use an online dictionary (he was too busy with his MSN) or anything. Man, it was frustrating. I took a walk around town to get information for the next day and was interested by the man cutting his lawn with a massive machete. I didn´t take a picture, for I feared he might come after me with his machete. I had dinner out at a nice restaurant and went for another steak dinner. Man, they can do a mean steak here. However, they cannot do vegetables...especially salad. I ordered a Caesar salad, as I was ecstatic to see it on the menu (a true rarity here). It was horrific. The worst thing I have ever tasted. Man, I miss vegetables.
Early the next morning, I caught the bus to the Iguazu National Park and then immediately hopped on the first ´eco-train´ to the Devil´s Throat. This is considered the main attraction at the falls. It was great being among the first handful of people there as it was easy to get the photo that you wanted without other people blocking your way. As it is high water levels right now in Argentina, the amount of water flowing over the falls was quite high when I was there and it resembled Niagara. Although, the water flowing over Iguazu is a brown-capucchino colour. It looked a lot like they were frothing chocolate (that comparison might have something to do with the fact that I watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on TV last night).
From the Devil´s Throat, I decided to go do the lower trail walk (instead of upper trail). All of the travel agents sugges doing the upper walk first, but I decided to go lower first to avoid the crowds. I was happy that I did. On the way, there were a bunch of monkeys frolicking in the trees on the path to the lower trail. They were incredibly cute and tiny. The baby monkeys (were about the size of my hand) were riding on their moms´ backs across the trail to the other set of trees. I spent close to an hour watching and photographing the monkeys before heading out to the lower trail.
On the lower trail, when you reach Salto Bossetti there is a walkway that leads you straight to the edge of the cascading waterfall. I went out there by myself and got soaked in 5 seconds. Unfortunately, I don´t have a picture of this as I was protecting my camera under my coat. I have seen so many internet pictures of the falls that seem to only have a trickle of water, and thus was not expecting this.
The upper trail is a bit disappointing. There are a couple of spots for some panoramic shots that are nice, but the view from up top is nothing compared to the lower trail. Furthermore, there were three tour groups blocking the tiny trail, making it very frustrating to pass through to the few good spots.
The flight home to BA was good. I was sitting beside an interesting couple from California and enjoyed some great laughs on our 2 hour flight. I was surprised after getting my luggage from the carousel at the length of the line for taxis. This was the first time in my entire trip where taxi people weren´t hounding you before you are out the door. Instead, the line consisted of 2 flights worth of people. It took me 50 minutes to make it to the front of the line. I was incredibly frustrated to learn that it was due to the fact that you wait for this man to help you into the taxi. Meanwhile, there were 7 taxis behind the first one just waiting for him to finish hugging the babies and talking to the people. Had we all jumped the line and then grabbed a cab, I could have been home at least 40 minutes earlier. I was so annoyed at this system that the first thing I did when I got home was start drinking my bottle of red wine.
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