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Naomi's world tour
No Photos 19th Feb 2010
Iguazu Falls

It was barely worth unpacking our bags as we left Puerto Iguazu early the next morning for our first visit to Iguazu Falls, starting with the Argentinian side of the falls. To avoid the crowds, we chose to do the boat ride first which takes you up very close and absolutely drenches you! It was a scorching day so we were glad of the chance to cool down. After that we followed several of the various trails around to get some spectacular views. The falls are incredible; just as you think you´ve seen the best view, you walk around the corner and there´s an even better one waiting for you. We got the train to Garganta del Diablo (Devil´s Throat) station before walking about 1km along the boardwalk. Again, the views and the sheer quantity of gushing water was incredible; trying to describe it here is impossible and no pictures can do it true justice either. All I can say is if you ever get the chance to go, please do.

After walking back along the boardwalk nicely cooled down after getting wet again, we queued up to board a little dinghy to float back down the river rather than getting the train back. There is a point at which you think you may be about to go over the waterfall but the current and the oarsman steer you away from it. We didn´t stop to see any wildlife but it was a very relaxing way of getting back, though at this point we were once again ridiculously hot and sweaty! The humidity there was unbelievable and it must have been around 40oC that day.

We got the train back to the meeting point to catch up with the rest of our group. We had arrived in good time as we weren´t quite sure how long it would take to get back and the park covers a huge area. Unfortunately some members of our group had to wait so long for the dinghy (which is at the opposite side of the park) that they missed the meeting time and we had to leave them, bags and Steve behind and head for the Brazilian border without them. I was so glad that wasn´t me as I would have been seriously freaking out!

We arrived at the Brazilian border and the missing people had caught up with us by hitching a lift with another Tucan group. We also saw the GAP guys again! The authorities decided they were going to be awkward that day and had issues with all of the tour leaders (not only Tucan) visas. I think it was because they´re American and apparently America is very tough on Brazilians entering their country. Finally Fran and Steve were allowed to rejoin us and we made our way to Foz do Iguacu though the delays meant that we had missed the Brazilian meal and concert we had planned for that night. I finally caught up with Rachel too; there had been a mix-up by Tucan who had put us in different groups even though we booked together so it meant we wouldn´t be able to travel together all the time.

We had a very quick shower before going to dinner at an all you can eat pizza restaurant. It wasn´t great but we were hungry, it was late and all the other options were very expensive. We tried their dessert pizzas, the white chocolate tasted mainly of cheese and was disgusting!

It was a shame we couldn´t spend longer at the hotel as it was by far the nicest we´d had so far, but in true tour style we were off again first thing the next morning to visit the Brazilian side of the falls. First we went to drop off some laundry and go to a money exchange before some of the group went on helicopter rides over the falls. I was thinking about doing it but couldn´t imagine how you could better the views I´d seen already. Then we went to a bird park and saw some toucans and snakes amongst other things; you could have a picture taken with both but as usual I was way too scared!

After lunch at the bird park, it was finally time to see the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls. You can´t get as close to the Falls but the panoramic views are much better and give you a greater idea of their sheer scale. Unlike the Argentinian side, the Brazilian side can be done in a couple of hours maximum and doesn´t involve as much walking (or opportunities to lose the rest of the group!)

When we arrived back at the hotel, there was time for some quick errands like internet, laundry and shopping before boarding our last night bus of this trip to Curitiba. I slept much better this time (and had no hot drinks poured down me) though the driver was clearly auditioning for Formula 1 and we arrived way ahead of schedule!

Next: Curitiba
Previous: La Estancia

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