Iguazu Falls: Wonder

Posted on July 11, 2011

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After an uncomfortable journey on another disappointingly poor Brazilian bus, I disembarked at Foz do Iguacu into surprisingly good weather considering the poor forecast. I was picked up at the bus terminal by a representative from my hostel, and spent the rest of the day enjoying the sunshine by the side of the pool. Klein Hostel turned out to be an excellent choice, with the facilities, staff and atmosphere all spot on. I spent the evening drinking at the bar with an Aussie couple and the young manager of the hostel.

I was up early the next morning to catch a lift to the Argentinian side of the falls. Border formalities were unusually easy, though this is perhaps unsurprising given the huge numbers of people making the crossing each day. The park itself was littered with trails offering varying views of the falls, both from afar and very, very close-up. The most spectacular view came from a platform built at the very top of the fall, enabling visitors to look down into the depths of the waterfall. It was certainly not a dry experience, and this was not aided by a terrifying boat trip that took unsuspecting tourists right to the base of some smaller falls and made sure they got a thorough soaking. Not a good day to wear jeans. By all accounts, until a few decades ago tourists were taken on boats to the top of the waterfalls and were able to take pictures whilst their poor guide rowed against the current. These were eventually banned after the inevitable fatalities.

A relaxed evening at the hostel followed, playing pool and computer games. The young staff and friendly travellers made it an enjoyable place to spend time. It was a slightly less early start the next day for the journey to the Brazilian side of the falls, though ridiculously it actually took longer to reach than the day before as we were required to take two local buses rather than catch a transfer. I had been advised by many that the Brazilian side was disappointing compared to the Argentinian, but I did not find this to be the case at all. Though there were less varying viewpoints of the falling water, the walk along Devil’s Throat, which took you right up to the face of the falls, was as spectacular and soaking as the day before. Afterwards, we visited the Bird Park next door, where the highlight was undoubtedly getting as close as any person could get to a toucan!

I decided against visiting the nearby Itaipu Dam in Paraguay for that evening’s light show, a decision vindicated later when those that made the trip expressed their disappointment. Instead I passed another evening in the friendly atmosphere at the hostel, departing the next day for Rio de Janeiro penniless and thoroughly sick of the sight of waterfalls.

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Posted in: Experience, Travel