Caymen, Swimming and Waterfalls.

Trip Start Sep 27, 2005
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Trip End Mar 07, 2006


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Saturday, February 11, 2006

It took 2 days of driving to get from BA up to Igauzu and once there we went to an hostel just outside the town. The hostel had an excellent swimming pool and we enjoyed an afternoon playing in the pool. In Santiago I had bought a blowup crocodile and this was our first opportunity to use it. We ended up trying to jump onto the croc from the edge of the pool and land so that you floated away. Only Rachel was good at this and managed 4 out of 5 attempts; my best attempt ended with me landing on the croc before being catapulted over the front of the croc!

We spent the whole of the next day at the falls and it was worth it. They are about 2kms lnog (about 1 1/2 miles). The first thing I did was take a boat ride up to the falls. They actually take you almost underneath them and you end up getting absolutely soaked. From here it was mainly walking around looking at them from various different angles, the best was from just above the part called The Devilīs Throat. There was a gentle roar before you got to it but as you arrived at the viewing platform over the falls the sound was almost deafening. The falls are an amazing sight and the Argentinians had set it up so that it was very convenient for people to walk around and see them from the best angles. The alls are in the jungle so there was a fair amount of wildlife there and I managed to see caymen, iguanas, coatis and lots of ants and butterflies.

From here we travelled across to the border to the Brazilian side of the falls. In the afternoon Jen, Kevin, Mike, Andrea and I went over to Paraguay as this is supposed to be cheap for electronics and to get another stamp in the passport. Cuidad del Este reminded me of Hong Kong except that it was even more crowded! It was mayhem and as you crossed the bridge you saw people carrying all sorts of things from Paraguay to Brazil as there are no border controls and you only get your passport stamped if you ask for it. We spent a fair amount of time trying to find some where to eat and failing and looked at a lot of electronics but none of it was as cheap as we had been told. So it was back across the border to the hostel to prepare for the Igauzu falls Brazilian style.

Jen, Kevin, Andrea and I were dropped off at the entry to the National Park where the falls are as we were the only ones who wanted to do the helicopter ride over the falls. This was an amazing way to see then and gave you a completely different view of them as you can see the whole of them in one go, which is not possible from the ground. The Devilīs Throat from above looked amazing as it appeared to be a gash in the smooth river. It was only about 10 minutes and we had had to wait for 50 minutes but it was well worth it.

From the helicopter we went to a bird park. This contained mainly birds of the area such as rheas, macaws and the wetland birds we would see when we went to the Pantanal in the next few days. One of the birds there was a harpy eagle, the biggest eagle, and that was sitting eating an opposum and casually ripping it apart with itīs bill. There was also a humming bird enclosure where you could see the birds in close up and one full of macaws where there was a warning outside that you entered at your own risk as the birds bit. One of the blue and gold macaws took a liking to my hat and flew over and sat on it. It then tried to remove the rivets from it but was defeated in this and decided to have a go at Kevinīs bandana instead as that was orange and it liked the colour.

From here it is up to the Pantanal, the worldīs largest wetland to try and see some animals.
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