The Falls of Iguazu

Trip Start Dec 07, 2005
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14
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Trip End Apr 10, 2007


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Where I stayed
Hostel El Gembe

Flag of Argentina  ,
Monday, March 27, 2006

Iguazu Falls


This from wikipedia:

The name Iguassu comes from the Guarani words y (water) and guasu (big). The legend says that a god pretended to marry a beautiful aborigine named Naip, who fled with her mortal lover in a canoe. In rage, the god sliced the river creating the waterfalls, condemning the lovers to an eternal fall.

We slid into Puerto Iguazu, Argentina and stayed at the Hostel El Gembe today (31 march 2006).

At our hostel, we made some wonderful Canadian friends named Tristan and Jess at. they are doing a similar trip to ours, but over 6 months instead of a year. we also shared a room with some germans who had just finished studying medicine, and a spaniard who left the day after we arrived. everyone in our room was really friendly, and the hostel was a chill place with an easygoing staff.

anyway, we went to the national park with tristan and jess and spent the whole day moving. the argentinian side of the falls is packed with well maintained trails and opportunities to see different parts of the falls up close. we all deicided to shell out the U$S 15/person to take the boat ride under some of the waterfalls, which was pretty much worth it. to break up the monotony of running the same short circuit all day long, i think the boat drivers really revel in whipping their 20-person boats around and convincing the passengers that its their first day on the job.

after getting off the boat, we were all completely soaked. luckily, the park provides dry sacks and daniela and i had both worn our bathing suits and stuffed our clothes in the dry sacks. we took a much calmer boat ride across to san martin island, where we could get a closer view of some of the falls. we saw lots of lizards (the biggest one was about 3 feet long) and lots of vultures and not as many tourists as wed seen earlier in the day. we only had about an hour to spend before the last boat went back to the other shore (which was about 200 meteres away). we asked a ranger on the boat what happens if people miss the last boat, and he told us they wait until the first boat in the morning at 9 am. i think he was joking...

overall, iguazu lived up to the hype i think. although the park is chock full o tourists, its big enough to allow you to wander around discover different parts of the falls for yourself.

Of Note: apparently, the Itaipu Dam on the Parana River (between Brazil and Paraguay, and the largest hydroelectric project in the world) caused the flooding over of a set of falls more impressive and powerful than those at Iguazu. Itaipu, from the Guarani language, means "singing stones". One of the Paraguayan banknotes (Im pretty sure its the 100,000 Guarani note) has a picture of the Itaipu Dam on the back.
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