How much better can they be!?

Trip Start Feb 03, 2013
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Trip End Dec 13, 2013


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Where I stayed
Iguazu Falls Hostel, Puerto Iguazu
What I did
Iguazu Falls

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hola y bienvenidos a Argentina! (Hello and welcome to Argentina!)

I'm bringing you yet another merry little update of our travels. Anyone getting sick yet? Good. Buckle up and make yourselves comfortable as I introduce you to the post that will describe the most amazing waterfa.... oh wait, Kirsty already told you about them. Well, like we had said, everyone we had met in Brazil had been telling us that the Brazilian side of the falls was awesome, but the Argentina side was so much better, but we had left the Brazilian side thinking exactly the title of this post: "How much better can they be!?" because what we had seen already was incredible!! Well! Well oh well ladies and gentlemen.... how wrong we were. I realise at the point of typing this that even if I try my absolute best you are not going to be able to fully appreciate how amazing the falls were as we said to ourselves whilst taking our photos that the pictures just do not do it justice, but hey, they're a start. Anyway, let's get down to it:

26th Feb - Today was our transfer from Brazil to Argentine. The hostel in Brazil was nice enough to let us get a lift to the border from their free shuttle service, so we go dropped off at the Brazilian border control and stamped out of Brazil. We then boarded a bus, which took us over the bridge over the Iguaçu River, which is the border between the countries. The concrete sides of the bridge went from green and yellow to blue and white in the middle as we officially crossed into Argentina. We were then stamped into the country and had our bags scanned, before getting to Puerto Iguazu and to our hostel. That afternoon/evening we chilled out in the hostel as we had been told you need a full day to do the Argentinean side.

27th Feb - OK, so before I start, I'm going to steal Kirsty's Wiki facts just to refresh people and put the following text into perspective:

Iguazu Falls
- A series of 275 waterfalls - the largest series of waterfalls on the planet
- The falls span 1.7 miles
- Half of the rivers flow falls into a long and narrow chasm called the Devil's Throat
- The Devils throat is 82 ft high
- The falls on the Iguaçu River have a flow capacity equal to three times that of Niagara Falls

We got up and made our way to the bus station and caught the bus to Parque Iguazu. We paid our entrance fee of A$130 (~£14) and entered the park. Straight away we noticed a difference as it was a lot more 'national park' like than Brazil, which was just a path along the cliffs. We took a short walk and decided to join the upper trail first, which takes you above the falls. To navigate the trails on the Argentinean side you had to walk along metal platforms that took you over the rivers, which were running fairly lazily towards the falls. This in itself was cooler as you felt you were actually being taken into the falls rather than near to them. We got to our first view point and instantly saw what people meant. The view of the falls was so much better and even more beautiful. The sun seemed to catch them just right and you could see a lot more of the falls than from Brazil. We walked around the upper trail, occasionally getting spray from below and took in the falls from above before walking back to the lower trail. This took you right into the heart of some of the falls, with one of the platforms getting so close to them that if you walked to the end you would come back completely drenched. We then walked down to where the boats take you to a small island, but we were disappointed to find that the water levels were too high and the boats weren't running so we stopped on some rocks for lunch instead. We then walked back through the trail and were treated to the sight of some Toucans up in a tree. A little while after seeing these we walked a little further and were greeted to some monkeys! These guys were bigger than previous ones we'd seen in Brazil and came right up close to everyone. After that we caught a little train, which took you to the top of the 'Devil's Throat'. On arrival we had to walk along a 1.5km platform out over the very wide upper river. On our way we not only saw a terrapin sunbathing, but also a caiman (small crocodile) and a massive catfish. When we reached the 'Devil's Throat' it was just incredible. Brazil's side took you a little way out into the river underneath it, but, due to the sheer volume of water, not very far. Now we were at the top and the platform almost hung over the edge. This gentle, lazy and extremely wide flowing river suddenly disappears down into the earth into what seems like a bottomless mist of spray, which is so dense that you can't see the bottom! It is almost as though a giant has come along and sliced away a layer of the earth! The 'Devil's Throat' viewing point concluded our visit to the falls and we caught the train back and walked to the exit.

I hope I've managed to do these falls justice. They really are incredible and definitely worthy of their inclusion into the '7 Natural Wonders of the World' list.

If that wasn't enough for one day's sightseeing, we got back to Puerto Iguazu and walked down to a viewpoint called 'Las Tres Fronteras', which is where the three countries of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet, all separated by a T-Junction in the river. Each country has an identical obelisk painted in their colours at their view point and can be seen from each one. It doesn't sound like much, but it was pretty cool to see three countries at once!

I hope everyone is keeping well. More updates to come from Paraguay and Argentina!

G xxxxx
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