Iguazu Falls - The Argentinean Side

Trip Start Jan 03, 2012
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120
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Trip End May 02, 2013


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Flag of Argentina  , Litoral,
Friday, October 5, 2012

Our relatively smooth flight descended through the clouds, glided over dense tropical rainforest and landed in a heavy downpour. Exposed to the elements once again, Jason's pack was wet.  We took a shuttle to Garden Stone Hostel and unpacked everything, hoping it would dry in the humidity.

Host Alejandro gave us a quick review of the area.  Prices for local attractions and transportation were up substantially and way more expensive for foreigners, again.  The hostel had a lush green garden with red and yellow heliconia sprouting everywhere, as well as decor that was reminiscent of Southeast Asia.

We ventured out and had lunch on a patio watching the rain wax and wane.  Sylvia ordered the chicken special and Jason finally got to conquer a lomo completo, an Argentinean sandwich with steak, ham, cheese, egg, lettuce and tomato.  It was enormous.   The rain continued all afternoon and tapered off by the evening.  The forecast also steadily improved.

In the morning we had eggs with breakfast for the first time in ages.  We took a bus to the falls, paid the steep 130 pesos (~$26) entrance fee, then caught the little train to take us deeper into the park.  Unfortunately, there was a huge lineup for the second train to the top so we had to wait over half an hour.

From Estacion Garganta, a long walkway took us from island to island across wide and narrow sections of the Iguazu River and finally right to the edge of the falls.  Two hours after leaving our hostel we arrived at La Garganta Del Diablo (The Devil's Throat).  The sight was jaw-dropping and the sound of rushing water was deafening.  It formed a tighter horseshoe shape than Niagara Falls and extended much further, and it was only the beginning.

After the previous day's heavy rain, the water was high so there were over 250 waterfalls connected by trails and catwalks that allowed them to be viewed from almost every level and angle.  The spray coming off the falls produced a number of natural misting stations along the paths.

There was also plenty of wildlife to be seen.  Big black and white lizards, monkeys, birds and thousands of butterflies captured our attention.

Near the eating areas, pesky coatis, like raccoons with longer snouts and tails, bravely scavenged for food.  One jumped up and stole an empanada right off of an unsuspecting tourist's plate.  Despite the warnings of claws, bites and rabies, other foolish people fed them right from their hands.

Our favourite waterfall site on the Argentinean side was Salto Bossetti viewed from a terrace a short way down the staircase leading down to the boat launch for Isla San Martin and powerboats headed straight for the falls.  Unfortunately the island was closed due to high water so we couldn't explore that area.

We ended the day back up at La Garganta Del Diablo.  The afternoon breeze kicked up so much spray that we got another cool shower in the hot afternoon soon.

With almost 400 between us, that day we took the most photos ever in one day.  That night we wittled them down to around 300.

Having already passed the 100,000 kilometres travelled mark, we crossed the bridge to Brazil and the national colours changed from blue and white to gold and green.
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