Showering in Iguassu Falls & plenty of nice pics
Trip Start Dec 21, 2009
43Trip End Jul 17, 2010
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A quick diversion before I start writing about the falls themselves. In one of our previous blog entries (somewhere around blog entry 10 or so), we mentioned that we did some diving in Belize and we had a friend who brought along her digital camera and underwater casing and had some snaps of us diving. Ever since then, we have been thinking long and hard about getting an underwater casing so we could take pictures underwater. The casings for my digital SLR are really expensive and handling a digital SLR in an underwater casing is no easy feat when you’re trying to sort out things like buoyancy and making sure that you’re not bashing into the flora and fauna
It just so happens that the Iguassu Falls are at the centre of three borders, the countries being Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina and there is a town called Ciudad del Este that is just over the border in Paraguay where duties don’t exist. As a result, many people make the trek over to Ciudad del Este to buy electronic goods and all sorts of stuff to either take home for themselves or probably sell it on Ebay. For some reason, we don’t have to get our passports stamped so we head over the Friendship Bridge and the place looks a lot like Asia where there are plenty of cars, the streets are crowded, there are stalls everywhere and everyone has two goals, either to sell you something or to take you to a place where they can sell you something. We start shopping around and the prices here are actually quite good because everything is duty free. In our travels, we inadvertently walked through a building that we clearly didn’t belong in. We were greeted by suspicious shotgun wielding security guards, each one in a different uniform and standing in front of massive, thick metal doors. As they eyed us nervously, we managed to sneak a peek at what they were guarding
Our next stop was to head to the UNESCO World Heritage listed site - Iguazu Falls. The falls are home to 275 separate waterfalls spanning some 23kms. Many of the waterfalls are over 70m in height. All this makes for quite a sight and sound when you are greeted by the sheer power of this natural wonder. We made our way the Brazillian side of Iguassu Falls where we jumped into a helicopter ride to see the falls from a different angle. The views were simply stunning. You start with a cruise over the forests where the sea of green is broken up by a massive plumes of spray from the waterfalls. A few passes in the helicopter for pictures and we were heading back to the helipad to land. We then made our way into the Brazillian National Park to see Iguazu up close for the first time.
To get the most out of a trip to Iguazu, you have to see it from the Brazillian side and again from the Argentinian side. Each side gives you different views and different activities that you can partake in. The second day saw us heading over the border to the Argentine side where our Argentinian leader (Juan) had an emotional reunion with the "right side of the border" as he calls it. We got to walk along much of the tops of the waterfalls (through the metal walkways they have built) and also take a ride into the falls themselves. We took one of the many boats that take you right into the base of the waterfalls to experience the true power and sound. The best way to imagine it would be to think of walking through a car wash, with high pressure hoses blasting out megalitres of water into your face. Check out the video that we have uploaded here. The video and pictures were taken using our newly acquired underwater casing for our new camera. We figured we might as well put it through its paces nice and early.
In our next blog entry, we hit Buenos Aires, come face to face with Magellanic Penguins, set up camp in gale force winds and begin our long trip south towards Patagonia.