Friday, 28 May 2010

Iguazu Falls and on to Rio

We're in Rio now, and have had a good few days of beachtime, but haven't yet said anything about leaving BA and heading to Iguazu. Once back in BA, we satyed an extra night to see Nube 9 - a band recommended by Merrie who play at Beatle week who were playing the next day. It was amazing, they did a best of the 60's night with everything from the Beach Boys, Beatles, Jefferson Aiplane, Diana Ross - a real mix all done brilliantly! We're looking forward to ctahing up with them again this at the Mathew St Festival in August.

From then, it was on the next day to Puerto Iguazu, another overnight bus of about 18 hours or so - easy! We got wine on the us which was a new one, although we have not done the "Super Cama" bus, which is supposed to be literally a bed, with champagne, whiskey and you're own selection of DVD's. We're a bit sad about that but there's always next time!

We arrived at Iguazu, checked in and then headed straight to the national park - we'd arrived a little late, and a friendly chap suggested us a route so we could see as much as possible with nearly not enough time! We got the train once we'd arrived which takes you around the park, and went straight to the Devil's Throat waterfall, the big one (of several massive ones!). We passed loads of butterflies flapping about, all different colours but sadly hard to get a picture of! Once off the train, we had to try our hardest to race oast Team Santiago", who were walking very slowly in their green team hats and taking up all the walkway! We had no time to dawdle, so probably wound them up a bit weaving in and out to get past!

The waterfall itself was mindblowing - looking at the middle actually made you feel a bit sick, it looked like a chocolate fountain pouring down to the bottom that you coudln't even see! The spray created an incredible rainbow - we were so glad we'd got a sunny day to come and see the park as it made everything shine!

Having taken our pictures, we raced back for the next train so we could start on the lower trail which would take us past more waterfalls, and down to the boat ride. We past some incredible smaller waterfalls and saw some of the parks wildlife too - 'racoon things', before making our way through the spray down to the "port" - actually just a plank and a rock with some steps cut into the rock.

We were already soaked, and quickly changed out of our shoes and put our stuff in the dry bags they have for you there, and finally used the poncho's Jenni had given us before we left. 6 months of carrying and finally we made good use of them! The boat ride itself was insane, we whizzed right up to the falls several times - i've no idea how our little camera survived, we might as well have dropped it down the loo! It was so wet! The finale was to rushes right into the falling water of the Devil's throat. Just trying to open your eyes was hard, but we tried! We both drank far more dirty water than can be good for you, but had such an incredible time before getting back off and assessing how soaked we were. Sara did ok, I was wrecked.

From there we whizzed up a bit further, where one of the platforms got you nearly as close as the boat had to the falls. I headed out onto the platform in my already soaked state, and the wind created by the falling water was vicious! There was a school trip there too, all of whom wanted a go when I was there!

From the lower trail, we headed on up to the upper trail to see the falls from the top but it had just closed. We obviously looked heartbroken, because the guy let us go through as long as we were quick! We whizzed along with cameras out, and it was wonderful to watch the sun go down over the park and see the spray turn a different colour. We mustn't forget the monkeys, which we saw leaping from tree to tree over the river which amused us for a little while before we had to rush on!

Even with our late arrival, we think we saw what the park to offer and it really was worth every minute we whizzed along. That night we went for our last Parilla or Argy Barby, which served up some amazing Steak, gorgeous chicken, a nice sausage, some questionable black pudding, some dodgy kidneys and some sort of gross intestine thing that really wasn't great! I tried everything, but sadly only the steak and the chicken was finished!

Next day we were off to Brazil, with the plan of crossing the border and heading for the bus station to get to Rio and the beach asap! On a local bus crossing the border however, you have to ask them to stop at Brazilian immigration, so we whizzed through without a stamp and were officially illegal immigrants in Brazil for the next hour and a half! A bus journey back for the stamp and card, and then another back to the town was a silly hour we needn't have spent! Next, we looked for our bus, only to find the long distance terminal was another bus ride away, probably about 8 km's out of town! We finally arrived at 11.50 having left at 9, to find a bus ready and waiting that left at 12. We were straight on it, but sadly buses in Brazil aren't as good as in Argentina, and are more expensive so it wasn't quite the ride we'd been used to! 24 hours, several awful films and about 3 hours sleep later, we were in Rio.

We headed straight to Ipanema, checked into the first hostel we found and hit the beach and that pretty much brings us up to date - we've had four days of beach-eat-sleep! We're going exploring this weekend a little, although Big Jesus is covered in scaffolding so I doubt we'll bother heading up there, especially when the beach is so near! Not sure about the favelas either, no real desire to go round slums. We did go to the Maracana stadium last night to see what can only be described as pub football without the bellies as the Flamengo-Fluminese (Fla-Flu) derby took place. Flamengo (Brazilian champs) were appalling - their keeper did however score a great freekick in the 90th minute, but Fluminese won 2-1 with their second goal also a screamer.

We can't believe it's our last week away - 6 and a half months has flown by, and we'll see everyone soon!


ps piccies of Iguazu...

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a splendid way to wind up your travels!

    A BIG thank you for sharing it with us's been great fun! Maybe 'virtual' travelling will catch on ?! Certainly felt like I was there myself at times - greatly appreciated during the depths of winter!

    So all that is left to say is - safe home and looking forward to seeing you v. soon! xx

    Over and out...!!