So, first up, we have managed to stay so busy that we passed through an entire country without dropping in an update on the blog. That country was Argentina. We are popping back for a few days to do some walking, but for now, we have been and gone.
Our first stop in a Argentina was the Iguazu falls. As part of this post I’ll also talk about the Brazilian side of the falls (they span 2 countries; Brazil and Argentina), as that was the day before, and formed part of the whole experience of visiting the falls. If you ever get to go, try to see it from both countries if you can, as you get a very different experience from each one.
So back track to Brazil, and we dived in with a stop at the bird sanctuary before we went down to the falls (thanks Toby who I used to work with for mentioning the bird sanctuary). You can take the local bus down to the sanctuary and the falls from the town of Iguazu where we stayed.
We had our big bags with us this time, as we were heading straight off to our next hostel after we had been to the falls that day, so the bus was a little cramped, and getting through the onboard turnstile is always fun with a small branch of mountain warehouse on your back! One thing I noticed on these busses was that there was a guy who was solely there to do tickets; and no, its not the driver. This is a totally separate man in his own ticket money taking seat. Bus driving is a team effort in Argentina.
So the bird park. Some amazing birds and all sorts of species there (some photos down below). The sanctuary is there for birds that have been in captivity or injured and can’t go back into the wild. Most are in big cages that you walk past, but there are some cages that you can go in with the birds. The best one being the Macaw cage. This was incredible to have the Macaws flying right past your head. The colours were so vivid. They were a real noisy bunch too!
After a few hours with the birds, we then headed over to the falls. We asked the chap at the front desk of the bird sanctuary which bus to get to the falls. At first he gave us a bit of a puzzled look, and then pointed down the road and said, “you don’t need a bus, the falls are 100m down the road”. Palm. Face…. Anyway, we WALKED down the road to the falls (after leaving our big bags at the bird sanctuary. This was a bit of a touch, as those buggers aren’t light) and caught the internal bus down to the actual falls. You can also bike down to the falls it seems, which would be cool.
The Brazilian side of the falls is based around a walkway that takes you down one side of the falls, ending at a platform walkway that extends into the middle of some of the falls. this is where you really feel the power of the falls; and the spray, which is really appreciated in the heat! It’s quite hard to write about how the falls look and feel, and even the pictures don’t quite represent it well enough. But all i can say is that they still are my favourite part of the trip so far.
Now the Argentinian side is quite a different story, and we made sure that we took full advantage of this. The Argentinian side has boat rides, forest tours, trails and is generally better views. We decided to take a boat tour, and by luck we managed to do this one first thing, as there were some no show prebookers. It takes you up as close as you can really go to one of the corners of waterfalls, and you get to really feel the power of the water. You obviously don’t go right under, as you most likely wouldn’t come back out…. On the way down to the boat ride, the guide was telling us a few facts and what not about the falls, and he said that the falls have a flow rate of 1.7 million cubic metres per SECOND. I still can’t get over just how much water that is that is constantly coming over the edge. But, even more mental than that, is that in 2014, the falls flooded, and it had a flow rate of about 50 million cubic metres per second! Have a quick search on YouTube and there are a few videos of it.
After the boat ride, we then hit 2 of the trails. There is an upper and a lower trail, but they actually call them the inferior and the superior. To be fair, the lower one was the inferior of the two, but by no means was it a bad trail. The trails takes you over and around all the waterfalls and across parts of the rivers. Some of the platforms hang right out over and next to waterfalls so you get a good face full of spray. Just what you need in the heat. One of the jutty out bits gave us this photo of kumu really soaking up that spray. Great photo.
The finale of the trails is up at the devil’s throat. Now this is the big one. The pinicle. The crescendo. The wow moment. To get up to it there is a little train or another trail; we took the train up. You then walk across the main river stretch for about 15 minutes to get to the lookout platform. Here you get hang right over the side of the waterfall and see and hear it in all its glory. This really was a fantastic sight. You really got the sense of the power of nature standing this close to something like these falls. Two videos below show a bit of the walk up the lookout platform and the falls.
So like I said, this place was incredible, and I will always be chirping on about how much I enjoyed it. I’ll also keep chirping on about that flow rate. 1.7 million cubic metres a SECOND!! Unbelievable (a nod to Stephen mulhern there).
A few more photos below, enjoy 🙂