I say Iguazu.
03.05.2011 - 06.05.2011 22 °C
Before we talk cataratas (that's waterfalls gringos!) I just wanted to say that it has been a fantastic week for news from home and we are so pleased for all of you who have told us of proposals and pregnancies and new houses and such - hooray hooray hooray.
Less hooray-ish though is that Noush is still unwell. What appeared to be a cold has now turned into a much more flu type beast and a few hours up and about per day is her limit. We are still loving our bite size chunks of Buenos Aires though and will write all about it at the end of the week.
Strange but True: I seem to have Begin the Beguine in my head ALL the time since we arrived - I don't even know if the song is remotely related to Argentina but it's annoying the crap out of me.
So those cataratas.....we arrived in Foz do Iguacu (there should be a squiggle under the c but I don't have one) after the most horrendous bus journey. Full of confidence in our expertise at long distance bus travel, we were horrifed to discover that the bus company weren't supplying blankets and didn't know where the off switch was for the air con. Everyone was freezing all night and they had brought sleeping bags and duvets. I didn't even have a jumper and both of us had flip flops on - no wonder Noush hasn't recovered. We tried to sleep by curling up in the tightest ball possible - didn't really work - it was miserable. The hot chocolate at 4.30 in the morning was like nectar of the gods.
Thankfully we arrived at our hostel at 8.30am and our room was ready and breakfast was being served. We chilled out for a few hours as we defrosted and then set off to see the Brazilian side of Iguacu Falls. Neither of us have seen Angel, Niagara or Victoria Falls so don't have much of a scheme of reference but we were blown away by both the beauty and the power of them. Right on the border of Argentina and Brazil (and Paraguay) the falls should be seen from both sides. The Brazilian side is regarded as the overview....I'm just going to put up a few photos - there's not much to be said - it's simply stunning.
There was also a wonderful variety of wildlife everywhere you went at both sides of the falls. I took a particular shine to the butterflies while Noush fell for the birds and the quatis or coatis (depending which side of the border you were on). One of the butterflies is called an ochenta oche - bet you can't guess which one.
The hostel had a lovely terraced bar area which we took full advantage of while waiting to meet our Irish friends last seen in Valparaiso - we forgot that we'd had about 2 hours sleep the night before until about 10.30pm when we almost fell asleep in our dinners - sorry girls.
The next day we travelled across the border - a strange situation where one bus throws you off to be stamped out of Brazil and you then wait in no man's land for another bus to take you to the Argentine border where you get off again to be stamped in. Then you get on a final bus to Puerto Iguazu. We had a relaxed day before heading off to see the sunset at a point where you can see the three border countries simultaneously...well that was the plan anyway...what?......it was a rubbish map!! Puerto Iguazu is a sweet town though - Foz on the other side is a bit more sprawling and of course more pricey being in Brazil. We ate in a stir fry restaurant that night and were thankful for vegetables even if they were only peppers and onions.
Following a ham and cheese breakfast we headed out early to see the Argentinian side of the falls. You get a bit more up close and personal on this side and consequently there are many circuits to walk unlike the single 1.2km track on the Brazilian side. The engineering of all of these environmentally sympathetic catwalks is quite astonishing and we could have easily spent longer there than the 4 hours but poor Noush was knackered. Again it's easiest to just show you some shots - and as you look at them you have to imagine the sound of thousands of tons of water hurling itself over a cliff face. It was an immense experience for all the senses. (You may also notice that I got a bit rainbow happy - I was even singing a rainbow!)
I appreciate that if you don't like water, butterflies or strange ring tailed, ant-eater like creatures that this blog may not have rocked your world. However for Noush and me, it was one of the highlights of the trip so far and we were mesmerised.