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Erin’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 07 Mar 2009

Location: Iguacu Falls, Brazil

MapFOZ DU IGUACU, PARAGAY, IGUACU FALLS AND PUERTO IGACU 7TH MARCH – 10TH MARCH 2009

We left Bonito early the next morning and drove to Foz du Iguacu– it was our first really long drive day and I literally slept the entire time – I couldn’t actually stay awake – I think out of like 10 hours I was awake for about 2 on the truck and then just for toilet stops and lunch – me and my friend Lisa tried to watch Save the Last Dance 2 (which girls if you haven’t seen it watch it – its really good!!) but I fell asleep and dropped my netbook on her so just gave up trying to stay awake for it!! And I then decided to listen to Bill Bryson’s “A short history of nearly everything” on my ipod and fell asleep again – when I did wake up though and listened it was so interesting – def need to read the book.

As we had had such a long driving day we decided to go for dinner in Foz and went to a buffet place, it was along the same lines as the ones in Rio - I was so tired though I didn’t really appreciate it and then had to wander round for ages with Travis looking for a bank.

We got to the Campsite at Foz du Iguacu and set up camp and then went for a shower and drink – it was my first alcohol free day since being away – I just wasn’t in the mood – I discovered there was free wireless so went on hotmail and facebook and had massive chat with my friend Shaz in Australia which was awesome!!

The next day most of us went to Paraguay (mainly for the stamp in our passports which didn’t happen as they don’t stamp passports to get in there (I think they want as many people as poss to go in as it didn’t seem to have much going for it although we did literally only go to a mall for the morning.)

I went in the first shop I saw and asked about cameras – I had been talking to Fritz about his waterproof one and decided to get a waterproof one – but I forgot to ask if they had more models in stock – his is one up from the one I ended up getting and is waterproof down to 25 metres where is mine is only 3 but I reckon it would have cost so much more!! They showed me 2 and this one is pink so matches my computer and DS Lite – and I do love my pinks!!!

I did think after that I should have shopped around so I asked in a few places and they were more expensive so that was lucky 

So after I brought my camera I could have happily gone but we had to wait for almost 4 hours until we were getting picked up again! I wandered round with some of the others looking for presents for one of the guys on our trip – Jordan – as it was his 21st birthday so it had to be a good one. We got him Ipod speakers that were a really good deal but they were the last ones so that is gutting for me as I really want some – even just so I can listen to music when getting ready or we can actually use them so we can hear the computer when watching a film. I shall carry on looking for some I think.

We eventually got picked up around 1pm and made our way back to camp and spent the rest of the afternoon on the internet and chatting – most of our group were making their way through a 4.5 litre bottle of Teachers but the only whisky I drink is Jack Daniels so I didn’t want to join in. Plus I knew the guys from Swampy were turning up sometime later so thought I don’t want to burn out too early so I decided against the day drinking anyway.

That evening we had an awesome night – swampy turned up and the people that weren’t drinking in the day started drinking after a quick nap and shower and then we went to the bar. The music was pretty good so we had a good dance and Owen had made Vodka Jelly for Jordan’s birthday so I had some of that aswell.

I ended up staying up really late chatting to some of the guys from the other trucks as I hadn’t seen them for so long but it was a really nice night.

The next day we packed up and made our way to the Brazillian side of Iguacu Falls!!

We paid our entrance fee and made our way to the bus to take us to the walk to the falls, and just wandered up in small groups. It was really pretty and seeing the waterfalls was immense – I couldn’t wait to see the Devils Throat which is made up of something like 175 (or 75 or possibly 275 – I cant actually remember it) different waterfalls. I was really gutted but not only did my camera break but my charger is broken so I didn’t have a camera on the day as I didn’t have a charged battery for my new camera. I have managed to get some pictures off of other people on my trip though so can put them up.

We got to some falls that I thought was Devils Throat and I remember thinking I was disappointed with them as had heard so much about the amazingness of the massive falls, so good job it turned out not to be the Devils Throat – we carried on walking and then took a right down a walkway towards the falls and I have never seen anything like it – much more impressive then even Niagra Falls I think (mind you I did go there when I was really young!) I think I stayed down there for about half an hour to an hour just watching the falls – it was so amazing – I felt really peaceful down there, not sure why, it was just so amazing I didn’t want to leave!

But all good things have to come to an end and we wanted to go to the bird park so made our way back up to the bus to take us back to the main entrance.

We went to the bird park and I wandered around with Logan and Lisa and we actually saw so many things that were from the Pantenal, much more then we saw when we were actually there. There were soooo many Toucans and butterflies everywhere, it was actually a really nice bird park, so much different to what we would get in England. The birds were all from either South America or Africa. We saw a few snakes aswell and there was a beautiful section for butterflies and hummingbirds so we spent ages in that. (Logan had gone to go on the helicopter ride so I was with mainly girls at that point!) and at the end there was a snake (possibly a python but I cant remember) that we could hold so I actually held my first ever snake – I remember going to somewhere in America when I was younger and my brother held a snake but I think I was too scared but have always wanted to and now finally I have – it was the weirdest sensation holding it – quite heavy and I cant even describe how its skin felt – very strange indeed!! Oh and then we got to hold a parrot which was pretty cool aswell!!

We were running really late but turns out it didn’t matter as Logan was still doing the helicopter ride and we spent a while in the gift shop – there was quite a few things I wanted but didn’t have any reals left (we were heading to Argentina straight away) and annoyingly I remembered I had 30 reals in the pocket of my skirt as hardly spent anything the night before but that was in my rucksack so I only got a keyring and some cheap earrings!! (very gutted I don’t have any of my jewellery).

We headed to Argentina which was exciting – had our first border crossing, its pretty easy, we just had to get out the truck and queue for ages until they stamp our passports. So we exited Brazil and entered Argentina a few minutes later.

We stopped in Puerto Iguazu so people could go to the bank – I didn’t have to as had originally had quite a lot of money left over so I exchanged some with people that needed to get money out in Brazil (at a better exchange rate then the bank which was lucky!!) so I just went for a wander and then met everyone and went back to the truck.

The campsite we stayed on was soooo nice, there was a big restaurant with internet and wifi so I tried connecting but for some reason my internet was being an idiot and not actually connecting which was stressing me out as I needed my mum to courier some things to BA and I realised I only had a couple of days left to do it. But I managed to jump on someone’s comp when they finished and sent an email quickly – then I lost it and had to write it all again with like 1 minute to spare!!

The next day we went to the Argentinean side of the falls which was really beautiful – we had a guide so it was more expensive to get in as we had to pay for him aswell but it is illegal in Argentina to not have a guide for some reason so we had no choice!!

Anyway – we went for lots of walks and paid to do a boat trip which takes you under the falls so most of us did that for the experience – although we were lead to believe that it would be 20 minutes but it was actually only abut 12. The walk down there was sooo lovely seeing all the smaller falls and we had a massive group photo which was pretty cool. It was quite a long walk and mainly down steps (we weren’t looking forward to coming back up!!) but beautiful all the same!

Me and one of the girls Jackie decided to take off our clothes and just wear our bikinis on the boat so we wouldn’t have to dry off so we got changed on the side of the pathway which was funny as we clearly didn’t care about the people walking past – thankfully we were both in skirts so it was much easier to get changed.

We queued up and got on the boat – I was pretty glad I had got a waterproof camera at this point so I could use it while we were under the falls. We went towards devils throat but didn’t actually get that far before the driver took us to a mini waterfall and proceeded to drive one side of the boat under it, we had watched the boat in front and it seemed to be so much longer and they had both sides done but we only had the one. And we were all a bit disappointed thinking “is that it” but then we turned the corner and there was a much bigger waterfall and we went under that - all the way under – I had totally forgotten I was wearing contacts so had to keep my eyes shut the entire time and was definitely really grateful for the waterproof camera at that point. I was definitely glad I was only in a bikini aswell as we got drenched. We did have to walk all the way back up the trail in just our bikinis though but we weren’t the only ones so it wasn’t so bad and everyone else took ages to dry out.

Once we got back to the top we had a break for lunch and then went to get the train that would take us back to devils throat. It was about a half hour walk from the train station and I think he gave us about an hour and a half to two hours to get back to the train. It was even better from this angle – we were right at the top and so close to it, it was just immense. Four of us stayed way after everyone else had headed back, we couldn’t tear ourselves away from it, just watching the water cascade over the sides. It was really amazing as it really looked like the water was falling the same way every time, its hard to describe so everyone just needs to go there and see it for themselves. We ended up almost missing the train – the guide had made it wait for us – if we had been a minute later we would have missed the train – literally jumped on and it started going!!

I cant tell you if I prefer the Brazilian side or the Argentinean – there is much more to see in Argentina but the Brazilian side is mainly devoted to the Devils Throat. Then again the big finale in Argentina is the Devil’s Throat so I’m still in two minds about it. I definitely loved both sides for different reasons though. I do really think that everyone should go there though.