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Australia, NZ and South Pacific
A to Z of Experiences
Walking and trekking
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Australia, East Coast
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Tags - Argentina, Latin America
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Yes, Wendy DS, Iguaçu is wonderful. I visited last March, arriving at Foz airport at 5.30 in the afternoon, and emerging into warm fresh air – a wonderful change after increasingly heavy air conditioning all the way from Salvador (two flights, changing at São Paulo, and I’m happy to say it all went smoothly).
After checking in, I went into town feeling miserable after parting from my friends in the north. Foz de Iguaçu on a Sunday night is dead like Andover, but even so my mood improved after finding a friendly pizzeria operating on the all-you-can-eat-for-a-fiver principle: they bring pizzas round the restaurant and you have a slice (or more) of whichever takes your fancy, and then come round again. And again ... until satiety sets in.
The next day at breakfast I met two Belgians, and we agreed to cut costs by sharing a car and its driver, Wilson. I spent the day with them in Argentina. They had done their homework so we arrived about 10.45 and left at 6.00, and in between had 7½ hours of a really, really impressive experience. We:
· were driven down a track through the rain forest;
· boarded a boat; stripped to swimsuits, packed everything into thick plastic bags; and cruised upstream seeing the falls increase in size from white splashes near the horizon to massive crashing forces, drenching us as we went into and under three of the falls;
· climbed the Ilha de São Martino, clambering past the entry prohibited signs up to a “window” in the rocks, framing another waterfall. How did a rusting boat come to be up at the window?
· walked the Lower Circuit and then the Upper Circuit, paths laid out to provide wonderful views of the falls;
· took the train and followed the walkway along the crest of the falls to the Garganto de Diabo, the aptly named Devil’s Throat, the biggest of the falls where the mist created by water pouring over the edge gave us another drenching, but also reflected the sunlight in a myriad rainbows;
· and cruised back along the river seeing a toucan and a cayman.
It is hard to describe – there are over 300 separate falls combining to form a wonderful watery experience with sound, sight and rainbows merging.
When we got back I had a swim in the pool then a shower. Eric and Valerie asked if I would like to join them for dinner – so I did. Then we had another caipirosca and came to bed in a hotel already nearly deserted at midnight. A good day – just what was needed fully to restore my faith in life.
The next day the Belgians had moved on, so I hired Wilson again and spent the morning alone on the Brazilian side of the falls. This gives a better overall view of falls stretching away into the distance, but less variety unless you are prepared for a very expensive 9 km hike followed by boat trips – which I wasn’t. After lunch, in a town where there is nothing to do except visit waterfalls, the swimming pool at my hotel came into its own. I spent a very pleasant and lazy afternoon reading and swimming, and by the end of the day my recovery was complete – and only slightly set back by the need to get up at 3.30 to catch my flight to Rio.
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