South America Post 9 … Waterfalls!
Updated: Feb 25
Our next destination was Iguacu Falls which mark the border between Brazil, Argentina (Iguazu). Both sides are worth seeing, so we were spending one night on each. They had had unseasonably heavy rain which was set to continue, so we knew we were in for 2 very wet days!
We flew into the local airport in Brazil, which didn’t inspire confidence!
It was being rebuilt. Subsequently, the equivalent local airport on the other side, in Argentina looked the same. A huge case of keeping up with the Jones’ maybe!!
Staying in an agri eco hotel meant a cabin in lovely gardens, and fresh organic food.
And we saw our first Toco Toucan! The Guiness variety!Gorgeous bird.
Next morning we visited the Parque des Aves, which was next to our eco hotel. It is a conservation project which rescues injured or sick wild birds of Brazil, and rehabilitates them, and runs breeding programmes for endangered species. A great way to get a close up view of birds we had seen at a distance, as we walked through huge, high aviaries.
Then onto the falls. The rain had started, but it did not spoil the falls! In fact, the volume of water was so huge, the spray was soaking everyone anyway.
These falls comprise over 200 separate waterfalls, stretching literally for miles, plunging down into the river below.
We took a path and walked alongside them, then out over one cascade into the spray and wind generated by another! The noise was indescribable.
Then, in an act of madness, we decided to go on a high speed rib ride. There was a choice of the dry ride – viewing the falls from a distance, or the Wet ride, which would take us under…. not behind, under the waterfall! Well, we were already wet!! Leaving everything dry in a locker we set off, whizzing and bouncing over white water to the foot of the falls.
From here, the power was visible everywhere around you. Then, the boat turned and we went under. It was one of the smaller falls, but the force of the water hitting your head was huge. It took your breath away. He took us in and out 3 times, then we sped back… sodden but feeling rather chuffed we had done it! Not surprisingly, my phone was not out taking photos!!
Back to the lodge where we changed, collected our bags and took a taxi to Argentina and our Air BnB, the Secret Garden. 3 simple rooms at the bottom of a very verdant garden! The owner, John Fernandes, was a famous photographer, but was sadly ill in hospital. We were well looked after by his friends, including Caipirina cocktails and nibbles on the terrace before we headed out for dinner!
I had booked The Argentinian experience some months ago, due to it’s great reviews. It was fab! A group of us were taught how to make Argentinian cocktails, told about the history the food, and the amazing steaks, made our own empanadas, and treated to a 4 course meal that was really delicious, including a divine, and huge, fillet steak each.
Argentinian wine accompanied each course (sadly not for me as I still cannot drink wine), but Chris loved it, especially the Malbec. We slept well!
Next day we went to the Argentinian side of the falls, which were equally good. A series of walks give you a different perspective, and a mini train ride takes you out to the river that feeds the waterfalls. You walk across 1km of bridges to the Devils mouth, where one of the biggest concentrations of water pours down. On both sides of the river. Unbelievable!
The magic was enhanced by many hundreds of Great Dusky Swifts whirling and swirling up and down in the spray. Unbelievably, they nest on the rocky face behind the torrent. Magical!
Coatis prowl everywhere, ready to pounce on a discarded sandwich. Although cute, apparently they have a bad bite.
It had been a wonderful few days, and we were awestruck by the power of these amazing falls. Sadly, time to leave, as we were off to the airport for our flight to Buenos Aires!