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Iguazu Falls

October 14th, 2009

Having decided to finally leave Buenos Aires we got an overnight bus to Puerto Iguazu in the North East of Argentina. As far as I can tell there is absolutely no reason to go there other than to see the magnificent Iguazu Falls.

The bus journey did not, on the face of it, look like the greatest of ideas. Only half the price of the flight and taking 17 hours didn’t exactly fill us with enthusiasm. However, reports from other people suggested that Argentinian buses were, in fact, fairly good with one guy going so far as to say that it was his best nights sleep during his entire 8month trip. We got the bus with Andesmar and went First Class, which is not quite Full Cama (ie beds) but is pretty damn close. It was pretty good; we were given dinner, breakfast and lunch and the seats were comfy with pillows, blankets and films provided. I wouldn’t say it was the best sleep of my entire trip (far from it in fact) but it could have been a whole lot worse.

The Iguazu falls are situated literally on the border between Argentina and Brazil with Paraguay just a few miles away. On the Argentinian side you have Puerto Iguazu while on the Brazilian side you have Foz du Iguazu. The town itself is nothing special, purely built up due to the tourism but it provides you with everything you’d want. We arrived at about half 4 and quickly checked ourselves in to a little hostel, where I got some much needed laundry done, before heading out for dinner. Our first night of dinner was pretty horrific. Still not fully aquainted with spanish food vocabulary I went for a pepper steak and potatoes while Steve went for milanesa with chips. We ended up with the same awful croquette-like potatoes while Steve’s milanesa barely contained chicken at all. Being fairly shattered we decided to call it a night in preperation for our visit to the falls the next day.

Having seen the tourist information guy the day before and been given a full run down of the options we decided to simply take the cheap bus (AR$4) to the entry point before paying the current entrance charge (AR$60.) We’d spent some time checking out various blogs and guides all mentioning that you should see the falls from both sides but to be honest I’d say that it’s far better to go to the Argentinian side. Especially when there’s been a lot of rain.

On arrival we were told that it would be best to do the upper and lower circuits first before going to the Devil’s Throat as most of the guided tours go to the Devil’s Throat first. I’d say this was probably a great idea as the Devil’s Throat is really the best bit. The first view of the falls is pretty sensationalIguazu Falls, seemingly going on forever and falling a quite ridiculous height. I can’t really mention much more, you’ll simply have to look at the photos or go view them for yourself. The Devil’s Throat sectionDevil's Throat is a little train ride (included) and a 600m walk away but is truly awesome. With the heavy rainfall the bottom of the falls was not visible but it didn’t matter. Other highlights include the crazy monkey-racoons which ate everything, a big Iguana, thousands of butterflies and Steve’s sighting of a brown snake next to the track.

Having finished with the falls we headed back to Puerto Iguazu for the evening. As it wasn’t really all the late we decided to go for a little walk down to the river. Not much to see there really but quite cool to stand at the intersection of two rivers with Argentina on one side, Brazil on another and Paraguay on the other! We then chilled out at the hotel for a bit before deciding to see what the town had to offer.

I’d had a look for restaurants on google maps (given the previous nights dreadful experience) and found one called Aqva not too far away from our hotel. It looked fairly swanky but the food was absolutely tip top. The chef was obviously well trained and the sort that likes to experiment with flavours. Steve had the lamb which looked fantastic while I went for the Pork in honey and dried fruit with potatoes. My only problem was the lack of quantity but thankfully the bread and fantastic white chocolate mousse covered brownie more than made up for it.

Once we’d finished we decided to hit a bar (or two) and check out the local scene. Our first problem was finding where all the locals were (literally all of them) and realising it was a ticketed event. Ignoring that we popped in for a drink in an outdoor bar and, having stuff ourselves, Steve had a whiskey and coke while I had a Caipirinha. We had a couple of those but were mostly entertained by the table next door. One couple had left while the other couple and a man were attempting to get through an entire bottle of whiskey. At about 11.30 the woman was asleep, her partner had his head in his hands and the other (very fat) guy had just ordered a meal and was still drinking. About 20 minutes later the guy threw up all over a nearby tree before heading home. We left and made our way up to another bar where it was considerably more expensive and I switched to whiskey with Steve. We stayed for a bit before heading to the club, Cuba Libre, but with a AR$20 entrance fee decided to call it a night, which was probably wise as I was not too good the next day.

Author: Mark Jerzykowski Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
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