09
Jan

“You WILL Get Wet”

By: muttler
yeah, we got pretty wet

yeah, we got pretty wet

05/01/2015

Today was our second and last full day at Iguazu, and sadly the last day of “fun” on our trip. After this it is pretty much all plane travel, airports, and the odd airport hotel. So we needed to fill in the rest of what Iguazu had to offer.

We had one of the Iguazu “must dos” booked for today. One in which we were destined to come back drenched.

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ready for adventure

It all started at about 10am, where we met our guides for a half hour drive through the nearby jungle. Sadly we didn’t really get to see much of anything. It was good to see the surrounding jungle, but alas no animals or birds were out, so the local Tucans were going to avoid us this trip it seemed.

calm before the storm

calm before the storm

We then arrived at waters edge, where we all got into a speed boat for a cruise up the Igauzu river. Well, cruise is not quite it, rather a cruise with moments of burning through rapids and getting a bit wet. But this was really just a taster for the main course.

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After about 20 minutes we arrived at the foot of a number of the huge waterfalls that make up Iguazu. Down below the noise was deafening, and the sight was incredible… looking upward at the waterfalls that we peered down just the day before.

It was then that our guide warned us that everything, and he repeated EVERYTHING, had to go into the numerous dry bags that the tour group supplied. So we dutifully listened, popping everything away except for out totally waterproof camera and GoPro. When everyone was done, the real fun started…

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before…

 

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… and after

Our driver directed us at one of the key waterfalls and in no time at all we were pretty wet. We had gone right to the edge of one of the main waterfalls and felt the brunt of it. But our driver was not happy with that. Rather we did a quick lap and went back for seconds. This time we seemed to venture in a bit more and then we were SOAKED. Getting wet was an understatement… we were both drenched. Awesome!

This wasn’t the end of it though. We went back around to some waterfalls we had seen earlier and got given a closer look at those. And by closer look, I mean getting even wetter, if that was possible. We did a couple of goes into there, and before we knew it we were all done. The boat was full of water and everyone was a mess. But we all loved it.

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We clambered out and started making our way up the path. This was a great spot, as unlike the day before, the trail had us at the foot of the waterfalls, so it made for quite different vantage points and pics. We slowly made our way up, leaving soggy footprints all the way.

IMG_2509Along the way we bumped into some more butterflys. There was the most amazing assortment all about the park.

It was about 1pm when we were done, and we decided to take advantage of the fact we had a hotel at our disposal. Getting dry was a priority.

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Given we had been on all the trails in the park, and our time away was winding up, we decided to take it easy during the afternoon, soaking up the humidity and heat next to the hotel pool. Ahhh… that felt good. The hotel iguana was just kicking back too.

Later in the afternoon, I decided to go for one last quick wander, up to the main entrance of the park. We had bypassed this when we came in, so I went to check out the gift shop and it was pretty mediocre. Not that I was after anything really, but unless I wanted a t-shirt or dodgy handicraft, it was not worth the walk.

Kate and I enjoyed a last dinner staring out at the falls from the hotel bar balcony. All good things come to an end.

09
Jan

Exploring Iguazu

By: muttler
the power of iguazu

the power of iguazu

04/01/2014

Today was our first full day at Iguazu. You could not have more of a contrast from our previous journeys this trip. As we walked out of our hotel, straight into the national park, it was about 30 degrees and what felt like 1000% humidity. Suddenly I missed the cold.

Within the national park, around the falls, there are a number of walks you can do to explore them. As I mentioned, Iguazu is on the border of a few countries, and each apparently offers their own unique perspectives. From Brazil (which sadly we would not have time to get to), you see the entire waterfalls, however from in Argentina, you get to be in amongst them all. While the idea of seeing them from Brazil was appealing, given the amount of mist and spray, we were not sure what you would really see, so were happy to be here in Argentina.

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We started with the Paseo Superior walk, which took us along the top of a number of the falls. It was a bit crowded along the walkways between falls, but there was always time to try and get photos as we moved along. But you know, photos never do justice to raging torrents of water do they?

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Every now and then we would catch the spray from the nearby falls, which was glorious on a hot and steamy day like this one.

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While we were out and about we came across more of the furry little critters. This one did the craziest thing. Someone had set an empty coke bottle on the seat next to them. The little guy jumped up, unscrewed the lid using his mouth and claws, and started licking it clean. They certainly have learned a few tricks!

It took a couple of hours to wander that path and we were super sweaty by the time we got back to the central area. The limon icy pole tasted so good!

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Next plan was to head to the top most falls, Garganta del Diablo, or Devil’s Throat. Now usually you can take the train up or enjoy an half hour walk. We were keen for the walk but for some reason it appeared the path was closed. Ordinarily you would think no probs, but this meant that EVERYBODY was waiting for the train. Oh boy.

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It took over an hour of waiting in the heat to get on a train. It seems the line/queue system kinda breaks down here in Argentina and things become a bit more free-for-all. Hhhmmm.

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Although, we did see the coolest facial hair so far. This guy was rocking it in a pretty unironic way… much different to back home.

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But we got on and made our way to the top and made our way across a kilometre of walkway over the fast flowing river. We eventually got to the Devil’s Throat and om my! It was a fury of water and noise and spray. There were numerous falls all descending down. It was pretty awe inspiring.

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Sadly any kind of line system was also breaking down here and it was every man for themselves in trying to get a good vantage spot. Seemed all the park guides could do was blow their whistle without effect, trying to get people to move along.

But it didn’t diminish things too much as the sheer force of nature just swept you up.

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We were super hot and sweaty by this point and made our way back to catch the train back to the main part of the park. One the way back I met this lovely butterfly who wanted to hang out and be photographed. Check out the freaky green “fangs”.

It was getting close to 5pm, so things would be winding up in the park and would be shutting up soon. Seemed like a good time to have a swim. Ah, now that is an advantage of staying the park.

Now cooled down we had an early dinner, kicking back and watching the falls as we had a beer and contemplated how awesome things were for us.

09
Jan

Talk About Extremes

By: muttler
a bit different from the last lot of blog posts hey?

the view from our hotel. a bit different from the last lot of blog posts hey?

03/01/2015

One of the tough things about air travel is the unpredictability of things.

Yesterday we took hours to check in at the small Ushuaia airport, and this morning, having seen Jorge Newberry airport busy on our way down to Ushuaia originally, we got there early. Sure enough we were checked in in 2 minutes and had a couple of hours of sitting around to do.

Anyway, we eventually got on our last main destination flight, to Iguazu Falls. Iguazu is on the corner of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay and is the second largest waterfall in the world. We had a few days before we had to head home, so why not pay a visit?

our digs for the next few days

our digs for the next few days

We arrived no problems in to the tiny airport mid afternoon and went to our hotel. This was an extravagance in our trip, as rather than stay in the nearby town, we decided to stay at the one hotel inside the park. It is a bit pricy, but given you can watch the waterfalls until nightfall, when everyone else is out side the park, and can hear the constant rushing of water and the noise of the jungle, why wouldn’t you stay there?

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matt has a bright idea

matt has a bright idea

We enjoyed a late lunch soaking up the environment, and then got out for a couple of hours to see some of the smaller falls. While we were inside the park, hotel guests can’t wander about at their own leisure, so we had to be back by about 6pm.

That was OK, we were both still tired and happy to just get out and about a little before a couple of big days.

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It was funny to come across the very friendly, if quite aggresive wildlife. These guys were cute but then would try and grab food of visitors, leading to some startled children. There was also the odd lizard that just decided to wander about.

freaky bird

freaky bird

Being in the jungle we were starting to come across a number of cool birds. My mind was still trying to get around the fact that were were almost in the exact opposite to our recent expedition. From ice to jungle in a matter of days. Surreal.

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IMG_0202The rest of the night was just enjoying the sunset on the falls and some drinks before bed time. Exploration awaited.