Had a great journey with lots of red wine and big glasses of whiskey (think the guy took a shine to us). We also had either English films or subtitles so we could actually understand the films which is a rare thing, the only bad thing was the smelly toilet. The heat hit us as soon as we got off the bus in Puerto Iguazu (25oC). We got the yellow el practico (local bus) to Hostel Inn, 5km out of town. It was funny because nearly the whole bus was backpackers obviously going to the same hostel! Took absolutely ages to check into our `separate´ dorms (only ones left) but saw our roomies from BA, Emily and Laura which was great. They told us that the only Argentinian bus to Sao Paulo and Rio was booked up til 6th August (it was the 2nd) and we´d only planned on staying until the 4th or 5th so we headed into the bus station to book our bus ticket to Sao Paulo and got seats for the 6th (35 pound but cheaper than getting them on the brazilian side). We had a walk round town and then chilled in the sun back at the hostel. We had a BBQ at the hostel that night which cost a tenner - lovely salad, rice and potatoes with not great meat (bit dry). Got free Caipirinha´s, Brazil´s national cocktail made from crushed limes, sugar & Cachaça (strong sugracane alcohol like rum)so I´m not complaining and we watched a very funny brazilian show consisting of a man wearing a sparkly shirt banging a drum & two women in tiny bikini´s shaking their bum. It was a good laugh and we met loads of people. It was just very weird saying goodbye to each other at the end of the night!
The weather on Sunday wasn´t great so we read at the hostel and said our goodbyes to Em & Laura. We discovered the supermarkets are closed on a Sunday so with very limited food from a local shop Jem cooked a gorgeous Spagetti Carbonara and I made garlic bread which I got a member of staff to bake in the oven for me because our kitchen didn´t have an oven.
On Monday we got up early and visited the Parque Nacional Iguazu (argentinian side) which costs just over 6 pounds. Apparently in Guarani language Iguazu means `Great Waters´. I was so excited and happy that the sun was shining. There are three trails, the upper walk takes you behind the waterfalls, the lower circuit offers views of the waterfalls from below. From here we took a free boat to Isla San Martin which has trails that give you a really close view of the falls. the most spectacular waterfall is Garganta del Diablo (Devils´s Throat). We caught a free train to the last trail which takes you so close to this unbelieveably powerful waterfall. Words can´t describe the beauty of Iguazu Falls, that first sighting really took my breath away. The fact that we were the only people there for a while made it all the more spectacular and allowed us to really hear the roar of the waterfalls. It was a truly unforgetable day, we saw lots of wildlife in the rainforest, beautiful butterflies & many rainbows over the falls. that night there was a free tango show at the hostel which was good fun.
The following day we, annoyingly, had to check out and get moved to another room because we´d extended out stay. After that me, Jem & Judith caught the many buses & crossed the border to Parque Nacional do Iguacu (Brazilian side). Once at the park you get a free double decker bus to the start of a 1.2km trail. From here you get an amazing panoramic view of all 275 waterfalls which is absolutely stunning and then, at the end, a close up of Garganta do Diablo. This was great fun and we all got soaked, even in waterproofs. It made you realise how fast the water was flowing and how dangerous it would be if you feel in! There was also an elevator you could go in to get a really good view of all the waterfalls from high up. We ended up getting a taxi back to the hostel which was so much quicker and a lot less hassle and spent our last night in Argentina enjoying a nice meal at La Rueda - Jem had the steak he´d been craving!
On Wednesday we had brekkie, sneaked away some bread rolls for lunch (has to be done!) and said our goodbyes then caught the 1pm bus to Sao Paulo. Met a lovely girl on the bus from St Helen´s who was travelling on her own & had been totally stripped searched (including internally with gloves!!) at the border between Bolivia and Argentina (not on the tourist trail), not a pleasant experience and to top it all off they had stolen her camera! Watched an amazing red sunset from the bus and arrived in Sao Paulo at 5.15am the following day. Speak soon xxxxx