The river where the Fall's are based is called the Iguazu River (no surprises there) and the town on the Argentinian side is called Puerto Iguazu. The town on the Brazilian side is called Foz do Iguaçu (or Foz do Iguassu). The difference in spelling is because in Argentina they speak Spanish, and in Brazil they speak Portuguese…Brazil is the largest country in South America and the 3rd largest in the world, the country and the population is so huge that 95% of the world's Portuguese speaking population live there. It's the only country is South America that does not speak Spanish…not good!
So just when we are starting to learn enough Spanish to get by, it no longer applies! That said there are many words that are similar and many more that are spelt the same but pronounced differently. "Please" is still "por favor" but "thank you" is no longer "gracias", now it's "obrigado" (or obrigada if you're female like me!). And that's about the extent of our Portuguese…this could be fun!!!
When we got on the bus at the Brazilian Immigration office we had no idea how far it was to the town, how big the town was, or indeed where to get off. Every bus we have been on so far takes us to a bus terminal and that is where we expected to go. After driving through the town for about 15 minutes (it's quite a large place) we drove past the bus station and carried on going.
With our limited (slight understatement) Portuguese we had no way of communicating with the driver but when he noticed us gesturing to him he said something about the centre being "back that way" (indicated by hand gestures) and let us off the bus. We had no idea where we were or where we were going.
Enter my map reading skills! Sometimes I think Adam might actually be glad I'm there! Anyway after walking for about an hour up and down hills in the baking heat with heavy backpacks we eventually found our hostel. (It took that long because it was a long way not because I got us lost). It was right on the edge of town we where had first entered on the bus!
Once there we found Stuart and Charlene lazing at the bar by the pool. They had arrived from Paraguay that morning and had yet to see the Fall's at all. We had a refreshing swim and a few drinks and caught up on each other's adventures in the two weeks since we had last been together.
The next day the 4 of us, and a Scottish guy named Barry, hired a taxi from the hostel to take us to see the Fall's from a different perspective. Barry had also been in Argentina the day before so the sight wasn't knew to him either but Stuart and Charlene had no idea what to expect. The hostel also arranged for us to have discounted entry into the Bird Park opposite.
We were dropped off at the entrance to the Fall's where we had to buy our tickets and get on a bus. There are many stops along the way to different attractions but most of them cost extra and are not all that exciting. We stayed on the bus until the start of the walk to see the Fall's themselves.
A short walk brought us to the main reason why people view the Fall's from this side, the overview! From here you can get the whole perspective and it's really quite impressive, even if you've seen it before up close! Most people chose to visit this side first and then cross into Argentina. Not us. I can see why it's better that way but it's not a necessity.
We followed the trails to each viewpoint until we reached the main platform. Just like on the other side, this is a metal platform that juts out across the water but this time the view is from the bottom of the Devil's Throat looking up. Needless to say you get wet again but you're not so close that you get a soaking. It was too wet for photographs though.
On the walks we also spotted these huge black millipedes that were about 5 inches long. Unfortunately a few people had trodden on some of them unwittingly as they were crawling across the path where it was wet. We also spotted another one of those giant lizards. Although there are butterfly's it seems most of them prefer to be closer to the water on the other side of the river.
We caught the bus back to the entrance and then crossed the road into the bird park. Many of the birds here are native to South America, although not all, and therefore we have seen quite a few of them in the wild. Seeing them in cages is a bit disappointing but many of these birds have been rescued from poachers so it's not so bad really.
That evening a group of us went to a local restaurant recommended by the hostel. The food was fantastic although not that cheap! Later we headed to a local bar also recommended but although it was 1am (they don't normally go out before midnight) there was no one there so we went back.
The following day we said goodbye to Stuart and Charlene and headed to the airport for our flight to Rio de Janeiro…