Iguazu falls, Argentina and Brazilian side.
The bus was incredible from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu and to be honest after 18 hours I didn't really want to get off, I was loving it!! We had our own booth with fat, soft, fully reclining seats that went back into a booth not someone's lap, so you didn't have to feel bad on the guy behind you. There are a lot less seats on the bus that's how they can do this. And the foot rest came up to make a bed, we had pillows, blankets, air con our own flat screen television with state of the art headphones. There was also a lovely smiley host who gave us a starter, a lovely hot meal (pasta) wine, champagne, whisky with ice, water, sprite, sweets seriously it was silly good and for only £57 only £7 more than the other buses, so, so worth it. The bus company was called Via Bariloche, the bus was so safety conscious too, they showed us a video of how they look after their buses including tread testing, even the drivers getting trained! Bit strange but meant we slept easy not like all our buses in Bolivia!!!! haha I loves it I do, tidy!!! Argentina buses are amazing!
We got to Puerto Iguazu and felt refreshed after our bus ride, 5 minute walk to our cheap hostel, we got 50 per cent off as hostel bookers advertised the wrong price, so got a double room with a bathroom, air con and wifi for £10 not £20!! Result thanks hostel bookers, the owners weren't happy though!! After a chilled day and a dip in the pool and a few beers we hit the sack.
An early start on the 20th so we could avoid the crowd at the water falls, we got the local bus for £2 return.
The waterfall system consists of 275 falls along 2.7 kilometers (1.67 miles) of the Iguazu River.
Legend has it that a god planned to marry a beautiful aborigine named Naipi, who fled with her mortal lover Taroba in a canoe. In rage, the god sliced the river creating the waterfalls, condemning the lovers to an eternal fall. The first European to find the falls was the Spanish Conquistador Alvar Nunez in 1541, after whom one of the falls in the Argentine side is named The falls were rediscovered by Boselli at the end of the nineteenth century, and one of the Argentine falls is named after him.
Some of the individual falls are up to 82 meters (269 ft) in height, though the majority are about 64 metres (210 ft). The Devil's Throat (Garganta Del Diablo) in Spanish Garganta Do Diabo in Portuguese), a U-shaped, 82-meter-high, 150-meter-wide and 700-meter-long (490 by 2300 feet) cataract, is the most impressive of all, and marks the border between Argentina and Brazil. Two thirds of the falls are within Argentine territory.
Mish and I quickly walked to the falls and walked the upper trail of the park, that gives you amazing views of the water falling over the edge, the view points are in amazing places.
Then we walked the lower trail and got soaked from the powerful spray, but loved it at it was pissing down with rain anyway so we were really at one with the world most powerful resource! Incredible a lot of the tourists were sat in the cafes so was even better! Such good fun at one of the bigger waterfalls was my favorite part, took my breath away, later on we learnt that the river was really high so we were lucky to see the falls at this level. At the lower part of the falls I took my shirt off and had a little private party swinging my shirt around my head and shouting at the falls.
After being drenched and filled with adrenalin from waterfalls we went for a coffee, I was just looking for a place to sit and I saw two Irish friends we met in Bolivia, so weird seeing them there, had a good catch up and then went our separate ways again.
Then we caught the cute little train to the spectacular Devil's throat where fourteen falls drop 350 feet with such force that there is always a 100 foot cloud of spray overhead, here we got soaked again, was a lot of fun, and again a jaw dropping experience, like nothing we have ever seen before. An incredible day, knackered we got the bus back to the hostel and collapsed.
The next day we were so amazed we wanted to see the falls again, but this time from the brazil side, we caught a local bus over the boarder, got our new stamps, the bus didn't wait for us however so got dumped off but caught another one 20mins or so after so no big deal.
We got to Foz do Iguazu, and instantly didn't get a good vibe, we hadn't booked a hostel but luckily at the bus stop was a nice guy with a cheap hostel, well cheap is £18 not cheap for us, but brazil is much more expensive than Argentina. He gave us directions, as we were walking a drunk Brazilian guy followed us, saying something along the lines of I'll find you a hostel, he wouldn't leave us the hell alone and as there was no one else around, I was a bit scared he might pull a knife on us but we managed to loose him after a bit, weirdo.
We checked in and were greeted by the 2 cutest little 5 years old's who never stopped smiling and we played games with) and their mum which ran the hostel, they were lovely, then hunted for a cash point or cambio (money exchange) this was a nightmare as it was Sunday and took about 1 hour and a half, but Mishee found a hotel who changed our Argentina money and we were set.
We hopped on yet another bus to the Brazilian side of the falls which took 40mins with god knows how many stops, we paid our entrance fee £13 and went to the walking track. From the Brazilian side you get an overlook of the falls and much better views, as with the Argentina side where you get the side views and get close to a lot of the falls, both amazing! Was a beautiful day and the spray from the falls cooled us down beautifully, the Iguazu falls are definitely worth seeing from both sides, and we were pleased we got to do this.
We hopped back on the local bus to the local town of Foz do Iguazu, this is where the nightmare started. From Foz you cannot get a bed bus (cama) and I wasn't prepared to sit up right for 24 hours to Rio de Janeiro, none of the buses offered this service and it was so expensive £80! Pissed off and hot we got a cab back from the bus station and into a internet cafe and rang my good mate Dom who said there was a cama bus from Puerto Iguazu from Argentina! Sweet! But we couldn't book it.
So we woke up to a crazy storm and it was pissing down again! Our lovely family helped us out and told us how to get back to Argentina, luckily the stop was only 200 metres from where we were staying, after 40mins of waiting we got on the bus and it abandoned us again as we got our exit stamp so ensued another 40min wait to get another bus to get our Argentina stamp. We got to Puerto Iguazu about 10am and learnt that there were a few seats left for Rio the day after, so chuffed as only one bus leaves a day, this bus is a Cama bus with an awesome reputation and for £50!
SO we saved £30 on a better bus, how does that work! All good I hunted down for a cheap hostel for 2 hours in the pouring rain leaving Mishee to read her book in the bus station and tried to get wifi but couldn't anyway then had to wait for 30 minutes to use the cash point as some pikies who I think had stolen a credit card and didn't know how to work a cash point were there for half an hour. At one point they were pressing the card against the glass screen no clue what so ever, this really got my goat aahhhhh. In the end we managed to stay in the same hostel but not for the half price as they learnt their mistake on the web site and put there prices back to normal, but my awesome negotiation skills I have learnt from my father came in and I got £5 off the room. Knackered and happy that everything was sorted we checked in and chilled out and only have to wait 2 hours for our bus tomorrow, we loved the falls but the organizing of the buses, hostels, crossing the boarder, not knowing if we could get a bus to Rio really really stressed me out and I got really really angry at points in the days, but as ever my amazing girlfriend was so positive and looked after me in my time in need!!! So thanks Mishee!! I love you so much.
Some awesome news is that our Brazilian friend who we traveled with in Bolivia has sorted us a place to stay with his sister in Rio de Janeiro. Decent rooms here are £40 plus and she lives in a brilliant location, so a wicked hook up and really look forward to meeting Larissa. Good times only one more bus, only one more blog, cant wait for Rio de Janeiro, a city I have always wanted to go to, some serious relaxing on the beach is going to go down here and hopefully get a good tan before heading back to the UK!!!
Love to all
Ads and Mich