wrinkly backpacking in Argentina - 2
We spent three days in and
around Puerto Iguazu, seeing the falls from all directions.
First we caught a bus to the Brazilian side and went straight to
the queue for the helicopter and an exhilarating 10 minute tour
of the falls from above (to get the big picture). |
I won't keep repeating it - you'll have to imagine the 'wow's
That looks like our pre-lunch walk down there!
Then we did the walks - with the obligatory soaking on the exposed walkways.
It looks an even wetter walk from down here. Cagouls on soon.
Back in the dry we view another expanse of falls
This chap (or chapess - how do you sex a butterfly?) hitched a ride on Paul's backpack
Lunchtime? - but I guess they are always snacking.
With a bit of time to spare before our bus back to Argentina, we visited the nearby bird park where you can walk inside the cages (through double doors to stop the occupants escaping). Some of the birds, especially the cute little toucans, are very used to visitors and happy to pose for photos.
Flamingos fluttered . . .
. . . and this little fellow was happy to pose for the umpteenth time today
On our second day we were at the gate on the Argentine side at opening time, and then bagged seats at the front of the little train that goes to the far end and the most spectacular sight - the Devil's Throat. We elbowed our way off the train ahead of the tour groups and marched along the 1.2 km walkway to get to the end about 10 minutes before the masses. It was well worth the effort: the roaring mass of water pouring over the edge is captivating, if difficult to photograph because of all the spray.
That's an awful lot of water going down the Devil's Throat.
Now the flow at these falls is about 2,000 cumecs - enough to supply 750 million folks at the UK's profligate consumption rate. Just imagine when it's been raining heavily - every ten years or so the flow reaches almost 40,000 cumecs, washing away most of the walkways. Now we know why Lynn Rival is sitting in freshwater, even though the River Plate is over 30 miles wide where she is.
For the rest of the day we explored the trails and walkways, above and below the waterfalls, sitting down at one of the many cafes for a drink if the next stage was blocked with visitors. Though crowded in places, everybody is smiling - the falls are so entrancing. And the organization, both on the Brazilian and Argentine sides, is excellent.
We're on the high level, to dry out again . . .
. . . and better to see the rainbows, whether single . . .
. . . or double
Yet more falls - there are said to be about 270 individual ones
On our third day we hiked down a longer trail to a lone waterfall in the hope of seeing more wildlife - other than the numerous coatis which aggressively steal food at the open-air cafes - and fewer people. We managed to spot a large toucan, get a brief glimpse of a howler monkey and meet a large group of school kids swimming at the bottom of the waterfall - but otherwise were out of luck.
What's the collective noun for butterflies?
The Coatis appear to be semi-domesticated - they are not afraid of us - and beware, their teeth are sharp as well as sweet
Puerto Iguazu is at the junction of the Iguazu and the mighty Parana rivers. At the point, where you can look across to see both Brazil and Paraguay, the rivers are quite narrow and surprisingly calm. They are also full of fish which are meaty and have a delicate flavour if cooked well, making an interesting and healthy alternative to steak.