Sunday, 15 March 2009

Beyond Ilha Grande

From our tropical island Ilha Grande we slowly made our way to Iguacu Falls -based on the Argentinan side. We hopped on our first long haul bus from Sao Paulo...14 hours. It went much quicker than we expected, however we were unlucky to get on a pretty ordinary bus. Pluma was the company, it smelt like toilet the entire trip and the aircon....when it worked sounded like a plane taking off...ahh it´s all part of the experience. We arrived with little hastle, through the border crossing early morning to our hostel....the hostel is highly recommended!!
First thing we noticed when crossing the border from Brazil to Argentina was the red soil and the people looking very different. They are very much spanish looking with a little indian thrown in there. We spent our first afternoon watching the sunset at the Tres Frontieras (3 points) in which you can see Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. They are split by the Iguazu river. It was such a beautiful and tranquil place to sit.

First night we smashed up (simon new favorite word following on from smashed potatoes) a 400g sirloin each. The entire bill with a bottle of Mendoza wine, side orders was about $40 aud....nice!
An early start meant we were through the gates of the Iguazu falls park first thing. From the second we were inside we were impressed by grounds and the size of the park, 55,ooo hectares in fact with subtropical rainforests.
The region was discovered in 1542, by the expedition of the spaniard Alvar Nunez. The name Iguacu or Iguazu Falls(depending on what country you are in) Legend has it that a god planned to marry a beautiful aborigine named Naipí, who fled with her mortal lover Tarobá in a canoe. In rage, the god sliced the river creating the waterfalls, condemning the lovers to an eternal fall.....hmm not too sure about that one but its a good story.

We were crazy as usual and went on a boat ride that runs you into the falls. Looked tame from the sideline but when your on the boat being thrown under a smashing waterfall the smile is very quickly wiped off and fear is the only thing you feel (Simon quietly enjoyed it :).(we have a video to cringe when we watch it)
We left the main falls to the afternoon and were really blown away - the key attraction at the park is the Devils Throat which is indescribable. There is something about a waterfall that is so humbling. We had 7 hours at the park and then came back feeling nicely sun kissed and happily exhausted. Got on another 14 hour bus trip the next day back to the Brazilian coast to see a little more beach at Florianopolis...also know to us as Flop.... we were due to spend 3 days on the beach but we had 2 days of torrential rain so got out of there early and made our way to Uruguay.

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