Friday, January 22, 2010
IGUAZU FALLS: SEEING IS BELIEVING!
I was gobsmacked by the Falls when I saw The Mission and Indiana Jones. But seeing them in person is like nothing else in the world. Let's get me and Daniel out of the way so you can get a better look.
Iguazu Falls is Niagara Falls on steroids. In fact, Niagara Falls is actually a bit a joke after Iguazu. For one thing, the area for miles around Iguazu is protected semi-tropical bush, so you don't have to deal with fast food joints, Madame Tussauds and casinos. And unlike the other great falls Victoria Falls -- which is also amazing -- it's more than one long sheet of water. In fact, the Falls are made of of hundreds of different falls along the river which makes for an endless succession of astonishing panoramas. Like this one.
And this one.
The town of Iguazu is about a twenty minute drive away and is pretty unappetizing. There's a funky, damp smell coming out of the grates by some of the restaurants -- more like a septic tank smell, actually. Which may explain little friends like this one I found on the sidewalk.
Big as a cat, I tell you. Well, maybe not. But certainly a kitten. Anyway, that's why I suggest you stay at a B&B. Ours was La Boutique Hotel de la Fonte. We loved it. Despite appearances, it's EXTREMELY reasonable. Just a small step up from backpacking. Here's the entrance:
It's owned by an Italian couple who also have an on site restaurant with a friendly Swiss waitress you half expect to burst out yodeling. And each "cabin" looks like ours:
Those things that have leaves like trees are actually bamboo --
But back to the Falls. There's lots of ways to see them. You can take a little toy train out to see the BIG falls (Devil's Throat). After walking a mile along a bridge you get to see it up close. (Note that the previous bridge washed away; you can see the cement moorings.) Hope you aren't afraid of heights -- or bridges.
Or check out the little boat going into the mist, below. Daniel and I were on the one just before it. For thrills and chills, it sure beats the Maid of the Mist. :)
Along the river, there's an upper falls and a lower falls path. The lower falls path lets you walk out of a bridge to catch some spray.
The upper falls path takes you over little bridges with views like this.
But the best way to experience the Falls is to swim in one of them. Yes, there's actually a falls deep in the bush where you can swim (or skinny dip, shhh) in a natural pool under a waterfall. For that trip, tune in to the next post!