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Iguazu Falls

We are currently in the town of Puerto Iguazu in Argentina.  Over the past couple of weeks we had a difficult time trying to decide whether or not to make it to this area.  According to our LP guide, the Iguazu Falls, located about 20 minutes from town, are a must-see attraction.  It is kind of a sacrifice to make it up to this area though with many long and tedious bus rides.  Fortunately the Argentinians know how to provide stellar bus service offering meals (sometimes actually hot), champagne and pirated movies.  A far better busing situation than the Greyhound offers at home, where if you don´t get beheaded, it is considered a successful ride.  

 So, we arrived to town two nights ago and found our hostel without any problems.  It is a lovely little place on the outskirts of town with a restaurant and bar attached, so there is good food and drinks provided.  The receptionist was very helpful in telling us all about getting to and from the falls.  So, we set out the next morning after a carbohydrate loaded breakfast, and we arrived to the park around 10 am.  The tourists were most certainly out and about by this time, so Aaron and I made our way through the ticket booth and onto the train as quickly as possible.  The train takes visitors to all the hotspots in the park to cut down on car traffic, which works out rather well.  There is also the option of walking the entire park, which is what we decided to do after our first crowded train ride. 

 The first falls we visited were Garganta del Diablo (Devil`s Throat).  Wow, this is where the day turned quite magical for both of us.  After disembarking from the train, we walked along a metal platform for about a km over the river.  The waters were flowing at a very fast pace below us and there were lovely islands of subtropical forest along the way.  Butterflies of every color you can imagine, beautiful birds, and lush plant life surrounded us.  At the end of the walkway, we came to the massive Garganta del Diablo, which was a semi-circular area of waterfalls.  I don´t think I have ever seen so much water falling from cliffs in my life.  The sound of the pounding cascades overpowered the conversations of tourists, so that even though there were plenty of people around us the falls had our undivided attention.  Due to the clouds of mist rising from below, you couldn´t see the bottom of the falls.  It was astonishing, but just the beginning of a wonderful day!

After this and refueling ourselves with solar heated salomi and cheese sandwiches (yummmmmm), we walked to the next area of trails called the superior and inferior circuits.  We took the superior trail first and continued to walk through jungle-like forests that brought us to another viewing point.  This point provided us with an even better view allowing us to see just how huge the area of falls was.  There was a series of falls one after another that went several kilometers back to the Garganta del Diablo.  This is when Aaron started to ridicule Niagara, so he has been titled a "Waterfall Snob."  The sight was just so incredible that we had to keep stopping to have another look and take more pictures.  It was so magical, that if a unicorn had popped out of the bush, I wouldn´t have blinked.  Amazing!

The inferior trail took us down where we could get into the water.  We took turns walking up to the falls and getting saturated from the overflowing cascade.  After this we walked some more and found a lovely nature trail.  The forest was thick with lizards of all shapes and sizes, spiders of only one gigantic and scary shape, the largest ants we have ever seen, and some colorful birds.  This led us to a lovely waterfall and swimming hole, so of course we had to get in.  Aaron had to stand under the falls and get pounded by the water.  The heat and humidity in this area make the NC summers feel rather cool and mild, so the water felt terribly refreshing.  It was a perfect way to wind down the day.

 Normally we don´t enjoy tourist destinations, but the large crowds here didn´t bother us in the slightest.  Actually it was really good to see people out and about in nature.  There were folks from a variety of nationalities, all kinds of shapes and sizes, and a wide range of ages here to see this amazing place.  Our time here ranked with some of our favorite places that we have been during this trip.  There are falls and then there are falls.  And then there is Iguazu!




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