Iguassu Falls

God's Gift

We boarded the Tutto Letto super cama the coach equivalent to flying club class, leather seats which recline into a horizontal bed, personal TV screens, a 3 course meal, wine, champagne and a waiter to fuss over you. With the prospect of a 17 hour journey ahead, we slept with the rare aid of sleeping pill and dozily awoke to the misty humidity of Iguassu and boarded the local El Practico yellow shuttle bus to our notorious Hostel Inn, a back packers paradise with a large swimming pool, bar, pool table, banks of computers to feed the facebook addiction....for some an opportunity to improve international relations. We showered, gobbled down lunch and headed to the Brazilian side for our share of Iguassu. Oppressively humid, the sun burnt through the clouds and ushered them aside to reveal a baby blue sky. We wound our way through the walkway leading to the falls. It didn’t disappoint but delivered the promise of robbing our breath, God's gift to South America. Thick green forests fed by the rivers paraded a pantone selection of greens and the falls vapoured a mist providing swifts and swallows an adventure playground to dive into and play ‘chicken’ with each other. Extended catwalks allowed us to peer over the edge of the lower falls whilst the superior falls let rip the best of its vapour drenching us whilst producing a divine rainbow to silhouette our frames for a Kodak moment. We dried off in the scorch of the sun and headed back to the hostel and fed on a buffet of dubious quality, sharing much of the evening with kiwi couple, Alice and Johnno. The night swept in rain clouds unleashing their cargo throughout the night and into the morning, unrelenting and forceful we wondered whether our full day on the Argentinean side would be cut short.

Iguassu falls

Kitted out in wet weather gear we were informed that the show must go on and along with a bunch of dispirited backpackers we travelled to the falls in heavy rain. Our tour started with a gentle train ride followed by a labyrinth of walkways across the Superior Falls to see the Devil’s Throat. The Falls were vast and awesome, the view often clogged by loud, vulgar, liver spotted Italian tourists possessing no sense of awareness of others. Fortunately their annoyance was eclipsed by the magnificence of the copper coloured water as it tumbled over the falls crashing below. The day continued with a short ecological trip in a rowing boat, captained by our guide, Ruben. We spotted out first Jacarra (Cayman) and proceeded to catch sight of a white throated turkey along with brightly coloured finches and swifts and herons. We switched boats and boarded a high speed dinghy launching us into the base of the lower falls, invoking fear and delight into the spirits of our fellow passengers, cutting through the foam of the cascade, dipping the nose of the boat under the chin of the junior falls, drenching our cagoules and peaking under the seams.

We parked all other methods of transport and explored the remaining falls by foot, peering from perched walkway balconies, we caught a different perspective of the falls with overhead toucans completing the soundtrack to the adventure. The dampness receded and the afternoon sun burned off the mist drying us thoroughly producing a series of mini rainbows to end the day. My advice definitely visit both the Brazilian and Argentinian sides of the Falls

Back at the hostel we prepared for a second night but this time at the sister hostel some 300m down the road. We arrived at the ghost like reception, devoid of staff, backpackers, music and the buzz of human activity. Apart from one receptionist who informed us that there was no hot water, internet connection or restaurant...at which point I expected her to point to a pile of wood, nails and a hammer telling us that we’d have to build our own bed. She noted our expressions and re-booked us into the original hostel in the only room available...a dorm room ‘closed’ for our sole occupancy. We discovered the room had been terrorised by a poltergeist of foul smells, consisting of stale socks, sweaty sleeping bags, unwashed bodies and teenage sebum. Regardless of how much deodorant spray we used to mask the odour, the room would never be freed from its grip. We decided to use a bottle of Malbec a mixed grill parilla and the distraction of company in the shape of gap year police officers to divert our sense of smell...did it work? Not really, we returned and were duly knocked out by the scent. Oh well at least we slept.

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