Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Iguazu Falls

The Iguazu Falls are at the other end of Argentina from Ushuaia but a couple of plane flights gets you there conveniently.

It is reputed that Eleanor Roosevelt visited the Falls and remarked 'Poor Niagara', so having seen Niagara, I was keen to visit Iguazu to see for myself.

After breakfast at the hotel, I wore my shorts, brought along a bottle of water, applied some insect spray and headed off to the nearby bus station. Yes, I know the colours are wrong. My camera dial was set incorrectly. You can buy a return ticket at the bus station.

I took some photos on the way out to the Fall which is about a 30 minute journey.

The grass here is incredibly green. It rains a lot and I was fortunate to get a dry day.

I got the sense that Puerto Iguazu was not a wealthy town compared to the tourist towns further south.

The dirt in the area is very red.

Outside the town, there are numerous hotels lining the road. 

We reached the Park and then lined up to purchase tickets which cost about US $20. You can use your credit card, but you have to show your passport. It took about 20 minutes.

Maps of the park. I took the blue route that follows the top of the falls. It's about 2 km long.

It's almost a mile walk to get to the start of the blue route. 

No dangerous animals jumped out of the jungle.

The pathway is mostly in the shade. Considering the temperature was in the high 80's and the humidity level is very high, you need all the shade you can get. It's jungle on both sides of the path.

There is a small train that goes to different sections of the Park. I chose to walk since I needed the exercise and it looked like you had to wait for quite a while.

At the train station, there were quite a few of these racoon type animals scavenging for food.

Waiting for the train. At least there is shade.

The train arrived.

I came to the entrance to the blue route. Virtually the whole route is a one-way pathway made of steel grates suspended above the ground and waterways. There are no stairs so it's wheelchair accessible.

Some of the water that will soon tumble over the cliff.

Fortunately, there were not too many people.

I came to my first waterfall where some workmen were clearing vegetation for a better view. Yes, they had rope harnesses.

Finally a glimpse of what was to come.

And this is just part of it.

There are actually two levels with a top-level fall and then a lower-level fall.

Brazil is on the other side of the river.

I have some videos that show how quickly the water moves. 

You can take a boat ride and get thoroughly wet. I had actually brought plastic zip-loc bags along in case I took the boat ride but I had no clue where to catch the boat. It is a big park and I could only get a map in Spanish.

One of the wider falls.

There are viewing platforms between the sections of the falls.

The yellow route that is closer to the river level. Most tourists do the blue route along the top.

I sat for a while in a shady spot and this lizard appeared. It was about 6" long.

Looking upstream.

In the centre of the photo, you can see some old brick pylons that used to support a bridge that got washed away in floods.

Looking upstream.

Another demolished bridge.

At the top of the biggest fall in this section. Further along, there is an even wider fall but I would need to take the train to get there and I was getting tired with all the heat and humidity.

The river continues on to the west.

The blue route is a one-way loop and the return route takes you through the streams back from the fall area. It's quite peaceful here and you would not suspect what lies just a hundred yards away.

These walkways are very good and make the walk relatively easy. They could use a few more seats spread along the way. I was glad to have a cold refreshing ice cream when I got back to the train station area. After the cold of southern Argentina, the heat and humidity were very enervating. However, I managed to stagger back to the bus and eventually enjoy a cold beer when I got back to the hotel.

I missed seeing the Devils' Throat up close which appears to be the most impressive part of the falls. I should have taken the train. However, what I saw was impressive. This park is so spread out that it is difficult to cover it all easily, unlike Niagara which is relatively compact. I'm glad I came here.

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