Our next stop on this fantastic trip was at The Iguazu Falls. These are a series of waterfalls located on the border between Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. We spent two days there and accessed the falls from both the Argentina and Brazil sides. Each is equally as stunning as the other but 80% of the falls are on the Argentinean side so this gives more varied views, also the Argentinean side has a series of walkways at different levels which pass through the surrounding jungle. There are approximately 15km of walkways in total and we did most of them. You can also take a boat ride into the spray of the falls or even a helicopter ride over them.
The Iguazu Falls are not the highest in the world, that title belongs to the Angel Falls in Venezuela, but they are the widest of the world’s major falls, at 82 metres they are still pretty high though. They comprise of 275 separate falls cascading together over a 2 mile stretch. At their peak, they pour 3 million litres a second over the top into the river below. They are immensely impressive from whatever angle you view them, either standing at “The Devil’s Throat” getting covered in spray, or watching them from the bottom as the water comes thundering over from the river above. But for us there was one point on the Argentina side where you walk out of the jungle and a view to beat all views just opens up in front of you. We were very lucky to have quite a sunny day, which lit the area perfectly, that coupled with the noise made for a truly unbelievable experience. Out of everything we have seen so far it was Steve’s number one moment. Sarah maintains her number one moment is Steve laying on the ground with his trousers and boxer shorts round his ankles, clinging onto some toilet paper as he was blown over while squatting at a very windy bush camp in Patagonia! – the full description and the immediate consequences will never make this blog !!!
We could go on for a long time about how impressed we were with Iguazu Falls, but they say a picture paints a thousand words, so here are a few thousand.
We are now in a Brazil a new country for us. Different climate, different scenery, different currency and a different language. We were just about scrapping through with Spanish and now its Portuguese??? and we have no idea on this one!
After Iguazu Falls we headed North West. We soon left the thick jungle environment around the falls and were in green rolling hills with plenty of farms and herds of cows. If you looked quickly you could have been back in the UK, not what we expected at all. The only thing that looked very different was the soil …. dark red soil everywhere. Glen said it reminded him very much of areas of the outback in Australia. Whenever we got out of the truck we were quickly reminded we were definitely not in the UK, with the 35 degree heat and 100% humidity.
Once again we were at a bush camp. It was almost dusk and Chris spotted a place, off the road and down by a river with a few tracks in the area. We found a spot, set up camp and started to cook dinner. Dylan decided to pitch his tent a little away from the group on the other side of one of the tracks. By the time he had finished it was getting dark at which point we heard the roar of an engine. In the distance two lights appeared and got closer and closer. It was too late ….. when Dylan realised he had pitched his tent in the middle of a stock car rally circuit!!! The car flew past covering his tent in thick red dust. After the second lap Dylan quickly dragged his tent across the track and joined the rest of the group by the river!
The next day we moved on and arrived at a place called Bonito. We were stopping here for a couple of days because there is apparently some good snorkelling?? It seemed a long way to come for snorkelling and we are about 1000 miles from Rio de Janeiro …. pretty much in the middle of nowhere. “Lets see how good this snorkelling is” we thought. We were given a wetsuit, mask and a snorkel each as well as some neoprene boots. Eight of us jumped onto an open truck and set off along a red dirt road into a rainforest. After about 20 minutes we got out and started walking for another 30 minutes. It was in the high 30’s, incredibly humid and we were wearing wetsuits! We had been told the walk was 2.2 kilometres long so Steve decided to unzip his wetsuit and let it hang by his waist, “ I can’t see why we have to walk in these wetsuits” was his comment. Then a bug the size of small bird landed on the woman in front. Suddenly Steve’s wetsuit was back on and zipped to the neck!! We arrived at the point in the riverbank where we were to enter and start snorkelling so we all got in and set off.
We spent the next 2 hours floating with the current down the Rio De Prata in the most incredibly clear water, past hundreds of colourful fish. It was a surreal experience like neither of us have experienced before. Occasionally we looked up out of the water just to take in exactly where we were. Floating down a crystal clear river with hundreds of fish, in a rainforest in the middle of Brazil with monkeys and macaws screeching in the background….. Amazing. When we think where we were a couple of months ago (sitting behind a desk at work) ….. Quite a change! Unfortunately we didn’t have an underwater camera (maybe something to invest in for the future) so we don’t have any photos to post. A couple of people in the group had a “gopro” so hopefully we might be able to post something later.
When we had finished in the river we made our way back to the eco centre where the trip had been organised and tucked into an amazing buffet of chicken, steak, egg and cheese souffle, rice noodles and vegetables. After Sarah had gone back for seconds Steve said he had never seen her eat so much, but even she couldn’t manage dessert like some did! We were also joined by a pair of Macaws in a nearby tree who happily posed for photographs. It was one of Sarah’s favourite days of the trip.
Brazil has started off pretty good!