Iguazu Falls – lots of falling water, a very fancy bus journey and a brush with a smuggler

For about 8 quid extra each we decided to travel the 24 hours from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu in style; on a ‘cama’ bus. ‘Cama’ means bed and for all our bus journeys up to that point we had taken the ‘semi-cama’ option – basically a bus with seats that recline half way. But for this trip we went all out and what a treat it was: Spacious leather seats that turn into fully horizontal beds, personal tv screens for movies and first class food, drinks and service. When it was time for dinner, our trolly dolly drinks server began by offering us a pre-dinner aperitif and canape, which was then followed by a really good three course hot meal with wine, followed by champagne and shortbread biscuits. After watching a really good movie ´Mad Money’ (rent it!), we settled down for the night and when we awoke, a rather fancy breakfast was served. We almost didn´t want to arrive!

Falls After Rain The Brothers

But arrive we did, and after checking into our hostel and getting a quick bite for lunch we ran on to the first bus we saw with a sign for ‘Iguazu’, which we soon realised was heading for Foz de Iguaza, across the Brazilian border, about five minutes away. It was no big problem, we just had to wait for a return bus but it was on this bus that we had our first (and only) brush with border smuggling – how exciting! Well it wasn´t that mad really, all that happened was a strange looking package fell in front of my feet just as two women disembarked at their stop. Being the nice people we are, I immediately passed it to Eddie (who was closer to the door) who proceeded to run off the bus shouting after the women that they had lost their package. But they didn´t claim it so he got back on and passed it back to me. At this stage, we had time to look at the parcel and we were both beginning to wonder what could possibly be in this CD case-sized package, all bound up with a black bag and duct tape. Strange indeed. Before we had more time to cop on to the obvious, a man sitting opposite me grabbed it out of my hand and then reached below me to feel the underside of my seat, from where he produced two more similar packages! Brazen as you like! Now I´ll leave that one to your imagination, but as we got off the bus we were realising that we have to be a bit more wary and on-the-ball at border crossings in future (apologies if my blog heading had you anticipating anything more exciting!)

So, to continue to the main event: the falls themselves. Well, they lived up to expectations- they are spectacular! We arrived at Iguazu National Park at 3pm and by 6m we had covered about half the walkways which take you to the various viewing points. The falls are on the border between Brazil and Argentina, but as the majority of viewing points (and the best apparently) are on the Argentinian side, we didn´t bother crossing over to Brazil. The falls are much larger than the (Canadian) Niagara falls and boast about 270 individual waterfalls spanning over 2.7 kilometers of the Iguaza river. They are second only to the Victoria falls in Zambia/Zimbabwe in terms of water volume, so as you can imagine, they are quite a sight! We were also quite taken with the amazing and colourful butterflies that landed on us frequently as we strolled around the walkways.

Butterfly Another Butterfly

Posing Butterfly!

We went home happy that evening, looking forward to completing the circuit the following day. But it was not to be, as I discovered when I awoke in the night to the crack of thunder and the sound of torrential rain. The next day was a wash-out, so we waited for the following day, when we returned to a very different set of falls. The first day by comparison had been a trickle. We were now faced with a much more powerful (and browner) set of waterfalls, with what seemed like twice the force and volume of water in them. Whereas we had stood as close as the platforms allowed on the first day and not got wet, we were now feeling the spray on our skin whenever we were within about ten metres of the water. The boat to the island in the middle of the falls wasn´t sailing because of the high water levels, but the train was still running so we got over our disappointment. The train takes you to the most spectacular viewing point, where we jostled with all the other sightseers for the best shots. But the number of visitors doesn´t detract from the experience, and I can definitely say the long diversion north was worth it.

The main Falls at Iguazu Slow Speed Pic of Small Falls

On the second day, we also saw more interesting wildlife, namely lots of coatíes (which look a bit like racoons), lots of lizards, a large caymen (looked like an alligator to me) and a turtle. After three days in Iguazu, we boarded a less salubrious semi-cama bus (alas, the only option) and set off on the 24 hour journey west to the beautiful region of Salta.

Inquisitive Lizard

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2 Responses to “Iguazu Falls – lots of falling water, a very fancy bus journey and a brush with a smuggler”

  1. AnnaBMc Says:

    Greetings to you Ri and Edward, I have been keeping track of your trecking (on and off) and you certainly are filling each day well. I love the photos, especially the Salta? ones. Wont it be great looking back at them when you’re …..mmmmm 60. Enjoy it all, stay safe and Gods blessings. Annax

  2. eddie Says:

    Thanks Anna, see you in a couple of weeks!

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