Our trip to Iguazu was not only memorable because of Arsenal’s 1-0 victory. The spectacular views and the sheer headrush experienced when standing over these thunderous waterfalls are moments we certainly won’t be forgetting in a hurry….
We started our visit on the Brazilian side of the falls – we were glad to have done so as from the Brazilian side you are offered a gradual build-up of beautiful views and extending vistas that slowly reveal the astonishing scale of the falls: they are blooming MASSIVE.
Following the trail round, each view seemed to out-do the next until we finally found ourselves up close (or at least close enough to get a good soaking from the spray!) to part of the waterfall (only a small part mind you, looking back from this point in the trail, your entire viewpoint is completely taken over by what seems to be everlasting waterfall). There is nothing better than being soaked by a waterfall in the middle of a hot day. Nope, nothing.
Except, perhaps, for an all you can eat Churrascaria restaurant charging £7 a head and serving bloody good meat. I almost can’t decide which was the best part of my day. The restaurant in question was called Gauchos, just round the corner from our brilliant hostel Guest House Iguassu (would highly recommend), and I don’t think I have ever been so enjoyably full in my entire life.
We set off the following morning (still pretty full) across the border to Argentina, in order to experience the Falls from the opposite side of the river. After a few small problems involving nowhere in Argentina accepting cards and yet nowhere having cash machines, we were able to dump our bags at the Hostel Inn Argentina (thanks for the recommendation Ant!) and found our way to the falls. A vast nature park, complete with walking trails, rickety tourist trains and a whole lot of ice-cream stands (attracting a whole lot of snout-nosed, sweet but vicious rather large animals that I am yet to learn the name of) has been created around the falls on the Argentinian side, so we were able to spend a good afternoon exploring lots of views and getting as close to the water as we could.
Whilst the Brazilian side provides sweeping vistas and long scenic views, the Argentinian side is much more about deafening yourself (and pretty much thrilling yourself to death) by standing right above some of the biggest cascades. The mists that hang around you create an otherworldly kind of picture, and rainbows are suspended in the air all around you.
We didn’t quite get as soaked as we would have liked this time around (particularly as the day was a scorcher) but we made up for that in the evening with a few beers by the hostel’s pool as soon as we got back, comparing the insect bites we (mostly me) had picked up along the way.
I’m writing this from our next stop – Puno in Peru! After an exhausting 26 hours of travel (4 flights, no less) we flew in on Tuesday morning over a view of the Andes that completely made up for the chilly night spent in Lima airport. We managed a wander round the streets of Puno and a lovely lunch of garlic trout (thanks for telling me about that one Sally R – was delicious) next to the beautiful main square before an unfortunate cocktail of 26 hours travelling, a stomach bug he picked up somewhere along the way and a truly horrible dose of altitude sickness landed Nick on his arse. After a(nother) sleepless night and a couple of bottles of Gatorade we are recuperating in the hotel room, which is not too shoddy as we have been serenaded all day by some Peruvian music blasting out of a shop next door, as well as the sounds and smells of a street market that make us feel like we are rather in the middle of the action, whilst in fact reading our kindles from the comfort of bed. Fingers crossed we will make it out tomorrow to see Lake Titicaca!