Thursday, 10 June 2010

Iguazu Falls - "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

The Argentinian Side:
Caught the first bus to the park. Thinking I`ll have enough time to see it all just in one long day. The gate was still closed, and me & 6 more early wakers had to wait 15 minutes for it to open. During those 15 minutes 3 buses stopped by the entrance unloading 100 more tourists. Good thing we were first in line.
Decided to see the main attraction first (while its still empty), The Devil`s Throat, But the train was leaving just 15 minutes later and that was the only way to get to the Throat. Knowing that, I went first to a small nature trail called ''The Green Trail''. It was silent & empty, both from animals & people. On the other side of the trail was the second stop of the train (first been the entrance), I still had to wait there, 15 more minutes. The train got to the station already filled up. I managed to find a free sit, and waited patiently for my first glance of what was to be the greatest WOW yet in my long, scenery changing, trip.
Dismounted the train and made my way through the crowd (lot of crowd). Doing everything I can to pass everyone politely. It was a long trail, and only the strong survived, and after 15 minutes of fast walk & fast photo shooting (`cause everything was so pretty!), WoW. Endless amounts of water rushing (impolitely), shoving, banging, falling into a 300 degrees hole about 60 meters high (but you couldn`t really see the bottom), and I was standing on a balcony, on the edge.
All of that, but the sun was in front, and we (the camera & I) couldn`t see clear enough - we`ll return in the evening for a better photo shootout.
Walking back to the train I spotted a gang of vultures sitting on a near by deck, and all of the people (though they clearly noticed them), don`t stop for even a second. But they kept on sitting there - posing beautifully only for me.
After another train ride (this time empty), I got off to see the other lesser waterfalls of the park. A long trail, going down, through the woods. The tumulting waterfalls are heard from afar. The people passing by are covered with raincoats, disposable or not, to seal themselves from the wonderful drops of nature. As you could have guessed I didn`t put mine on.
The first waterfall visible was one you have to get wet from. And if your crazy - you walk slowly. I did. Got some good pictures while doing so.
Every viewpoint have the option to get close to the waterfalls, or get even closer. The 'Splashzone' became my favorite. I was with my 'fastdrying' trekking cloths but they didn`t get a chance to show me what their made of.
I didn`t take the boat (that everybody takes) to see the waterfalls from up close. I was wet enough with out it.
The lower balcony Is made to take you under all the waterfalls. The upper balcony goes above the mighty nature. I stood on top of the great stream, not understanding where all this amount of water comes from (if I would have, I would solve Israel`s water problem).
After having fun with strange looking Raccoons, I took a risk (of timetables) and went to see the smallest waterfall in the park (Macuco trail). The aim was to see some wildlife. I so some Monkey`s far away on the treetops, and caught a glimpse of a few birds, but the most exciting animal I met was a HUGE spider, swinging just above the heads of the people passing on the trail. I myself, noticed it only on my way back from the waterfall (that was as high as the white waterfall, Zavitan river, Israel. and was nothing compered to the outstanding waterfall 800 meters from it).
Coming back from Macuco trail, I climbed once again to the train (the last one going that direction). Ran all the way to the waterfalls (the sun, in Argentina, doesn`t wait for anyone). and got to witness the great powers of The Devil`s Throat once again.

The Brazilian Side:
Woke up in Argentina with a goal to be on a bus to Campo Grande, Brazil by the end of the day. Passing through the Argentinian border, getting stamped (with all the other passengers). The Brazilian side was different. The driver of the bus pointed at me, ''Gringo'' he says, I did not understand why just me, but still I was left there (just for the 30 seconds of the stamping process), and had to wait for the next bus (20 minutes). Knowing what a crazy day awaits me, I climbed the first bus driving through the station (having to pay again because it wasn`t the same company).
I had to find a place for my luggage in the Foz Do Iguacu bus terminal, and took the next bus to the Brazilian Park. When buying the entrance ticket, I was asked where I am from, and while entering, the man tearing my ticket read it, and welcomed me in my own language.
Being on the Brazilian side is a whole different experience. you get to see all the falls at once from a panoramic view point. Still, people were sealing themselves from the waters of nature with disposable raincoats. Again, I didn`t.
Got very wet and got out (the Brazilian side is shorter).
Parque Das Aves (The Bird Park) is located 50 meters from the main entrance to the Falls park. The cost is 25 Reals, but it absolutely worth it. You start of from the less impressive bird cages, with little options to catch a good picture of them, because the bars are in the way. Then you get to the 'open to the humans' cages. You are all surrounded by birds from every shape and size - Storks, Ibis, Parrots, Hawks & Tucans - which are vicious.
Zeologicly speaking, there are enough birds just in Brazil. Still, for some reason there were also birds from Africa (ones which I already saw during my trip in Tanzania). Anacondas, Alligators, Monkeys and Turtles welcomed me as well.
It was a wonderful experience for a bird lover. I got a huge V on seeing lots of species, before even visiting the Pantanal or the Amazons.

Tips for the Iguazu:
1. Visit both sides - If you got the time (just two days are enough) and money. Each park shows you a unique side of the falls.
2. Visit the Bird Park on the Brazilian side. Its just heaven for the eyes.
3. I heard Israelis shoudn`t stay on the Brazilian side (Foz do Iguacu) - I managed to see some Arabic signs, and terror groups posters, so maybe the rumors are true.

No comments:

Post a Comment