One of the most visited spots in the country is also shared with Brazil and is just a short 17 hour bus ride north from Buenos Aires. So while Parker opted to slave away in the classroom, I was off to make something of my midweek.
Before I went though, I wanted to sort out my Paraguayan visa so that I could get in there for a while. This involved a whole lot of litteral running around, but I was able to get it issued same day without any difficulties. Wasn’t cheap, but this visa is one of the coolest things in my passport.
The bus left mid afternoon and arrived the next morning. I showed up with zero plans made, but there was a Japanese girl on the same bus that was planning to meet some friends, so I tagged along to her hostel. I was never planning on spending the night there though, so I just deposited my bag there for they day. The other friends were both Americans and the three of them were studying in Buenos Aires. After a lot of waiting around for everyone to get on the same page, especially for this Peruvian woman none of us actually knew, we were out the door and to the bus station. Traveling with others is a lot of fun, but all these months of flying solo and selfish has really sapped me of patience…
The bus was a double decker with open air seating on top. It wasn’t so long a ride, but the temperature and weather made it perfect. We arrived, paid the exorbitant entrance fee and started walking towards the falls.
Along the way we ran into some coatis, which are a sort of aardvark. In this park they live off of the human food given to them, despite all the signage posted to prevent it. The Peruvian woman gave one an entire bar of chocolate ‘by accident’ which I’m sure was just wonderful for it.
We walked along the path a little further until we started to hear the roar off in the distance. We passed some smaller falls that were impressive in their own right, but the cacophony audible not far away assured us that much, much better was yet to come. We turned a few more corners and were treated to one of the finest views on the planet. Boooooom!
We paused to marvel and pose, some of us more than others. This Peruvian woman we were with was incessantly demanding that we take photos of her, normal of any tourist sure, but she would pose shamelessly each and every time like a model. I’m not sure how she could do this over and over, but I sure felt dumb just holding her camera. When I would take a quick pic and try to pass it back, she would get frustrated and insist I take some more. Here was the foursome, and you can see her modeling in the back. Admittedly this one wasn’t so flagrant though.
One of the other musts here is to take a ride on the boat that goes right into the falls. Not only does this offer some of the best photo ops, but to get soaked by an ocean of water crashing down is pretty cool. They gave us some bags to put our goods to keep them dry, and we were off. They paused to let all the couples get their shots with the falls behind them before driving into both sections of them. We all got very wet.
The hot sun dried us quickly while we rode a little train towards the Devil’s Throat. This area is up above the falls and allows you to go and see the water of a literal lake crashing down. The blue skies made for double rainbows and perfect photos.
After this we pretty much just walked around and got ourselves back to the hostel. My plan was to catch a bus onward but had apparently had missed the last one of the day. This wasn’t so bad though, so I just got a bed at a nearby hostel and together with the day’s companions took park in a BBQ feast. This cost only a few dollars, and was incredibly tasty. It was a good opportunity for international exchange.
The other stop that I made in the town of Puerto Iguazu was to the Three Frontiers, where the borders of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay all come together. This was further away than expected, leading it to become twilight when I arrived, and very dark when I returned.
I passed out that night with plans to rise early and get myself on the road the next morning. This is one of the most incredible set of falls anywhere in the world, and I was glad to have caught it under such ideal conditions. Of course meeting a few people to hang out with along the way was a lot of fun too, and the linguistic barriers were interesting; each of us lacked one of the three languages being spoken.