The Argentinian side of Iguassu Falls, we've been told, is the best side to see the falls from so after yesterday's amazing trip to the Brazilian side we were so excited about today.
We were up at 6.30am to catch the first bus to the Falls, as we'd been advised it got really busy as the day went on. Andrew was on a mission to be one of the first at the Devil's Throat - the main, large section of the falls that we saw yesterday from a distance - so after an uneventful bus trip and park ticket purchase, we power walked to the first train of the day that took us to the start of that trail. Unlike yesterday, the park felt like more of a safari or ecological park than a zoo and there were four trails to take rather than one. Oh and no open top buses, a 15kph train instead.
Jumping off the train to start the 2/3 mile walk to the Garganta del Diablo (Devil's throat in Spanish), I practically had to run to keep up with Andrew's massive strides, passing swiftly any of the few couples that had managed to get off the train in front of us. He was ruthless! I wasn't even allowed to stop for photos along the way as "you can take them on the way back!".
It was so worth it though. We were two of the first five people up there that morning, and the waterfalls were incredible, just breathtaking. The power and sound was immense. I couldn't believe how close we were to the largest part of the falls and from here you could barely see the platform we stood on yesterday through the mist they created. As they fell, the falls looked like they were bursting like fireworks, it was memorising. We really didn't want to move on from them.
Soon there were tens of people on the platform at the Devils Throat, with more constantly piling in, and picture taking became difficult. The peacefulness of before left and made me even more glad we got there early. One guy must have got a taxi up to the falls and then walked from the entrance as he was up there on his own for half an hour before we arrived, which must have been incredible. I think Andrew was a bit jealous!
Walking away from the falls more and more people kept going towards it. Mostly it was grey hair, after beige safari waistcoat, after wide brimmed hat and for a moment I thought we were on the set of Cocoon! I joke, of course!! It was fantastic to see that at 70 year old plus, these people were travelling the world to see new sights. It reminds you that you don't need to rush to see and do everything in life, health allowing, there's time for it all.
The next 1/3 mile trail took us above and around the other waterfalls in the park, with viewpoints hanging over the top of the waterfalls and looking out to the larger falls.
The third mile long trail took us below the same waterfalls, some feeling so close you could touch them!
This also led us to the spot where we took a boat (for an extra cost) under the falls. I was wearing my bikini under my shorts and vest top, as we'd been told we'd get wet in the boat and that we could swim in the falls from this side, so I changed into some 3/4 leggings, so not to get my denim shorts wet for the rest of day, changed my converse for havaianas, but left my vest on - mistake! We put on a life vest, got into a rib full of other tourists and after sailing into the middle of the water, the boat stopped for everyone to take photos and then told us to put our cameras away.
We sailed down the falls towards the Devils Throat (first picture above, after the dazzling shot of me and Andrew in life vests!), stopping at a relatively small waterfall (2nd picture!), and the boat got as close as they could to it, wetting us through! After a couple of these we then sailed back the opposite way, towards a very large, powerful waterfall (3rd picture) but stopped before it - for the boats crew to put on full jacket and trouser waterproofs on! The boat then powered towards the waterfall and turned into it (see 4th picture, which is of course of someone else doing it!), the force was incredible and we could barely open our eyes - if you go, definitely sit on the left side like we did, you get the most wet! It was so much fun and definitely worth the £20, even if just to say you've been under a massive waterfall! I came off more soaked than id ever been, the Australian couple we met on the boat had kept their trainers and socks on and she was literally wringing her socks out afterwards.
From there we then took the 'ferry' over to the island in the middle of the lake. It had a tiny sandy beach and we walked up to the top of the island via steep steps to look out at the waterfall we'd just been under (first shot) and back over at where we'd been stood on the Brazil side yesterday.
Up there we saw a massive lizard, dragonflies the size of the palm of your hand, white and yellow butterflies (Andrew says to add I spent about 20 mins running up and down the little beach after a shot of butterflies!) , vultures. And across the park itself itself we saw lots more wildlife - more colourful birds, turtles, fish, spiders, geckos, and something like looked like a guinea pig or gerbil?! Here are some shots:
After some much needed lunch - a couple of empanadas and a spicy chicken tarta, which is a bit like a pie without the lid - we then headed out onto the final trail. This was a 4 mile (round trip) woodland walk and at 32 degrees in the afternoon, it felt long! Along the way we saw the most enormous ants and a massive black and blue butterfly the size of my hand. Finally, after going down some steep wooden steps, we got to a waterfall that we could swim under. There were a few other people there, sat on the rocks, but Andrew got straight in and under the waterfall - he said he was like the old Timotei advert?! I got in eventually, after Andrew gave me a piggyback away from the fishes, and even though the waterfall was tiny in comparison to the ones we had seen earlier, the pressure on your hands and legs was immense!
By the time we got back to the entrance we'd spent 9 hours walking around the park, and back at the hostel we were tired, sweaty and hungry. Only problem was the shower wasn't working and the hostel receptionist didn't speak English. We used Google Translate to communicate to each other - so handy! - and now she understood us. Noone came to fix it, so we went back, used the translator and then we understood she would get the technician out...what had she been doing about it before?! This went on and more than an hour later, still no technician so we gave up, went down the road for a pizza and by the time we got back it was fixed Thanks Google!