Iguazu Falls, Argentina

21 Feb

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Our 20-hour bus ride got us into Puerto Iguazu, Argentina around 11:30am, an hour later than planned due to departure delays, meaning we had enough time to walk the 1 block to our hostel, check in, change and head back to the bus station to get a bus to Iguazu Falls.

The bus ride was 10 pesos and about a 30-minute ride and we were dropped off at the entrance to park where we bought our park entry tickets for 100 pesos each.

We started our tour with an 8-minute walk to the little open-air train (think the train that goes through Centreville on Toronto Island) that took us to the start of the walking bridges that go over the calmer bodies of water leading up to the top of the falls. We saw the silhouettes of huge black catfish circling below us and also passed a snake crossing sign (spoiler alert: we thankfully didn’t see any!). We could hear the rumbling of an abundance of fast-moving water and we could see the spray in the distance.

The first view of the falls was nothing short of spectacular: lush greens, clear white water and a rainbow in the spray that was refreshing as it landed on our bare skin. After while of oo-ing and ah-ing over the amazingness we moved on as we still wanted to see 2 more view points: the upper and the lower views.

We started with the upper and they’re breath-taking. Waterfall after waterfall and again, more lush greenery in between each one. From the upper view point you can also see the small platform far below where other visitors are viewing the falls from the lower view point are being drenched by the spray, as well as the speed boats that take tourists into the whirlpools at the base of the falls. The lighting was incredible, you could see a rainbow at every turn of the winding bridge walkway and if that was scenic enough, the black outlines of birds gracefully soaring over the falls in the distance.

Our last hike of the day was to see the falls from the lower view point. We saw a few long black and white lizards as well as bats along the way – I say yuck to both – but the lookouts along the way and of course the final lookout from the bottom of the falls looking up at the top was surreal.

Tal, J.J. and I couldn’t wait to go out to the edge of the walking bridge to be drenched by the cool spray as it was insanely hot and humid. Jonny was hanging back for the time being with the bags when he decided to look over the railing that faced the falls. His Oakley’s fell off his head, about 6 – 10 feet immediately beneath him so he decided to hop the rusty metal railing to grab them, but never made it over because the railing sliced open the skin just below his knee. Luckily J.J. had packed our first aid kit in our day pack that had alcohol swabs, gauze and bandages, and there was even a doctor on the same platform that took control of the situation. The doctor advised on the number of stitches he thought Jonny would need before cleaning and wrapping the wound. While the doctor worked on Jonny’s leg, Tal and I worked on washing the blood off of the railing and the path.

Then it was off to find the first aid cabin where we were told Jonny would be able to get his stitches. The park map had us turned around a little so we asked a park worker and he hooked us up with a small ambulance taking us directly to the first aid cabin.

Tal and I have weak stomachs when it comes to blood of any kind so J.J. went in the room with Jonny. We learned the doctor gave him far more numbing needles than was required (I believe it was 8 shots) before giving Jonny the 4 stitches to close his cut and then covering everything with fresh gauze.

We then headed immediately back to our hostel, Iguazu Falls Hostel, for some leg elevating time for Jonny and some pool time for Tal, J.J. and I.

We cooked dinner at the hostel that night, pasta and tomato sauce we had left over from BA, and took another long dip in the pool, anxiously awaiting our Skype date with a birthday party being thrown in Toronto for 4 of our friends. It was amazing to get the chance to celebrate their birthdays with them and catch up with so many people, even if it was virtually.

Then it was off to bed for an early morning trip to Brazil where our Carnival experience in Rio de Janeiro was about to begin!

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