Friday, December 20, 2013

Iguazu Falls

After about a 20 hour bus ride from Cordoba, we finally made it to the top of Argentina - Iguazu Falls.  Iguazu was truly one of the most amazing places I have ever seen in my life.  Imagine taking about 30 Niagara Falls, scatter them around a jungle, then throw in a wild petting zoo of the cutest animals you could think of, and then what the F, let's just add in an unlimited supply of rainbows and butterflies, and there you have Iguazu Falls.  You would think I'm making this up, but please read on :)

                              

Iguazu is situated at the northern tip of Argentina.  From the town, you can actually look at 3 countries.  Pictured above is Argentina (where I'm standing), to the top right of the picture is Brazil, and the top left of the picture is Paraguay.  Luckily for my brother and dad (with our country race), both Brazil and Paraguay charged a few hundred dollars for entry visas (two of the only countries in South America that charge for Canadian access).  Because money was starting to become sparce, we decided to omit those countries from our trip (even though I could have literally thrown rocks at both of them - though if I did, someone would probably shoot me).

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We stayed in a neat little guest house at Iguazu.  The neat thing about this guest house was that it had the cutest dog/cat combo EVER!  The above video starts off with the puppy pleading to eat my alfajores (delicious chocolate caramel cookies that are uber popular throughout Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay), then the most adorable puppy vs. kitten fight breaks out (complete with butt smashes).



The day before we hit up the falls, we took in the local wildlife sanctuary (not realizing that all of Iguazu Falls seems to be a sanctuary for animals).  There we saw some pretty cool bird/monkey/cat life!


This monkey would not let go of this woman's hair!


"Give me your hair!"


This "mothelfly" was found outside our guest house.  It was the size of two hands!


                                 

The next day, we were off to the falls.  The falls are located a few minutes bus ride from the Iguazu town.  It's a massive park with lots of trails and several boardwalks that go out to the various falls.


Throughout the walk, you'll find tonnes of different kinds of butterflies.  I think this one was my favourite!  He looks like a #88 racing butterfly!


At the end of each boardwalk, you could expect to find the end of the earth.  The first waterfall that we visited was named "La Garganta Del Diablo" (the Devil's Throat).  From a distance, it just looks like someone put a hole in the river.


Up close, it gets a little more dramatic!  The falls that you're looking at are actually the Brazilian side of the falls (taken from the Argentinian side).  The falls are split across two countries, similar to Niagara Falls.


You get to walk right above the falls to take it all in!  Go Bieksa!


You have to fight to see the bottom of La Garganta.  Also cool was the fact that there were clouds of birds flying around in the myst!


The birds were looked animatronic in their behaviour and they let you get right up close to them. 


Show off!


I'm guessing the birds are so cool because they get to snack on exotic butterflies all day!



This was not a safe place to be a turtle!


Woman with a cool hat!



Lydia with a cool hat!


Possibly even cooler than the falls themselves are the coatis!  One part teddy bear, one part racoon, one part ant eater, and 3 parts awesome = coati.  These guys are EVERYWHERE around the falls... and I mean EVERYWHERE!  You will see packs/herds/covens/whatever of these marching around, nosing people, stealing candy bars, but mostly just being ridiculously cute!


"Give me your candy bars!"



The hardest thing about this blog post is that I have like 500 photos like the above.  Everywhere we turned, there would be an array of waterfalls tucked into the lush green jungle, with rainbows cascading over the lot.  Every second, we were like OMG, must take a photo!  Now, it just makes sorting through all the photos really difficult!


Awwe!


Double awwe!


Rainbow waterfall coati parade!




So much beauty (and the waterfalls are nice too) ;)





After we saw above, below, and beside the waterfalls, it was time to rent a speedboat and experience going through the waterfalls!


Lydia is ready to take on the falls!


The above picture doesn't really do justice to how chaotic it was to actually drive into the falls... luckily, there's a video below!


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Damn that was fun!


I really need to figure out how I can get myself a coati!  He thinks he's people!!!


Coati with a wide angle lens!

video

A live action coati parade!


Did I mention how cute coatis are?  They just walk right up to you to play!  Seriously, look at the cuteness!



The last thing to mention about our Iguazu experience is that, believe it or not, Iguazu has the best pasta in the world!  The restaurant pictured above made an assortment of fresh pastas, sauces, and pies daily and they are all simply incredible.  For like $5, you can eat like a mafioso king!

Ohhhh I want to go back!

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