15.05.2008 - 17.05.2008 22 °C
´Now you´re at the wheel, tell me how, how does it feel?´
Waterfall by Stone Roses
After the last blog this one is a little more exciting as we returned to travelling and sight seeing mode. It has been great chilling in BA though and having our own place after a year in hostels and hotels is just fantastic.
Since the last blog we have been to the amazing Iguazu Falls. Read on for more details.
Thursday 15th May
The alarm went off at 5am and we booked a taxi for 5.40am to take us to the domestic airport for our flight to Iguazu. The 7.10am flight left on time and in under two hours we were in Iguazu, a far cry from the 26 hour bus journey that was our other option.
We had checked into Hotel Carmen by 10am and as we didn´t have anything planned for that day until a boat cruise at sunset we decided to ge a taxi to the falls as there wasn´t a lot to do in the town. The falls are 12km out of the town and we paid the 40 ARG park entrance fee and went in. As we only had a few hours we decided to go to what many people refer to as the highlight of the park, Devils Throat.
We went on a little train and arrived at a walkway across the river. The scenery was already spectacular but nothing could prepare us for the sight just over a km away. The spray from the 75 metre waterfall rose in the distance and we could hear the water thundering down. Word cannot really describe how beautiful, powerful and stunning Iguazu National Park and the 275 waterfalls that are in it.
Here is what Wikipedia has to say about them...
Upon seeing Iguaçu, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt reportedly exclaimed "Poor Niagara!" Vastly larger than North America's Niagara Falls, Iguaçu is rivalled only by Southern Africa's Victoria Falls which separates Zambia and Zimbabwe (this is excluding extremely large rapid-like falls such as the Boyoma Falls). Whilst Iguazu is wider because it is split into about 270 discrete falls and large islands, Victoria is the largest curtain of water in the world, at over a 1600 m wide and over 100 m (350 ft) in height (in low flow Victoria is split into five by islands; in high flow it can be uninterrupted).
The water falling over Iguazu in peak flow has a surface area of about 40 ha (1.3 million ft²) whilst Victoria in peak flow has a surface area of over 55 ha (1.8 million ft²). By comparison, Niagara has a surface area of under 18.3 ha (600,000 ft²). Victoria's annual peak flow is also greater than Iguazu's annual peak—9 100 m³/s versus 6 500—though in times of extreme flood the two have recorded very similar maximum water discharge (well in excess of 12 000 m³/s). Niagara's annual peak flow is about 2 800 m³/s, although an all-time peak of 6 800 has been recorded. Iguazu and Victoria fluctuate more greatly in their flow rate. Mist rises between 30 and 150 m (100 and 500 ft) from Iguazu's Garganta do Diabo, and over 300 m (1,000 ft) above Victoria (sometimes over 600 m).
Iguazu, however, affords better views and walkways and its shape allows for spectacular vistas. At one point a person can stand and be surrounded by 260 degrees of waterfalls. The Garganta do Diabo has water pouring into it from three sides. Likewise, because Iguazu is split into many relatively small falls, one can view these a portion at a time. Victoria does not allow this, as it is essentially one waterfall that falls into a canyon and is too immense to appreciate at once (except from the air).
We went snap happy with the camera and will update our flickr site www.flickr.com/photos/murrayandlynn tomorrow
Friday 16th May
The alarm went off at 7am and after a buffet breakfast we were picked up by our tour guide for a full day exploring the Argentine side of the falls. We met a nice woman from Guatemala and 4 Argentine´s. We started off at Devil´s Throat again and despite being there the day before it seemed even more impressive in the morning sun, with the wind direction meaning that anyone who ventured out on to the viewing platform for completely soaked.
After a good 40 minutes admiring the power and beauty we got a train to the Upper Circuit and walked along, admiring the waterfalls and the greenery. After lunch we walked along the Lower Circuit and then got a boat across the river at the bottom of the falls to Isla San Martin and climbed some steps to get an amazing view of the San Martin waterfall. After a quick dip in the river we went back to the mainland and jumped in a powerboat for a brilliant experience. The boat takes you right up to the bottom of the falls and you get soaked. It was brilliant fun.
After that it was a 5km boat trip down some rapids to a 4x4 jeep that took us back to the park entrance.
I haven´t written a lot about this day, but I could have! The scenery is just amazing, like a film set, only real!
Saturday 17th May
The alarm went off at 7am again and after breakfast we checked out and got on the bus at 8.15am to Brazil to visit the Brazilian side of the falls. You can´t get as close to the waterfalls from the Brazilian side but the panoramic views were jaw droppingly spectacular. Sheer beauty. The world is a beautiful place.
We spent a good 3 hours going snap happy again, around 300 pictures from 2 days! After that we had an amazing buffet lunch on the way back to the border and then we transferred to the airport for our flight back to BA. At night we had a beer and sushi in the flat.
I have to say that if anyone has the opportunity to visit Iguazy Falls you should seize it. In 11 months of travelling it is definitely near the top, if not top, of our list of beautiful places in the world.
Thats all for now folks, I´m off to check on the latest CL final news. COME ON UNITED!
Murray and Lynn