17.12.2009 - 19.12.2009
Puerto Iguazu was my next destination. Since I got to Puerto Iguazu late in the day, I decided to just walk around and I saw a couple of cool things. However, I quickly found out that the only real thing to do in town is to see the falls. Two Americans that I met at the hostel later that day recommended a fabulous restaurant for dinner. I trekked over to the restaurant and had an excellent local river fish called Surubi. The atmosphere of the restaurant reminded me of a log cabin, but instead of a tacky bear statue made out of wood that I find a staple of many forest abodes, they had Incan wood carvings instead. Go figure...
The next morning, I woke up at set out for the falls with a friend I had met from New Zealand named Ben. We took the earliest shuttle we could so that we could maximize the day. When we arrived, we set out for La Garganta de el Diablo, or The Devil´s Throat. We saw a lot of wildlife along the way including numerous species of butterfly, spiders, birds, huge ants, and a wart-hog looking animal (below)
These seemed very timid at first, but one walked up to Ben and I during lunch. He seemed to be just walking around, but then he leaped onto the table and tried to steal Ben´s lunch. A tug of war ensued between myself and the animal, and I´ll admit, the animal won. We had a good laugh, and Ben got something else to eat. Sneaky little bastards!
We reached the main part of the falls after about 20 minutes of walking, and it was a site to behold. I´ll let the pictures speak for themselves:
Once we saw the main falls, we went over to view the lower and upper falls in the seond section. It is easy to see why Eleanor Roosevelt exclaimed ¨Poor Niagra,¨upon seeing these falls for the first time. Once Ben and I had exhausted our photo opporunities, we took a boat that actually took us under a couple of the waterfalls. This was a fantastic experience. The falls were so powerful that it was hard to keep my eyes open as we went under. Understandably, we were drenched.
There was one trail we had yet to do at the end of the day that was a bit outside the main part of the park. This was a waterfall that you could acutally swim under (below). I don´t have any pictures of us swimming in it, but it was so peaceful and spiritual. I even climbed up the rocks so that I could hike under the waterfalls. Besides the first waterfall of the day, this was my most amazing experience.
This place was in competition for the 7 natural wonders of the world, but it didn´t make it onto the list. Iguazu was probably the most spectacular site that I have ever seen, save for maybe the Grand Canyon. This trip just keeps getting better and better! I´m traveling about 2,000 miles over the next few days in route to Torres del Paine, wish me luck!