After the epic bus trip we arrived at a bit of a shitty bus terminal with no idea about where to go. I had booked a hostel but forgotten to print out directions and the Internet had been down so not on my emails. I had met up with an Irish couple who had been on the bus since Rio, looking slightly frazzled. They had no money and no idea of their accommodation so we muster up the energy and got a bus to the centro and took it from there. No banks would accept their card but we did find out with the help from a hotel where the hostels were. Mine was just around the corner so I bid them farewell and made my way to the hostel. Turns out that Ester, a girl from Holland I’d met in Ilha Grand, was also staying there. I had a quick shower and we planned to head to the falls on the Brazilian side.
it takes about an hour on the bus so thankfully it only takes a few hours to soak in the atmosphere and size of the falls. Incredible!
We headed back and got caught in a massive storm which took down a tree blocking the road preventing the bus from passing. The power of 10 men did the job shifting the tree in torrential rain. We were off again and made it back to the hostel after a very long walk having got off the bus at the wrong place a looking for a supermarket to buy ingredients for our pasta dinner as we didn’t fancy BBQ. We also needed to try and sort out peso for Argentina the following day. We got caught in another storm and banks were on strike so no luck on the money front. Pasta was a win and we mad enough to feed an army but works out people just help themselves anyway….rude! The hostel was great with separate beds and not bunks with your own power supply. Luxury!
The following day we got a bus to the Argentinian side.Passport control was a doddle and boom you’re in Argentina. The land of peso and various exchange rates. Our hostel was next to the bus terminal where we were dropped off and where you pick up the bus to the national park. A quick dash for money….again more issues as the machines don’t tell you if they are not working or out of money or just don’t accept your card. We managed to get enough out and headed to the falls on what was a scorcher of a day (35 C) and very humid.
You take a train through the forest and park land to the Devils throat where you walk for 30 minutes to the edge of the falls. Wow….just wow. The butterflies were incredible and swarmed like bees with literally 100s of different species. The power of the water was immense with beautiful rainbows cast into the sky amongst the misty spray.
I have to say I was actually quite emotional and shed a tear of joy into the waterfall. I don’t think it made much difference though to the average 1,746 m3/s (61,660 cu ft/s). Its maximum recorded flow was 45,700 m3/s (1,614,000 cu ft/s) in June 9, 2014.By comparison, the average flow of Niagara Falls is 2,400 m3/s (85,000 cu ft/s), with a maximum recorded flow of 8,300 m3/s (293,000 cu ft/s). With over 300 waterfalls over a 1.7 mile edge no wonder it was awarded a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the modern 7 wonders of the world. It seems hard to believe that in 1982/3 and in 1992 the falls turned yo a ragging 39000 c.m/s taking away the island and all the walkways yet in 1978 the falls almost dried up. Quite scary seeing the bridges still on the sides of the rocks as you walk above them.
On the way back we saw Toucans and monkeys carrying their babies along with lizards and many coyote. 453 bird species can be found at the park (45% of Argentina total species) 60 of which have only been seen at the park and 16 of which are globally endangered.
To top off a perfect day we sat outside and ate pizza and had a beer. What else would you eat on day 1 in Argentina? On return to the hostel we were asked if we wanted to take part in a photo shoot to promote the hostel. Free cocktails you say?…..I’m in! I spoke with a French couple who had just come back from having their shoes stolen by a fox in Patagonia and then retired to my dorm for what was going to be a busy day the following day with flights to the city of Tango and meet up with my Newly made Columbian friends Gustav and Maria who were meeting me at the airport. Hummmm now what about getting money….Argentina ain’t cheap on bank exchange rates but I have a helpful tip but you’re have to wait to hear more about the pesky peso!