Friday, October 12, 2012

Peru/Brazil/Argentina Day 19: Iguazu Falls (Brazil) and Bird Park

May 21, 2012
Brazil Day 19: Iguazu Falls (Brazil) and Bird Park

Time zone change!! We got up at some "regular" time that we've been used to waking up, say 6am... and realized after wandering around and having a slow morning start that we had gotten up way later than planned, it was already 9 or 10am once we realized there was a 2 hr time difference :)

Breakfast at the hostel
So good!!

We had a tasty and random free breakfast in the hostel which totally roooccckked. Cake, bread, coffee, good times. We figured out which was the best bus to take across the border and then headed out with our cameras. It was comfortable and quick to get over there, it worked out super well! We decided to do the Brazilian side of the falls today and we'll do the Argentinean one tomorrow.

We arrived and learned that Iguazu Falls has been a UNESCO site since 1986. It was super organized there... amazing, actual flush toilets!! We were so psyched. Garbage cans with step levers!! Soap!! Warm Water!! It was amazing and organized, what a great place. Also, hilarious bird beak hats.

Jess and Me being birds
Stuffed animal version of the Quoti
We got on the bus and got off at the trailhead for a walk towards the falls. At first it looked a little chill, a lot of rock and light amount of water (it's low water season)... and then as we got closer to the falls... majestic!!!! Suuuper amazing views, and the walkways were really awesome, jutting out across at an excellent viewing area, perfect for taking a bazillion photos (and we did). What an awesome place. It's said that Eleanor Roosevelt exclaimed when she came to Iguazu Falls, "Poor Niagara!" You can see why. This place is huge and is totally kick ass.

Off we go!
Iguazu Falls, from the Brazilian side
Oh, hello there
An hour later or so we arrived at "Devil's Throat", the biggest section of the falls. It was an amazing view, and a lot more water flowing than the other views. There was also a panoramic elevator up to a viewing platform which rocked. My favourite part was the walkway all the way out to the main view, though. It was frickin' awesome. We took a bunch of photos there, and I switched to RAW to make sure to get some good ones to post-process later.

Friggin' magestic!!!!
Painting or real-life? You decide :)
Yup, there was even a rainbow there. It was insane
Yeah, this rocked
Lovin' it
Higher up view of the falls, and you can see the tourists on the Argentinean side in the distance
After the views we walked to lunch and we saw a Quoti, kind of like a funny raccoon with a lemur tail! Lunch was a burger with mulberry & milk juice, pretty awesome. Some guy kept running around making noise and chasing the Quotis away from the people eating lunch.

Quoti running around near the food area at lunch
Back on the bus, and we left the park and walked across the road to the bird park. It sure looked a lot further away on Google Maps! The bird park was AMAZING. The were lots of funny and weird birds, and I got some great photos of toucans, a funny grey flamingo spinning around in the water, who looked like a Dodo bird... it was awesome. The were 3 crazy birds (I called them "The Three Stooges") who were crazy and kept just chasing each other around!! It was too awesome. It was really fun, and the toucans were definitely my favourite. There were some perfectly well kept enclosures, and environments tailor-made for the type of bird. At the same time most birds weren't in cages, and you could go right up to them. It was excellent. Antony would have like the place a whole lot more than the Zoo we went to back in Iquitos. It was really fantastic, and a model of how animal parks should be run. Lots of guided tours for school kids, and everyone seemed to be having fun (even amongst some people getting chased by some birds!!)

And off we go to the bird park! This guy was there to greet us at the gate.
Cool flamingo
This guy was SO weird, he kept spinning around in circles! Looks like a Dodo bird :)
Beautiful colours
I called this guy "Mr. Birdns" cause he looked SO much like Mr. Burns
Little fatty
Funny nose
80's hard rock metal band bird
Toucan Sam!
This guy was hopping around on the rails, so funny
Our little buddy
Hahaha so furry
Another hummingbird shot

After a couple hours of walking around this awesome place, we took a break and tried some local chocolate bars, tasty stuff. We also got some Brazilian Reals as change and we had no idea what we'd spend it on. Back we went onto the bus and over the Brazilian border back to Puerto Iguazu, Argentina.

Healthy afternoon snack
First things first, Ice Cream!! We stopped at a "Heladeria" (Ice Cream Shop) which had homemade/awesome ice cream. I got one called "Sambayo" and also a Guava one. Frank got a weird one called Kinotos al Whiskey ("Kumquats to the Whisky") ?! It was awesome and had a crazy name (increasing the awesomeness).

Back we went to the hostel and chatted with our cool British roommates, Ben and Sarah. We showered, changed camera batteries, had a beer and some journaling time. And then... more eating. We headed out for dinner, wandering around for a bit and settling on a place near the hostel which we walked by the night before and seemed very popular. I got a Bife de Chorizio, again!!! Frank got Bife de Lomo (Tenderloin) which also rocked. We shared a nice Malbec wine which was very cheap. There was some Greek-style music playing as we sat there, chowing on some beef and also sharing some fries with basil and garlic.

Dinner at a Parilla. Yes, we had steak (again!)
Back we went to the hostel for some beers with Ben and Sarah, and chatting a bunch about career stuff. What a nice pair, and it was so fun to hang out. I love traveling!

No comments: