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Take me to Iguazu

September 12, 2009
Night bus to Iguazu ("Suite" class)

Night bus to Iguazu ("Suite" class)

Last night I took the overnight bus to Puerto Iguazu with Via Bariloche. I splurged for the “suite” class — and it was well worth it! The seats were huge and laid out fully into beds. Each seat had its own TV, privacy curtain, etc. Then we got dinner, champagne, and breakfast. Funny story about dinner. They brought out our trays of dinner, and I thought it seemed a little disappointing, but mostly like an average airplane dinner. There was a slice of meat, some coleslaw-like food, a roll, crackers, and a dessert (which I called a reverse cupcake, as it was 90% icing and 10% cake). I ate all of it, then I see them coming out with little tin foil containers. I think to myself, “Maybe that’s the vegetarian dinner, I should have ordered that.” Then the steward comes up to me, asks me to clear a spot on my tray, and sets a tin down on it. I open it up: chunks of meat and pasta. The main entree! I had already eaten dessert and they were just now bringing out the actual dinner! Oops!

Champagne on the night bus

Champagne on the night bus

Then I settled into my bed, drank my champagne, and watched Inkheart (with English subtitles). I slept fairly well (waking up a lot but falling back to sleep fairly quickly) then awoke to a croissant breakfast and watched Bedtime Stories (in English!) and soon we were in Puerto Iguazu.

I arrived at my hostel, Stop Hostel, desperate for a long hot shower. Unfortunately, I found that the shower is a) only cold and b) comes down in just one small strand of water. Not a good moment for me. The rest of the hostel is OK. So I was feeling pretty down. I was supposed to meet a girl from my past hostel in BA and go to the Falls together (she was going to stay at this hostel, but her bus was to arrive an hour later than mine).

Walking to Garganta del Diablo

Walking to Garganta del Diablo

I waited for a long time, and then finally at 2:00 knew if I didn’t go to the falls then I wouldn’t have time to (the park closes at 6:00). So, feeling a bit sad and lonely, I headed to the falls by myself.  I only had time to go to the Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat) — as I will go back tomorrow to do more — but it was already absolutely amazing! First you walk and take a train, then walk along seemingly endless bridges over tons and tons of water, moving really fast! You realize that this is all water that ends up in the waterfalls of Iguazu. It’s absolutely crazy to think about.

Getting close to the Devil's Throat

Getting close to the Devil's Throat

And then the falls at Garganta. They’re unlike anything you will ever see. All the people things say about Iguazu, and about how you really can’t imagine it or grasp how incredible it is until you’re there, is absolutely true. The falls are absolutely impossible to describe in words. Getting up so close to them, being on top of them, you really feel how incredible they are. And it’s just so overpowering, jawdropping, you can’t help but feel overcome with awe (see video).

Iguazu Falls 056

Waterfalls and rainbows

The falls are just so unbelievably powerful. There are tons of water coming back up, spraying you with mist and sometimes more! I was soaked within five minutes of being there. But goodness, was it amazing! And I was lucky. It had been a cloudy day, but when I arrived the sun was peaking out and there was the most incredible rainbow! It stayed the entire time I was there, disappearing about five minutes before I left. Lucky me!

Standing at Garganta del Diablo

Standing at Garganta del Diablo

And then after spending my time there, I took a boat ride on the river. It was very cool. We saw caiman (alligator), toucans, and other wildlife. Then riding back we saw these weird little creatures that seemed to me almost like a mix between a raccoon and a lemur. It was very cool!

Watch the video from Garganta del Diablo

Accomodation: Stop Hostel – about 35 pesos per night (about US$9). OK hostel. The staff were friendly, the rooms alright. Showers left much to be desired! Bar/common area was so-so, probably better in the high season.


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