Saturday, October 26, 2013

Iguazu Falls!

One of the biggest attractions in Argentina is the chance to see the waterfalls at Puerta Iguazu, which is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. I'll first warn you that pictures in no way can do justice to the spectacular sight that is the waterfalls. It was probably the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. A must see if you ever find yourself in the area.

We had just went under that!
The down side of this trip was that we had to ride a bus for 20(!!!!!) hours to get there, semi coma. It was quite a long ride but definitely worth it. Plus I had my friend Alicia, the only other girl who can talk as much as me, along for the ride!

Alicia and I!

We got there in the early afternoon so we didn't have enough time to do the whole park that the falls are located in that day. Also we were pretty worn out and gross feeling from the bus ride over. So instead we walked around the small town of Puerta Iguazu and got lost. One of the first things we noticed was that people are so much more friendly than what we usually get in Buenos Aires. I imagine it's just a city thing. But while we were trying to decide what beer to get, because they didn't have Quilmes (which if you've ever been to Argentina is shocking because that's ALL we drink), we meet a nice guy named Eduardo that wanted to hang out with us later. We told him we could get drinks at the bar at our hostel later. The best part was he didn't speak a lick of English so we were forced to use Spanish.

A view of the lower trail from the upper!

Some other people we met during our stay was a hilarious older woman from England named Shelia that just thought American's English was weird, a super sweet Australian couple that didn't know any Spanish, and some locals that worked as rangers in the Park.

At the Falls on Saturday, we decided to just go all in and do the all inclusive package. I mean we're only here once and in reality it wasn't actually that expensive ($50 American). It included a 30 minute safari ride through the jungle (you could choose to do this in English but we did it in Spanish because kind of the reason we're here), a boat ride to go underneath the falls on both sides of them, and then a peaceful ride in a raft down river to see the wild life.

The Devil's Throat, it was so big I couldn't get it in one picture!

Going underneath the falls was amazing. There is no view more impressive than that and everyone was screaming like it was a rollercoaster. During the raft ride we got to see an alligator, monkey's, and a tucan, all wild! I've never actually seen animals like that in their natural habit and there's just something about it that makes it so much better than a zoo.

Coati! It will steal your food and has no fear of humans
That evening we were exhausted and a bit sunburned but since it was our last night there were couldn't turn down the offer to go try out a new boliche (club) with the park rangers we met. They also couldn't speak any English at all which lead to some major confusion on my part. One of them Peheun (he's from the Yucatan Peninsula, in Patagonia, so that is not a common Spanish name, it's definitely indigenous) was try to explain his job to me which I didn't quite understand. I thought he said that his friends and him caught jaguars and made them pets. What he was trying to say was that they tagged jaguars with trackers to research where they weren't and help prevent poaching and them getting hit by cars, much better!

No words needed!

Among our little gang was the two rangers, Peheun and Julio, and a lovely Colombian guy and a French guy that works at the hostel. We were quite the eclectic little group. The boliche was super fun, we danced reggatone the whole time. Except when the YMCA came on and I was the only person that knew the right hand motions. It was also interesting that we were the only light skinned people in the whole place. Besides Buenos Aires, people look much more what you would imagine a South American to look like. We definitely drew attention for a bit when we walked in though. It was not a tourist spot and to far from any hostel for travelers to probably just wonder in. It was nice to hear real Spanish music and not all the Rhianna remixes they always play in the clubs in Buenos Aires.

Overall our trip was amazing and exhausting. I now have a bit of a tan, got to talk solely in Spanish for quite a while and saw one of the seven natural wonders of the world!

If you're ever in the area we stayed at the Marco Polo Hostel which I HIGHLY recommend. It was very affordable but made it very easy to meet people and the staff were extremely friendly!


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