I woke up at 7am again today to go to the Argentinian side of Iguazu falls. I was excited for this part as I heard it was much better than the Brazilian side. I met Haus in the main area and we sat down and once again had 2 shitty pieces of toast and half a bowl of frosted flakes for breakfast.
I went to reception to ask about a bus to Florianopolis Brazil for tonight. She informed me that it was Sunday so she couldn’t book it for me and I would have to go directly to the bus station to get the ticket.
I also asked about my missing charger for my camera, I left it in the room plugged in (I mean, who steals a camera charger..?) and it was gone when I returned last night. Nothing had been found. Grr. I think the cleaning lady stole it. It is going to be impossible to find another one down here. But luckily I am meeting with my brother so I will be able to share his.
So I went across the street to the bus station and bought a ticket with Catarinense. The ticket was I think 120 Pesos. It would be a 10 hour bus ride, leaving at 8pm from Iguacu Brazil and arrive in Florianopolis at 10am.
We caught El Practico S.R.I. bus to the Argentinian falls. This bus was only 10 pesos each way and a 20 minute ride.
Now.. this place was fucking AMAZING. One of the most beautiful places I have been up there with the Grand Canyon and Macchu Piccu. It compared nothing to Niagara Falls.
Once we arrived, we paid our 100 Peso entry fee and took “Sendero Verde” (the green trail) over to the main hub. From here, we headed first to the “lower circuit” as we were told to wait until the afternoon to head to Garganta del Diablo which is the main fall.
We saw some fantastic views on the way, this place blew the Brazilian side out of the water. There were way less people, and a lot more trekking in through the woods. The paths were still all paved, but there were less restraints so in some areas you could wander off the paths (probably frowned upon).
There were tropical birds, butterflies, countless amounts of those ant eater things, and fish.
We made our way to Isla San Martin, which is a quick 1 min ferry ride across the river at the bottom of the falls. Here there was a swimming area, a beach, and a fantastic view. I felt so alive when I jumped in the water. The place was perfect.
(View Isla San Martin)
There were a couple trails here as well to climb to the top. Haus is kinda fat so I went by myself. It took me about 40 minutes to hike up and admire the views. There were fantastic views of the falls Salto San Martin and Salto Mbigua. There was some misting so I came back down to the beach pretty wet.
(View top Isla San Martin)
From here, we headed back up and made our way to the upper circuit. It was about a 25 minute walk up stairs and Fat Haus had to take his Fat breaks. Don’t get me wrong the guy was cool but I mean he was 50, not my ideal travel companion I guess.
The upper falls gave a different perspective, not as good I wouldn’t say but definitely worth seeing nonetheless.
Another 45 minutes or so later we hiked up further to the main hub. We caught a 20 train ride to Garganta del Diablo. The train went really slow.
Here, there was about a 20 minute walk over raised platforms to Garganta. There were giant catfish-type fish in the water, very cool. Probably about a foot long.
Garganta del Diablo itself was absolutely breathtaking. It was so monstrous; so much water. Did I say this place was awesome??
(Garganta del Diablo)
Unfortunately (fortunately?) my camera died here. Perfect timing I guess.
The crowds had picked up in the afternoon here as well and I lost Haus. I had to leave for my bus at 5:30pm so I really didn’t have time to search.
I took the bus back again (they run every 15 mins) after exiting the park.
I packed up my stuff which I had in luggage storage at the hostel. My camera charger had not been found.
I went back into my old room like I owned it and helped myself to some Asian guys baby shampoo to quickly rinse off.
I went to the bus station and arranged a cab for 5:30pm. It would cost 120 pesos but the hostel wanted 150 for it. There were no busses that would bring me to Iguacu Brazil so I needed to take a cab over the border. Also, Brazil is 1 hour ahead of Argentina so I needed the 1 hour for the transit plus 1 hour for the drive plus customs.
The taxi driver wasn’t very talkative, and customs was a breeze, I was pretty used to it at this point. Hindsight if I’d have known I would have done Iguacu falls second so I could have just caught my night bus from there. Or I don’t know if I would have done Iguacu at all. But like Haus said, he is glad he did it because if he didn’t he never would have known what it was like. This is true. Maybe better weather less crowds more sleep and less (preferably no) hangover would have made it a better experience.
Iguacu station in Brazil was small and easy to figure out. I withdrew some money at the ATM (not sure of the name of the $) but I know that it is 2 Brazilian is 1 USD approximately.
It is definitely going to be challenging here, not knowing a single word of Portuguese. I have a phrase book, and I can get by in Spanish, and it seems like the languages might be similar enough that I can get by?? Well I don’t have much of a choice so well see.
I am headed to an area called Barra da Lagoa. It is in Florianopolis and seems to be a long stretch of beach. From my guide book I learned that it should be about 5 miles from the bus station and the state is Santa Catarina which is supposed to be a relatively wealthy area which is reassuring. My brother reserved a hostel for $25/night, I didn’t look into it at all. He is supposed to be meeting me in the afternoon some time, he rented a car in Sao Paolo.
Our return flight is out of Sao Paolo and we have about a week and a half left. I don’t know what my brother has in mind but I was thinking it would make sense to hangout in Florianopolis for a while, then maybe head up to Rio for a while then a couple days in Sao Paolo before our flight out. But of course well see what we learn from other travellers.