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Day 10-In Search of Iguassu (Argentina)

I never expected in my wildest dreams that today could top yesterday, but it did, by a multiplier of 20.  Don't get me wrong, Brazil side is powerful and a great preview of what is in store, but the argentina side is awe inspiring.

We started the day off with a trip to a nearby 4 star hotel for breakfast.  Our guide recommended it because he felt it was better than the breakfast offered by our hotel.  The cost was about 24 reis or 12 dollars, but it was worth it.  Fresh eggs, chorizo sausage, fresh fruit, fresh pastries and good coffee.

We had to go through customs again which was quick. We arrived into the park and walked to a miniature train station.  We then took a 20 minute ride to our first stop of the day which was "Garganta del Diablo" or Devils throat.  You walk over the mighty river, which just happened to be 4 meters over normal level.  The pace was slow because of all the tourists and because Noah and I had to use the restroom before we headed out

Upon arriving to the end of this platform, you are speechless and amazed and this natural wonder.  Words can only semi-describe this true wonder of nature.  You stand at the edge where the water runs off into what seems like an endless chasm.  I must have taken over 100 photos at this place.

After over indulging in photos, Noah and I made the long trek back to catch the train to the lunch area.  Because there were so many tourists, we made it back to the restrooms and then to the train station with only 2 minutes to spare.  Our group was hazing us and congratulating us on getting there by the skin of our teeth.

We arrived at the lunch area and observed tons of tourists from all different parts of the world, embellishing the suns magnificent rays, of course the wiser ones, predominantly women, were sitting in the shade.  I didn't eat lunch since i was pretty satiated from breakfast.  Our guide, Martin, had us all regroup at 1:30 for the truck ride into the jungle, with the final destination being the boat docks.  We made one stop halfway down the trail to admire one heart of palm tree.  It seems the Argentinians are very proud of their hearts of palms

We arrived at the staging area where all the travelers disembarked from the truck in order to make the 5-10 minute hike down to the boats.  Along the way there was another staging area for restrooms, changing and an area to pick up water resistant bags for your gear as well as to grab a life jacket.

After gearing up, Noah and I walked down, with our bags in hand and the boat quickly loaded with many from our group.  I immediately wrapped my camera bag and helped noah do the same with his back pack.

The boats were very fast and had 2 Yamaha 150 Horsepower engines, efficient enough to move 32 passengers up the river all the while fighting the amazing current from this ferrocious river.

We arrived at the base of 2 very impressive falls.  The boat driver said at this time we could take out our cameras and shoot some photos and then we would be making our way up to the falls.  Everyone on the boat unloaded their gear and started snapping away, while moving to the front of the boat to get a shot with the falls in the background.  When it became Noah and my turn, we of course made goofy faces with my camera.  Unfortunately, the lighting was not optimal, due to the time of day and the suns height in the sky.  As soon as the last photo was snapped, everyone wrapped everything tighter than a seals ass and the driver fired the 300 horsepower engines and began moving us towards the falls.

Upon entering the first set of falls, the spray was so encompassing that every inch of your body became soaked within 2 seconds.  It felt as if you were going into a giant car wash.  The driver maneuvered out and then, without hesitation, maneuvered right back in to the driving mist.  It was exhilerating, refreshing and extremely chilly

After getting us to a dry, low disturbance area, he decided to muscle us into another set of falls.  This was different from the first and seemed more powerful.  Upon entering, you could feel the spray hitti
ng your face and you become completely drenched again.  It was as if there was a white out, because you could not see the person sitting next to you.  The current and force of the water, quickly pushed us back out into the rapids.  Our driver muscled the 300 horsepower engines back, head on into the spray of the falls, for a second brush with this amazing, force of nature.  You could hear the engines strain as the two motors fought to jockey their way into position, pushing us inch by inch back into the spray.  After our seccond push into the mist, the driver got us to safety and we began the trek back down the river.

We arrived safely back at the docks, turned in our life vests and bags at the midway point and I changed into a dry shirt.  The group then ventured to the top, met the truck, which took us back to the lunch area where our guide was meeting us to take us back to the driver.

We still had another trek along the falls that I was not aware of.  I ended up using 300-350 more shots because of the amazing scenery.  The waterfalls were magical, mystical and made me realize how small we are in this world.

We made our way back to the truck and arrived back tot he hotel at about 6pm.  Noah and I showered and rested for an hour and a 1/2 before meeting our group and another GAP group for a brazilian feast at the hotel.

At 8pm, Noah and I walked down to the pool and were greeted by the usual cast of characters as well as some new faces from another GAP group that was doing the exact opposite of our trip.  They started in Rio and were heading to Argentina.  I remember Tobin and his wife, Jen, I believe from Copenhagen.  Adele and Charlotte from the UK and Anne Marie from Belfast.  All really cool people with amazing stories as to why they were on this adventure.

The Caipirinha's were flowing, the food was plenty an the conversation enjoyable.  I talked with many people. learning from and about them as well as sharing my own.  At about midnight and after nursing 4 strong Caip's, I decided to call it a night. I said my goodbyes, just after our group got 1/2 naked (some of them full naked) and jumped into the cold water.

It was a fun night and I am thankful to have been part of it.

Tomorrow is a day at leisure before we head to paraty by night bus.

Until next time...


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