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El Diablo & Iguazu Falls

Out of the way? 34 hours. Travel wary? You betcha. Expectations high? Certainly.

Fresh off a state-side wedding filled with drinking, friends, and more drinking, Ash and I arrived in Sao Paulo, Brazil after two days of flying the friendly skies. A short cab ride to the bus depot and we sat idle waiting for our 6:00pm departure for Foz do Iguacu, Brazil. The “sleeper” bus wasn’t so bad, but we arrived exhausted after the 16 hour ride to the Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil border. Still recovering from a cold, Ash rested in the room while I hung out with eight Brazilian Special Forces troops poolside. Despite my worst pleading in broken Portuguese, they refused to storm our room and rouse Miss Ashley.

Iguazu Falls - Brazil - v26Guilt did the trick. “You came all this way to watch the ceiling fan do 120 rotations per minute?” I inquired. With that, we got on yet another bus, this one only 30 minutes, headed for Iguazu Falls. Raincoats in hand, we walked excitedly through the damp rainforest towards a furious sound. And there it was… the first six waterfalls among the 275 in total along a 1.7 mile stretch of the Iguazu River. We were blown away by the fury of water and immense height. Ash basically dragged me along the path as I tried my best to fill an eight gigabyte memory card full of misty photos. Meandering along the wooden walkway offering panoramic views, we arrived at Iguazu Fall’s crown jewel, the Devil’s Throat. Over foaming whitewater, a bridge was somehow built right into the lower base of the mayhem. While gazing at this astonishing vista, we received a proper drenching. Chilled by our wetness and the approaching evening, a retreat to a warm shower was ordered by General Miller.

Iguazu Falls - BrazilStill short on rest, we awoke late the next day, packed our quaint belongings, and then took a short bus ride to Puerto Iguazu, Argentina. We purchased one-way autobus tickets (18 hour ride) to Buenos Aires for the following afternoon then located a suitable place to stow our backpacks. Another 30 minute bus adventure and we arrived at Iguazu Falls. While Brazil provides broad views of the falls, Argentina renders the tourist speechless with intimate experiences of several falls, including a view from atop Garganta del Diablo – the Devil’s Throat. Once again, I was drawn in by the scenery as Ash scurried ahead to the viewing platform. Her excitement was palpable as she waved me her way. WHAT A SIGHT. On three sides were tall cliffs engulfed with rushing water. The sheer amount of water, its rehearsed 270 foot drop, and the subsequent auditory sensation left us in awe. No adjectives can describe nature’s awesomeness. But perhaps this video will provide some justice:

Devil's Throat PlatformAnxious to get personal with Iguazu Falls, we splurged ($40 each) for a rollercoaster boat ride into the mist. The inner-tube ringed vessel departed 8 kilometers downstream and we navigated rapids approaching the San Martin falls. The skilled captain positioned the orange boat twice below the cascade of water. Our raincoats were no match. Despite what felt like shards of glass slicing your face, it was a gas! We disembarked near the base of the falls and spent another hour only feet from watery torrents. Suitably enthralled, the bus departed back towards Puerto Iguazu. The following days were filled with random exclamations about our unforgettable experiences. 

Ashley Considers Throwing Greg Over... It is ALIVE!

 

 

 

 

 

$4Because the autobus bound for Buenos Aires didn’t depart until 3:10pm, a quick jaunt to Ciudad del Este, Paraguay was possible. Those who say the Wild West has vanished have not been here. Notably, the border crossing looks more like a traffic jam for a Kenny Chesney concert than a boundary line between two sovereign nations. Rumored to be a bastion for cheap electronics and other goods, we strolled haphazardly though the tented markets. We were offered Nike socks then fishing lures from the same person. Our one purchase was a beard trimmer (for Ashley) from a relentless gentleman carrying a knapsack for $4. He most likely used the battery powered instrument to trim his German Shepherd’s hair a day earlier. What a strange place… no method to the madness.

Depositing our bags underneath the Via Bariloche sleeper bus, our veins were pumping with adrenaline from three days in/around Iguazu Falls. Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, “Poor Niagra!” upon viewing the falls. She was 100% correct. The word “amazing” is abused these days, but there is no better word to describe Iguazu Falls.

Worth it? Hell yes.

- Greg

Tips

  1. The falls experience a wet and dry season, like other parts of the world, that affect water flow. April – July is considered the dry season when the volume of water is diminished and December – February is the wet season. The former offers blue skies while the latter exemplifies nature’s power, though increased chances of rainy weather.

  2. Careful with cameras: you will get wet. It is not necessary to invest in a waterproof camera, but use common sense. When not using your precious digital camera, securely tuck it under your raincoat or shirt.

  3. Plan for one day on each side of the falls. The Brazil side should take about two hours while the Argentine experience can last from three to seven hours. If possible, check out the Brazilian views first as it provides you with a wide scope of the falls. Then get closer on Argentina soil.

  4. No matter what, do not take a barrel over the Devil’s Throat. Death would be certain.

  • jefedieze10

    Looks pretty fricking sweet. Why head for a hot shower, when you and General Miller could have simply lathered up under the falls?

    The video is a nice touch to the blog.

  • bbarfell

    Imagine a salmon trying to swim up the Devil' Throat… muy muy dificil… I'd imagine.

  • fofs

    Jefe – The problem with bathing in the falls is that I pee in the
    shower. Signs clearly indicate that peeing in the falls is
    prohibited.

    - Greg

  • fofs

    Benjamin – 'Tis true. Almost as tough as getting two dogs in a
    bathtub. Muy dificil.

    - Greg

  • cathymiller

    WOW! Love the video. Bryce and I have watched it several times. We wish we could see it in person.

  • fofs

    Cathy – Glad you and Bryce liked the video… it hardly does the
    Devil's Throat justice. Bryce – say hello to all your animals for us.

    - Greg & Ash

  • cathymiller

    WOW! Love the video. Bryce and I have watched it several times. We wish we could see it in person.

  • fofs

    Cathy – Glad you and Bryce liked the video… it hardly does the
    Devil's Throat justice. Bryce – say hello to all your animals for us.

    - Greg & Ash

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