Now I fly from Mendoza to Iguazu Falls airport in Argentina – to meet up with my mum who’s joining me for this leg of the trip. It’s a domestic flight, but fortunately they’re friendly about not applying the miniscule 5kg limit of hand luggage on domestic flights today!
There are two airports and towns at Iguacu/Iguazu, as it falls across the boundary o f two countries – Brazil and Argentina. Unfortunately we’re had a few wires crossed, so I come into the Argentinian Iguazu Falls airport (with Puerto de Iguazu being the Argentinian town), while Mum arrives at the Foz do Iguacu airport on the Brazilian side! (the Brazilian town is also called Foz do Iguacu). To make matters worse, Argentina this year has apparently decided not to put their clocks forward for summer time – meaning there is an unusual time difference of one hour between the two countries, Brazil being one hour ahead. So we end up with different transfers to the hotel – our guide, Eder Dorneles, fortunately has time to get between each airport to meet us separately!
[singlepic id=1914 w=150 h=150 float=left]On the way to the hotel we see a family of coatis just inside the Iguacu National Park- as Eder describes them, “a cross between a small bear, fox, weasel and ant-eater”. Apparently they are becoming a nuisance due to visitors feeding the coatis, which means they both become dependant on humans for food, and also have more babies that survive than normal. And too many people make the mistake of thinking they are domesticated – they aren’t and can give a nasty bite! They are very cute though, and quite photogenic – apparently it’s also really unusual to see a whole family of coatis together – the baby coatis are not commonly seen!
On arrival at the hotel (Das Cataratas), it’s really quite amazing – an exceptionally nice place, albeit really a bit too posh for me, (and that also means I can’t do anything here unless Mum also wants to – everything’s way outside my budget!) But the real advantage is that we can walk the Brazilian trails outside the normal park opening hours – and as the only hotel allowed in the Iguacu National Park (only one is allowed in the national park on each side of the border) that means the trails are far quieter then. It also gives the only chance for sunset and sunrise pix, although sadly the weather doesn’t co-operate in our two days here.
We spend a day on each side of the Iguazu Falls, the Devil’s Throat walkway on the Argentinian side of the Iguazu Falls is definitely the best viewpoint and we both wished we’d had longer there. The best viewpoint on the Brazilian side of the Iguacu Falls was from the platform by the top of the elevator – which is accessible from the hotel access road before the elevator starts to run.
In the afternoon of the second day we head to the Parque des Aves (Bird Park just outside the Iguacu National Park on the Brazilian side) -it’s the first bird sanctuary with a breeding program in Brazil. There we see all sorts of amazing creatures – the toucans that wanted to nibble my tripod and posed so cutely, and some shockingly red ibises being the favourites. The flamingoes with their mirrors (it helps them think they’re safer with more flamingoes in the flock than reality, which means they’re more likely to breed successfully) were also interesting.
All too soon it’s time to leave, I’ll not be sorry to leave the heat and especially the 99% humidity behind, but it’s a real shame we didn’t get the weather for pictures here.