Well goodbye then budget, it was nice knowing you. I only got to Brazil three days ago and already I’ve managed to cane over R$300 (reais) which is about £110. Then again I did get to the national park and promptly hand over R$180 for a helicopter ride over the falls or Cataratas Do Iguaçu as they call them on this side.
What? I’m a sucker for a helicopter, me. I love them, I love the way they manoeuvre and yes, they’ve already sucked a substantial part of my bank account since I left the UK. I reckon it’s worth it though, it’s probably only once in a lifetime you’re going to visit this world class attraction, you might as well see it from every possible angle, from underneath the falls whilst getting a soaking to high above the ground from a fucking cool machine.
Once you’ve landed it’s time to check out the park. It doesn’t take as long as the other side and there’s a chance you can stay dry. When I got to Foz the guy at the hostel, Roberto, said that the joke was Argentina had the falls but Brazil had the views. Not a joke. It’s so true, the views from this side are amazing, more of an overview whereas the Argentine side is a close up. You can get a little bit moist as you wander out to check out the Devil’s Throat but apart from that it’s all about being generally awed. I like being awed. Iguassu Falls are very good at the awing thing. If you only have time to do one side then do the Argentinian side. However. I totally recommend making time to do both.
After I’d got my water and rainbows fix I headed back to town and managed to negotiate my way back to the hostel with lots of miming and pointing at maps. I even managed to buy my bus ticket to Florianopolis entirely in Spanish… not so impressive when you take into account I’m in a Portuguese speaking country. Mental note; must learn how to say “I don’t speak Portuguese” in Portuguese.
And another thing about the local buses around here, you don’t pay the driver, you pay the conductor and they all have these revolving gate things you have to pass through. The buses get to where they’re going quicker because the driver can concentrate on driving instead of fucking around taking money but these bloody gates are neither easy nor convenient when you’ve eaten all the empanadas or indeed if you have your life strapped to your body. It made me uncomfortable just watching everyone try and squeeze themselves and their belongings through the gate. Well, uncomfortable and mildly amused.
And in other news, I finally had my first hot shower in, like, 2 weeks! Since I left Buenos Aires the showers have varied between cold and less than luke warm, the kind where you splash the water onto the parts of you prone to ponging a bit, stick your arse under there for a quick scrub then quickly get dried and dressed in as many clothes as possible.
You can always tell how long is it since I had access to a hot shower by hair length. By the time I got to Foz Do Iguaçu you could braid my armpit hair and my pubes were down to my knees. I wouldn’t have looked out of place in the gibbon enclosure at the local zoo. I should have kept my leg hair and made a coat out of it, it might have saved the lives of a few minks. Anyway, hopefully my winter coat won’t clog the drains up and mutate but keep your eyes on the news for headlines involving a small border town in Brazil being attacked by a giant hair ball. You never know.
Cataratas Do Iguaçu, Brazil
Stayed at: Klein Hostel, Foz do Iguaçu