A Travellerspoint blog

Bonito, Brazil

days 183-186

sunny 32 °C

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The logo for the small town of Bonito in Brazil reads: "Bonito es Bonito" (Bonito is beautiful), and its not lying. The town is small and has the feel of the an English sea-side town, but its what surrounds it that attracts the masses.

On our first day we cycled 10km or so to a stretch of river that has been developed to include some small restaurants, bars, volleyball courts and snorkelling hire. Locals and tourists alike flock here and with good reason – the crystal clear waters. Owing to an abundance of limestone in the ground, the water is so clear you can see for meters and meters and meters, and you share the experience with the hundreds of fish that also enjoy the view. And when you're not swimming you can lay down, enjoy the 28 degree sun and watch the abundant bird-life fly by. A more relaxing day it is hard to imagine.

After we had spent the day at the river we cycled back to the hostel and were welcomed by the smell of a barbecue starting and the sound of caipirinhas being made. Like their Argentinian neighbours, the Brazilians like cooking outdoors, and also like their Argentinian neighbours, they don't like any of their guests to finish eating until they are nothing short of stuffed, which was fine with us. The price of the barbecue also included as much caipirinha as we could drink, so when we finally fell into bed at some hour of the morning we were full to the brim.

The day after the barbecue we booked onto a 3 hour snorkelling trip that had come highly recommended by others in the hostel who had done it the previous day. After driving for an hour or two, we got into wetsuits, donned our snorkelling equipment and got into the river. The next few hours were spent idly floating down the river in the company of thousands of fish ranging from a couple of centimetres long to a metre or more. And these fish weren't shy – at one point I found myself accepted amongst a school of huge fish that followed me, or perhaps I followed them, for a good 50 metres or so. It was so interesting to submerge ourselves and glimpse at life under the water, although its not without its dangers. Anaconda and caiman are regularly spotted on the trip and whilst they are not usually dangerous, there was one story of an American (well it would be, wouldn't it?) who got too close trying to get an underwater photo of a caiman and that was the last trip that unfortunate chap ever did. No sightings occurred on our trip, but the group who left an hour later spotted a caiman which frayed a few nerves.

Posted by Kan_Kan_Can 12:24 Archived in Brazil Tagged bonito Comments (0)

Video of Iguazu Waterfalls, Argentina

sunny 28 °C

Posted by Kan_Kan_Can 12:05 Archived in Argentina Tagged waterfalls iguazu Comments (0)

Puerta Iguazu (Iguazu Waterfalls), Argentina

days 180-182

sunny 28 °C

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For the overnight bus to Puerta Iguazu we decided to pay a bit more for a 'full cama' seat. The buses in Argentina are split over two floors with 30 or so seats upstairs that are almost always extremely comfortable, and 10 seats downstairs which always looked outrageously comfortable, and it was the downstairs seat that we booked for the long trip up to Iguazu. Our first splurge of luxury for a long time started off brilliantly and we had the whole bottom floor to ourselves, however a couple of hours in a couple got on who were to completely ruin our experience and make us wish we had been tied to the roof instead.

The husband was about 30 stone and as soon as he sat down he started snoring hideously loudly and producing noises that should be heard exclusively in the zoo. Despite this we both managed to nod off until just after 11pm when the aforementioned monstrosity woke Lou up to ask her the time. She didn't have a watch and so woke me up to ask me. As I came to and realised what was going on I uttered two words, the second of which was "off". The situation was even more bizarre as he had a mobile phone on him which would obviously have provided the information he required without the necessity to wake us up. After the husband had gone to sleep the wife waited an hour or two before her contribution to our terrible nights sleep. Because she was extremely fat, she couldn't get out of her seat whilst Lou's seat was reclined, and so started shaking firstly Lou's seat and then when she didn't get an immediate reaction, she shook her head instead. She then spent just enough time in the toilet for us to get back to sleep again and then waited until she was stood next to us to start SHOUTING really really LOUDLY at her husband for a minute or so. I was so furious at the terrible behaviour of these two creatures that sleep after that was impossible and I listened to music for the next few hours instead.

Anyway... the town of Puerta Iguazu is little more than a portal to the waterfalls. Bar a couple of mediocre restaurants there is really nothing there of note, but then people don't come to see the town, they come for the waterfalls, which we had heard from everybody who had been were magnificant, but even the rave reviews didn't do it justice.

We were one of the first to arrive at the falls in the morning and headed straight to for the 'gigantica diablo' (devil's throat) – the huge centrepiece of Iguazu Falls. Awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, magificent, unbelievable, overwhelming... there aren't enough superlatives to express acurately the experience of standing on top of the behemoth and looking down. It is said that waterfalls release negative ions which react with the human brain to make us happy, whether that's true or not you can't fail to be amazed by the sight or moved by the energy of millions of gallons of water crashing over the edge. From the top it is impossible to see the bottom due to the mist created and you get the distinct imprssion that water is falling and powering its way into oblivion.

Aside from the showpiece, there are several walks you can do to take in the rest of the smaller waterfalls (which number upto 300 in the wet season) from different perspectives. The trails take 4-5 hours to make your way around and are spectacular in their own right with postcard views in every direction. There is also an option to take a boat ride for an even more spectacular view of the falls. The days experience was already sufficient to put it right up there with the most impressive natural wonders either of us had ever seen, and so we decided that the 12 minute boat ride was too expensive and didn't bother.

The day after we saw the falls we took a bus to the Brazilian border and bade farewell to 3 weeks of Argentina. It had been everything we had hoped and more, and is another country on the every-growing list of "must returns".

Posted by Kan_Kan_Can 12:00 Archived in Argentina Tagged waterfalls iguazu Comments (0)

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River Plate 1-2 Belgrano

overcast 4 °C

Posted by Kan_Kan_Can 09:19 Archived in Argentina Tagged plate river belgrano Comments (0)

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