Monday, 9 October 2017

Flying under the radar.

Before we came to Iguazu our research told us that a visa into Brazil costs around AUD$200 per person.  The idea of spending a $1,000 for a half day trip to see the other side of the falls seemed a tad steep so we decided to just stick to the Argentine side.

However, our taxi driver told us that the border control on the Brazilian side is closed on weekends and that he was happy to take us over.  We were stamped out of Argentina and as we drove through the empty customs of Brazil our taxi driver whistled an innocent tune.  I don't know what would have happened if we had been stopped.  None of us had packed wire cutters, organised code names or decided on a safe rendezvous location should we have to leg it.  While we don't have a stamp in our passports, we can now say we have been to Brazil.

First, we went to the Parque das Aves (Bird Park), which is located a few hundred metres from the Brazilian Iguazu park entrance.  The park is well maintained and it's obvious that the profits go back into the park.  It houses many rescued birds and some that are bred at the park.  There are many macaws that have either had their wings clipped by owners or were raised in cages and never learnt how to fly.  The aviaries were mostly large enough for the birds to be able to fly in and several of the nests had web cams set up for the breeding season.

Talluah was able to get up close to a toucan, her favourite bird, and we spent a while in the butterfly house watching humming birds dart around from feeder to feeder.  When they pass by you can hear why they are called humming birds.

We had organised to be picked up at three o'clock so we scooted the  few hundred metres to the fall's entrance, paid our admission and caught the shuttle bus out to the falls.  The shuttle buses are double decker buses without windows and when they pass going in the opposite direction the passengers call out to the other bus.

With only a 90 minute window we aimed for La Garganta del Diablo (the Devil's Throat) - the most impressive part of the falls.  We did don ponchos but they wouldn't be entirely necessary in the warmer months.  The Throat can be accessed by elevator or for those a little fitter - stairs.  Lots and lots of stairs. 

Our overall verdict of Iguazu Falls is that anyone who has the opportunity to see them should.  There are many more activities you can do around the falls that we would have loved to do.  It's worth seeing the falls from both sides of the border but if you only have a limited time there prioritise the Argentine side.

And, Happy Birthday Twyllalee! 

one toucan in one toucan out... 

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