We woke up once again bright and early at 5:15am in Cusco to catch our flight to Iguasu Falls. Everytime I travel, I learn more and more about people and new tips for travelling. Our new lesson from this trip was do not trust anyone that works in a hostel with important information. The night before, the hostel worker, after I insisted on checking out that evening, told us that we could check out in the morning, get a taxi within ten minutes and arrive to the airport in Cusco only an hour before our flight. I was hesistant since I know the ‘hostel speed’ is slower than most and an hour before seemed like not much time. Of course when we woke up, their credit card machine wasn’t working since it was early and the computer needed to ‘wake up’ and then the taxi took 20 minutes to arrive. We thought were still fine on time until we arrived to the airport with a line for LAN airlines that was out the door. Since LAN is One World and I have gold status on American Airlines, I somehow convinced the guy that since I was One World Ruby that I could go in the priority lane, which you technically can only do if you are sapphire or emerald. Luckily, it worked and we were right through security – Thank god for Priority Status!
We arrived Friday evening to Foz do Iguassu in Brazil. We were very excited to arrive to the second half of our journey. We got to the hostel, Che Lagarto, and were very impressed. The hostel was more like a hotel than a hostel. We took amazing hot showers and washed all of our disgusting trek clothing that was creating a disgusting stentch in our suitcases. Finally I had clean Lululemons to wear! On our way to the hostel, we asked our taxi driver if there was a good Brazillian steakhouse nearby that he recommended, he mentioned this place called Churrascaria Bufalo Branco. When we got to the hostel, we wanted to confirm that this was a good spot so we asked the front desk what they preferred. This one guy was overly pushy and suggested this other one that was 20 minutes away and reached to these pamphlets that were sitting on the front desk, as if they had some deal with the restaurant. Based on the lesson we learned earlier we decided to go to the other place since the reviews online were good and we didn’t trust the hostel worker. Before we left for dinner, the hostel had free Capirinhas on the rooftop so we had two of the cocktails then walked to the steakhouse. The Brazillian steakhouse ended up being very mediocre. I guess we will never know if the people at this hostel were right or not. We are looking forward to trying another delicious steakhouse when we get to Rio where we know they are great!
The next morning we slept in until 8am – we couldn’t believe it! What a joy it was to sleep past 6am! We grabbed free breakfast at the hostel then headed out to see the waterfalls or cataratas in Portugese. It was really starting to sink in that we were no longer in Peru. Atleast in Peru, we both know enough Spanish to get by and communicate. We both know zero Portugese except hello, thank you and we don’t speak Portugese. This leg of the trip would certainly be much more difficult because of the language barrier. We finally got on the public bus to the falls, which took 30 minutes longer than the people at the hostel told us – shocker! We got off and immediately went over to Helisul, the helicopter company that flies you over the falls. I had already been in a helicopter with Auntie Missy when we flew over the Apostales on the Great Ocean Road in Australia but wanted to experience the falls first from above. Gabe had also never been in a helicopter before. This was an awesome way to view the falls before going up close to see them ourselves.
Here are some photos from the helicopter ride. In the last one you can even see a rainbow:
After our helicopter ride, we got our tickets to enter the national park and took a bus to the start of the trail. People had told us that the Brazil side was not as great as the Argentina side but since Americans need visas for both countires, we didn’t want to pay $250 just to pass over into Argentina for a day. Also, with only one day we likely wouldn’t have enough time to do both. We got to the head of the trail and got to see the falls from afar. At first, we thought that perhaps they were right about not getting too close on the Brazil side. We saw gorgeous views from afar but nothing too close. As the trail progressed, we got closer and closer until we got to the point called Devil’s Throat where you are literally standing on top of the falls! Boy were they wrong. We got soaked just standing there and had a long trail along the entirety of the falls. Eleanor Roosevelt was sure right when she said, “Poor Niagara” after seeing these falls. They are massive and unlike anything we had ever seen before. As we walked along the path, they just kept going and going. It is so cool to be at such a spectacular place that is on the border of three countires in South America – Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. The pictures don’t even do the falls justice. If you ever have the urge to come to South America, do not miss a trip to see this amazing natural wonder.
Another interesting thing about our trip to the falls were these graphic photographs on the buses and all over signs walking into the falls of this bloody human hand with warnings saying “Don’t feed the Quatis.” We were both very confused about what a Quatis was and why we would ever feed them. It became very clear what they were because the Quatis or skunk/rodent-like animals were running all over the trail along the falls. I, of course, screamed everytime one came near me as Gabe tried to photograph them and laughed.
Here is a Quatis:
After we finished the trail, I decided to be the best girlfriend ever and go with Gabe to the Parque do Aves or the bird park. If any of you do not already know, birds are high on my list of least favorite animals. It is something about their flapping that really grosses me out. I did think it would be cool to see a toucan but I wasn’t thrilled about going in general. Gabe loved the bird park while I held on tightly in the parrot cages. I must say, some were very pretty from afar but not when they flapped past me.
Following our trip to see the birds, we had nap time then went to dinner at this sushi place called Taj. The restaurant was trendy and had a DJ and everything and even charged a R$5 cover charge. We have learned that the food in Iguasu is not the best but we didn’t go for the culinary experience – we went to see the falls and were thrilled we did! Sunday morning we were off to Salvador, Brazil!