Paraty / Foz do Iguacu
Hello, Paraty didn't really improve for me. We had a litle wander around but I didn't find it that exciting. Imagine Coronation Street but instead of Northern, the people are Brazilian and instead of raining… actually no, it rained the majority of the time.
However we were soon leving Paraty to get a night-bus to Foz do Iguacu, or the Iguassu Falls, the largest collection of waterfalls in the world. I was slightly anxious about this prospect as I knew I would be catching many long bus/train journeys whilst I'm travelling and had heard various different horror stories.
The bus itself was actually pretty luxurious and I was lucky enough that the girl I sat next to, Sam had a laptop laden with illegal films and television shows so I was able to pass a fair amount of the time boredom free.
I couldn't really get any proper sleep though so I arrived at Foz do Iguacu yesterday in a pretty irritable mood. However, we had some bloomin' waterfalls to see so we couldn't mope about for too long. Yesterday we saw them from the Brazilian side and today, from the Argentinean side.
Now, I wouldn't exactly call myself a waterfall connoisseur but I reckon I know when I see a good one and these last two days I've seen some incredible ones. The Brazilian side was amazing for beautiful panoramic views and a lot more wildlife but that might have been to do with the greatly contrasting weather of the two days.
I also enjoyed a helicopter ride on the Brazilian side which took us right over The Falls. I haven't ever got in a helicopter before but I'm guessing the usual practice is not for them to just shove you in the back of it without any kind of safety briefing or equipment. Nonetheles, it was breath-taking to see greenery as far as the eye can see, only broken by the miles of peaceful river, suddenly torn apart by the sheer pandemonium caused by The Falls. It's an image that will live with me forever.
It was really something to cross from Brazil into Argentina today and they even have one half of a bridge painted in Brazilian colours and the other half in the blue and white of Argentina. On that bridge you can actually see three countries as Paraguay is also in the distance. Not many bridges can boast that for a view.
Whilst the Brazilian side was impressive in a piteresque sort of way, the Argentinean side allows you to get closer to The Falls, giving a greater sense of how much energy they generate and also giving a completely different perspective.
I opted out of a boat ride that took you under The Falls but after seeing how drenched those that did do it were afterwards, I felt vindicated. Rhumba Rapids annoys me! Tonight we are joining another tour group for a BBQ and some drinks round our minibus driver's house. It's not as dodgy as it sounds, I hope…