Tuesday 27 February to Wednesday 2 March
The journey from Argentina to Brazil was easy, just hire a fixed price taxi. Immigration in Argentina was sitting in the taxi. Immigration into Brazil was a short queue. We had already obtained our Brazilian visas before we left home. As is typical for our luck, I think the Brazilian visas have changed since we left and are much less expensive.
We are certainly in the tropical jungle with warm and very humid weather. We were exhausted after our walk into town on the Argentinian side of the border. We set out to explore the Brazilian side and also came back to our hotel exhausted. After so much cold and cooler weather, either because of the location or because of a bad summer in Europe, we are not used to this warmer weather.
We found somewhere for dinner and shared a mixed barbeque. Even the single serve was too much for us, a long skewer with various steaks and sausage on it.
We really are in the tropics now, as we had to put up the umbrella to walk the short distance back to our hotel. It rained all night and was accompanied by almost constant thunder.
The skies were clear in the morning so we caught the local bus to Iguaçu Falls, as they are known in Brazil.
There wasn’t the crowds, nor was the area as big to cover, however the relatively short 1.3km walk along the edge of the falls showed how massive these falls really are. In Argentina you are up close to them whereas in Brazil you have a wonderful view over them. They still are the most beautiful of the three major falls that we have been lucky enough to see.
The fun part was the walkway and lookout that extended beneath the Devil’s Throat. We donned plastic raincoats that we should have had for Machu Picchu, and wandered under the spray. It was very sticky and very hot under the plastic but we kept our cameras relatively dry.
Next stop was the bird park. We had allowed two full days to visit the falls and the bird park, but they are close together and can easily be seen in a single day. It was nice to see that the bird park was created mostly with rescued birds from illegal trade. The South American birds are beautiful, the toucans and macaws in particular.
It was a long day so we checked out the local restaurants before heading back to our room for a rest. Our challenge both here and in our last couple of stops in Argentina is to get decent beer and white wine in the same place. And so it happened tonight – my choice of Sauvignon Blanc was not available and I hate to imagine how many times the Chardonnay had been put on to and taken off ice, because the label was mouldy and faded. Fortunately the wine had more-or-less survived its ordeal.
Another month has dawned and it was our last few days on the road. We needed some of the day to complete our final reservations, but we also took a tour to Itaipu Binacional which is one of the largest hydroelectric sites in the world. The Paraná River (meaning stone in the water) was dammed in a project commenced in 1975 to create a reservoir 170km long and approximately 7km wide. This was a binational project between Brazil and Paraguay and was finally finished in 2005, but parts came online in 1984. It supplies Paraguay with 90% of its power needs and Brazil with 15% of its power needs.
The focus of the tour was to gain an understanding of the effort that was undertaken to make this project as ecologically and environmentally friendly as possible and it has been recognised by the United Nations for this achievement.
We chose well, the morning was dry for our tour and we are becoming accustomed to the heat and humidity. The rain started in the afternoon and it didn’t let up until way past our bedtime. It was a good opportunity to catch up on necessary paperwork including some of the last few flight and hotel bookings.
I have to admit that after 10 months on the road, organising the next destination and packing again no longer holds the excitement it once did.
We chose the ‘Asian Diner’ next to the hotel for dinner. It was primarily a sushi bar. Since it was challenging to order sushi in Portuguese we opted for the salmon combination and then a beef teppanyaki. Unfortunately we are spoilt in Australia, the overcooked beef, frozen stir-fried vegetables and washed white rice didn’t quite make the grade.
Despite this, we are looking forward to exploring Brazil.