Jan. 17-19th

 One of the 7 natural wonders of the world! Our stay there was short but pleasant, in a more residential area. Although more peaceful, these smaller towns have their drawbacks too. Our slight “struggles” were with our main form of transportation being our feet. It was semi exhausting when a trip to the store took 2 hours total in between walking there and back. Plus the ATM and restaurant accessibility was few and far between. It convinced us to cook more at home, which was a money saver. But, after a long day of hiking, that’s the least we wanted to do.

     Our stay here was for a total of 3 nights. It was predicted to be pretty leisurely considering we were only going to the falls for 1 of the days and there was really nothing else to do in the town. IMG_20160117_160242.jpgMuch needed research got done and some catch up time for other odds and ends. We have started to classify our Airbnb hosts into different categories. I’ll take the “hover”er for 200 please. Description is when someone opens up their home to you (being that’s what Airbnb basically is), but doesn’t at the same time. You can use the kitchen, but I’m going to hover over you and interject myself into your cooking routine with my “better” one. No you should cook this like this, no this lid should go on this. No, you need more oil. You can do your dishes, but you need to use 3 different sponges for each their own purpose. You can do your laundry (which was stated included), but it costs money and I also have to do it for you. I will offer you a ride somewhere, but oh it’s going to cost money. I get it, we all have things we are particular about, but it is very hard to feel comfortable in a home when you are constantly being watched and bargained with. Overall the stay was still pretty nice. Maybe we are just starting to expect less from people as we go along. Now let’s get to the good part!

     The falls DAH DAH DAHHHHHHH! We caught the local public bus early in the morning to make sure we arrived right when the park opened.IMG_20160118_090503 Tickets were only $15 a piece! After entering, a big double decker bus brought us through the forest to various stops. Most of them were hiking trails positioned along the cliffside and were all interconnected to lead to the main falls called the “devils throat”.IMG_20160118_092851 Disappointingly, besides the main hike route everything else was featured as a “private excursion” and cost money. No thank you. We decided to do the shorter hike first that was the closest to the main attraction, to have the best view with less people. Now close your eyes (meditation hummmmmm). Picture walking a trail along the cliffside of a forest. Birds and butterflies surround you in the shade provided by the tree canopy. You hear a waterfall faintly in the distance. As you start to venture through the winding walkway multiple view points open up to the river created by the falls with small waterfalls as far as you can see. As the trail confines you see various flowers and wildlife. The falls become louder and you can start to feel a faint mist. IMG_20160118_111701~2As you come to the opening on the forest line…BOOM MIND BLOWN. Bigger than Niagra, the main falls right in front of you. You walk out to the slippery dock to get a closer look…BOOM MIND BLOWN AGAIN. With soaked clothes and through the multiple constant rainbows, you are in awe of this massive waterfall.IMG_1514.jpg  You go out to the furthest looking point of the river to look down to the massive water pressure coming out directly underneath your feet to fill the river. (meditation over). That was my slightly over dramatized visualization for you. You’re welcome. 🙂 Basically, there is not enough wonderful things to say about that place! It was amazing walking out to the featured deck in front. You are so close that the thunder of the falls rings loudly in your ears. After doing multiple trails and letting Uriah splash around like a kid we headed over to get some lunch. They had a cheaper “food court” with burgers and fast food with the Coati monkey-racoon stalking your every move. They also had a fancy restaurant on the waterfront. Can you guess which one we ate at? (insert noise of you being wrong). IMG_20160118_123912~2We ate at the fancy restaurant! Go us! Go us! We hadn’t really splurged on our trip yet and being that we were at the falls it was hard to resist the freshly made gourmet buffet, splurging being $15 per person. We got there right when they opened so all the food was super fresh AND we got the first table right over the river that turns into the waterfall. And what gormet buffet over a waterfall isn’t complete without the live soothing acoustic singer in English? Needless to say it was a delicious way to end the day.

     With our streak, no trip is complete without some form of error. This one is brought to you commercial free by the brazilian immigrations office. Our first boarding crossing experience, to make it even better. We barely arrived via public bus. The bus almost failed to stop at immigrations, I don’t know for the only white people with huge backpacks that clearly aren’t brazilian. -_- After a kind man shouted at the driver to stop we waited in line to get our passport stamped for exit. Hellos were exchanged with my bright smiling face 😀 and just as he was about to stamp it he stopped. Of course. Please wait to the side, of course. After handing our paperwork to the main “desk guy” who seemed to print out the novel our of lives. Then, asked for our parents information. Come to find out the wonderful people at immigrations coming into Brazil put a 20 day stay on our passport, not the 90 day visa most get. And we stayed for …. 21 days. Dang it! They foiled my master plan of staying in Brazil forever!!!!….So we ended up having to receive paperwork for a “fee” for our over day stay. The good news is, this doesn’t have to be paid until we enter Brazil again. This was followed by another wait for the next bus to get to the Argentine immigration office. The same check through was done and followed by ANOTHER bus wait to the Argentine city of Puerto Iguazu!

Happy bus waiting game from U and B!

 

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