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Iguazu Falls

Foz do Iguacu, Brazil


Arriving at Puerto Iguazzu I was slightly devastated to see that it was grey and miserable outside. We were only going to be around for two days so we just had to hope it would clear up quickly, in the meantime we headed into town for our final Argentinean dinner – a mixed grill which arrived sizzling and answered any questions about what they do with the rest of the cow.

The night was wild and stormy and the next morning we set out feeling glad that at least the rain had relented. The Iguazu Falls (which I will spell like that despite all the different spellings I saw – Iguacu, Iguassu, etc) are surrounded by a network of metal walkways and when you enter from the Argentinean side there is also a little train to take you to the furthest points. It feels a lot like a theme park which could very easily be depressing but actually the train does save a lot of time and the walkways allow people of all shapes and sizes to get right up to the edge of the waterfalls without risking their lives or getting into a boat.

If getting into a boat does take your fancy there are also a range of additional tours – we couldn’t resist being taken under the waterfalls. It was a spectacular and hilarious ride, the huge waterfalls loomed over us and the roaring of the water grew louder and louder until it was thudding onto the boat and then us. I believe I would have wet myself had the waterfall not been doing such a good job- we were all completely hysterical by the end.

We squelched along pathways afterwards feeling utterly immune to the sprays of the waterfalls and not at all troubled by the presence of dark, heavy clouds in the sky. Although the bad weather prevented us from seeing the falls in all their outrageously photogenic glory, the contrast of the dark, moody sky and the white clouds of mist rising from the waterfalls created stunning and atmospheric views and I couldn’t wait to see the Brazilian side the next day.

We wasted no time when we got back to the hostel. After a much needed hot shower and change of clothes we got in a taxi and, with the help of a friendly and alarmingly bug-eyed taxi driver, headed across the border. Foz de Iguazu, the town on the Brazilian side, was to be the penultimate stop on our world tour. We now had only nine days left.

The Iguazu experience in Brazil was very different. It was a bit less like a theme park, more like a National Park, and the visitors didn’t have the same sense of excitement. They day before we had literally seen grown men screaming and running for the train, it was like they were trying to be the first up Space Mountain in Disneyland. However, this more subdued atmosphere could also be blamed on the weather – a white mistiness had descended on the area and our first glimpse of the falls was comically bad. You could barely make them out!

As we got closer the landscape began to emerge out of the mist and we were thankful for it – miles of immense waterfalls which cut through the green forests and crashed down cliffs. The views were less varied but more extensive than the Argentinean side, and equally beautiful. Even awful weather couldn’t take anything away from such an awe inspiring landscape. After taking a few hazy pictures and immersing ourselves in the wet sprays of the Devils Throat, the most violently powerful of the falls, we were soggy and pretty well acquainted with the place. Warmer climates beckoned and dreams of defrosting on the beach in Rio.


permalink written by  steve_stamp on August 31, 2009 from Foz do Iguacu, Brazil
from the travel blog: The art of being lost
tagged Rain, Water, Waterfalls, Wet and Cloud

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Lovina Beach: Love the Rain!

Singaraja, Indonesia



We left Probolinggo in the early evening, escorted to an executive bus on a main road and we soon fell asleep after a busy day. When we woke up we found ourselves in Bali and heading along the north coast, our destination, Lovina Beach. We arrived around 4.30am and iwere welcomed by the rain that we would get to know very well during our stay! We asked for directions to a guesthouse and then stretched our legs, walking around 5km with backpacks to the place with the sun coming up to our right and the animals waking the locals. Finally we arrived and were met by another guesthouse owner who easily convinced us to stay in his newly finished [and very exclusive] top room, an oppotunity to relax in comfort and take a shower in the outside bathroom with sea view! Nice!

Nous avons quitte Probolinggo par le bus de nuit pour nous reveiller a Bali. Ce qui nous a marque dans le bus, c'est leur facheuse habitude de mettre la clim a fond (alors que la chaleur reste tres supportable, surtout la nuit!) pour ensuite distribuer des couvertures afin que les gens n'aient pas froid!! Nous avons carrement sorti nos sacs de couchage !! Allez comprendre... Nous sommes finalement arrive sur la cote nord a 4h30 a Lovina Beach, sous la pluie, et avons decide de marcher les 5 km qui nous separaient de notre guest house avec nos 15kg sur le dos. Nous avions besoin de nous detendre les jambes et cela nous permettait de decouvrir l'endroit ou nous etions, le temps que le soleil se leve. Enfin arrive, nous avons profite de la salle de bain sur le balcon avec vue sur mer par une bonne douche chaude bien meritee! On adoooooore!

To be honest, there was not a lot to do in Lovina Beach itself and th best part was renting a moped and shooting off into the hills to discover the GitGit Waterfalls, temples and surrounding countryside. This option is also much cheaper and convenient than taking organised trips with either the guesthouse or another local agency. The waterfalls were nice but better not talk about 'the hammock'! The temples were everywhere and after a while it became much more interesting just to roam the county roads and discover the places we would otherwise not have seen.

We also had the fortune to make it to the lakes 'danau tamblingan' and 'danau buyan' just before the rain arrived. We had a great lunch and then the heavens opened, meaning we had to stay inside for an hour before getting soaked anyway on te journey back. After ten minutes your feet and everything are soaked and there really is no getting away from it. Then there are the lorries which cover you in a blanket of water off the road too. It was an experience and introduction to the real 'rainy season'!


Lovina Beach n'etait pas vraiment ce qu'on attendait... endroit touristique pour aller nager avec les dauphins sans charme. Alors nous avons decide de louer un scooter pour decouvrir les alentours: la cascade Git-Git, les temples et les beaux points de vue du haut des montagnes proche des lacs tramblingan et buyan. Tout se passait tres bien nous mangions a l'exterieur, admirant la vue sur les lacs... jusqu'au moment ou des enormes nuages gris arrivent en un rien de temps, et une minute apres : pluie tropicale!!! hum les pates (mie goreng) a la pluie!

Optimistes, nous avons decide d'attendre a l'interieur du restaurant que la pluie se calme un peu... en vain... et il fallait bien rentrer! Alors sans aucun equipement de pluie (bien sur c'est toujours comme ca) nous avons repris la route en evitant l'aquaplanning. Nous avons mesure ce que l'expression "trempe jusqu'aux os" voulait dire! Mais a ce moment la, nous n'avions pas encore rencontre le gros camion qui venait en sens inverse... deja qu'on y voyait plus rien et qu'on avait la bouche grand ouverte pour respirer, un gros SPLACH d'eau nous a totalement submerge!! c'etait tellement enorme qu'on s'arretait plus de rire (nerveusement a ce stade!).

Equipped with our new raincoats [imagine a small tent on wheels] we decided to go west along the northern coast of Bali until Permuteran. In the morning we stopped at the local hot springs for little dip and the chance to meet local people. Lenaic felt a little uncomfortable in her swimming costume so she decided to keep some clothes on and not make any cultural statements. After this we got back on the road, passing through Pulaki and then finally landing in Permuteran, where we enjoyed a relaxing couple of hours on a nice beach and with some gorgeous food! The sun beating down and still no sign of the rain, we returned to Lovina and saw out the night at the restaurant which had become our little reliable place!

The usual entertainment was provided by the two young lads who served us each night and on the first night brought us home. They got the chance to practice both their English and French and we got a small insight into a backstreet but local place to eat, of course complete with cats and flying insects! The next morning it was time to leave but not without seeing the street dog which followed us for a good 30 minutes along the main road one last time. A sad sight but a reminder of another way of life!

Equipes de nos nouveaux ponchos de pluie, nous avons decide d'aller explorer la cote nord-ouest de Bali. En chemin nous nous sommes arretes aux hot springs, une source d'eau chaude dans laquelle vont se baigner les locaux. Par pudeur j'ai garde un vetement par dessus mon maillot de bain car les femmes se baignaient toutes habillees! et hop, de nouveau sur le scooter en partance pour Pulaki et Permuteran ou nous avons profite d'une belle plage. Magnifique! C'est la ou nous aurions du aller! Mais non, il nous a fallu repartir vers Lovina sous un soleil de plomb (toujours pas de pluie...finalement ca rafraichit la pluie!)

Nous sommes directement alle a ce qui etait devenu notre repere du soir, "kiki restaurant" avec ses insectes, ses chats et ses 2 serveurs mythiques qui ne loupaient pas une occasion de nous parler pour pratiquer leur francais et anglais. Ils etaient bien sympa. Le lendemain matin il etait deja temps de repartir mais pas avant d'avoir revu le chien sauvage qui nous avait suivi durant une demi-heure la veille le long de la rue. C'etait triste mais reflete bien la realite de Bali qui est une ile remplie de chiens qui vivent sur le bord de la route a la recherche d'ordures. Le probleme est que ces chiens dorment sur la route, traversent a tout bout de champs et qu'un accident est tres vite arrive.


permalink written by  Lenameets50 on January 10, 2010 from Singaraja, Indonesia
from the travel blog: Indonesia & Malaysia et al 2010
tagged MotorBike, Waterfalls, Bali and Indonesia

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