The last few days have been absolutely incredible!!
Yesterday we started out early (4am), where we had to take a 5 hour bus ride to São Paulo and from there an hour and a half flight to Foz de Iguaçu. Once we got to Iguaçu we went straight to the famous Iguaçu Falls.
These falls have been declared one of the 7 New Wonders of the World and borders on both Brazil and Argentina. Together they make up the largest waterfall system in the world. It’s also part of a massive National Park so there is so much nature surrounding it. (Including jaguars and pumas!)
There are two ways you can experience the falls – the Brazilian side and the Argentinian side. Yesterday we did Brazil! Brazil is known to be the spectator side. There are a series of walkways where you can view the enormity of the falls and at various points you get absolutely soaking wet depending on what way the wind is blowing. The walkways are surrounded by nature so we could see monkeys, birds, iguanas, capybaras and coatis. Coatis are part of the anteater family but look more like a raccoon. We were warned to stay as far away from them as possible as they carry rabies and become quite vicious when you have food. The thing is, they are so damn adorable! I just wanted to put one in my bag and take it home as a pet! At one point during the day I was at a lookout point basking in the crazy beauty of the Falls when a toucan flew by!!!! An ACTUAL TOUCAN! Absolutely incredible!
Today we did the Argentinian side. First we had to cross the border into Argentina and once there it was a whole different experience. Instead of seeing the falls from afar we were instead ‘at one’ with the falls. Again there were a series of walkways but they crossed over the falls and got you so much closer. It went on forever and ever, and there were so many vantage points. Once again, it was absolutely jaw dropping.
A bunch of us signed up for the speedboat excursion which would literally take you under the falls. It sounds a bit insane but definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity that I couldn’t wait to experience.
As you are well aware I’m still quite gibbled with my ankle. It has now turned various shades of purple and has swollen up like a balloon. Not only do I have a ginormous cankle, but my foot is so swollen that it is getting strangled by my flip flop. I have a tensor around it to give it stability but all the walking is probably not helping the situation.
Anyway, we had to take 200 steps down to the water level where we would get our life jackets and board the boat. As I was passing by one of the staff members she pulled me aside and asked why I was wearing the tensor. When I showed her my foot she took one look and said I wasn’t allowed to go. I was totally gutted. I explained that I had gone horseback riding, been in a boat and been walking, but between her and another staff member they were adamant I could not go. I even had a bunch of people in my group also pleading my case. It was a hard, stern NO. I started to feel like I was about to cry and in that instant I said HELLZ NO! F this…I am going. So I pushed past her and took the stairs down to the boat. I could hear a big commotion going on behind me but I just kept walking. I quickly took the tensor off. One of the girls gave me her hat and we all tried to ‘incognito me’ (yes, I am using that as a verb) so they wouldn’t know who I was. The next thing you know a dude in scrubs and another woman with a Red Cross on her shirt run past us. The doctor dude comes up and asks if anyone has a problem with their foot. We all said no. I’m such a terrible liar! I was like ‘just don’t make eye contact, don’t make eye contact!’ Eventually we get closer to the boat and were given life jackets. I am just on the platform and ready to board when the doctor pulls me aside. This is where the Academy Award winning performance comes into play. He has me sit down and asks me questions. When did you hurt yourself? Have you seen a doctor? Are you taking any medication? Does it hurt? Where did the injury occur, Argentina or Brazil? Each of my responses were a test. All my answers except for where it happened were a complete lie. ‘No, it feels fine. Just a bit swollen. I am not taking any medication.’ Next the doctor took my ankle and manipulated it in every direction. I can say with every ounce of my body it hurt like a mother f@&er! The pain was unreal but I had to not clench my face and act like everything was fine. Does this hurt, he asked as he moved my ankle over and over? NOPE. The one lady was telling him over and over I couldn’t do it but eventually he caved and gave me the clearance. Phew. Now I had to walk into the boat without a limp!
Ready to barf in pain I took a seat and got ready for a ride like no other. We rode down the river over whirling rapids heading closer to the falls. The sound got louder and it was again so incredibly beautiful. The boat took us to a set of falls where we got really close. In an instant it was like we were in the shower. It was pretty hilarious. Next they took us to the bigger falls and this wasn’t a shower, but a full on dump truck of water. You couldn’t even open your eyes because the impact was so strong. Cold, loud, hard hitting waterfalls! But man, was it fun!
It’s been two days of full on activity. It’s been so beautiful and I just feel so lucky to be able to see this part of the world. Tomorrow will be a 12 hour bus ride which is probably needed so I can rest my foot.
If you are interested in taking a tour that covers the places on my adventure check out G Adventure’s Wonders of Brazil