Waterfalls, Drug Smugglers and a Tropical Island
Iguassu Falls is undeniably one of the most breathtaking wonders of the world. As hard as one tries to capture what you see in a photograph it will never be able to represent the experience of being there. There are 275 falls across 2.7km of plateau with an average waterfall height of 70m, resulting in 62, 000 cubic feet of water falling every second. The noise is deafening and the spray of water is exhilerating. The falls are situated between the borders of Brazil and Argentina. The best way to view the falls is to explore the Brazilian side first, which offers more of a panoramic view, followed by a close up in your face experience given on the Argentinian side - you will be left in awe.
A 24 hour bus ride lies between Iguassu Falls and the Brazilian coastal paradise; Paraty. If I could recommend any South American experiences for your bucket list, Iguassu falls and Paraty should be on them. The long and painful 24-hour bus ride might come as a result but there is bound to be some onboard entertainment. Our onboard entertainment came in the form of a drug search…Bright and early after a restless attempt at sleeping, a Brazilian policeman stepped on board. He was armed with mean aviator shades, a 9mm, leather boots and a police hat that looked so good I considered making away with it. He stood at the front of the bus and began eyeing the crowd whilst characteristically clutching the front of his belt with both hands. His intimidation tactics were working - the women to the left of me began to breathe more and more heavily as he made his way down the isle. Her pulse was popping out of her neck by the time he came past. He made his way to the back of the bus and began his search. About an hour passed and nothing was found…perhaps sniffer dogs would have done the trick. Fun and games over and the journey continued. Sometime in the evening we all hobbled off the bus with swollen feet from the lack of movement and reveled in the victory of making it through another full day of travel. An early night was needed in anticipation for what lay ahead…
A calm bay, turquoise water, lush islands, beating sun and a deck chair seat on a boat…Paraty, just south of Rio, is a tropical getaway that you never want to leave. We only had one full day in Paraty, but it was spent in the best way possible; island hopping through tropical paradise! After being in a bus for most of the previous day the feeling of diving off a boat into the warm ocean, coupled with a lunch onboard and countless Brazilian Caipirinhas was second to none - it would be a sin to ask for anything more. I can honestly say that it was one of the best, if not the best day of my life.
Only two more stops left on the great South American Journey…until then!