To get to here from Ihla Grande required a long day of travel, but it was all very straightforward. We got a bus from the quay side where the ferry dropped us, to Rio bus station. From here we got a taxi to the airport and then took a Gol flight to Curitiba and from there to Foz de Iguasu. We had organised for hotel del Rey to collect us at the airport so by 1.30am we were happilly in our very comfy beds after a long day!
The next morning we got up and gorged ourselves on the generous breakfast buffet in the hotel. The weather was a little dull but dry so perfect for viewing the falls. We managed to dodge the expensive tour the hotel was selling us and decided to take a local bus up to the park entrance. We bought our tickets and hoped that the falls were impressive despite the recent lack of water.
Brazil is experiencing its worst drought in twenty years at the moment so, in a bid to conserve water, have restricted water flow though the dam which is upriver of the falls. The result is that the volume going over the falls is considerable lessened from 400,000 gallons a second to 80,000. We were in two minds about visiting the falls at all over this, but we are so happy that we did now. We emailed the Brazilian tourist board and they informed us that it will be like this until December at the earliest.
We got on a bus to bring us to the starting point of the short walk to the main viewing points for the falls. Along this walk we saw many waterfalls including the three musqueteers. I'm sure this place must be incredibly impressive at full force, although even when almost dry the lack of force is more than compensated by the natural beauty of the place. We stopped to take photos along the way but were constantly interupted by a snap happy Japenese family who were a living cliche of themselves. They took over the best viewing spots and took in turns to strike identical poses for the camers, god help anyone that got anywhere close to being in the fall of their Wide lense. Linda got elbowed in the ribs and the rest of us got shoved out of place. It was funny to see them in action!
When the main part of the falls, The Devils Throat, came into view, it really stops you in your tracks. I think Linda was a little dissappointed, she couldn't get over the impression of the falls that she had made approaching them when all was so dry. We walked out onto the viewing stand which sits about 100m from the plunge pool. We stayed here for quite a bit of time just taking it all in. We obviously had more room to enjoy it once the Japenese family finished up their photo shoot! The noise coming off the falls is deafening, really was so impressive. We had heard that the Argentinian side was even more spectacular so were looking forward to that. We went for a coffee to boost the energy levels, were still feeling a little drained after our long day of travel the previous day. While sitting in the café we met Johnty from the Isle of Man who we had met in Ihla Grande a fortnight previous. He invited us to join him and a friend of his in a visit to the bird park in the town which we did. It was great fun, we spent over two hours in this impressive park looking at birds of everykind. We were attcked by a crowd of rowdy parrots in one room and had to run out in the end, it was all far too Alfred Hitchcock! My favourite part was the butterfly and hummingbird room. The sound of their wings bussing past is beautiful.That night we went for a bite to eat in an all you can eat restaurant and almost od'd on meat. The one negative part of the day was Lia loosing her wallet so after retracing our steps and myself and Graham trying to locate a Lost and Found office in the bus station, it was time to cancel all bank cards and take the hit on the lost cash, no harm done really.
The next morning it was up early and off to take a bus to the border (about twenty mintues away) and into Argentina, the home of magnificent steaks and great wine...we're a long way from terrible Bolivian cuisine now!