Archives for the month of: December, 2008

We had breakfast at the Rio Tropic, then headed to the park for La Gran Aventura, the big tour of the falls. First we rode through the jungle and a guide pointed out plants and animals and gave some history of the park. Then we piled into boats and headed to the falls. After hitting some fun rapids, the captain made sure we got splashed a lot and steered us under one of the waterfalls. Everyone was soaked to the skin and it was gloriously fun. Cecile and I bought a disposable camera to use when we were up close to the falls and, while most of the photos didn’t come out, there was at least one good one.

After the boat ride we hiked up the Circuito Inferior and viewed the waterfalls from the river. We saw a couple men making sandwiches on a long wooden board and then a very unafraid lizard, that smelled the food and wasn’t afraid to go after it. We took the bus back to the Rio Tropic – well, it took us to the main road and we walked the remaining half mile or so. We showered, checked out, and took a cab into town for lunch. We ate at Charo, which was my only mediocre meal of the trip, got licuados at Real then got back on the cama bus for Buenos Aires. About an hour out of Puerto Iguazu it started pouring rain, and when we got back to Buenos Aires we found out that it started raining there when we left and kept raining the whole time. So much rain, in fact, that everything was closed and buildings flooded. We planned our side trip at just the right time.

today i went with cecile to pick up her new kitten. she is a little, all-black, 4 month old, and has been renamed ‘kuma’ in honor of the awesome chicago burger place where we had lunch just before the pick up. mocchi (the 2 year old cat cecile has had for a few months) sniffed kuma a bit then walked away, totally uninterested. then kuma started nosing around mocchi’s climbing tree and mocchi visibly stiffened. then they smelled each other some more. it’s adorable. i’m going to die of adorable today. it’s inevitable.

…and i have eaten ALL OF IT. the pants are a little tighter, the gait is a little slower – ahhh christmas.

goldstar beer flowchart ads. sadly, so often very very true.

via buzzfeed.

We arrived in Puerto Iguazu in the early afternoon and took a taxi to our hotel, the Rio Tropic. The hotel was very nice and relaxing – it’s out in the middle of nowhere down a long red dirt road. The clerk, Remy (another Frenchman named Remy), was very nice and helpful and called us a taxi and reserved us a spot on a tour at the park.

In Iguazu we walked along Circuito Superior, which takes you around the rim of the main waterfall canyon – an as-far-as-you-can see series of waterfalls. It was breathtaking. Iguazu Falls is the most beautiful place on Earth, and I urge you to look at each photograph – rainbows everywhere, lush green jungle and crashing water and mist.

After Circuito Superior we took the park’s train to Garganta del Diablo – the Devil’s Throat – the giant waterfall on the other side of the ridge. On the train some students on a field trip were passing around a maté cup and then vaulted over the seats to have their picture taken with us. Odd, but fun, even though it was stiflingly hot and everyone (including us) were sweaty and dirty and gross.

The path to the Devil’s Throat consists of a series of long (really long) steel bridges over the wide river. We would finish one bridge and walk a bit through the trees then come out into a clearing and see yet another long bridge – over and over. But, the walk paid off. You can hear the waterfall long before you see it or the mist around it – it’s deafening. The waterfall itself? Impossible to describe. So huge I couldn’t see the end. So much mist I couldn’t tell how deep it was. So big in scale that my brain struggled to accept it was real. On the observation platform, though a good ways from the waterfall, we were repeatedly drenched by the waterfall’s heavy mist every time the wind shifted direction.

The park was closing, so we headed back into Puerto Iguazu for dinner. We ate at La Pueda, one of the oldest restaurants in the city. I had delicious steak and Cecile and I split a flan. We also met a very nice Dutch man who was at the next table with his wife.

We went back to the Rio Tropic and cleaned up. I did some Facebook-ing and email checking on Cecile’s iPod Touch, but it took forever due to the hotel’s weak and spotty wifi connection. This meant I spent about 45 minutes standing facing the closed and drapes-covered window, as it was the only spot in our giant family-sized cabin with any signal strength to speak of. Cecile said it looked like I was in Time Out. We did some kakuro and went to bed.

See videos of the waterfalls here.

cute things falling asleep! a whole blog devoted to it!

bear! his noooooooose!

most sad/touching/depressing missed connection ever.

it’s -2° right now. NEGATIVE! TWO! when i got off the plane, the cold air blew up my pant leg and i almost threw up. first thought: i miss LA. second thought: sorry family and chicago friends – but i’m never moving back here. after living the joy that is southern california weather for over a year, i can safely say that i would be nuts to want to again live in a place with a temperature range of 100+°.

quick recap:

  • thursday was elaine’s birthday, so maria, elaine, april and i went to dinner at the great greek. the food was really good, and the live band and dancing was so much fun!

  • jodi had her holiday party friday night, and i met some really nice people! …and i bookended the party with about 5 hours of bioshock. pat and i were up until 4am and i’m sure it won’t surprise you to hear that when i was trying to get to sleep, every time i closed my eyes i could see the game. i had dreams about it, even. it was kind of awesome. and then? the puppet episode of ‘angel’. WHICH WAS AMAZING. puppet angel is ADORABLE.
  • today i met elaine and maria at the crepe place in the farmer’s market for lunch. the crepes were delicious. watching the guys make the crepes was even better.
  • i came home and tried to start packing (i fly to chicago tomorrow) but had a terrible headache, so instead passed out for 2+ hours. woke up with the headache and overall feeling like crap. (do i regret the 4am bioshock marathon? NO.) i took some tylenol and ate, and now i’m feeling fine, am dressed up, and ready to go dancing with maria and elaine for birthday celebration part 2! let’s hope i can balance having a good time with making sure i’m in good enough shape tomorrow to get ready to fly home.