We landed in Foz de Iguazu on the Brazilian side of the falls. We were staying on the Argentinian side at the Secret Garden which had been recommended to us. We had to clear passport control first in Brazil and then in Argentina. Our small Accommodation had four rooms and a nice garden, a resident Jack Russell named Roxy and a very helpful and pleasant manager Edoardo. He had been a research geneticist for ten years studying various mosquitos. Dengue fever is prevalent in Iguazu so we were keen to learn about it. He gave us a lot of tips about how and when to go to the falls and other things to do.
They provided a nice meal for us which we had booked the day before by what’s app.
The Secret Garden also gave us a complimentary Capirinha cocktails every night and a good breakfast in the mornings.

We started the next day on the Brazilian side with the “Parque Aves” or bird park which was worth seeing with such birds as Toucans, Macaws, Flamingoes and bright red Ibis. The helicopter office and helipad was opposite so we wandered over to find out about a flight. We were lucky to get one quickly and were given a spectacular view of both sides of the falls during the AUD140 ten minute flight. It was worth every penny.

The ticket office for the park which was a bit further along was already busy with tourists but the transition from there to the park was effortless and we were taken by bus and could choose which part of the walkway to follow. We chose the length of the walkway and although crowded at the various viewing platforms the crowds moved along smoothly. There were kiosks and toilets and places to sit along the way so people could stop at various spots. Entrance was about AUD25.
We had been warned not to touch or feed the Qualti or Coati (pronounced quachi) which were very cute tan or black animals with striped tails. They just wandered about the national park but were quite bothersome if you had any food with you.

The amount of water and noise coming from the waterfalls was incredible. People were on the whole polite and waited for their photo opportunities of which there were many. We caught the bus back to the ticket office and waited for our driver Hugo who we booked for the next day to visit the Argentinian side of the falls.

An American couple from Minnesota Maryanne a journalist and her husband Brian an environmental engineer were an interesting couple and we went out to dinner to a restaurant they had tried before and had a nice meal with them. They left the next day and we went off to the Agentinian Falls which took about half an hour.

We were going to take a boat ride which travelled to near the falls however the water was at too low a level for the larger boats on the Argentinian side to operate so after buying our park tickets and we went and got the free tickets for the train to take us to the “Garganta do Diablo” or Devil’s throat at the start of the falls. The small train took about twenty minutes and then about another twenty minutes walk along a very well constructed metal walkway took us out to the viewing platform over the start of the falls. It was a spectacular sight with a lot of spray. We got a bit wet but it was hot and humid so it was quite pleasant.

The train took us to another stop on the way back. We bought a salad and ate it in a caged area with tables and seats presumably to be free of the Coatis or any other wild animal of which we saw none but which were found in the national park.
We continued onto two more trails doing about ten kilometres in total. There were also many viewing platforms along the way. The walkways were well constructed for wheelchair access with ramps as well as stairs for the fitter of us.
I expected to see more wild animals on our walks around two other trails but we only saw a couple of spiderwebs with small spiders and black and yellow birds in a few places other than the cute Coati of which there were many in certain places. Mainly where there was food to be found. They have sharp teeth and can carry rabies so most people kept their distance but a few foolhardy people were patting them and feeding them. We spent a good seven hours there and made the most of all the viewing areas.

A new guest was Olaf a German who lived in Berlin and worked for a Swiss airline out of Zurich – Edelweiss. He too was pleasant so we went with him to the same restaurant as the previous night. The manager greeted us like old friends and we had another nice meal.

Hugo our driver recommended for us to visit a semi-precious stones mine called Wanda after a Polish princess and we were very glad he did. It was about half and hour’s drive and we had a guide show us into the caves where they mine the stones and large crystals. The 32hectares was bought by a family to use for farming but they discovered the stones and they have only mined about four of the hectares so far and it should deep producing for the next hundred years at least. There are ten miners who work from 7am until 12noon every day. There are seven polishers and fifteen people working as tourist guides. It was fascinating to learn how the stones were formed over millions of years and see some in the basalt rock as they were formed. They sometimes encounter water that has been stored for that time within the basalt rocks but which is still clear and fresh. The semi precious stones include amethyst, quartz and agates.

We drove back to the airport on the Argentinian side and flew to Buenos Aires which was only a couple of hours.
I have always wanted to see the Falls from when I was a teenager so it was a wonderful experience for me. Gay enjoyed it too.

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