Thursday, August 12, 2010

Iguassu Falls

August 9, 2010

Iguassu Falls:

We departed Buenos Aires and took a flight to Iguassu Falls. Our flight was delayed by 2 hours and we hung out at the airport for some extra time. We landed in Iguassu on the Argentine side of the border and had to travel by bus and go through customs. Everything ran very smoothly at the border crossing and we arrived at the Harbour Colonial Hotel without any glitches. It was really nice to escape the big city as our next hotel was located right near the park entrance and we were surrounded by nature.

We checked in to our hotel and then departed for Rafrain Churrascaria, a South American Folk variety dinner show. We were served another buffet, more barbq and very good icecream. The Malbec was very bad …no more wonderful Argentine Malbec but we were all introduced to a new national drink of Brasil called “Caipirinha”, A mixture of cachaca (distilled alcohol made with sugar cane) with limes and sugar, very good, but very potent. The show was interesting and introduced many varieties of folk dancing, singing and music. The costumes were very beautiful and colorful. They encouraged a lot of audience participation and Orest Fialka and Levi Zimmerman were both brought up to the stage to participate. Levi participated in a presentation called “Bolhadeiras”, a male dancer showed off with ropes with balls on the end and spun them very quickly to demonstrate a fast spinning spectacle or trick….well, he then asked Levi to join in and stand in the general area of where these fast balls were spinning, as they ‘grazed’ his head and added excitement to the show. Orest was then asked to join the performers as the beautiful Brazilian woman were dressed in traditional “show girl” costumes…enough said…what happens on tour, stays on tour. I am sure there are already pictures on Facebook.

Back to the hotel for a good rest.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

We boarded the bus to the Bird Park, and it is safe to say that everyone was truly surprised by how cool it was. We were not very excited to visit a bird park and thought that it would be boring, but it was truly amazing. The setting was beautifully landscaped as we walked just over one km of trails where the birds were kept in sanctuary’s where they could fly and be very mobile. The birds were all so friendly (and very loud).

We were able to walk into their cages and interact with them. The funnest was the Macaw’s where we walked into their caged area and the birds would ‘caw’ so loudly at us and swoop down to make the entire experience very exciting.

We had many opportunities to hold many of the birds and some of us even had a boa constrictor wrapped around our necks.

We spent the morning taking pictures and enjoying all of the colorful birds. After the Bird Park we took a hike through the National Park of Iguassu Falls.

It really looked like paradise! Everyone took lots of beautiful pictures, but I am not even sure they will do justice to the beauty of Iguassu Falls. It was breathtaking.

We ate yet another delicious lunch at Porto Canoas Restaurant, which was located at the start of the falls.

We then hopped on some jeeps for the Macuco “safari”…it was not much of a safari, but the jeeps took us all down to the water where we got onto motorized river boats, a raft with two large engines that could take about 25 people on board. The boats took us all the way down the river on a very exciting tour of the waterfalls. The water was very cold and we screamed at the top of our lungs with excitement as the boat took us in and out of many of the falls, then over and over again. It was like a Disneyland ride but it was the real thing. Everyone had a blast and got completely SOAKED! This was definitely the highlight of the day for most people! After such a jam-packed day, everyone relaxed at the hotel for the evening, swimming, eating, and packing for the next city, Cascaval.

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