A bit weird waking up on your birthday away from home. no early morning calls from relatives to wish me the best on my birthday. As much as i tried to avoid it, I had a plane to catch today to Iguazu. A 24hr bus trip on variable roads vs the 2 hr flight was a no brainer. However I do have a 18 hr trip back to Buenos Aires on a fully reclinable 180 degree sleeper on Monday.
So I get to the airport, with not many people there. I walk into the boarding queue, only to realise boarding isn’t open, yet all the people sitting around waiting for boarding to open decided, that shit a queue is going to form so lets get into it. I’ve formed my first Argentine queue and proud of it. At least 30 people joined the queue, half of those were at the airport waiting around. As a result of being first in line I got first pick of the seats also, when checkin opened 30 minutes later. I’m an aisle seat guy, but only know spanish for window so got a window with view of falls, or so I thought she said.
Come time to land I did get to see the falls, or rather the huge amount of mist generated from the falls. The hostel has a pool and a few stark white british backpackers trying to get sunburnt as they usually do (probably also smoking, because once you get one kind of cancer they seem to want another).
I had a chicken sandwich for lunch, not entirely filling, but decided i could have a big birthday dinner. I walked down the road to a place I only just heard of that helps injured wildlife. Guira Ogameans something, but be buggered if i can remember. A tour of 2 people started and we were driven into the jungle on the back of a tractor. Then the guide who I think was called Nahuel walked me around a series of jungle enclosures for injured birds and a few injured mammals too. The toucans and macaws were as colourful as ever and the monkeys were quite fun to watch. Then a renegade came from the tree tops. A young howler monkey whose fur was still pale, same down to say hello and generally annoy the other monkeys. Another highlight were the injured eagles. Most couldn’t fly or were pets and needed to be trained again. Eagles are indeed majestioc birds. My wildlife trip over for the day, I went back to the hostel/resort. The travel agent there was less than helpful, because I already had a ticket to the moon walk of the falls. she was happy to sell me another one though.
I sorted out the bus fare though and arrived at the falls earlier. I was also delighted to note that it was not couples night at the falls. After some waiting around, about 120 people were hoarded onto the train. We were taken to the beginning of the superior trail as its known. You literally walk along a metal walkway above the edge of the falls. In the dark you can hear the rushing and then by moonlight you can see the rushing water beneath your feet. Now as many people found out, taken photos by moonlight is incredibly diffcult. The photo I’ve posted was a 20 second exposure, rested against a hand rail for support. I think tomorrow will be an outstanding day at the falls, but even by night it was a truly spectacular sight.
Unfortunately, some of the trails have been shut due to high water. still i’m sure I will still see the power and beauty of these falls tomorrow. I didn’t get back to the hostel til 11pm. I still had not had dinner and the restaurant was closed. I ordered a taxi and asked the driver to take me to the best restaurant in town. I’m not sure if it was, but it looked like a good one and the food was good. $103 pesos later including the return taxi trip, my birthday was over, except in Chile and easter island, but the Argentineans don’t like Chileans, so i won’t bring that up.
Spanish phrase of the day was a helpful one i used tonight to select my beer “Que tiene la cerveza?”. I think its not completely correct, but it worked. I then followed up with “Cual es roja or negra?” because i like the darker beers here either red/amber or dark is good.
Anyway my birthday is over in Chile and I need to go to sleep.