Sunday, September 7, 2008

South America Trip - Day 5

Day 5 – Monday 8/25

Check out the jungle view from our room in the morning!
This morning we woke up and ate breakfast in the restaurant’s buffet.

Elio picked us up again at 8:30am and drove us short distance to the entrance of the waterfall area. We were put into a group with about 10 other people and we were lead by our guide, Carlos.
We had a short walk to a train boarding area and then rode a small train to the next station.

From there we walked a little ways over foot bridges towards the “Devil’s Throat” waterfall. We crossed over about 5 bodies of water that fed the huge waterfall. It was unlike anything we had ever seen! There was so much power and so much water! There were tons of birds flying through the mist of the waterfall to bathe.

After about 15 minutes, we headed back towards the train and back to the original station. We then walked on a path through the rainforest and saw SO many other waterfalls. It was like an endless amount.

The tour guide asked us if we wanted to go on an optional tour where we would go on a motor boat right near the falls and then on a jeep tour through the jungle. We went for it, figuring it was a once in a lifetime deal. Paul, Yolanda, Cuong and I walked down closer towards the river area and then boarded small motor boat. We were each given a waterproof bag to put our belongings in, as well as a life vest. Talk about exhilarating! The driver took us almost under 2 different water falls! Needless to say, we were pretty soaked by the time we got off the boat!

From there we had to climb some steep stairs up to a waiting area for the Jeep ride. The large “jeep” held about 20 people and headed through the jungle. The guide from the National Park told us about the animals in the jungle (monkeys, pumas, jaguars, etc.). She also told us about the sad reality of the Hearts of Palms. I have never eaten them before, but I’ve seen them on menus in salads. She said that the “heart” of the palm couldn’t be cut out until it’s a few years old…and then the palm tree dies. So the certain kinds of palm trees are close to extinction. They aren’t being replanted once they are cut down.
While we were on our tour we met an older lady from Japan. She told us that she was retired and doing lots of traveling. Iguazu Falls was her last stop on her 28-day long trip! I can’t imagine taking a trip like that! She had traveled all over South America. Surprisingly, she didn’t speak much of any Spanish!

Here is the view of the Devil's Throat from the grounds of our hotel!! AWESOME!

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