Saturday, October 27, 2012

Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil (not the Falls)

After a day at Iguaçu Falls and the Caratas Hotel, we left the falls and headed into the nearby town, Foz do Iguaçu to stay the night and then depart the next day. Setting up the next leg of the trip from Foz do Iguaçu to Buenos Aires was one of the biggest challenges that we had in setting up the trip. We wanted to avoid the reciprocal fee that Argentina charges American tourists at the two main airports in Buenos Aires and also wanted to check another country off our list. First we had tickets on PLUNA to Montevideo, but they went bankrupt. Fortunately, Buquebus happened to have flights that would work for us the next day and we were able to shift things around. We were scheduled to have an evening in Montevideo and then off to Buenos Aires, but that is not exactly what happened.

But before the the flight, we had a chance to stay in the city Foz do Iguaçu itself and visit the Avian Park that is near the falls. I like birds and brightly colored tropical birds are not something that I get to see too often. When I was in Mongolia, one of the highlights of the trip was holding a Golden Eagle on my arm and this ended up being the avian highlight of the trip. The park is geared towards children, but it does offer you a chance to get close to get close to some of the iconic birds of the region, like toucans and macaws.

The hummingbird house was one of the highlights, especially with my new camera that is equipped with slow (albeit low-resolution) motion.

After the bird park, we went into the city for our night there. We stayed at the Pousada Sonho Meu, which is on the other end of the spectrum from the Caratas Hotel. It is a perfectly serviceable hotel on the lower end (about $30-40 per person) and it is located about two blocks from the main bus terminal (which goes to the airport and the waterfalls). There isn't too much in the town itself for visitors. While the entire main street was once redone to be more bike and pedestrian friendly (complete with handicap ramps!), the main downtown area is pretty quiet. We didn't have a lot of time to spend, and there really isn't much to do. I only regret not getting a couple thousand guarani (Paraguayan currency) from a money changer. At $0.0002 per guarani, you only need $225 to be a millionaire.

Finally, we were off to the airport. It's a good idea to get the bus at the bus station if you are in the area. These buses are designed for capacity and there are few seats on board. If you want them, you need to among the first on the bus at the bus station, which is where the route starts.

Next time, we fly to Montevideo! Or do we?

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