Sunday, 5 April 2015

The Grand Iguazu Falls & How Brazil Immigration almost F*ck me up

I was not wasting time now that I have about 1 month left in South America. So much things to see and so many place to go and not much time left. So I hustle Iguazu Falls like crazy upon touchdown from the bus. Iguazu Falls was located at a three point border between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay but you could only view it from the Brazil and Argentina side.

How Brazil Immigration almost Fuck me up
7 am in the morning I arrived and immediately was sold a day tour ticket to see the falls at the Argentinian side. The bus was to pick me up at 8am and we would reach the falls at 10 am and pick up again at 5pm to be brought back to the Brazil side. First thing the tour company did was check if I needed a Visa to enter Argentina and was soon clear I (Malaysian Passport) required none.

First stop was the Brazil side of the Immigration but prior to that the van driver took all the passengers passport and when we got to the immigration he was the only one to get down and disappear for a few minutes before returning and driving us off to the Argentina side of immigration. At the Argentina side of immigration the same thing happened and we never saw any immigration officer while crossing the border.
Arrive at the Argentinian entrance of National Park of Iguazu Falls and the driver gave back our passports. I opened it up and saw the nice new entry stamp into Argentina. There was no Brazil exit stamp thou. I asked the driver and he said it was not required. Not thinking too much about it for I have been to countries that do not stamp out such as USA, Australia, New Zealand; but still I had a bad feeling.

Later that day after having a great day at the falls the driver picked us up at 5pm as planned and drove back to Brazil crossing immigration again in the same way. This time I was careful and told the driver to make sure we got exit stamps ….. I was taking no chances. We never saw any immigration officer, the same as the first time the driver stopped at the Argentina side getting exit stamps for everyone. Moving on to Brazil side of immigration the driver did not even bother to stop and just drove on entering the country with no immigration crossing.
A month later I manage to exit Brazil with an exit stamp into Uruguay ….. but that’s another story …..

So if someone would to carefully examine my Passport …. It would look like this:
Enter Brazil -> Enter Argentina -> Exit Argentina -> Exit Brazil

I later checked the all wise internet and found out that everyone require an exit stamp from Brazil. That f*cking driver was just lazy. Oh well ….
Iguazu Falls ( Argentina Side )
Iguazu Falls
Argentina side of the falls brings you up close and personal, really really close and judging by the way they construct the walkway and some ruin bridge parts that was lying about perched on some rocks saved for its brothers that has went over, it was a little scary but at the same time exhilarating to be so close to the edge.
If you ever love Indiana Jones or lost treasure hunter movies the falls was just like that. Tall and huge with average of 1000m3 of waters feeding and going over the edge every second, just breath-taking. There was three parts of the falls, two of which was like a flat wall of water, spread out so long formed by hundreds of individual waterfalls close to each other and the third was shaped like a horseshoe with a tip protruding like a tongue which they named the devils throat.

Diablo Del Gigante, was the name of the observation deck at the very edge of the falls into the Devil Throat and it was beautiful looking at the tremendous gush of water above just breaks at the edge and fall into oblivion. One could not see the bottom of the falls for the sheer volume of water cause sprays and frequently shooting sprays that is higher than the falls itself and this obscure the base of the river. Nicely named I guess devils throat for if you fall off that edge there was no way to survive
Argentina side has also the upper circuit track and a lower circuit track which one could hike along designated path to get other views of the falls. They go really close and for the lower circuit, so close that you are bound to be soaking wet from the sprays of water. Five hours and that was all I could do running from one view point to another to get different views of the fall. One could also take the super drench boat ride as close as the driver dares to the bottom of the falls but at a hefty price.

Iguazu Falls ( Brazil Side )
The next day I went to the Brazilian side on my own taking the local bus. You could not see the whole falls together at the Argentina side ….. the big picture was on the Brazil side. Brazil side of the falls however was done in a mere 2 hours for they have only one track leading up to a magnificent view into the mouth of the devils throat. Brazil side I would say is for taking panoramic photos for the falls are seen from a far and a great overview can be seen. Morning seem to be a good choice, for rainbows would form everywhere around the falls due to the water mist.

Lovely Falls ….

One thing for sure … it was one of those places where a photo will not do it justice ….
Rainbow at Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls

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