Saturday, August 9, 2014

Brazil 2014 - Day 5 (6/17/2014) - Foz

The breakfast at Bella Italia was an improvement over the already solid buffet from Hotel Aladdin - they additionally had more warm items, and some huge wheels of cheese.  After eating we headed to the front desk to ask about getting to the falls.  We took a bus to the main bus terminal, and then switched to the Parque Nacional bus.  After the 30-ish minute ride to the park, we entered (after getting off a stop too soon - you would think that I would get it right after having been there before 5 years prior) and bought tickets.  We took the park bus to the trail that began at the first view of the falls, and then took the trail to the falls and down the Devil's Throat walkway.  This time, I was prepared with a rain jacket, rain pants, and rain cover for my backpack.  Another difference of note this time was that the water flow was higher than normal - some recent heavy rains had caused huge floods (and reached a peak flow rate 33 times higher than normal) and overflown the Devil's Throat walkway.  The flow had since reduced, but was clearly still pretty high.  One visible symptom was the greatly increased muddiness of the water.  Thankfully, pretty much all paths and walkways had been reopened by our arrival.

We next took the elevator to the panorama platform, before stopping for a snack while watching some of the first half of the 1:00 Belgium vs Algeria game.  When we got going again, Raj wanted to walk back up the trail by the falls, as we didn't really have anything else to do.  This ended up allowing for some better shots of the falls, as the clouds had dissipated a bit and the sun was in a favorable position.  After getting back to the start of the trail, we took the park bus back to the visitors center, and then caught the bus back into town.
Once in town, we got off the bus after passing by a few bars that looked to be gearing up to show the Brazil vs Mexico match.  We walked back to Jardim de Cerveja (literally, Beer Garden) and sat down to watch the match.  Even though it was a 0-0 draw, it was a more entertaining match than the Nigeria match the day before had been.  After the match, we walked back to the hotel to settle in early for the night and watch the late soccer match (Russia vs South Korea).  This turned out to be a decent idea, as it began to rain quite hard at around 8:00.  We also pondered what to do the following day, and decided on a visit to Itaipu dam.  We tried to book it ourselves, but could not complete the process on the website, so we decided to try through the hotel's tourism desk in the morning.

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