Iguazu Falls & The Rabies Incident

Countries Brazil & Argentina | Dates May 1-3 | Accommodation Tetris Container Hostel

On the plane to Iguazu Falls Sarah was starving so we used hard/uncooked pasta to scoop some PB out (yes I have done this before; also yes I had uncooked pasta in my carry-on bag). It was too difficult so she broke a piece off her plastic cup and used that to scoop (my idea). That night we walked to the store – Super Muffalto! Sarah wanted to buy candies but when we got to checkout I determined they were not in budget ($2usd) and made her put them back. At the hostel we enjoyed free caiprianas at 8-8:30pm.

Foz De Iguazu: Brazil Side

We did the Brazil side first (easier as we could take the bus to the park ourselves for like $1usd). It was incredible – there were many viewpoints from above, below and all around, and the falls are higher and stronger than I have ever seen! The pictures do not do it justice.

Contracting Rabies

All around the falls are wild animals, called quatis (coatis in Spanish), that at first appear very cute with their long snouts and striped tails. I approached from a distance to photograph them, feeling strong and screaming “I love you!”  Only a few minutes later, my feelings changed. I was standing near a railing when suddenly a rogue quati attempted to access my backpack. Then several more quatis began attacking! They were after our daily peanut butter sandwiches, their snouts in my bag and gripping hard. I pulled back, scared they’d run off with my bag and passport etc. Eventually I won (they were strong), but left with sheer terror – and a minuscule cut on my finger. The cut is likely from my own nail when I was gripping the bag, but naturally I was immediately convinced it was from the quati talon. Now I may have rabies. Terrified all day I avoided the quatis, as they laid in wait to prey and kill me (see photos). Later I washed my body and bag with Purell in case the saliva remained and transferred.

Cataratas de Iguazu: Argentina Side

The next day we did the Argentina side of the falls, opting for an organized tour over a 2+ hour bus journey including border crossing. Only 1 other girl was on the tour, so it was basically private. This side was substantially bigger (70% of the park is in Argentina) and included a train ride! Upon arrival we saw more quatis and I felt panic and remained vigilant lest they attack again.

The Argentina side of the falls was also beautiful, but different. You get views of various vistas from afar, and also get right on top of the strongest part of the falls, dubbed the “devil’s throat,” and get soaked in the spray. The falls were powerful and crushing, flowing at an insane rate. There are 3 trails, longer than in Brazil, and we walked 2. After this the guide made us wait and “eat lunch” for an hour (obviously we had brought sandwiches); “we do not need to wait here” I stated. We waited. I slept on the table.

Hostel Happenings

  • Sarah doing weird stretches on the ground outside in pajamas
  • Me repeatedly stealing a girl’s phone charger (without permission) as my adapter didn’t work
  • Sarah running to the tour office and entering in a flurry 20 seconds before they closed
  • A vile bathroom with doors that did not close

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