Monday, September 8, 2014

2014 Brazil Foz do Iguaçu 1 (9/8/2014)

Monday, September 8, 2014
After a nine-hour red-eye flight from Charlotte, NC, we arrived about 1-1/2 hours late in São Paulo, Brazil. It's a good thing we had such a long layover in São Paulo. First we had problems getting money from an ATM. We tried the machines of several banks, and tried different options. We called Bank of America and were told we were asking for cash advances, which they do not allow. We tried again at a couple more banks, then gave up and exchanged cash into Brazilian reais. Next we tried to get Argentinian pesos, which the exchange company did not have. We found the Safra Bank did have Argentinian pesos. (They didn't have any Argentinian pesos at any exchange place in the Charlotte airport either.)
Finally we checked in to our afternoon flight to Foz do Iguaçu, stored our luggage in a locker, and had lunch.
Flying into Foz do Iguaçu, we could see down on the widened expanse of the Iguaçu River, and where it dropped in a nearly 2-mile wide set of waterfalls.
Where the Iguaçu Falls drop
We arrived shortly after 15:00, and went to see if there was a hotel shuttle. We saw a van marked Harbor Tours, and asked. The driver let us in the van, and took us with his other passengers to the Harbor Hotel Colonial. We later realized the van was picking up a special tour group; it was not there as the hotel shuttle.
After we checked in, we headed to the Parque das Aves/Bird Park (1994). Rather than wait for a bus, we walked the 1 km/.6 mile to the bird park, and paid the BR$28/$14 each admission fee. We had an hour to tour the park with the largest aviary in Latin America.
    Psittacara leucophthalma/White-eyed Parakeet (KSS)
    Many birds were in large wire cages, and there were three aviaries.
    Crax fasciolata/Bare-faced Currasow
    (only the males have yellow beaks) (KSS)
    Aburria jacutinga/Black-fronted Piping Guan (KSS)
    Mitu tuberosum/Razor-billed Currasow (KSS)
    Cariama cristata/Red-legged Seriema
    Ramphastos toco/Toco Toucan
    Guarouba guarouba/Golden Parakeets (KSS)
    Ambulating macaws
    A couple Ara ararauna/
    Blue-and-yellow Macaws in the largest aviary
    In the butterfly garden, Caligo sp/Owl Butterfly
    "Tame snake"
    We caught the local bus the 15 km/7.5 miles into town, and somehow for the two of us, the fare was BR$5.75. That is not evenly divisible by two!
    The TTU/Urban Transport Terminal
    Foz do Iguaçu was actually a little city, and its biggest growth came during the 18 years it took to build a nearby dam (1982).
    Highrises in Foz do Iguaçu
    We had dinner at the Famiglia Maran Bakery & Restaurant.
    Tamiko with a chocolate mousse (KSS)
    Took the bus back to the hotel.
    Hotel soap looked like the old-fashioned bubble gum
    Next: Foz do Iguaçu 2.

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