Iguazu Falls, Argentina

27 Feb

The Brazilian side was so impressive I considered not bothering with the Argentine side. The sunrise view from the splendid hotel room revealed two things that encouraged me to go anyway: better weather and the falls are in such force that the spray forms lasting clouds. The hotel is in the only one in the park and just a short walk from the trails, so let’s go.

First views are already impressive and just like the Brazilian side it gets better around every corner.

With some frightening edges viewed from very close up, which do make you glad you weren’t the first person ever to come down this river in their canoe…

The walkways and viewpoints are almost empty for two hours:

Take the mini train to the Devil’s Throat viewpoint, and yes the close up view of the falls is good:

But first you have to force your way through this for 15 minutes:

To get to a point where this is your view:

Another 5 minutes of pushing and shoving and you might bounce to the front for 3 milliseconds and 1 picture. It seems almost everyone goes to the Devil’s Throat viewpoint and hardly anyone bothers to walk the trails, where the views are so much more varied and intimidating.

Time to go. Surprisingly, the Iguazu Falls airport actually has a lounge that’s in the Priority Pass network. For such a tiny metal-hut-and-runway provincial airstrip it doesn’t make sense. It’s a small lounge:

With a decent view:

But the best thing is that if you know it’s there, you ask at the customer service desk downstairs in the main scrum of the stinking hot terminal, and the lounge staff will come to escort you to the lounge, fast-tracking through security by the back door. You’ll be the only person in the lounge, left in peace and quiet and air-conditioned luxury with sandwiches hand-made by the lounge staff on-request, emerging on the aircraft side of the boarding gate when the time comes, to confused looks from all the peasants who’ve been queuing up for 20 minutes, giving you black looks but also probably wondering who the hell is this guy getting VIP treatment. Suckers.

One last glimpse of the falls from the air, surrounded by jungle, but only if you bothered to do your research and pick a seat portside because that’s the side that usually gets the view:

And that’s it. All that’s left is a night back in Buenos Aires then a very long flight back home.

Almost two million points and miles for just over £48,000 of travel through Germany, Switzerland, China, Taiwan, Philippines, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Zealand, Tahiti, Bora Bora, Easter Island, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil. Success!

Second time around the world

28 Feb

 

Germany, Switzerland, China, Taiwan, Philippines, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Zealand, Tahiti, Bora Bora, Easter Island, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil.

Points & Miles used – 1,843,200

Cash Value – £48,382

Flights – 30, 115 hours, 37000 miles

Airports – 23

Airlines – 18

Cars – 11, 2500+ miles

Hotels – 40

Days – 64

Countries – 15 (including transit)

Currencies – 10

1st Class Lounges – 3

Luxury private limousines between aircraft and terminal – 3

Boat transfers – 6

Active volcanoes – 1

Overwater Villas – 5