Cycling South America: Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile.
Our first 1000 kilometers are a fact! Here we are, it’s raining cats and dogs and all we see is clouds… this is the reason why we started in Sao Paulo.. this is not funny! Behinds those clouds are the famous waterfalls of Foz do Iguacu and we decide it’s better to return with sunny weather and so we do..
But, before we visit the waterfalls again, we decide to see the once biggest dam in the world: Itaipu Dam Nowadays the Three Gorges dam in China is the biggest, but still produces less energy than the Itaipu Dam. We take a guided tour and we learn that they started building the dam in 1971 and it was finally finished in 1982, they expect the investment for building the dam will be payed of by 2023…
The huge turbines have been built at the scene and to transport the dynamos special trucks were made. The dam itself is 7,7 kilometers long and 196 meters high. 18 turbines produce energy for almost the whole of Paraguay and about 20% of Brasil. During the 2,5 hour tour we get to see the dynamos and a lot more, it was definately worth a visit.
Joao en Eliete
When we check in into a hotel in Matelandia, we see a book on the desk about a motor cyclists riding around the world. As it turns out Joao (the writer) is the owner of the hotel and he’s been around the world a few times, according to a map on the wall of the reception and the many pictures of him and his wife in various places. We go upstairs, take a shower and by the time we are ready to have some dinner, the receptionists tells us to wait; Joao wants to meet us. That night they take us to an all you can eat Pizza place, the day after he brings us to the dam and we have dinner at his place and when we check out of the hotel, he reduces the price by 50%! That is so sweet!
Casa de Ciclistas and the Cataratas do Foz do Iguacu
Joao also gave us directions to a not so very well known Casa de Ciclistas in Foz do Iguacu, so by the end of the day we find ourselves in one of the outskirts of Foz. We ask a couple of old ladies where the casa is and they show me the pet-shop where Luciano is working and as soon as Luciano sees us, he takes us to his casa de ciclistas. With clean sheets and towels, he leaves us with the keys: “Stay as long as you want, it’s free!”
Yes, we like the Brazilians, they are really friendly to us so far! We take the opportunity to visit Las Cataratas do Iguacu again and this time the sun is shining! There are about 270 to 300 distinct waterfalls, a total of 2,7 kilometers wide and a drop of 82 meters. Top of the bill is the ‘Gargante do Diablo’ which is 150 meters wide and enormous amounts of water fall right before our noses. It’s really impressive! We get wet to the bone by all the vapour, but it’s so worth it! If ever in your life you want to see a waterfall, this must be the one! And we are so happy we returned with a bit of sunlight! We visit both sides and that’s also a recommendation, because they differ a lot, even though you are looking at the same waterfalls.., judge for yourself and put this on your bucket list!