Hiking Windsor Great Park during Winter

Where: Windsor, UK

When: 12-14th January 2017

 

It’s a cold Friday evening in January, and we’re sat in London pub complaining. Our gripe? We needed to get outdoors. We need fresh air, and to swap the depressing city skyline for some greenery. Mostly we need exercise. Unfortunately, I’m no die-hard all-season outdoor adventurer. I hate being cold for a start, so it’s a struggle to motivate myself to pile on layers and forgo the comforts of central heating to get muddy and wet. But what I try focusing on over a G&T is the fact that when I do force myself outside for a hearty walk, I almost always feel much better for it.

We agreed to wake up early the next morning and formulate a plan. Over cereal and Google Maps a destination is randomly decided – Windsor. Home to the World’s largest inhabited castle (The Queen’s weekend pad), the famous Eton College (where Princes William and Harry went), and a historical royal parkland. Just south of the quaint Old Windsor town, Windsor Great Park provides over 4,800 acres of open space. With easy access to London, you might recognise areas of the park for the backdrops it has lent to dozens of films, including Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Windsor Great Park. Windsor Castle sits just north of The Long Walk.

Wearing copious amounts of warm winter layers, we pull together two hikes to explore a large proportion of the park.

Day 1:  Long Park Loop (11.6 miles)

Setting from our hotel 0.6 miles outside the south-east Blacknest Gate, our route would take us north along Duke’s Lane, up to Queen Anne’s Ride, until looping back down The Long Walk just before reaching the castle.

Given the wide open spaces, my cheeks burned in the wind, so we marched away to keep warm as if taking part in SAS training. Aside from horses and cyclists, most of our walk along the western side of the park seemed pretty quiet. The outlook was largely grazing fields full of sheep, with some enclosed ‘private’ land, and a few seemingly random pockets of housing. Who is lucky enough to live within the walls of Windsor Great Park (aside from Prince Andrew) I wonder?

Blacknest Gate Lodge

Around 4 miles in, after a brief detour to The Village – a square of houses with a Post Office – we come across the only statue of our current Queen on horse-back. The monument was commissioned to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee in 2002. She gazes on towards Windsor castle, keeping a watchful eye on Prince Philip. A keen equestrian, apparently she still rides today in her 90s!

Queen Elizabeth II on horse-back overlooking Queen Anne’s Ride

From the statue, our walk took us down the long, mowed Queen Anne’s ride, which we tred  trying to avoid the odd pesky mole hill. Due to the neighbouring deer park, the ride is enclosed by a wire fence, meaning once you are on it there is no way to cut across eastwards. We found ourselves mostly taking established paths all day, which meant a lot of the time we had to dodge bikes and horses. At the end of the ride, we opted to forgo visiting the town (and castle), and turned back south-east, crossing through a tall gate into the deer park. Once inside, the resident heard of red deer could be spotted grazing in the distance.

Upon joining The Long Walk, the number of people grew. The 2.65-mile tree-lined avenue was originally planted in 1680 by Charles II. I like to think the view of Windsor Castle hasn’t changed much in that time, although since Charles’ time the castle has found itself right under the Heathrow airport flight path. If I had a pound for every low-flying plane roaring across the sky during our walk, it would have been a lucrative day!

The Long Walk, with Windsor Castle on the horizon. By the look of the distant flag, it appeared that the Queen was home!

The best view of Windsor Castle came once atop the hill at the foot of George III’s Copper Horse. If you haven’t seen the castle, it’s worth a visit. Home to a large amount of the British Crown’s art collection, these days it opens part of it’s enormous campus to tourists – for an entrance fee. The statue itself is very imposing. Much grander in size than the Queen’s one seen earlier. Years ago a rumour circulated that the statue’s sculptor killed himself because he was so ashamed that he forgot to include stirrups on the horse. This myth has since been disproven!

George III depicted as a Roman Emperor on The Copper Horse statue
Howdy. Got my mittens on and I’m still cold.

Our remaining route followed mostly straight paths towards Virginia Water. We past Guard’s Polo Club, which was all shut up for the season. By then, feeling tired, and in need of a hot drink we headed back towards Blacknest Gate, forgoing the lake for the next day. Given the number of visitors to the park, one thing that had surprised me was the serious lack of refreshment and toilet facilities. We didn’t pass a single public toilet all day! I would suggest packing your own snacks if you plan on spending a lot of time in the park.

Horses passing The Prince Consort statue

 

Day 2:  Virginia Water & Valley Gardens Loop (7.2 miles)

The air was even cooler on Sunday morning, and with just a few hours to kill before a customary English roast, we returned to the southern end of the park. Unfortunately we were not alone. It seems that Windsor Great Park, and Virginia Water in particular, is THE place to go on a Sunday morning!  Whether walking the dog, pushing a pram, cycling, or taking part in the organised race going on, the new year exercise resolutions were in full swing.

Despite the crowds, I really enjoyed exploring this area of the park. It has far more landscaping than the northern section, and greater areas of interest to peruse, plus a visitor centre (toilets, food etc.) With further time we would have taken the small diversion north to Savill Garden (free entry in Jan-Feb), to see the horticultural designs.

Virginia Water

Joining the ultra-busy 4.5-mile footpath that circles Virginia Water, we headed counter-clockwise under a white-out, sad sky. The lake dates back to 1763, when it became the largest man-made water pool in Britain. Conscious of our limited time, we set a decent marching pace, but still found ourselves side-stepping for the runners and cyclists. Staring at the calm body of water was not as peaceful as it could have been. I had to remain mindful of the crowds. There were a couple of near-misses with passing cyclists, and one total wet-dog face-plant into my legs that left me covered in mud. Thanks for that.

Almost hidden away from the lake’s southern shore something caught my eye. What looked like the ruins of a Roman city, inside Windsor Park? The tall, crumbling columns and archs look like they belong in ancient Greece – and that’s almost exactly where they came from too! Some information panels dotted around revealed that the stones were shipped to England from the Mediterranean, and re-constructed during the Georgian era. They once made up the ancient Roman city of Leptis Magna on the shores of Tripoli. It seems that Georgian England, (just like the Victorians who followed), had a fascination with ancient architecture, and this ‘folly’, was erected for no purpose other than decoration.

Similar in intent to the ruins, we next came across the ornamental waterfall. The cascades were constructed by George III in 1780, and originally included a grotto, which has long since washed away. There is something whimsical about casting eyes on such man-made sites after witnessing incredible natural waterfalls all over the world! But then again, hundreds of years ago, how many people got to travel like we do today to see such wonders?

The Cascades

Passing the Pavilion guest centre, (and a giant carpark), we next reached the very distinctive Canadian totem pole. The 100-foot high pole, erected in 1958 to mark the centenary of British Columbia as a Crown Colony, was carved by Kwakiutl tribesmen out of a single trunk of red cedar. I should have taken a picture from further away, because I couldn’t do the monument justice. OK, so the paintwork could do with a touch-up, but the colossal mast sits so proudly looking out over the water, that it serves as a magnificent tribute to the UK’s relationship with Canada.

At this point in the hike we decided to divert from the main lake trail. As soon as we did, heading up into the Valley Gardens, the crowds slipped away. The undulating woodland, contains a maze of small trails, and an assortment of plants and trees, some of which are labelled. Whilst getting a bit lost, we spotted a dog, who after trotting past us twice in two different directions, we noticed was travelling solo. The little lost tike got away from us, (we tried to get a look at his collar), so we reported his location to the park warden, who dispatched a search team. I hope he managed to get reunited with his owner in time for lunch!

The horses are queueing up for lunch at the neighbouring Fox & Hounds pubs!

Additional Park Info

  • Most of the space open to public is free of charge from dawn the dusk (except car parking and the Savill Garden). Our walking routes were completely free!
  • The Park is accessible from London by car, or by trains from London Waterloo in around an hour
  • Cyclists and horse-riders are particularly well-catered for in Windsor, with dedicated routes and plenty of long, easy-grade track. There are many local stables and bike shops nearby

 

Itchy butt!

 

The Sacred [Shorter] Inca Trail

Where: The Sacred Valley, Peru

When: November 2012

Want all the drama and beauty of Peru’s famous Inca Trail, but don’t have 4 days free to hike it? Or perhaps like us you’d rather opt out of camping? Well fear not, there is a less publicised alternative option – The Sacred (or Royal) Inca Trail. Given the 6.3-mile (10km) trail can be hiked in a single day, it’s surely a no-brainer for getting a taste of the ancient Inca civilisation, without any camping involved!

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A map of The Sacred Valley to show the main Inca Trail (green/yellow) verses the shorter version

In 2012 our trek began as the early morning Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes Peru Rail train came to an abrupt stop at a seemingly nothing piece of track. There certainly wasn’t any platform, as we jumped straight onto the sidings of the narrow track that snakes through Peru’s Sacred Valley. Only 6 people got off the crowded train – Conrad and I, our guide Oscar, and another couple also with a guide.

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Departing Chachabamba into the clouds

After crossing a hanging footbridge over the Urubamba River, I was surprised to see two men sitting in a tiny palm-rooved kiosk in what appeared to be a deserted forest. They took their time inspecting our paperwork before stamping the permits. Once through, we somehow skipped over the archaeological complex of Chachabamba, a site dedicated to water with various channels and fountains, eager/ anxious to get going before the sun really heated up.

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This is apparently what Chachabamba looks like (photo not my own!)

Starting at an elevation of 2,170 meters, we progressed along the narrow passage etched into the steep valley. The views were expansive, with the river below becoming increasingly faint, and distant peaks coated in heavy clouds as far as the eye could see. I’m not going to lie, the first part of the hike was arduous in the humid conditions. The trail offered no real shade – hence our cringe-worthy ‘on-trend’ headwear – but luckily Oscar coached us to take it slow. At this elevation, the first miles felt tougher than I had expected.

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You can just make out the faint trail leading to a rare shaded viewpoint
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Fantastic panoramas of the Andes mountains all around us
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Wow I look rough!

As we hiked Oscar entertained us with stories from the World of the Incas (most of which I have now helpfully forgotten!) But what I do remember is that the [full] Inca trail to Machu Picchu was originally intended as a religious pilgrimage. This made it almost unique, as unlike most of the thousands of miles of Inca trails stretching across the Empire, this one had no commercial use and hence was referred to as the “Royal Road”, “Royal Sacred Highway” or “The Road of the Inca King”.  Whilst citizens completed their 26-mile pilgrimage, the shorter route we now treaded was believed to be reserved for nobles and religious leaders to access the royal city in relative ‘ease’, the ancient equivalent of travelling first-class!

After over 3 hours of hiking through verdant cloud forest, having had a brief rest stop at a waterfall, we arrive at Wiñay Wayna. The concave mountainside site is supposedly the second most important Inca Trail ruin. It consists of multiple agricultural terraces steeply cut into the mountain, and is believed to be the place the Incas used as a final rest spot before reaching Machu Picchu. A number of stone baths where Incas would have completed ritual cleansing before arriving in the sacred city are still distinguishable, and probably provide the symbolic meaning behind the name “Forever Young”.

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Wiñay Wayna terraces leading down into the Scared Valley

At this point in the day we break for lunch, sat with our feet dangling over the suddenly vertigo-inducing terraces. But there is a problem. Our porter Eranjelio, who is charged with carrying lunch is no where to be seen. He had taken a later train because it was cheaper, but it’s only when we quiz Oscar about it that we discover the train in question was due to depart nearly 2 hours after our own! I instantly regret not packing some snacks in my day-pack (what an idiot!) So we take a few more pictures and patiently wait. Less than 10 minutes later a tiny dot appears further down the trail. It seems to be moving rapidly. As it gets closer Eranjelio can be made out, and he is an astonishing sight. The small-framed man glides along at a joggers pace complete with towering backpack, and a radio playing Peruvian folk music tied around his neck! Happy to see him, we eat a lunch of sandwiches, fruit and crisps, baffled as to how he had caught us up in little over an hour!

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After running the trail to catch us up Eranjelio is somehow still smiling!

From Wiñay Wayna our path joins the main trail. As we pass through the camp where those taking the full Inca trail stay on their final night, a swarm of relief follows. I observe all the things I hate most about camping, such as being made to sleep in close proximity to toilet facilities, in dirty conditions whilst surrounded by other noisy people. I’m so happy to not be sticking around.

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Permit checkpoint next to the last camp where we join the main trail

The remaining 4km of the hike felt less physically demanding, with the majority of the elevation gain past us. The landscape also changed quite drastically. The temperatures became cooler, the vegetation greener, and at times it felt like we were walking through a moss-covered jungle. It was a welcomed change after the hot temperature and dryer landscape we had experienced earlier in the day. That is until we reached what felt like a never-ending stone staircase. We crawl up the 50 steps, passing through the Sun Gate (“Inti Punka”) and it appears. In the distance our first glimpse of the one-time hidden City of the Incas, Machu Picchu sat saddled in the mountains below.

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The “Monkey Stairs” leading up to the Sun Gate
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Covered in sweat at the Sun Gate, 5.6 miles (9km) and 1800-feet into the day
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Taking a moment
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The Sun Gate once we pass through it

The last mile winding down the royal flagstone walkway to the citadel must have taken us an hour to complete, because each step brought even better views to photograph. Our pictures of the entire hike fail to do any of it justice – not only were we TOTAL photography ammeters, but during our tour around South America we travelled with a pretty cheap point-and-shot camera which washed out and over-exposed everything! Cameras have come a long way in the last 5 years.

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First glimpse of the hidden city of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate

Built over 500-years ago, Machu Picchu provided a sacred religious site for Inca leaders. Yet historians believe the site was only occupied for around 80 years before mysteriously being abandoned, some time in the sixteenth century during the Spanish Conquest. The site remained unknown to the outside world until Hiram Bingham, an American academic and explorer, ‘discovered’ ruins after stumbling across an overgrown section of adjourning trail in 1911. Today the site is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and draws visitors from all over the world.

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From a distance

Gazing down on the city as we inched closer, what struck me most was the dramatic surroundings. The city sits perched between two mountains, framed by steep, expansive valley drop-offs on either side. It began to make sense, in such a seeming isolated place, how over the course of a few hundred years of vegetation growth, an entire city was reclaimed by nature, and hidden from the unknowing eye.

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Getting closer…

With a tour of Machu Picchu planned for sunrise the next day, we didn’t hang around to explore that afternoon. It was hot, and after hours of hiking we felt tired and hungry, so we departed for the bus into town happy in the knowledge that the night would be spent in a hotel bed and not a tent!  For now I wanted to share this hike because until I spoke to the tour company about the 4-day trail I had no idea that this route was even an option. It was hands-down one of the most spectacular hikes we have ever taken, and made all the more special by the comparative lack of foot traffic on the route.

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“Machu Picchu” means “Old Peak” in the Quechua language

I would classify the hike as ‘moderate’ if taken slowly. The route certainly follows an established path with no scrambling skills required. It also helped enormously that we only had to carry small day packs with our water, a few sundries such as suncream, and some toiletries for the overnight hotel stay (once again, I should have packed snacks!). So if you are running short on time, or feel the full trail maybe too physical, take a look at following the [shorter] route of kings!

Important Trail Info

Hiking independently along any part of the Inca Trail is no longer permitted, so bookings must be made through a registered trekking agency who for a fee will provide a registered guide and usually also arrange permits. Our permits, guide, and porter were all included in our wider Peru tour that we booked with the company Amazing Peru. If booked separately I believe that the approximate price of a basic group service is between US$320 and US$380 per person, with the price for a basic private group of just 2 persons about US$450-500 per person. It’s also worth noting that the Inca trail closes for a number of weeks each year for maintenance, so plan ahead. And lastly, remember to carry some cash to tip your porter and guides – they work hard for it!

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Snapshots from Winter in the British Lakes

Amidst a fresh sprinkling of mid-December snow, with piles of warm clothes, we braced ourselves for a long drive. Nearly six hours north of London, nestled close to the Scottish border, and the Irish Sea, lies the English Lake District.  Lakeland as it’s been coined, has provided the inspirational landscape for centuries of literary greats, with the Romantic poet William Wordsworth, and the children’s writer and creator of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter being some of the most famous.

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As one of a limited number of UK National Parks, I had wanted to visit the lakes for years, but as British roads are not the best I just couldn’t face the drive. And every time it came to the crunch of booking a trip I faced the sad dilemma that in same travel time – and with the help of a plane – I could instead reach the sunnier climes of Europe, and a small stretch further the Caribbean! Oh and the weather ‘Up North’ (what Londoners call anywhere north of the M25) is noturiously iffy.

December is certainly not a peak period in the Lakes as it’s not a ski destination. But I love visiting places when they are considered out-of-season, because sharing wild adventures with hoards of other tourists dampens the appeal. So our photos may look a little bleak, but they show a snap-shot of one of Britain’s most rugged protected lands in the middle fo winter. Unfortunately I was experiencing a nasty cold that annoyingly hit just the day before we left London, so what we expected to be 5 days of hiking, turned out a little more chilled. I thought I’d share a few snapshots from the trip to give people a taste of a part of Britain less often seen in Instagram.

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Castlerigg Stone Circle, just outside of Keswick, shares the same mysterious origins as Stonehenge. It is thought to be over 4500 years old
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The north shore of Derwent Lake as the mid-afternoon sun slowly recedes. A very calm place.
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Looking down on Tarn Hows, most of which was frozen. I didn’t know before this trip that a ‘tarn’ is a glacier-made mountain lake or pool – I guess I missed that lesson in geography class! You can just see the 1.6-mile trail that encircles the water with no one on it to the right.
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There are around 3 million sheep living in Cumbria, so herds are a common sight throughout the park. We saw this loner up high on Kirkstone Pass. He stood in a small patch of grass chewing away happily, completely unfazed by the falling snow and biting wind.
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We named him ‘Eddy’

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The ferocious (and very loud) Aira Force waterfall – seen from the bottom (here), and top (right). Packing waterproofs was essential!

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Completely alone on the short trail to witness this impressive falls in the North-Eastern Ullswater area of the park. Thundering rain is probably why.

Most people tend to visit and stay in the main areas of the park – namely Lake Windermere, Grasmere, and the northern town of Keswick. Whilst we drove through these areas and found them beautiful, we wanted to experience a retreat, so based ourselves in the Great Langdale Valley further west. In reality though with a car, nothing feels that far away!

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A Winter Wonderland for two. There are so many hiking trails throughout the Lake District, from gentle grades encircling lakes like this one at Tarn Hows, to difficult technical mountaineering. You can find more information here.
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The Lake District is a National Park, but unlike in many other countries there is no physical border with entrance stations, so the park gets funded partly by charging for car parking. After making a quick calculation, we opted to become members of The National Trust (£65 per year). This made all National Trust carparks free, and includes access to hundreds of other properties and sites across the UK. Alternatively there is a decent public transport system of buses to get around the park, which is useful for hikers.
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Slater Bridge in the tranquil Little Langdale Valley area of the park.
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Leaving the bridge we follow miles of meandering Cumbrian stone walls as they disappear up and over the hilltops.
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One very happy-looking hiker – probably because he isn’t carrying the backpack!
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Colwith Force, a pretty multi-tier waterfall system on the River Brathay, which we stumbled upon after traipsing through ancient moss-coated oak woodlands.
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Another tier of Colwith Force. I was surprised to see a light on and movement in that tiny stone building (not sure who occupies it?)
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Elterwater village green in the Great Landgale Valley. The Lake District is full of picture-postcard worthy tiny villages and hamlets made from local stone, and of course brilliant pubs!
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Little Langdale Tarn sits nearly hidden away at the foot of Wrynose Pass. Seen here from the public bridleway on the south shore – there is no public access to the water, as it sits within private farm land.
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The Great Langdale Valley, the day it rained and rained and rained… somehow we managed to get wet even with full waterproofs on!

Car journey aside, I found myself captivated by the Lake District. I couldn’t quite believe that the lofty peaks, so perfectly framing the lakes beneath were English. I definitely hope this to be the first of many return trips – maybe the next one at Easter-time, or early summer. And much to my surprise I learnt from a local down the village pub, that next time I could take a fast-track Virgin train from London Euston to Oxenholme in little under 3-hours! Well who knew?!

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Off to the pub.

The Power & Beauty of Nature: Iguazu Falls

Where: Iguazu Falls, border of Argentina and Brazil

When: November 2012

 

The largest waterfall system in the world is nestled within a diverse, lush ecosystem straddling Brazil and Argentina. Where the Iguazu River spills over the edge of the Paraná Plateau, roughly 275 discrete falls create a magnificent spectacle nearly twice as tall as Niagara, and more than three times as wide.  Add to that the jungle setting, and Iguazu beats Niagara hands-down.  No casinos line the dramatic gorge, instead they feel fittingly secluded, surrounded by a landscape home to colorful toucans, butterflies, and curious monkeys.

No pictures can capture the majesty and splendour of these cascades. Visiting them is an immersive experience, where you’ll feel their cooling spray on your face whilst hearing the waters powerful roar. It’s an almighty display of nature.  And utterly worthy of a once-in-a-lifetime trip to behold. Conversely, you can expect all subsequent cascades to be ‘ruined’ after the trip, as they pale in comparison!

Viewing platform on the Brazilian-side

The falls are shared between the two distinct National Parks, both of which were designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the 1980s. You might recognise some of these images, as many films have leveraged the other-worldliness of the cataracts powerful mystique, including the 2008 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Looking into the abyss of Devil’s Throat – La Garganta del Diablo

We based ourselves on the Brazilian side, flying into Foz do Iguaçu, a 20-minute taxi ride to our hotel within the park. Most other hotels are located in the town of Foz do Iguaçu, just on the other side of the airport.

Rainbows are a common sight in the afternoon
Looking wet.
Taken from the main viewing platform on the Brazilian-side
Looking across to Argentinian lower circuit platform

Brazilian Side – Parque Nacional do Iguaçu

Cost pp: 64 R$ (approx $20 US)

The Brazilian park is a small, simple set up, with one main access road to the visitor centre, where visitors board the internal eco-friendly bus service. The buses ferry people a few miles along the serene jungle road, to reach a handful of short trails and walk-ways, each providing views of the falls. The main walkway extends into the lower canyon floor, arguably providing the best view of the highest, deepest, and most iconic of the falls – the Devil’s Throat.  This giant horseshoe-shaped curtain of gushing water is simply incredible.

Cooling down

A precarious walk down a long spiral staircase (hopefully now decommissioned), took us to the boat loading dock for Macuco water safaris.  The small inflatable rafts seemed popular with the tourists. Yes they are a tad gimmicky, but great fun.  Transporting you a short way along the river to experience the falls from another angle – underneath! Suffice to say we got soaked.

During our stay, we returned to these viewpoints numerous times to witness the changing environment at different parts of the day. We were able to do this on the recommendation of a friend who had honeymooned in Brazil. He convinced us that it was worth the expense to stay at the sole hotel INSIDE the park, which is now called Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas. It wasn’t really in-line with our budget travel plans, but I’m so glad we took the hit, as outside the limited park opening hours the falls felt like they belonged entirely to us. This made the trip all that more special.

Taken late in the day with no one else around
Brazilian-side Park Map

Argentinian Side – Parque Nacional Iguazú

Cost pp: 500 ARS $ (approx $28 US)

An hour’s drive from our hotel – but a ‘stones-throw’ across the ravine – it felt a bit more like Disney. Having shown our passports at the border, we entered the Argentinian park which is much larger than it’s neighbour, with more facilities. From the commercial area at the entrance, complete with gift shops and over-priced food outlets, we joined the long queue for the ‘ecological’ train that travels through the forest to the top of Devil’s Throat. [I should note that it is possible to hike and avoid the train ride, but given the searing heat, and distance involved we made the decision to reluctantly queue instead!]

We headed straight for the Paseo Garganta del Diablo – a 0.6 mile-long trail that brings visitors directly over the falls of Devil’s Throat. We got soaked by the spray, but the feeling of being so close to the water as it surges over the edge was exhilarating!

Devil’s Throat from above

We spent the rest of the day wandering along the array of established trail circuits, many of which follow elevated metal walkways to get different perspectives of the many falls. It really was incredible, and I can easily see how people can spend multiple days in this side of the park, but to be honest our enjoyment was hindered by the frustratingly humid, buggy climate! Maybe it was the time of the year, but the mosquitos were rampant – perhaps it was our accidentally matching yellow t-shirts – and the heat made all the walking very taxing.

Looking downstream in the mist (Sheraton Hotel is just visible on the left cliff)
Sweating!
Watch out for the monkeys. (And the mosquitos)!
Forest walkways

The Argentinian park also offers boat services, and contains a hotel – I think it is a Sheraton.

Argentinian-Side Park Map

Tips

  • Although the Brazilian park only comprises less than a third of the entire falls, you’ll find the view from this side to be much more panoramic than the view from the Argentinean side. However, if you have come all that way to see Iguazu, you will ideally want to see both aspects. For that plan to spend at least 2 full days.
  • Remember your passport when travelling between the two parks!
  • Pack inspect repellent with high DEET, and drink lots of water because it is very humid.
  • Both parks are generally less busy by the mid-to-late afternoon, once all the tour groups have passed through.

Lassen National Park let down

16th June 2016

Lassen National Park to Redding

Continuing north on our journey to Oregon we had just one day to do a quick ‘highlights’ tour of Lassen.  We had our plan.  It was going to be intense.  We would drive the park road from the southwest entrance exiting through the north.  This would allow us to marvel at the geothermal wonders, take lots of pics, and hike the famous Bumpass Hell to Kings Creek trail.  Hiking up Lassen Peak was also a potential option. Continue reading Lassen National Park let down