Iguassu Eco Hostel - The thirteenth step ... Six months in South America - CycleBlaze

August 28, 2022 to August 30, 2022

Iguassu Eco Hostel

Our digs in the center of town proved to be very noisy and we struggled to catch up on much needed sleep.  So we have booked three nights at a hostel fifteen kilometers out of town, just outside the gates of the National Park which encloses the falls.  The intention was to rest, see the falls from the Brazilian side and do a bit of birding.

The busy ride to the hostel was into a stiff headwind.  A cold front was passing through and it was a lot cooler than the previous day. None of the rolling hills on the route were long but two were steep for our level of (un)fitness. The one had Leigh remarking "I'm dying!" but she managed to avoid walking her bicycle.  We will have to tackle the traffic and the hills again when we head to Argentina.

After a good breakfast provided by the hostel we wandered around the large grounds doing a bit of birding.  And some nice birding it was too.

Because Leigh wanted to see Toucans, in March 2020 we started cycling northwards to Iguazu when COVID raised its ugly head. One of the first birds she spotted on our first morning at the Eco Hostel was bang on target - a Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco)!
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Then we walked down to the National Park and onto the bus to the Iguazu Falls.  I knew they are one of the Seven Wonders but I was blown away.  

First views of the falls were good but not mindblowing. As we walked towards the main falls the effect grew stronger and stronger until it just blew us away.
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Great Dusky Swifts (Cypseloides senex) clinging to the rocks alongside the water.
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It is hard to believe but the swifts roost behind these curtains of water.
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A Great Egret (Ardea alba) seen through a rainbow.
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Coatis are common near the falls.
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This large lizard was hanging about near the falls.
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Bill ShaneyfeltNot much info. on South American lizards, but this looks like some species of lava lizard. Possibly Tropidurus catalanensis.

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Tropidurus-catalanensis-from-Iguacu-National-Park-Foz-do-Iguacu-Parana-Brazil-not_fig11_260437603

----->Bill
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4 weeks ago
Red-rumped Caciques (Cacicus haemorrous) are noisy and conspicuous around the hostel and the falls.
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After catching the bus back to the entrance we went off to look for some lunch.  The restaurant nearest to the entrance, at the bird sanctuary, was closed for the day so we had to walk a kilometer down the road to the Movie Car Museum that had an American styled diner where we sunk a couple of burgers and picked up some more good birds.

Leigh at the diner.
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A typically direct look from a Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia). This chap was just outside the Movie Car Museum.
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Also at the museum was this Rufous Hornero (Furnarius rufus).
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As well as a Southern Lapwing (Vanellus chilensis).
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We picked up ten new birds for our list during the day and had a great time at the falls so we are feeling pretty good about the start to this trip.  The only downer was that someone knicked all our food out if the fridge in the hostel's communal kitchen.  It wasn't anything more than a large salami, some carrots, some milk and tomato paste but it was supposed to feed us for the next two nights. The hostel staff have rustled up some bread, ham and cheese as a replacement but it hardly heals the wound although, as it turns out, the day's activities tired us out enough to be pleased to escape cooking dinner.

A troop of Black Capuchin monkeys were hanging around our digs.
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We headed back to the falls again on the second morning at the hostel.  The flow of water was stronger than yesterday and along with the effect a a slightly different wind direction the falls seemed to take on a subtly different character.  As on the previous day we enjoyed some pleasant birding and after a light lunch at the cafeteria at the helipad we headed back to our digs for a rest.

Black Vultures are the trash birds of South America. Rubbish dumps are sure to harbour some so the falls are a far environment in which to see them. In birding terms a trash bird is one that is too common to take notice of but I couldn't resist spending a few minutes photographing them.
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A Great Dusky Swift flies through the waterfall curtain.
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Plush-crested Jay (Cyanocorax chrysops)
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The staff at the hostel very kindly did our laundry for us at no cost and told us they had tracked down the previous guest who had lifted our grub from the fridge.  All in all, we have had a great stay here.

Today's ride: 15 km (9 miles)
Total: 15 km (9 miles)

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Mike AylingOne of the down sides of hostel stays are the odd low lifes who knock off your food. It has happened to us as well.
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4 weeks ago
Jean-Marc StrydomHi Mike. Interestingly it wasn't one of the Great Unwashed. The hostel has only private rooms and no dormitories and most of the guests were Brazilian families. Management eventually tracked down the culprit who claimed to have taken it by mistake but it was too late by then.
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4 weeks ago