Posts Tagged ‘waterfalls’

DSCN2491Saturday I played tourist and went on a Niagara tour with BG Tours. It’s my first weekend off work since January and yes, I could have rented a vehicle or taken GO Transit or VIA Rail but this struck me as a good option for a day trip to the region.

One of our stops was a winery and we tasted both white and red wines. The winery also produces 80% of Ontario’s ice wines and both white and red ice wines were available for tasting, but at an additional cost. Harvesting and producing ice wines is a more precious/expensive process – an individual grape yields a single drop of wine, rather than the customary seven drops.

ImageImageWe had about 45 minutes of free time to walk around Niagara-on-the-Lake and grab something for lunch. My last visit was a number of years ago when I’d been a member of an outdoor club. We rented bikes and cycled to a couple of the wineries. I’ve also taken in theatre here. The town is home to the Shaw Festival. The newest attraction is a large outlet mall.DSCN2464

Niagara Falls! It must be 25+ years since I’ve been here. There are two water falls – Horseshoe and the American one and the view is better from the Canadian side. It was a very hot and humid day and I took my time strolling along the walkway and enjoying the view. Every once in a while I’d feel a refreshing spray of mist. Of course, if you take the Hornblower boat cruise (previously Maid of the Mist) you’ll be enjoying a geat deal more water spray.


We had three hours of time in Niagara Falls. After I had my fill of the falls I walked up Clifton Hill. It’s the amusement themed street. If I were spending more time in the area I’d want to visit the butterfly conservatory and do some hiking. DSCN2510DSCN2511


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(Late March 2009)

I can hear it long before I see it! The roar of the Devil’s Throat, “Garganta del Diablo”, pulls me towards it like a magnet. The sight and sound of the cascading water and the feel of its spray is euphoric! As the quote attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt goes, “Poor Niagara!”

Before actually hearing or seeing the falls I boarded the park’s Rainforest Ecological Train, which stops near the Devil’s Throat trail entrance and the Upper and Lower trails. With my hamstring injury walking is still slow and painful and I am very happy about the train.

I soon spot a coatimundi. The park is full of these large racoon-like animals but I don’t see another one. I do see hundreds of butterflies! Apparently, they are attracted to sweat and urine. I also encounter several Plush-crested Jays along the catwalk trail to Garganta del Diablo.

Devil’s Throat is a u-shaped cataract, 82m high, 150m wide, 700m long and it marks the border between Argentina and Brazil. It is the largest of the falls but the real magic comes from taking it all in. It is one of the world’s most spectacular waterfall systems.

There are actually 275 falls along 2.7 km of the Iguazú River. Iguazú Falls has an average annual flow of 1,746 cubic metres per second (m3/s) and a peak flow of about 40 ha. Situated amid the incredible beauty and vastness of the rainforest, Iguazú National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

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Banos, named for the thermal springs,  is a popular destination for both Ecuadorians and foreigners alike. It’s in close proximity to Tungurahua volcano and the area is known as Volcano Alley. I think this was where I fell in love with Ecuador – or on the way here – the landscape is truly beautiful.

I stayed at Plantas y Blanca hostel – they offer a great rooftop deck, excellent breakfast choices, and a very cold water health bath/spa treatment.

I felt quite at ease here and very much enjoyed roaming around the town and countryside. I watched taffy-pullers at work, tried some great fudge and unusual treats, sampled a variety of restaurants and cafes, found good inexpensive cappuchino, checked out the conveniently located market, toured the Rutas de Cascades to Rio Verde, chatted with a lot of locals, relaxed and enjoyed a wonderful four days here. It’s green, lushcious, mountainous, tranquil, offers adventure and pampering – all in all, a piece of paradise!

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