Tag Archives: photography

I Can’t Help Iguazu Falls-ing in Love With You

I’ve never met a waterfall I didn’t like – and trust me, I’ve seen a few over the years – so there was no chance I’d miss out on Iguazu Falls during my adventures through South America. Along with Africa’s Victoria Falls and North America’s Niagara Falls, Iguazu is part of the holy trinity of big, wet, splashy things, and it’s absolutely magnificent. If you don’t believe me, just have a squiz at the photos.

Iguazu is 82 metres tall, 2700 metres wide, has 275 drops and woos millions of tourists every year. And ladies, he’s single! The locals reckon the falls were created when some tart named Naipí was meant to marry a god named El Kevin, but she fucked off with some other bloke (probably a Maori) and so Kev cracked the dirts and sliced the river up. I don’t know how historically accurate that is, but it sounds good enough to me.

Half the places to view the falls are in Argentina and the other half are in Brazil, but it’s a short trip between the two sites so it’s possible to check out both. There are three main tracks through the Argie side of the falls, so it takes at least half a day to check everything out, and that’s if you don’t spend too much time stuffing around, oohing and ahhing at all there is to see. I headed out after a 26 hour bus trip from Montevideo and managed to see it all before beer o’clock, so it’s not that much effort.

Circuito Superior and Circuito Inferior both give a good idea of what the falls are all about, with some really pretty spots, but these walks never reach the spectacular highs found at Victoria Falls. The falls are, for the most part, a little too far away, with only the final fall of the Inferior stroll rising up above the boardwalk. Luckily, that’s not the best of it.

Garganta del Diablo, or The Devil’s Throat, is what it’s all about. After catching a fun little train through the jungle, a wooden boardwalk took me out over the gurgling Rio Iguazu, to a bottleneck where thousands of litres of water crashes down every minute. The brute power of nature is astonishing, and I just stood back in wide-eyed wonder as the spray smashed into me and the whole world sounded like it was being torn apart. If this is what the devil’s throat is like, perhaps someone should hand the poor bloke a Butter Menthol.

As has become tradition when I visit waterfalls, I befriended a couple of coloured gentlemen. Reuben and Bert, a gay couple for Suriname, are very much in love and enjoying their honeymoon together. Whilst marvelling at the spectacular views, Reuben declared that the only thing more powerful than the raging waters of Iguazu Falls is one of Bert’s kisses. I dunno about that, because my urge to chunder was pretty bloody powerful right about then.

The comparisons with Victoria Falls are obvious, but I have to say that, so far, Africa’s Smoke that Thunders reigns supreme over South America’s Big Water. Not only is it larger and more imposing (but enough about my penis!), but the tracks offer more variety and allow you to really get up close to the massive wall of water. Don’t get me wrong, Iguazu is superb and truly one of the most awesome things on the planet, but I did feel a tad let down after visiting Victoria Falls.

Going from Victoria Falls to Iguazu is like rooting a chick with big tits, but being slightly disappointed because you rooted a chick with bigger tits the night before. It doesn’t make rooting the chick with big tits a bad experience, but in a perfect world you’d have the big tits first, and the bigger tits second – or in this case, Iguazu for an entree and Victoria for the main course. Sorry, I got distracted by all those tits for a second.

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Simply the Pletts

Plettenberg Bay sounds like it should be in Germany, with streets full of oompah bands and drunken sausage-munchers in long socks. But it’s actually the jewel in South Africa’s Garden Route, and boasts unspoilt beaches, gleaming resorts, and wonderful national parks that are just being to be explored. So I, uh, went out and explored it today.

The main beach is fantastic, with white sand and clear water. Sure, the water is colder than an ex-girlfiend’s email after she’s started seeing a half-Korean crossfit instructor, but it’s still great to sit on the sand. Unlike most other places I’ve been in South Africa, I wasn’t worried about being robbed while I sat in the sun. Plettenberg’s main industry is tourism, so it’s as safe as wearing two condoms.

Just out of town is Robberg National Park, and it’s a brilliant place to spend an arvo. There aren’t any pubs, but the scenery is brilliant. The 10km walk around the park offers some killer views, and I had a top time battling the wind as I scuttled around the headland like a crab. I found a sign that told me to turn back if it was after 2pm, and it was 3:28pm, but I told the sign to go fuck itself and headed off into the unknown.

I was strutting along, looking cool, when I heard a party boat out on the water. It sounded like they were having a great time, so I looked out into the ocean to find the boat, and couldn’t see it. I dropped my gaze and saw 200 seals having the time of their lives below me. I couldn’t believe the amount of noise they were making, but it was brilliant to stand there in the middle of nowhere, looking down on a colony of seals. I stumbled down and offered them a beer, but they weren’t interested. I once offered the pop star Seal a beer, but he just barked at me and jumped into the water swim around with his mates. Seal’s a strange one.

Stellenbosch? More like stellar-bosch, yeah!

It was time to bid bon appetit to Cape Town, and my plan was to grab a rental car and cruise over to Mossel Bay to explore the world famous Garden Route. But after spending three hours desperately trying to organise wheels, and eventually ending up with something you’d expet a sex offender to cruise around in, the 380km journey was out of the question. That left just one place to spend the day and night – Stellenbosch!

This wonderfully-named town is just an hour’s drive from Cape Town, and is known for its extensive vinyards and jaw-dropping scenery. I decided to make the most of both, and grabbed the cheapest cask of goon I could find at the local bottle-o and headed into the mountains for a cross country strut. My destination was the Assegaaibosch Nature Reserve, which is just a few kilometres out of town. Of course, that took around five hours in my paedo-mobile, but the scenery made the time fly by.

I was immediately grateful for the fact I was forced to spend the night in Stella (as the locals probably don’t call it), because the place really is something special. The mountains are highly unusual and look like they belong on another planet with bizarre, chattering aliens crawling all over them. The scenery truly is as beautiful as a supermodel handing out free beer, and I was lucky to be able to explore it on such a lovely day.

Of course, such a wonderful afternoon wouldn’t be complete without some drama, and that came when I returned to my newly-acquired car. The unlocked gate I’d driven through to park in was no longer unlocked and, on closer inspection, what I’d thought was a car park was in fact the front yard of a house. That house now had a massive dog out the front, and a number of very large black men hanging around outside, looking from the car to me and back at the car. I could tell they weren’t admiring my choice in wheels.

Now, parking your car well inside someone’s heavily-gated property would be a bad move at the best of times, but you can multiply it tenfold in a country like South Africa, where tresspassing is the ultimate sin. I was getting ready to dump the car and walk back into town when one of the men stood up and called out to me. He was only slightly smaller than the mountains surrounding him, and I almost wet myself.
“Hey, white man,” he boomed. “Is that your car on my property?” I meakly told him it was, and a huge smile spread across his face.
“Come in and have some supper, then you’d better take the car and leave. If the neighbours see it outside my house they’ll think I’ve become one of the gays.” A free meal andnot being shot for tresspassing? I’ll take it!

Sunsets in Bali-dise

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I love a good sunset. They’re pretty, they don’t take much effort to enjoy, and they perfectly compliment an icy cold beer. If I found a woman with all those qualities, I’d be sorted for a long and happy life.

Bali is a great place to watch the sun sink below the horizon while sinking a Bintang, so that’s how I’ve spent a lot of my time. Here’s a bunch of photos (and a really awesome video that should win an award) so that you don’t feel like you’re missing out. Aren’t I a nice guy? Set me up with your hot sister, won’t ya?

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Bush bashing

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The Central Coast has so many brilliant places to go hiking, and I’m doing my best to strut down every bushwalking track in the area! Today I headed out to Strickland State Forest, near Narara, and hiked to an abandoned arboretum (for those who don’t have their dictionary in their hand, it’s basically a botanical garden with all sorts of trees planted for scientific study. Bring that word up in conversation with the next pretty lady you talk to!).

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The tracks are easy to get to, relaxing to walk along, and provide an absolutely wonderful experience in pristine nature. The valley is full of ancient gum trees that tower above the forest floor, with some being 60 or 70 metres tall. Entire ecosystems exist among the branches of these proud giants, as birds flutter through the leaves and massive vines hang from the canopy.

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The arboretum itself is also pretty cool, with all sorts of pines and ferns and other plants that you wouldn’t expect to see in the Aussie the bush. The first trees were planted there around 120 years ago and some of them are enormous now. It’s a peaceful place where the only sounds are the gentle wind in the trees and the sweet songs of the birds. There truly is nothing like the Australian bush.

And I managed to keep my trousers on the whole time, so maybe I’m finally growing up.

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