Rheinfall (The Rhine Falls) is the largest waterfall in Europe. The falls are more than 20 meters high and about 150 meters wide, and in the summer, the average water flow is 700 cubic meters (m³) per second!
The falls are located on the Upper Rhine, near the town of Schaffhausen in northern Switzerland, between the cantons of Schaffhausen and Zürich (http://rhinefalls.com).
The waterfalls are absolutely breathtaking, and you can take a boat shuttle to different points of view and simply admire the might of nature. We sailed to a giant rock right in the middle of the falls, and the view was spectacular!
If you are up for it, our cruise was number 4 in list on this site
The price was 36 Swiss Francs.
You must climb on one of the paths the park offers (near the cashiers you can find maps, adult entrance fee is 8 Euros) and the see the falls from the middle of them. After, you go in a narrow cave above the falls.
The amount of water is impressive, as is the rest of the view.
The next morning we decided to take a trek which was relatively close to where we slept. Apparently, Tsitsikamma has a part which is defined as a national park and a part which isn't. We asked at the reception about this trek, and they gave us an explanation. The trek was really nice - we walked in the forest for several hours. On the way back we wanted to see the famous Big Tree. When we got to main road we hitchhiked a ride, and luckily it was the park's car who gave us a ride to the tree.
The next day we rented a canoe boat from the hostel and we went to the Kingfisher trail. The owner dropped us right at the beginning of the trail. Through most of the trail you sail through the water until you reach a certain point from where you need to walk to the waterfall (which was nice, but nothing too extraordinary). The trail is really charming and the weather was pleasant.
The way back was harder cause we sailed upwind.
After two days of adapting to the place and market surveys, we chose the Santa Cruz trek, which by some of the visitors was considered the most beautiful trek in Peru, and takes four days to complete (not too difficult).
Andexplora tourist agency, run by Alex, was willing to provide us with the perfect package, including sleeping bags and walking sticks for $80 per person - fair price by everyone. You can find it near Plaza De Armas, Lusuriaga av. 811 across Novaplaza super market.
For my challenge (I was still stick and wounded), I packed the best U.S made pain killers, and stiff "armory" which held my knee.
At 6 am, our two guides arrived and drove with us to the messy central station (I swear it was really quiet at night!). From there, we drove in "colectivo", local transit to which many locals were joining and leaving on the way. A young curious cholo sat behind me investigating my Spanish and answering my questions with her hand hiding her mouth. She had two dental crowns in her mouth front, but still she was one of the beautiful girls in the world. She told me she's 21, like me, and she lives there, at Yungay, where we stopped for breakfast, one stop before heaven.
Cajas has a huge number of lagoons, small and large and various landscapes changing abruptly. You can select your trek from several suggested options, the longest trek lasts for two days and requires carrying with all the equipment for camping with you. The maps you receive at the park entrance information stand, will help you choose the right trek for you, according to your time limits, and preferences. Since it was a gray rainy day, and visibility was far from being ideal, we chose the easiest trek - circular, 5km, 4 hour trek. As Martha promised, we were alone - only us and nature. The water was steel colored, and plants around us were a mixture of yellow, green and fresh flowers. There were parts of mud which disrupted the roads, and forced us to create detours, we hoped it would lead us in the right way. There were times we got lost, and didn't see any trek signs in the distance. But our motto was - it's a circular trek, there's a limit to how much you can get lost.
To sum it up - Cajas is an impressive and amazing park you can't afford to miss, however, if you're not pressed for time, it's better to wait for a bright sunny day, and then your enjoyment, will be perfect. These days, however, are scarce in Ecuador, which has cloudy and humid weather all day long. Equator. One season. This is how it is.
Day 18 – From Vintgar Canyon to Bled Lake
Again a decorated breakfast, and since it was Sunday an excellent strudel cake Mojca baked. We drove to Vintgar Canyon and arrived at 9:00, before all the other tourists. In the Canyon the colors green and turquoise reigned supreme again. You walk on small bridges and move from one side of the canyon to the other. At the end of the trail there are two waterfalls. You have to go through the entrance from the opposite side and go down the stairs to see the second waterfall. At the end and the beginning of the trail there is a restroom. We walked at a slow pace and it took us 3 delightful hours.
The classic Inca Trail starts about 1.5 km from Patallacte (Quechua for "settlement on a platform"). Investigators estimate that Patallacta was home to more than a thousand people during the splendor of the Incas. The distribution of the town includes an administrative space and a large area used for agriculture with huge farming terraces.
Patallacta was burned by Manco Inca Yupanqui, who destroyed a number of settlements along the Inca road system during his retreat from Cusco in 1536 to discourage Spanish pursuit.
The terraces of Patallaqta. Photo by Bcasterline
We stopped for lunch at the lake bank, and in the remainder of the day we decided to visit two near passes Sella and Pordo. In each one of them we did a quick walking tour, mainly to catch the view from both sides. In Pordo there's a cable climbing to the nearest summit - we skipped that because we reached there just before its closing time.
"…Though we only planned to spend 2-3 days in the Blue Mountains, it’s hard not to be enchanted by the wonder of the area. We have been here for three and a half days, and we are planning to stay another day at least. Lots of hiking trails that very diverse in difficulty level and scenery. Today we walked slowly, admiring the beauty, and eventually wore ourselves out on the climb up. The road back took us by Banksia bushes along the stream, ending with a waterfall. It was exhausting but extremely beautiful".