I made this podcast around Easter on a 1500KM road trip from Barcelona to the Basque Country (País Vasco), then on to the beautiful Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park in the Spanish Pyrenees. The trip takes in various locations including San Sebastian, Bilbao, Mundaka, Biarritz (in France), Torla, the Cola de Caballo trek and Cañón de Añisclo.
Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park (in Spanish Parque Nacional de Ordesa y Monte Perdido) has been included since 1997 by UNESCO in the Biosphere Reserve of Ordesa-Viñamala. It is also part of the cross-border Pyrénées – Mont Perdu World Heritage Site.
The entire Iguazu waterfall system consists of 275 waterfalls along 2.7 kilometers (1.67 miles) of the Iguazu River. Some of the individual waterfalls are up to 82 meters (269 ft) in height. The Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo in Spanish or Garganta do Diabo in Portuguese), a U-shaped, 82-meter-high, 150-meter-wide and 700-meter-long (490 by 2300 feet) waterfall, is the most impressive of all, and marks the border between Argentina and Brazil.
The shape of Iguazu falls, and the walkways around the falls on the Argentinian side allow for spectacular vistas. At one point a person can stand and be surrounded by 260 degrees of waterfalls. The Devil’s Throat (La Garganta del Diablo pictured below) has water pouring into it from three sides, and being up close to it gave me a peculiar kind of vertigo.
Famously, upon seeing Iguazu, the United States’ First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt reportedly exclaimed “Poor Niagara!”. She was right, the water falling over Iguazu in peak flow has a surface area of about 1.3 million ft ², by comparison, Niagara has a surface area of under 600,000 ft ².
Here’s a few more photos I took – on two separate days, one cloudy, and one sunny:
Here’s a short video I have put together of the clips I took at Iguazu Falls on the Argentina/Brazil border. With the flooding of the Guaíra Falls between Brazil & Paraguay in 1982, the mighty Iguazu falls currently has the greatest average annual flow of any waterfall in the world.
Erawan National Park is a 550-square-kilometer park in western Thailand located in Kanchanaburi Province – about half an hour’s drive or so from Kanchanaburi Town.
The major attraction of the park is Erawan Falls, a spectacular seven-tiered waterfall named after the erawan, the three-headed white elephant of Hindu mythology. There are also four caves in the park: Mi, Rua, Wang Bahdan, and Phartat.
It took us about 1-2 hours to walk the 2-3km from waterfall 1 to waterfall 7, with a few rest stops along the way. You can swim in most of the pools on the way although I imagine it gets a bit ferocious in the rainy season. It’s a great place to spend a day, and a lovely walk, but watch out for hit-and-run monkey muggings that apparently take place all to often on the way up 🙂
Erawan falls have now moved into second place in my favourite-waterfalls-in-Thailand league (after Thi Lo Su waterfall near Umphang – you can read about Thi Lo Su and Umphang and listen to the podcast in our post 1483km by motorbike in North Thailand Podcast).
Last week I completed a long 1483Km motorbike trip with my sister Laura through the mountains of North and North West Thailand, you can listen to the podcast we made along the way by clicking above.
Setting off from Chiang Mai, we headed North East through the mountains to Mae Hong Son (via Pai), before heading South to Mae Sot and about 650KM along the Thailand/Burma border to our final destination – Umphang. Surrounded by national parks and wildlife reserves (and classified as a UNESCO World heritage site), Umphang is one of the most beautiful, but least accessible districts in Thailand. Nevertheless, it has one major tourist attraction, Thi Lo Su Waterfall, the largest waterfall in Thailand – 200 metres high and 400 metres wide.
Remarkably, Laura had only learned to ride a motorbike two weeks prior to the trip – she drove a 125 CC Honda Dream Scooter and I drove my 200CC Honda Phantom. In total, the trip took seven days of actual driving, with two days ‘resting’ in Mae Sot and Umphang.
This podcast features a lot of the sounds we heard along the way, from the jungle sounds of cicadas & birds of paradise, to frogs, Lisu musicians, a Thai kick boxing match, rafting near Umphang, and an interview with Tasanee at Safe Haven Orphanage.
The route we took was Chiang Mai – Pai – Mae Hong Son – Mae Sariang – Khun Yuam Sunflower fields – Mae Sariang – Mae Sot – Umphang – Mae Sot – Chiang Mai. (See the map on the right courtesy of Travelfish.org)
The approximate distances are below.
Chiang Mai to Pai – 135KM Pai to Mae Hong Son – 139KM Man Hong Son to Mae Sariang (via the sunflower fields) – 250KM Mae Sariang to Mae Sot – 242KM Mae Sot to Umphang – 176KM Umphang to Mae Sot – 176KM Mae Sot to Chiang Mai – 365 KM Total: 1483KM