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Brazil facts & history in brief

Iguana, a large lizard like reptile, common in the Americas especially the South and Central American jungles.
Most iguanas live in deserts or other dry habitats, but a few species live in tropical rainforests.
All iguanas are active during the day and sleep at night.
They have distinct eyelids, large external eardrums, and often conspicuous throat pouches.
Their limbs have five free toes ending in sharp claws.
They display a conspicuous courting and defensive displays, like raising their bodies and bobbing their heads vigorously.
Iguanas are herbivorous.
They can be found living in trees, near water, or in arid regions.
The green iguana, also called the common iguana, is found from Mexico to southern Brazil and Paraguay.
Green iguanas may grow up to 1.8 metres in length.
Adult males are grey or light brown coloured, with dark bars on the sides of the body and broad black circles ringing the tail; the females are generally green coloured.
These iguanas have a large flap of skin called a dewlap at their throat and a crest of scales along their back and long tail.
Their colour ranges from grey to green, with brown bands around the body and tail.
Green iguanas and their eggs are often eaten for food.
These lizards also are often captured for the pet trade.
As a result, green iguanas are in danger of extinction in many areas.
Green iguanas live in trees, especially near water.
They typically lie motionless on horizontal branches and rarely move.
When attacked by an enemy, they leap out of trees and hide underwater.
If cornered on land, they use their long tail as a lash.
Iguanas eat fruit, flowers, and leaves.
Most other lizards eat insects.
Plants are difficult for most other lizards to digest.
The iguana's digestive system contains certain bacteria that help the animal digest plants.
Iguanas are born without these bacteria and it appears that they obtain them by eating the faeces of adult iguanas.
The rhinoceros iguana, a terrestrial species found in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, gets its name from the three horns on its forehead.
All species of iguanas lay eggs.
Females may travel long distances to find a suitable place to dig a tunnel and bury as many as 75 eggs. Some of the females may guard the nest for several days.
The young hatch after 10 to 14 weeks and dig their way to the surface.
New-born green iguanas may leave the nest in small groups, probably for protection.
The young iguanas grow slowly and may take two years to mature.
Some iguanas may live for 30 years or more.

Soon after our arrival at the Airport we were accosted by one of the agents (Bayardo Hornos) of Four Tourist travel and a very attractive picture of our sightseeing trip was presented to us.
We were promised everything until we paid up.
In reality we ended up very unhappy and feeling fiddled, cheated and short-changed.
These sales people have wide knowledge of various countries visitors are likely to come from.
They endear themselves to you by praising your country and call you by the nickname of your country, (Kiwis in our case) also rattling off numbers of people they dealt with from your country etc.

Now the promises and the unkept promises.
We were very interested to take the trip, after all that's what we came for, and the sales talk and promises sound very good, but very soon we got our first disappointment, he would not accept our Visa (Cost too much commission and rampant inflation, he claimed).
As New Zealanders we have to buy U.S. dollars of which we only had a limited supply, to last another 6 weeks.
We were to go on a jungle safari, a boat ride up to the falls, (We did get these two and thoroughly enjoyed it too) then we were to be transferred to a regular free boat to go to the island where another boat would have taken us to the Devil's Throat.
Arriving at the landing we were promised a video of our boat trip, to be delivered to our hotel but we never received that and we were told the free boat to the island was not running, neither did the boat to the Devil's Throat.
From the landing site now we had to walk to catch a little train to take us near the walkway over the falls.
We got lost because the people promised to meet us at arranged places just weren't there.
Our walk over the falls was terrific, thoroughly enjoyable.
Next day the continuation of our tour was just as troublesome.
We desperately wanted to explore Foz do Iguacu, the Brazilian Iguazu town, but our driver only give us a glimpse of it, claiming we had no time, but we had to spend 5 hours at the Airport waiting for our plane.

Iguazu town, our Hotel the Los Helechos (Telefax(03757)4-20338, was reasonably priced and quiet adequate) and the spectacle of the falls were terrific.

Please be careful with the choice of Tour companies, the many unkept promises can be expensive and disappointing.

You can click on these photos for an enlargement.

Iguana Iguana Iguana

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