Diary of The Travelling Seanchai :-

Falling for Iguazu

2007-11-12 to 2007-11-15

Falling for Iguazu

Buenos Aires is a great city, really it is, but its timing system is way off! I can understand a lot of different cultural idiosyncrasies but going out at midnight or 1am is beyond me. I know that I have mentioned this before but its probably one of the strangest phenomenons I have encountered.

Equally as strange was walking into my hostel on Sunday night and seeing an old mate from Sydney that I hadn`t seen in two years! Steve was on holidays in Uruguay and had popped over to BA for a few days and had happened on my hostel! It was great to see a familiar face again and we spent the next day walking all over BA, shopping for presents and eating all you can eat buffets. You just can`t walk off the amount that they feed you in this country but I am reliably informed that the food gets way worse the further north I venture so I like to think I am just putting on my winter fat!

Another overnight bus and I was in Iguazu, famous for the huge waterfalls that separate Brazil and Argentina. They are simply put, awesome in the very full, but oft misused, extent of the word. When Eleanor Roosevelt saw them, she commented,”Poor Niagara!!” It is hard to describe the sheer power of these falls but I will give it a go. My Argentinian friend Sylvina and I took a boat that sped us down some rapids to literally underneath the falls. We were thoroughly soaked and bombarded by the force of the water, I felt like even my contacts were getting cleaned! You didn`t know where to look as you were encircled by a huge car wash of activity until the pilot took us back out where we all just stared at each other and finally gasped for the first time.

Then they did it again! What barest follicle I may have had that had escaped the first time was well and truly immersed now and it was incredible!

We then got a chance to walk around, over and beside the falls in the heat to dry off. I had just about done this when I could see that there was one vantage point where everyone was coming back ringing wet. So I went to investigate and yep, again, I was drenched as I stood about 5 metres from the massive flow of water.

South America was waking up to me here. I started to understand all the hype and my expectations were finally being met, all at Iguazu. It was hard not to be mightily impressed while feeling absolutely inadequate by the sheer size of it all. But when I thought I had seen it all but there was another falls to see, The Garganta del Diablo or Devil`s Throat which is a U-shaped 150-metre-wide and 700-metre-long cliff, which without warning, sprays everyone with a good dose of water every few minutes, much to the surprise of the new arrivals and the delight of those already soaked! On the other side was the Brazilian border but our viewpoint was far superior.

Simply amazing though, I knew that this place was having a profound affect on me because I was even getting excited about the colourful butterflies that were circling around! The famous music soundtrack to the movie, “The Mission” was playing in the train that took us around and it complemented the area perfectly.

Then it was back to the Hostel to join with the other backpackers (including my roommates Alina, Shamina and Mariano who patiently taught me Spanish for three days!) to try and put words to the vision and majesty that we had witnessed that day. It was fun trying but woefully impossible.

I didn`t know it then but my inadvertant Spanish lessons with my roommates were to come in mightily handy next day.


Pounding the Pavements of Paraguay

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