Let your soul be satisfied
with the odd beauty of this landscape
that although the world walk in truth
you'll never find, like this, nothing.
Good and bad dynamic and changing
find here, from ist name,
keep in your heart of man humble
a true and consistent message.
Meditate and feel the deep emotion
contemplating the vibrant climax
eternal mist that is circled.
And do not try to describe it in your voice
only he leans his forehead against the abyss
is the mirror of the word of God.
I have met many guides during the course of my travels – interesting ones like Stephen in New Zealand, chic ones like Qui in China, boring ones – can’t remember her name at Athens! I had yet to meet one who could manage a large group especially a group of women effectively!!! Till Oliver, our guide at Iguazu falls, who was a class apart! And considering the nature of the touring in Igazu, he really deserves a pat on the back. Funny, flirtatious – poor CN who was at the receiving end of all his comments, thorough with his explanations – so thorough that at our hotel which had the system where lights etc can be controlled from the telephone instrument, he got the telephone from the reception to show us how to use it and making sure that we all kept to his times!
Taller than Niagara Falls, twice as wide with 275 cascades spread in a horseshoe shape over nearly two miles of the Iguazu River, the Iguazu falls lie on the Argentina - Brazil border and are a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. The border between Brazil and Argentina runs through one of the larger falls called Devil's Throat. In 2011 it was declared as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature.
We arrive at the Foz do Iguaçu International Airport which is in Brazil and the plan is to leave immediately to visit the Argentina side of the falls. On the way there is a particular point where the Parana and Iguazu rivers meet and so do the borders of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. We can’t stop there, but Oliver is like – keep your cameras ready and click on the count of three :-)
Oliver collects our passport for stamping and tells us that the Argentinean custom controls are very strict so we should just not get off the bus for clicking snaps etc when we stop on the Argentinean side. He sure was experienced!!!!
However, on the Brazilian side he lets us off – in a shop!!! What amazing Amethyst!!! As usual we get busy shopping, but with a promise that he will get us here again either on the way back or the next morning, he manages to get us on to the bus again.
The falls are part of a practically virgin dense jungle ecosystem protected by Argentine and Brazilian national parks. We have lunch at the restaurant in the park and then take the Rainforest Ecological Train, a lot like the toy trains, across the forest to the entrance of trails.
Two thirds of the falls are on the Argentinean side of the river and walkways across the forest allow close views of falls. We take 2 trails - the Upper and Lower. Walking along we encounter some Quachi Racoons frolicking around on the track and some amazing birds and butterflies. And this is where I feel bad about the loss of my memory card and snaps. A beautiful butterfly on a guy’s knee…I ask him to freeze as I take snaps of it. Sweet fellow obliges. On a bench some people left crackers and a butterfly is captured nibbling away. Various shots of a blue butterfly perched on the railing with an 8 on its wings as it flutters away:-(
At some points one can literally walk over the water gushing into the Devil's Gorge. One of the walkways takes us directly over the falls of the Devil's Throat, the highest and deepest of the falls, with water pouring into it from three sides. I cannot describe with words what I felt at that time – beautiful, sublime, picturesque, awesome …I think one must put ones head in the spray of water to really feel the power and beauty. The Iguazu falls are among the widest in the world but because it is split into hundreds of discrete falls and large islands, it isn’t seen as one big curtain of water, but many spectacular smaller falls. The shape of the walkways is such that one enjoys so many different views and at one point near the end we are surrounded by 260 degrees of waterfalls.
So with Meeta’s words - FULL BEAUTA – still ringing in our ears we trace our steps back to the train and collapse in the bus. It seems that at the border, the passport control wanted to count the heads and boarded the bus to check – only to see a busload of sleepy heads! I wouldn’t know – I was fast asleep. By the time we reached our hotel, we all were refreshed for our drinks partyyyyy in Sumi’s room where Meeta and Sumi made some heady cocktails!
Next morning we leave to see the Brazilian side of the falls. The real enormity of the falls hits us. Though Brazil has only 20% of the balls, it has the most panoramic views. At the start of the trail, one can just look across to all the falls on the Argentina side. We then walk through the subtropical forest of National Iguaçu Park and stop several times to see the falls. Its brilliant, no doubts, but many of us start getting the feeling that the previous day was more impressive…but like its often said – leave the best for the last!
The walkway along the canyon has an extension to the lower base of the spectacular Devil's Throat, where fourteen falls drop 350 feet with such force that there is always a 100 foot cloud of spray overhead. The Mist, the Rainbows…not one but 3 at one time was breathtaking!
And the cheery on the cake – my window seat on the flight out…I managed to get an aerial view of the falls!