Friday, June 15, 2007

Iguazu Falls

After a disgustingly early alarm (7am!) we caught a taxi to the Iguazu Parques Nacional, home of the fabulous falls. On the way our taxi driver gave us a short presentation on the falls, giving us the full rundown on where and wheno go, turning to face us and using both hands to demonstrate various paths and attractions on a flyer he had in the car. When we told him we were from Australia, he offered to smuggle us into Brazil the next day so we could see the falls from the other side (with my Australian passport, need an expensive visa for Brazil, Angie can come and go as she pleases). He assured us that he'd snuck Australians over before, and offered the koala swinging from the mirror as proof. Despite this, we declined.

Once inside the park, we navigated past tour operators, gift shops, cafes and market stallers and found our way to the jungle. The park is explored via a network of steel catwalks, so there's no chance of getting lost and even less chance of encountering large hungry cats. We did come across swarms of butterflies and packs of coati, but neither seemed interested in us.


The entire time we were inside the park, we could hear the low white noise of the falls. The first viewing platform:

The chunk of forest on the left is Brazil, and the falls next to it are Garganta del Diablo (Devils Throat). Isla San Martin is in the centre, with more falls on the right.

We spent the morning climbing up and down steps and catwalks gawking at the Western set of falls. We also jumped aboard a boat which took us right up to the impact zones of where all this water was coming down in such a hurry. The driver parked us right next two different sets of these continuous explosions, leaving us thoroughly soaked. The spray was so severe that we couldn't look in the direction of the water for more than a couple of seconds at a time.

Angie is the blue speck at the top

Me and some water

In the afternoon, after a pleasant train trip through the forest we arrived at the catwalk leading to Garganta del Diablo, the main attraction. We walked for about a kilometre over the river, heading towards a cloud of mist slowly pulsing out of the middle of the water. Once on the viewing platform, the sound of tonnes of crashing water drowned out any other noise.

The horseshoe shaped mouth of these falls is a white vortex that seems to be sucking endless amounts of water away into nothing. It is a void- there is nothing down there as far as the eye can tell- just white oblivion. Pure sound and the odd shimmer of shadow are the only clues that this liquid chasm might have a base. The white extends through the canyon and up into the sky, and everyone so often spray rises up out of the depths and covers everyone on the platform. You feel very, very small peering down over this unimaginable power into nothingness.

Scary stuff

More photos soon...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We got attacked by a Coati´s who seemed to like our Doritos. Arent the falls just blow your mind amazing!