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Iguazu Falls

Foz do Iguacu, Brazil


Arriving at Puerto Iguazzu I was slightly devastated to see that it was grey and miserable outside. We were only going to be around for two days so we just had to hope it would clear up quickly, in the meantime we headed into town for our final Argentinean dinner – a mixed grill which arrived sizzling and answered any questions about what they do with the rest of the cow.

The night was wild and stormy and the next morning we set out feeling glad that at least the rain had relented. The Iguazu Falls (which I will spell like that despite all the different spellings I saw – Iguacu, Iguassu, etc) are surrounded by a network of metal walkways and when you enter from the Argentinean side there is also a little train to take you to the furthest points. It feels a lot like a theme park which could very easily be depressing but actually the train does save a lot of time and the walkways allow people of all shapes and sizes to get right up to the edge of the waterfalls without risking their lives or getting into a boat.

If getting into a boat does take your fancy there are also a range of additional tours – we couldn’t resist being taken under the waterfalls. It was a spectacular and hilarious ride, the huge waterfalls loomed over us and the roaring of the water grew louder and louder until it was thudding onto the boat and then us. I believe I would have wet myself had the waterfall not been doing such a good job- we were all completely hysterical by the end.

We squelched along pathways afterwards feeling utterly immune to the sprays of the waterfalls and not at all troubled by the presence of dark, heavy clouds in the sky. Although the bad weather prevented us from seeing the falls in all their outrageously photogenic glory, the contrast of the dark, moody sky and the white clouds of mist rising from the waterfalls created stunning and atmospheric views and I couldn’t wait to see the Brazilian side the next day.

We wasted no time when we got back to the hostel. After a much needed hot shower and change of clothes we got in a taxi and, with the help of a friendly and alarmingly bug-eyed taxi driver, headed across the border. Foz de Iguazu, the town on the Brazilian side, was to be the penultimate stop on our world tour. We now had only nine days left.

The Iguazu experience in Brazil was very different. It was a bit less like a theme park, more like a National Park, and the visitors didn’t have the same sense of excitement. They day before we had literally seen grown men screaming and running for the train, it was like they were trying to be the first up Space Mountain in Disneyland. However, this more subdued atmosphere could also be blamed on the weather – a white mistiness had descended on the area and our first glimpse of the falls was comically bad. You could barely make them out!

As we got closer the landscape began to emerge out of the mist and we were thankful for it – miles of immense waterfalls which cut through the green forests and crashed down cliffs. The views were less varied but more extensive than the Argentinean side, and equally beautiful. Even awful weather couldn’t take anything away from such an awe inspiring landscape. After taking a few hazy pictures and immersing ourselves in the wet sprays of the Devils Throat, the most violently powerful of the falls, we were soggy and pretty well acquainted with the place. Warmer climates beckoned and dreams of defrosting on the beach in Rio.


permalink written by  steve_stamp on August 31, 2009 from Foz do Iguacu, Brazil
from the travel blog: The art of being lost
tagged Rain, Water, Waterfalls, Wet and Cloud

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