9/04/13 After all the unbelievable drama of trying to get a visa to see the falls from the Brazilian side we ask the local taxi driver if he can get us in and we drive through Brazilian customs like it was McDonalds. No bank account statements required or kidnapping waivers to be signed. We're glad we made the effort, it is spectacular. I loved the build up too. Once your in the park you take a bus to where the walking trails start and your first glimpse of the falls is a little underwhelming. I've seen more water out of the monsoon shower at Fitness First.
|You can imagine my disappointment|
Then, you walk a little further and around a bend and wow, it opens up and there in front of you is something to match the majesty of the famous Niagra Falls. It's impressive.
In the meantime the local Coatis- mix the scavenging rascally nature of the quokka with the body of a ring tail possum and the teeth of a sabre tooth - are providing entertainment with their scavenging rascally behaviour in and out of bins and scooting between tourists legs.
|They seem cute but they'll rip your hand off if's holding food.|
Time to stop and take some footage and a heap of photos then down the path and around the next bend. WOW with capitals. Just when you thought you were amazed, stick Victoria Falls next to Niagra and you have a yes, yes, yes sight of Meg Ryan proportions.
|No words can describe it|
More photos, more video with gushing commentary and now, not only are the grounds covered with comical Coatis but the surrounding trees are full of Capuchin monkeys, swinging, chewing on branches and chattering madly like Tom Cruise on a couch.
|Tom researching his next role??|
This is really spectacular....until. Yes you guessed it. Another bend another view. But not just any view. OHH GREAT MOTHER OF BUDDHA. You hear it before you see it and you see the thick curtain of spray before you get anywhere near the actual falls itself. We are looking across and down into.....The Devils Throat. It lies on the Argentinean side but the view is best from the Brazilian. A long steel walk way leads out to a viewing platform that leaves you suspended over the side of a section of the falls.
|This is on a clear day|
|Garganta de Diablo|
Fact, during the wet season 6500 cubic metres of water goes over the sides of these 250 waterfalls...every second. I'm told by bigger brains than me that equates to six cubic kilometres of water every second. And, half of that spills in just the one small section of these falls, The Devils Throat. Just think about that for a second.
|Those two little things in the bottom left are us.|
Of course you get absolutely saturated by the pounding spray. Imagine standing in front of the entire Mormon Tabernacle Choir while they all blow raspberries straight into your face. It's exactly like that.
We left after about four hours, soaked, exhilarated and happy. We ranted to Xavier, out taxi driver, about how brilliant it all was then he turns to us and says, ohh thats nothing, Brazil only have 25 percent of the falls the rest are in Argentina. Bring on tomorrow.
9/04/13. We're told to allow six hours to do the Argentine side. Turns out we'll need it all. The name Iguazu comes from the local indigenous tribe, the Guarani, and means big water. No kidding. In 1541 a Spanish Conquistador, Alva Nueze Cabiza de Vaca took time out from slaughtering the Inca and putting an end to their civilisation to pop on down and "discover" the Falls for the europeans. They fired several rounds of cannon fire into it, chucked numerous spears and threw in copious copies of the bible but it refused to yield or become evangelised so they went back to concentrate on the Incas.
Today, the junction of where the water flows marks the border of three countries, Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. The falls are shared by two National Parks, the Argentinian park,Peurto Iguazu and the Brazilian park, Foz do Iguazu.
It's all very well organised. Trains to take you here and there, walk ways and plenty of scenic outlooks. It could have done with a few more signs though. Even with a map we still managed to get lost... twice. The highlight was definitely the power boat ride under the falls. Two massive 150hp engines struggle to get a huge zodiac type boat with about 40 people on it literally right up and under two sections of the falls. No surprises, you may have just as well jumped in the river.
|You're one stalled motor away from some serious s@#t|
There was no escaping the water. Now we all know what it's like to be on the bad end of a fireman's hose. It was thrilling. You had to close your eyes against the power of the spray, it was like trying to look into the midday sun. The sting of the spray was a slap across your face but we we're all screaming for more. Exhilarating, powerful, memorable.
Iguazu, we love you.
Iguazu, we love you.