Foz do Iguacu, Brazil: Day 2
I have traveled far and wide as you all know but today was the most impressive thing I’ve seen thus far. I followed Patricia’s instructions, caught a taxi to Iguazu Parque on the Brazilian side ($16 USD), paid entry into the park ($60 USD) and purchased a ticket for the boat ride to the falls from Macuco Safari ($60 USD and worth every penny). A short ride later through the Brazilian jungle, I donned a life jacket, put my pack in a locker and with my water proof Hero 5 Black Go Pro in hand, I boarded the speedboat. The last thing I was told was “enjoy your shower”. And did I ever. Macuco Safari takes you up the river on a fast and furious speedboat to a waterfall a/k/a cataratas and immediately after everyone on the boat yelled “molhado” meaning “wet” we proceeded under what I thought was the largest waterfall there was (so little did I know!) and then we emerged completely soaked laughing in unison with the occasional high five – both of which were universal forms of communication. It was so much fun and is a must do in the event you make it to Foz on one of your journeys to Brazil.
After we disembarked, I proceeded to catch the next bus to the bridge. That’s all I knew to do next not knowing what was in store for me. Once dropped off, the park employees pointed in a direction and I began to trek through the jungle on the paths provided for this purpose with no understanding of what I was going to see.
Every turn on the path brought me to another view of the cataratas streaming from the sides of the mountain spilling into the river below. One then two then three then four and then there it was – this heart stopping cloud of white rushing waters filling your vision including all of your peripheral vision…it was that wide and that high. You will undoubtedly be bewildered by what you see. You won’t believe something in the world like this exists. It is like you were transported to another planet. The park is what you would imagine heaven might look like and as you walk onto the bridge near the largest waterfall I had seen or even heard of to date, you find yourself in a sea of rainbows, water from the falls spraying you from all sides…your skin glistening….your vision blurred resulting from your wet sunglasses and standing there inundated with emotion managing somehow to feel both elation and peace simultaneously. This place is quite simply nature at its greatest. I did not even make it to the Bird Park across the street from the entrance to the falls as recommended because I literally couldn’t leave this place for fear it was all a dream and I would awake and it would be gone. It wasn’t until I learned that where I was standing was actually the base of Devil’s Throat and that the falls were shared with Argentina that I was able to leave. “You are kidding me” I said to myself “there is more?” Oh yes there is much much more. In fact, I was one of the last people to leave the park but I did however perhaps only due to my rising anticipation over seeing this again but from another country – Argentina – the very next day! No wonder this is one of the new 7 wonders of the world!
While not only being the largest waterfalls system in the world (twice the height and width of Niagra Falls), it also comes with a love story. Legend has it that a deity wanted to marry a beautiful mortal woman named Naipí who, of course, was already in love with another man named Tarobá so she fled from the deity with her lover in a canoe down the river. The deity was so enraged he split the river into two levels creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall…not a bad way to live throughout eternity if you ask me.
That’s all for now. With love for eternity from a little piece of heaven (or more accurately a whole lot of heaven) – Foz do Iguacu.