This will be hard to beat...
Trip Start Oct 28, 2005
31Trip End Jun 23, 2006
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When I finally arrived at the hostel after a mission of a trip (16 hr bus ride from Barra de Lagoa, the drama of bus into Paraguay, afternoon at Brazillian side of falls, then border crossing dramas), I was still somehow up for a bit of socialising at the Hostel´s St Patrick´s day party.
I met some fantastic people, especially these 3 guys from London travelling around South America in a fiery red 1973 model Fiat...within minutes I was quite shocked to learn I had SO much in common with these guys...all recently out of long term relationships/marriages...passionate about art... music... photography...
The next afternoon (it rained all morning) we hopped in Ramiero (the Fiat)...oh so cool... and managed to start the exploration of the Argentinean side of the falls, we only managed to get a few hours at the park, and wanted to save the best sights for day 2.
I was definitely in 2 minds about exploring the falls with these boys. I wanted to take my time and explore at my pace and really feel the place, but it was also a unique opportunity to hang out and share the experience with others. At 8am, I was just about to head off solo, then Tim turned up...so my decision was made.
1st stop in the park was the Main Attraction: Garganta De Diablo (Devil´s Throat)...where an UNBELIEVABLE amount of water pours out, creating a dense mist that shoots up twice as high as the falls...and creates floaty rain everywhere. I stood there (getting completely soaked) & felt a huge rush...of liberation and love...so happy...to be exactly where I was.
I dont want this entry to be too long, so I´ll skim some of the other highlights...swarms of butterflies, seeing the most amazing Toucans, feeding birds...eating fresh guava...checking out all sorts of wildlife...
Then... on one of the walks on a small island in the park, we reached the end of a path where a small sign said "NO PASAR" (dont pass)...but Tim did...and told us there was a waterfall worth checking out, and a small boat crashed onto the rocks that lay ahead.
So we hopped the fence, and I stopped to take pics of the surroundings. After checking out the small waterfall I wondered where the others had gone, so I made my way around the rocks to the boat, then through a huge hole in a rock to find the boys looking like children on a playground...playing in paradise.
Errol´s eyes lit up as he pulled a fish out of the pool (with a small line and chewing gum)...Andy was standing under a waterfall...Tim trying to keep his camera dry while seetting up a shot...of andy diving from the waterfall into the pool below. Quite a scene.
After taking it all in, I had to be part of it so I jumped in the pool climbed over the rocks, and swam over to the waterfall. I stood on the rocks listening to and feeling the pounding of the water...I had told myself that this trip I wanted to stretch myself and do things that scare me, so with a pounding heart (and come coaxing from Andy), I dove in from the rocks. It was this same thought that helped me swim across the current to folow the boys under the bigger falls....
I felt like time stood still for a moment as I looked around...soft moss underfoot, brilliant rainbow shining thru the sheet of water, the light reflecting off the top of the falls. Eyes, mouth, heart wide open...in wonder of this perfection we had discovered.
After a while, it was time to catch the boat back to reality and use our speedboat tickets for a soaking under even bigger falls...but somehow that experience didnt quite measure up to what we had just done.
I kept thinking how glad I was that I didnt experience the falls alone. I never would have stepped off the beaten path and had such an amazing afternoon.