Iguazu Falls

Trip Start Jan 2003
1
151
200
Trip End Dec 2003


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Friday, October 10, 2003

Day 252 - 253 - Puerto Iguazu

The reason we came to Puerto Iguazu was for the nearby Iguazu Falls and after two days wandering around them (there are a couple of hundred waterfalls in total), the hassles of the journey were well worthwhile. It´s a word I hate but they are simply awesome. Jackie Onassis allegedly said "Poor Niagara" when she first saw them and they have to be the most spectacular non-living thing we´ve seen all year.

With both days providing brilliant sunshine, butterflies and rainbows are omnipresent, giving the area a truly magical feel. Situated in the triangle of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, the falls form what, to any illegal immigrants, must be the most physically restrictive borders in the world. The scariest part of the whole experience was at the Garganta del Diablo (Devil´s Throat), the biggest of all the waterfalls, where we all felt a strange sensation of being drawn over the safety barrier and into the thousands of gallons of rushing water. There really can´t be a more effective or more literally breath-taking way, if you´re so inclined, to commit suicide.

We´ve come to the conclusion that when at such a massive tourist attraction, your best bet is to accept your fate and behave like a tourist. Consequently we, after getting the shitty local bus to Iguazu, bought the complete package of things to do while you´re there. Three of the four things this entailed were far from exhilirating, although on one of them we saw an alligator, but the fourth gave us a completely different perspective. From the confines of a moderately sized dinghy we were propelled into the close proximity of some vicious falls so the spray completely drenched both us and our belongings. The whole expense was worth it for this unique and hybrid feeling of fear, exhaltation and wonder.

It´s perhaps indicative of the emotions that run through you at a place like this that at one point, of our own volition, we got all soppy and deemed it a sensible idea to toss money over the railings and make a wish - I guess Iguazu Falls has as much chance as any well of making a wish come true!

To celebrate the first of what was previously imagined to be one of South America´s highlights being even more than we expected, we went out on the lash with a couple of Leeds´ medics and ended the evening hugging street vendors as they invited us out for further alcohol consumption. Luckily Kirsty still had the presence of mind to realise what a foolish idea this was in our incapable state and we refrained from getting ourselves drugged and robbed by local bandits.
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