aventura, happy happy, humanoid wildlife, natural wonder, South America

Iguassu, I love you

By popular vote, Iguassu Falls was recently recognized as one of the new seven wonders of the natural world. Controversial as the selection method may have been, I think it’s fitting the falls should be considered such a phenomenon. We spent the day on the Argentinian side – the stage.

The Devil’s Throat is the tight funnel at the far left of the Iguassu Falls structure, with immense volumes of water tearing down to create the misty plumes we saw from the chopper. We waked more than a kilometre along catwalks over the river to reach it, seeing a turtle and dozens of butterflies using us as landing pads.

The next stop was the Upper Trail which took us over the top of several falls and gave brilliant vistas across to Brazil. After lunch we hit the road through the jungle in a giant open top jeep/bus to get down close to the river. Several monkeys formed a welcoming committee for us, swinging across the road ahead of us, capuchins mostly. I’ll never get tired of watching monkeys making it look easy to swing between the trees.

Donning a life jacket and sitting down on the single hottest piece of vinyl and plastic in the entire world, baked by the unrelenting sun, we took our spots for the boat ride. It was something special to see the falls from above, catwalk across the tiers and then look up into their heights from the base. We put valuables away after taking some photos and then it was game on. Driving straight towards the torrent we didn’t need to get completely under the falls to feel the punch of the water with the heavy spray soaking us to the bone. It was forceful enough to make it difficult to breathe, I had to to close my eyes and we did this 4 times across two different falls. It was refreshingly AWESOME!

We climbed up the cliffside to the cafe at the top, realising we weren’t about to dry out with the humidity. Argentina’s answer to raccoons, the coatie are creatures about the size of a medium dog, striped tail, noses like anteaters and the light-fingered touch of a cat burglar – watch your lunch and bags around this crowd, they’re fast and completely nonplussed about people.

We grabbed a nap in the afternoon to prepare for a BBQ party at Antonio’s house, where we met up with another G Adventures group, $35 for a delicious meal, pool, music and all the caipirinhas we could drink. Something we learned from this party is that while we can all drink a lot, none of us can handle a lot. That stuff is STRONG. In the end I can remember bring picked up and thrown in the pool, talking to the other guide, Nancy, for most of the night, and then three heads swimming over me when Tristan, Ida and Hayden had to bargain with me to get off the floor and into bed back in the hotel room. Ask me how I managed to change clothes (Antonio had to bring back a lot of lost property the next day), how we got home, how I have bruises in my hand, cheek and chin or how I woke up the next day and I would not have an answer for you. I also called mum and dad and that takes skill with the travelsim I’m using so your guess is as good as mine as to how any of us made it out alive. I even managed to set my alarm for the next morning…unbelievable!

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