I jumped onto the little ¨train¨ that winds through the park to transport visitors to the starting point of the many walks in the park and went straight to the end stop where the walk to Garganta del Diablo is. The walk is all along raised walkway constructed over the actual river as it winds around to form part of the falls complex. Part way along there is the remnants of the older walkway destroyed by floods in 1992 killing several tourists. As if, in the presence of this example of the forces of nature, we needed any reminding of the intrinsic frailty of humanity. At the end of the walkway is the most awesome and brutal display of nature that I have ever witnessed. Garganta del Diablo means Devil´s throat and it was as if one was staring into the throat of the beast looking into the jaws of hell. The actual drop of this central part of the falls complex is only about 70 metres but because of the volume of water and the force with which it falls the actual bottom of the falls is never visible. Instead a spray of water rises above the height of the falls and is visible around the countryside looking for all the world like smoke from a bush fire. The sunlight plays with the spray forming capricious rainbows which further add to the spectacle of beauty and brute force.
That is an extract from my travel writing in 2005 when I was last here. At that time I was on a basic backpacking trip by myself. I stayed in a dorm in a hostel on the Argentine side. I was blessed with 2 sun days out of my 3 day stay here which, sadly represents the only sunny days I have had here. Iguassu is one of the “big three” waterfalls in the world the others being Victoria Falls and Niagra. This, though, is my favourite. It is bigger, has more water and many more falls than the others. The power of nature and its raw force is on display here and I was keen to share the experience with my life partner this time. Of course if “she who must be obeyed” is with me then dormitories are out of the question and it is 6 star luxury at the famous Cataract Hotel. We are upgraded from a junior suite and most certainly not disappointed.
A couple of observations about the experience. Firstly it shows that Brazil has not had the troubled economic times that Argentina has had. The cost of anything on the Brazilian side is more than comparable to western prices whereas Argentina is “bargain basement”. Secondly, 14 years on the presence of an extra 2 billion people on the planet is obvious. In 2005 I seemed to have the place to myself. The walkways had few people on them whereas now there was a steady conga line of humanity everywhere. Finally and sadly the weather this time was atrocious and while we still enjoyed the experience, I am going to indulge myself and throw in a few old shots with sunshine and blue sky for what is to be my final post for this trip. Until the next trip (June/July this year), enjoy!
Now some of the 2005 pictures