1.15.2013

Soaking wet at Iguazu


Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls, if ya didn't cha know, is the biggest waterfall in the world. Not the highest (that's Victoria Falls in East Africa and I count it one of my few life regrets that I didn't spend the half day and few hundred dollars I could have spent to get there when I was relatively nearby. For future reference, the rational "I'm sure ill be in [insert faraway obscure place impossible and expensive to get to] again. I'll just take this once in a lifetime opportunity next time" is total crap and an awful way to miss out on real once in a lifetime experiences. They call then that for a reason. The same can be said for certain purchases (oh, vintage telephone from the Bientina, Italy antique street fair when I was 16! How I should have paid the $25 to bring you home!), but since there is so much regret in impulse buying, statistically speaking, it's harder to draw the line.)

No, Iguazu is the largest waterfall by volume (Okay Niagara is up there too). Some 500,000 cubit feet per second over a span of about 3 miles. If your baby dropped somehow over one of the catwalks winding through the falls, sayonara (this discussion, or argument rather, did not take place over the catwalks but rather over a 125 foot high bridge on the way to Paraguay. I said I'd jump after the baby. My heartless husband said death on impact. I harumphed and refused to discuss it further).  Legeng sais that a God was set to marry a woman, but was scorned when she canoed away with her lover. God split their getaway route, sending them into eternal freefall, and giving the rest of us a Wonder of the World to enjoy.

At the Devil's Throat, particularly, I had all sorts of vertigo induced flashes of falling into the abyss below. Talk about terrifying. I may have been a good thing for my brain that our view here was at hyper speed so we could catch our bus, and Trish and Jeff could catch their plane back. It was quite epic, our ascent to the Devils Throat. Slow train, stopped train for no reason (not like a real train, it's like a Disneyland train), making the route up on foot instead (just a little bitta mud and four refused hitchhiking attempts [boy do we suck at Hitchhiking When Porter and I were robbed outside Paraty we had to hitchhike back to town because the busses wouldn't let us on with no fare {for rude!} and it took like 20 minutes and lots o cars before we were obvious enough about hitchhiking that an old VW van driving 15 mph with the windows down stopped to take us.])
The world melting away... an inch every 10 years 
The 1 km catwalk was like Frogger. Passing photo takers and slow grandmas is a fun game in its own right, so by the time I got to the viewing platform it was especially mind blowing. Mist so strong you couldn't see ten feet down. It's like the world is melting from Iguazu out. Like you should have to run to solid ground to keep from being swallowed up, but instead you're on a hopefully very well fortified and regularly safety inspected metal grate catwalk just watching it all dump away. It's unreal.

The day before (two days, rather), we were on he Brazilian side, having a totally different experience- getting soaked.

First was on purpose, a tour that takes you up the river and into the falls (one of the itty bitty ones in comparison, but no lack of strength). They whip you through rapids on a zodiac (I was dislodged from my seat and rammed into the person behind me only once. So much for hand holds.) and tuck you right under. It's like that amusement park ride where you're in a round boat on a river and every once in a while someone gets wet. By here everyone is soaked to the bone, especially in the nose of the boat, where we were. I would recommend this tour to any and everyone.
Bad-ass falls adventurer

Wet and adorable
More cuteness
Seriously? My face.
That's more like it
After changing into dry clothes, we ascended again to see the falls from different angles. Blue skies turned gray, turned misty, turned downpour, and the rest of the afternoon was as wet as when we were shoved directly under the falls. We winded along the trails and across the catwalks. I kept rehearsing in my mind "Worst Case Scenario: slip and fall/deteriorating bridge/earthquake/bumped over the edge by a passerby. What do I do. What rock can I grab. How long can I hold on.

Good news, we made it alive, soaked to the bone, but giggling all the way.

There is water behind me. And all over 
I LOVE THIS PHOTO

2 comments:

Jamie said...

I am loving! loving! reading about your adventure. Such an experience!!

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