Monday, February 24, 2014

The falls

I've started this post at least ten times and each time delete in exasperation at my inability to find adequate words to describe my experience of the Iguacu Falls.  

I know the only time I can remember when I've had a similar feeling was snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef in 1973.  That was the only other time I've been totally overcome by the beauty of nature.  At least with my head under water I didn't feel the need to find a word to describe my feelings.  Here I came out with "Amazeballs"; my grand-daughter Jami would have been amused.  I wanted to roll all the descriptive words I know into one, and it still wouldn't be enough.  Magnificent and glorious are the only two words I can think of that come close.. 

There are 275 independent falls over 2.7 km (1.67 miles). Many small islands along the 2.7 kilometre long (1.7 miles) edge divide the falls into numerous separate waterfalls and cataracts, varying between 60 to 82 metres (197 to 269 ft) high. The number of these smaller waterfalls fluctuates from 150 to 300, depending on the water level.   At one spot, visitors can be surrounded by 260 degrees of waterfalls. 

The Devil's Throat, Garganta del Diablo, which is the U-shaped start of the falls was perhaps the most impressive part.   It's a long and narrow chasm, the highest point of the falls, measuring 82 m high ( 269 feet), 150 m (492.1 feet) wide and 700 m (2,296 feet) long.

Legend has it that a god planned to marry a beautiful woman named Naipí, who fled with her mortal lover Tarobá in a canoe. In rage, the god sliced the river, creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall.

I felt that every individual fall was, by itself, just beautiful.  I like waterfalls. 

I don't usually enjoy being with crowds of people but I barely noticed the crowds around me.  I was acutely aware that I was sharing this experience with my son, but the rest of the people might as well not been there for all the notice I took of them.  I snapped out of it a bit when on the walkway and noticed some people were wearing raincoats.  I often don't understand other people but this time I was really puzzled by why anyone would not want to dull the experience by not feeling the mist from the falls on their face, in their hair, on their bodies.  It was wonderful to be so close to that majesty and to feel, even in a very small way, a part of it.  A good drenching never hurt anyone on a hot summer's day.  It was refreshing and I thought I'd need a lot of refreshing before climbing all the way back up again.  I didn't need to, mercy of mercies, there was an elevator.

We returned two days later for my birthday treat, a boat ride under the falls.  See that boat down there?  I'm not in it but was on 27th. 

What a special way to celebrate a birthday!

Thank you, Bernie, for bringing this dream place to life for me.  We made so many memories. 


  1. This is a great post of a wonderful and awe inspiring place.
    You have done it justice.

  2. I have this on my bucket list and now must really try to make it happen. Lovely photos.

  3. I think, Pauline, that this is the first time in my life that I can actually say that I feel a real need to go and see that place. I can't live without being near water and after the huge disappointment of the Niagara Falls this looks just like heaven on earth.

  4. Your photos are wonderful. We did the birds, the brsilian side, lunch and the boat ride all in one day. We wore rain coats on Our walk along the river to the falls but not for protection from the falls but from the rain..... Trying to protect our cameras - camillo's movie and my sony from continued downpoors. On camillo's video of the boat trip under the falls you can hear me screaming and laughing from beginning to end. I loved it. I also have children Italian, brasilian, french. Isn't winderful making a connection with a child. Great post, i love seeing what I've seen through your fresh eyes,

  5. Hello Pauline, this is a wonderful post on your trip to the Iguacu Falls. It does look magnificent.. Your photos of the falls are amazing. I have to show this post to my hubby..I am glad you had a great visit with your son and granddaughter too. Thanks for sharing your trip!


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