Argentina 2013: A Wonderful Hunt and Fantastic Vacation; The Magic of Iguazu Falls

by david on September 5, 2013

Friday May 31st, 2013

Everyone was excited about visiting the falls today.  All we knew about the falls was that they were one of the “seven new wonders” of the world and they were featured at the end of “Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull”.  Our driver picked us up along with few others and we settled back for the short ride to the park.  On the way, I double checked to make sure I had enough pesos, as they would not take US dollars at the park and I did not want a problem before the day even got started.

Once inside the park, our tour guide rounded us up and explained the day’s activities and schedule.  Our tour of the falls would be in three phases.  The first was at the top, the second started at the mid elevation and went to the top, and the last started at the mid-level and ended up at the river level.  With the plan explained to us, we took an old narrow gauge train to the top of the falls.  The train ride was laid back and relaxing as it chugged its way uphill to the top.  Once we reached the top of the falls, it was time to engage an even older form of transportation.  We headed off on foot.  The trail consisted of a series of bridges, catwalks, and platforms that sent us out into the middle of the river.  After a half-mile to three quarters of a mile, there was a rock outcropping large enough for a few trees and plant life on it.  That was where the trail ended.

As we approached our destination, it seemed to disappear and reappear on a cloud of mist.  The mist came and went as the breeze changed directions.  It was nice the sun was out in full force or the view would have been something right out of a creepy old movie, the kind where something that would not pass for friendly was waiting on a group of unsuspecting tourist.  As it was, the sun put on more of a light show with many small rainbows and all sorts of colors in the mist as the sunlight shone down through it.  It was very cool and somewhat awe-inspiring, but the truly awe-inspiring sight was still waiting for us.  After we got within last hundred yards or so, we noticed people heading back our way.  They looked as if they had been swimming fully clothed.  Luckily, my darling bride had done her homework and we were prepared with rain gear.  The girls pulled out their ponchos and I donned my Gortex raincoat and we headed in.

Just before the outcropping and slightly to the right, it looked like there was a hole in the river and it was swallowing up the river water at an incredible rate.  This was another awesome sight.  When we stepped onto the platform on the outcropping, however, the term “awe-inspiring” would not even start to describe the sight before us.  We were staring into the “Devil’s Throat”, a horseshoe-shaped section of the waterfall, about 1200 yards across.  To call it “indescribable” comes closer to an adequate description, but that doesn’t quite get it right either.  The best way I can think of to describe it is it must have been what the ancient mariners imagined the edge of the world looked like, with all of the water flowing over the edge and into nothingness.  With all of the mist floating back up on the air currents, the bottom was not visible and it appeared that the water was really disappearing into a big black hole.

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