Cataratas de Iguazu

I knew I was going to enjoy Iguazu; something about me and water has always gotten along. Classmates who had visited with other programs talked so much about how much they loved it, how great the experience was. I was pumped.

Words and pictures don’t accurately grasp how absolutely beautiful las Cataratas de Iguazu are. The national park feels like an amusement park, with colorful maps, trains to take you along to the falls, crowded cafeterias with souvenirs. But once you get to the falls, you just can’t help but take a deep breath and marvel at how the earth formed something so beautiful. And then keep walking to see it from a different viewpoint.  Iguazu is a Guarani word, from the local native language, meaning “big water.” Straight and to the point.

To get to each part, there are metal walkways and balconies to see everything. Along the way, you also see old, crumbling walkways, wood and cement and metal sticking up out of the water, rusting and crumbling away. It reminded me of the Andes and the abandoned bridges and train tracks. All examples of man trying to tame nature, and failing at it.

At the end of the day we were able to take a boat close to the falls, pretty much a thrill ride, a log flume without the drop and twice as much water. Again, it felt to me like playing with fire, driving a boat full of tourists towards a thing of power, with enough strength to drown the whole of us. Still, we shrieked with laughter and left the boat breathless and shivering.

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