Mayans

Mayans

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

More Beautiful than Niagara

Way back in 1986 I took a guided tour to Brazil and Argentina.  I generally avoid guided tours, but the company with which I had dealt when I took students to Mexico was planning a new tour to South America.  They were offering their clients a preview of the trip at such a ridiculously low price that I couldn't resist.  As it turned out, the tour was quite good.  It wasn't overly regimented, and there was plenty of free time to explore on our own.

One of the highlights of the tour was a visit to Iguazú Falls on the border between Brazil and Argentina.  Here the Iguazú River tumbles over the Paraná Plateau forming a magnificent series of waterfalls.  The maximum height of the falls is 269 feet, about the same as Niagara Falls, but there are up to 300 separate cataracts (depending on the time of year and the water level) which are spread over a distance of nearly two miles.  The falls are located in an area of tropical forest and are within a national park.  Although they are very accessible to tourists, and there are a few hotels within the park, there is none of the tacky tourist development which surround Niagara Falls.

We were on the Brazilian side of the river.  There is a paved sidewalk along the gorge which provides wonderful panoramas of the falls.

Here are a few slides from that trip which I scanned to the computer...









Another walkway extends out into the river to provide close-up views of the mightiest portion of the falls, a U-shaped chasm known as "La Garganta del Diablo"... the Devil's Throat.





A picture of a much younger me by the falls.



Shortly before my visit to Iguazú Falls, a motion picture had been filmed there.  "The Mission" is a historical drama dealing with the Jesuit missionaries in this part of South America.  If you have never seen the movie, I highly recommend it.  The photography, especially of the falls, is stunning.


6 comments:

  1. Have you ever seen the 1997 film "Happy Together?" It's a story of a gay Hong Kong couple in Buenos Aires and their relationship together. Visiting Iguazu falls is their main goal and a leitmotif of the film. A bit depressing, it's interesting nonetheless.

    And your post reminded me of it.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    CDMX, México
    Where we missed seeing the Mexican closest equivalent in Chiapas on our roadtrip.

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    Replies
    1. No, I never saw that movie.
      Are you referring to Agua Azul in Chiapas? It's lovely, but nothing compared to Iguazú.
      ¡Saludos!

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    2. Yes, I'm referring to Agua Azul. I realize it's nothing in comparison, but you've gotta take the water where it falls, haha.

      Saludos y un abrazo,

      Kim

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    3. If you ever get that way again, there is another waterfall nearby called Misol-Ha.

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  2. I love Salto Iguassu as well. There is a tourist train and a ginormous new visitor center on the Argentine side, but in general, the falls are still pristine. I spent two days on the Argentine side and one long day on the Brazilian side.

    But I still haven't seen The Mission....

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    Replies
    1. So which side did you prefer? I have read that on the Argentinian side you are closer to the falls, but that the Brazilian side offers better views.
      You must see "The Mission"!
      Saludos,
      Bill

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