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Foz do Iguacu, Brazil is a small city (which feels more like a town), situated at the meeting point of three countries: Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. The main attraction here is the cascading waterfalls known as Iguazu Falls (feel free to spell it however you want – Iguazu Falls, Iguazú Falls, Iguassu Falls, or Iguaçu Falls are all fine), which can be visited from both the Brazilian and Argentinian sides of the Iguazu River.
Won’t Run and I arrived in Brazil late on a Sunday. On Monday, we asked about tours to the Falls at about 10 am, only to find out most had already left. Rather than wait for Tuesday’s tour, we decided to take a public bus. It was really easy, and cost less than one dollar.
The bus station was about a ten minute walk from our hotel. We paid the fare at the entrance to the bus station. The waiting area for the #120 bus to Parque Nacional was clearly marked, and the bus came within a few minutes.
The ride took about 30 minutes, with a stop at the airport, which is quite close to Iguassu Park. We arrived and paid the park entry fee (a little less than $20, credit cards accepted). The entry fee included a bus ride from the park entry to the falls.
The bus let us off, and we caught our first glimpse of the falls. We immediately started taking photos, only to learn that it kept getting better and more intense. There was a paved walking path and you essentially walked along the pathway getting closer and closer to the raison d’etre, the Devil’s Throat. At various points, there were panoramic overlooks, and then there was a walkway that went over the water and next to the falls themselves. They actually sold rain coats for people who didn’t want to get wet (I kind of liked the mist).
I’ve heard it said that the beauty and intensity of the falls is beyond explanation, beyond words and beyond photos. I can now confirm the truth of that. So, why do I want to use terms like awe-inspiring, mesmerizing and breathtaking, and show my photos, if nothing besides seeing it first-hand can do it justice? I don’t know. I can’t help myself. It’s obligatory! Please go see it the falls, so you can say, Kathy, your photos, though nice, did not come close to seeing the real thing.
I saw the most beautiful butterflies there – and they would even stop long enough for me to take their photos.
The Quati, however were not so beautiful. There were frequent and rather graphic “don’t touch” and “don’t feed” the QUATIS signs around the park and pathways. And then, at a point along the pathway near a snack bar, I saw them. These long-snouted raccoon-like animals walked brazenly in packs as if they belonged there. Oh, wait, they do belong there – they are indigenous to the area and we aren’t. I didn’t see them bothering anyone, but they still scared me.
In all, we spent a few hours at Iguazu Falls. It was the type of experience one remembers for a lifetime. I know I will.
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