Whenever I show Mark something significant, I’m pretty sure he will remember it for reasons others than the ones that make it noteworthy. Case in point, if you ask Mark what he saw at the Parque Nacional do Iguaçu, he will reply “butterflies.” The largest waterfalls system in the world? Oh yeah, that too. He liked the part where he was soaked.
Even though I’ve been one, even though I have one, I stand by my statement—kids are weird.
It’s true, though, there were butterflies, many of them, so many you could just put them on your hand and walk around with a colourful butterfly, the latest fashion accessory until the bug decides it went far enough and it’s time to fly away. If you ever go to Parque Nacional do Iguaçu, I recommend you to adopt a blue-and-red butterfly or a brown butterfly, they’re the best pets. On the other hand, yellow butterflies don’t seem to enjoy five-year-old kids’ arms. Can a lepidopterist explain that?
There were also giant lizards, annoying coatis begging for food and similarly annoying tourists—but I can’t complain about animals because we were invading their territory and I shouldn’t complain about other humans because we were also annoying tourists taking pictures where everybody wants to take a picture.
So yes, the waterfalls.
I love waterfalls. I can spend hours looking at them. Weird and profound thoughts come to mind, as if I was getting high. Can you imagine the flow never stops? Do fishes in the Rio Iguaçu even realize they’re about to reach the edge of a major waterfall? Isn’t it crazy that unlike French fountains—Mark, the water is DIRTY!—waterfalls are constantly supplied with new water?
Like thousands of tourists, we didn’t decide to stop in Foz do Iguaçu just for the sake of standing at the corner of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, although that’s pretty cool as well. We wanted to see the Iguazu Falls, located 20 kilometres away.
The Iguazu Falls is a three-kilometre chain of waterfalls. You don’t just get one waterfall—although the Devil’s Throat is probably the most impressive—but 275 of them. They lie split between Brazil and Argentina in two national parks, much of it rainforest teeming with unique flora and fauna.
Each of the national parks has a different atmosphere. Brazil has fewer falls but it offers the grand overview. A free bus takes you to a walkway along the canyon which extends to the lower base of Devil’s Throat. This is the part where you get completely soaked, as you’ll see from the blurry pictures at the end!
Tomorrow, the Argentinian side of the falls.