Iguazu Falls -
April 27, 2007


I can definitely think of worse places to stay. After all, there is only one place around here where you can have a view of this
amazing sight from your hotel room balcony. And that is where we are – at the Sheraton Iguazu Falls.

I can only brag about this fact because Michelle and Clarke are being so generous as to foot most of the bill. They really wanted to
stay here so they told me that all I would have to do is pay the price of the rollaway bed. So that’s what brought me here (and to the
balcony from which I am typing this as I am watching the mist and the top of the waterfalls).

We arrived this afternoon via our friendly taxi driver. I made the mistake of saying I was single when he asked if I was married.
The flirting then began. But the wonderful thing about not being from the same country is that I could act as if I didn’t have a clue
what he was saying. I just smiled and didn’t respond to anything. At the Argentina border crossing he gave me a ‘regalo’. I don’t
know where he fetched it from but he had a sample perfume for me as a token of his affection. He told me it was a way to
remember my time in Brazil. I was very appreciative…though I think it’s unlikely that anybody is going to be smelling Salvador Dali’
s ‘Ruby Lips’ on me any time soon.  

Aside from the views, another great thing about being a resident at the Sheraton for the next day is that we can wander to and from
the falls while the park is open whenever we want. No need to take bus rides and no need to pay for entrance today
and tomorrow.
See…people can even save money by staying at the Sheraton! (I will just keep telling myself that.)

Iguazu Falls offers a completely different vantage point on the Argentinean side versus the Brazilian side. But one thing was the
same – the water levels on both sides are out of control. So much that they cancelled all of the boat rides for today (I guess I won’t
be getting drenched for a second time today – they even closed the platform on the Brazilian side just after we were on it due to the
water levels). But we were still able to walk around. While the Brazilian side offered amazing panoramic views of the falls, the
Argentinean side gives a person the opportunity to feel as if they are
at the falls. The walkways on the ‘Superior Trail’ are directly
above the water as it plunges into the river. There is no way to describe the amount of water and the force with which it gushed by.
Though I have to be honest…it still looks like hot cocoa (so there is a slight feeling of being at a Swiss Miss factory while out here).

We stood and watched the walkways below (on the Inferior Trail) all but disappear in the mist due to the force of the waterfalls. We
had to accept the fact that we weren’t going to be able to stand out there today. It would definitely be a death sentence.

Other treats along the way were the rainbows (and in many cases, double rainbows) and butterflies in all colors, patterns and sizes.
I was expecting Iguazu Falls to be just another massive waterfall…but there is so much more. In my opinion, this blows away
Victoria Falls. This place just feels like a person can be more interactive with the waterfalls by being so close to them.  

On that note, we then went to walk along the ‘Inferior Trail’. We knew we wouldn’t have access to the
entire thing. But that didn’t
matter. We would be able to see the falls from yet
another viewpoint. More rainbows, more gushing water, more places to stand for
amazing views of the waterfalls. This really doesn’t get old. Or at least it hasn’t yet.

I was also beyond-excited about something else I saw today – a toucan in the wild!!! I have never seen one of these before. I think
this is one of the most beautiful birds I have ever laid eyes on (even if it
was for less than one minute). Clarke and Michelle missed
it as they walked on while I stayed behind to see what a group of people were transfixed on. Poor Clarke was kicking himself
afterwards when he found out what it was that everybody was looking at in the tree. Tomorrow we will be on the quest to see more

Another wildlife sighting was one that we weren’t as big fans of: the coatí. There is a slight cuteness to it (it looks like a raccoon with
a long snout) but it’s kind of hard to find when you see this animal scavenging through garbage. Honestly though, when we saw
these we couldn’t get away fast enough. I guess no place is perfect…

Tomorrow it is time for more time at the falls. As for now, it is time for some wine on the balcony…

April 28, 2007

Our time at the falls has officially come to an end. But I have to say that we never got sick of seeing them. We bounced from the
Inferior Trail to the Superior Trail back to the Inferior Trail to the…

Part of the reason we had so much time to do this was because we had to cut a couple things out of itinerary for the days due to the
high water levels: 1) there would be no train ride to Devil’s Throat (a slight problem when the water levels are flooding the tracks)
and 2) we would have to forgo the boat ride as the boats weren’t running this morning. By the time we could take a boat ride, we
would already be on our way to the airport. So that clearly wasn’t going to work. The way I see it is that if I ever come back here,
there will be lots of things that I have never done before at my disposal. Note to self: I would need to plan the trip when there are
medium water levels.

That being said, I will gladly take having too much water over having no water at all. We saw some pictures that were taken at the
falls in March 2006 and it was as dry as could be. We aren’t even talking minimal waterfalls. We are talking
no waterfalls. I would
seriously cry if I came all the way out here to find that. Too much water is definitely better than no water at all.  

It saddens me to report that our toast last night to seeing toucans today did not work. Nor did our prayers this morning to the
toucan gods. Nor did my suggestion of eating Fruit Loops at breakfast (since we all know Toucan Sam has a fondness for these). I
leave here with just an all-too-brief memory of my lone toucan encounter. Better than nothing though, right?

And there
were tons more butterflies. That should count for a little something.
Back to Argetina.
Iguazu Falls.
The falls with a rainbow.
Michelle, Clarke and me at the falls.