Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 38, Iguazu Falls, Argentina; Brazil, Paraguay

Mari was absolutely lucky at the Casino last night and won oodles of cash, so she has decided to share the marvellous Iguazu Falls in the province of Misiones with us. Wow, thanks Mari that is so generous of you, my big hearted friend :-))), so off we go.....

Upon our arrival, some of the group immediately put on protective rain suits and decided to explore the park on the Argentinean side which has some beautiful walking trails with superb views.

Nobody is interested in the trek in the jungle around the waterfalls......because everyone is still a little this is not the Amazon Jungle guys....that was just in the Indian Jones movie...."director's licence" to move places around.

Since these impressive waterfalls are situated at the border of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina we decided to start our helicopter ride at the 3 country point.

Wow, this absolutely amazing..........................We can actually see 3 countries from up here....
Where the Parana and Iguazu rivers meet, so do the borders of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.

What is that??

The pilot tells us that it is Itaipu Dam and in 1994, the American Society of Civil Engineers elected this Itaipu Dam as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World!!

Five-miles-wide and requiring enough concrete to build five Hoover Dams, the Itaipu Dam spans the Parana River at the Brazil/Paraguay border.

During its construction, workers shifted the course of the seventh largest river in the world by digging a 1.3-mile bypass.

To accomplish this they had to remove 50 million tons of earth and rock. The main dam, as high as a 65-storey building, is composed of hollow concrete segments; while the flanking wings are earth and rock fill. Enough iron and steel was used at Itaipu to build 300 Eiffel Towers.Very impressive indeed.

We are now going to fly over the falls......this is absolutely breathtaking........

Did you know that 275 cascades are spread in a horseshoe shape over nearly two miles of the Iguazu River, and that Iguazú Falls are the result of a volcanic eruption which left yet another large crack in the earth??

During the rainy season of November -March, the rate of flow of water going over the falls may reach 450,000 cubic feet (12,750 cubic m) per second.

Since we are such an enthusiastic bunch they pilot decided to share more information with us.

Iguazú Falls, called Foz do Iguaçu in Portuguese and Cataratas del Iguazú in Spanish, lie on the Argentina - Brazil border and are a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site.

The falls are part of a singular practically virgin jungle ecosystem protected by Argentine and Brazilian national parks on either side of the cascades. Two thirds of the falls are on the Argentinean side of the river.

The spectacular Devil's Throat, garganta del diablo, where fourteen falls drop 350 feet with such force that there is always a 100 foot cloud of spray overhead. Any rainbows???
The name of the falls comes from the Guaraní word for "great water"...and we can see why.....

The aerial view of these magnificent falls are so mind blowing that we decided that we had to touch it, so we took the most spectacular excursion, a boat ride, which took us so close that we were drenched by the mist as we were almost underneath the waterfalls!

Wow, was the adrenaline pumping with all this excitement :-))))))

On our way out the a debate ensued...which is more spectacular?? Iguazu or Vic Falls??

The water falling over Iguazu in peak flow has a surface area of about 1.3 million ft² whilst Victoria in peak flow has a surface area of over 1.8 million ft²

Victoria's annual peak flow is also greater than Iguazu's annual peak-9,100 m³/s versus 6,500-though in times of extreme flood the two have recorded very similar maximum water discharge (well in excess of 12,000 m³/s).

Mist rises between 30 and 150 m from Iguazu's Devil's Throat, and over 300 m above Victoria (sometimes over 600 m).

Iguazu, however, affords better views and walkways and its shape allows for spectacular vistas.
At one point a person can stand and be surrounded by 260 degrees of waterfalls.

The Devil's Throat has water pouring into it from three sides. Likewise, because Iguazu is split into many relatively small falls, one can view these a portion at a time.

Victoria does not allow this, as it is essentially one waterfall that falls into a canyon and is too immense to appreciate at once (except from the air).

So it seems as we leave this magnificent waterfall, for now this is the most spectacular we have seen...who knows what the final verdict will be once we have completed our journey.

We absolutely loved these falls, all of us would love to receive postcards from Argentina ..........and now we leave for our next destination......

"don't cry for me Argentina"......Ooh, Feroz sings too.....but he did love Argentina!

1 comment:

kazinhabueno said...

Iguaçu Waterfalls! Amazing!
And one more information, only a curiosity: Iguaçu Waterfalls is very distant to Amazon Rainforest, but in the movie "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull", Spielberg put them together in a scene :P