Thursday, 23 June 2011

The World's Greatest Waterfall

Upon returning to Ushuaia from Antarctica we decided to spend some time exploring the Patagonia region of South America. Using planes, buses and rented cars we were able to reach many of the mountainous and glaciated wilderness areas that Patagonia is famous for.  But always in the back of our minds was the allure of the great waterfall to the north, beyond Patagonia and into the rainforest jungle.  From Buenos Aires we flew to the location where Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina all come together. At this spot the Iguazu River rushes over the Parana Plateau forming almost 300 separate cataracts over a 1.7 mile stretch of cliffs.

Iguazu is not as high as Venezuela's Angel Falls, nor as famous as Victoria Falls on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border.  It is not even rated as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. But this is an oversight. It is certainly the most awe inspiring falls that I have ever seen, far superior to Victoria Falls in emotional impact.
Think Niagara and then multiply that a hundred fold plus ad exotic jungle. That will give you some idea of the feeling when in the presence of Iguazu.

As a bonus you can wade in some of the shallows below the falls. We did this and had small fish by the hundreds pecking at our legs. To complete the Iguazu experience I took a brief helicopter ride over the falls and was able to photograph a rainbow that was created by the rising mist.

When boarding a bus from the falls back to our campsite I absentmindedly left my backpack with camera gear on a nearby bench.  Potential disaster.  But one of the locals hurried on to the bus carrying my pack and returning it with a big smile. 

Mark Newman

No comments:

Post a Comment