Under the Waterfalls

So far we’d seen the mighty waterfalls at Iguassu from the Argentine side. Now, we’d see them from the Brazilian side too. Once again, our driver collected us from the bungalows but this time he whisked us over the land border with a quick check of paperwork and onto Iguassu National Park Brazil.

Helen was really keen to experience the waterfalls from underneath i.e from a speedboat up the river. Dom and I weren’t convinced at first but… when in Rome.  The first part of the journey down to the park itself was done on double decker buses with the window removed to let the air in.  This was much needed in the sticky, tropical heat. It’s a very slick operation. Once off the buses we met our guide for the next part of the morning – a jeep ride through the jungle and a jungle walk. 

 

It will come as no surprise that our guide spoke excellent English. She told us that the National Park was home to 280 species of butterfly, 300 types of plant, 300 types of birds, jaguars, pumas, snakes (ten of which are poisonous), countless  insects and of course coatis. The jungle was most definitely alive. It’s hard to explain how loud yet relaxing the jungle noises are. It’s deafening yet peaceful all at once. Out of the jeep and onto the walkway we passed a magnificent golden spider web. Unbelievably, the silk is so strong it’s used to make bullet proof clothes!

Past the spider webs and there was the river. The rain was coming down fairly heavily now but we knew we were going to get a whole  lot wetter. From where we stood we could see everyone getting back off the boats. They had most definitely been under the waterfalls. A more bedraggled, soggy and soaked bunch of people you’d never meet again.

Everything we wanted to keep dry went into Helen’s waterproof bag. While we were waiting for our turn, we got talking to a lovely family from Rio. They had come to enjoy the waterfalls too. These encounters with other people are one of the joys of travelling. More cards and numbers were exchanged as we prepared to get on board.

With a whoosh the boat set off. Down the river we flew, over the waves, turning left then right and zipping over the surface. All along the river there were waterfalls gushing down to join us although it was hard to see them through the rain and the spray.

As the boat slowed down we were able to look up and see the Wall of Water we’d visited the day before. It looked even more staggering as it plunged and plummeted down the cliffs to join us.

And then we found ourselves right up close and personal with the waterfalls themselves. I can honestly say I have never  been so wet in my life. Water poured in at the necks of our coats, it whooshed up the legs of our shorts, it covered us from head to toe. There was absolutely nothing dry about any of us. I’d have been drier sitting in a bath. The photo below was taken above but this is exactly what our boat would have looked like when we were under the waterfalls.

Emerging from the most powerful shower of my life we made our way back up the river to the docking area. Thankfully the rain had eased and we started to steam a little as we hopped in a jeep which returned us to the rest of the park.

Soggy bottoms all round we still had more waterfalls to see. But first….snack time!

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