March 21, 2012

The Grand Cascades

Iguazu falls is a destination people will design their entire trip around. Horizontally, the falls are about 2 km wide with various islands and rocks separating the flow into several distinct cascades of up to 80 m in height. It’s like Niagara got all his buddies together in one big gang of waterfalls. I have never seen anything like it.

I showed up at the park around 10 am and was a bit taken aback by the tourist hordes. I had been off the beaten track for a few days so to see so many hundreds of folks from other countries required a bit of an adjustment. Luckily, I moved quicker than the majority of the socks and sandals crowd so I was able to dodge and weave my way through the masses pretty effectively. After walking the major viewing trails, some of which included pathways right to the edges of the falls, I decided to take one of the small motor boats to the island in the middle of the main falls. Somehow I got in the wrong line and ended up on a boat that took you INTO the falls. I have been on the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls, which is pretty fun, but this boat didn’t just bring you near – it drove you through the damn thing. Suddenly the raincoat I was wearing seemed a bit ridiculous as water poured into the boat and completely soaked everyone. My last thought as we backed out from the torrent was that I probably should have stuck my camera in the dry bag they provided instead of my pocket. Luckily my little Olympus was tougher than I thought and somehow survived the ordeal.

At around 3 pm I finally headed back to town and as the bus dropped me off at the main station, I ran into a Canadian guy I had chatted with in the park. He didn’t know any Spanish and asked if I could help him buy a ticket for a night bus to Buenos Aires. I hooked him up and asked if I could get one for the same time. She told me that route was now full, but there was one leaving in fifteen minutes that I could catch. I had all my gear with me so I figured what the hell? This bus was everything the last one was not. Personal TV screen, fully reclining seats with blanket and pillow, A.C., and even hot meals delivered to your seat; I haven’t been on airplanes that nice.

We arrived in Buenos Aires at around 11 am; I was well rested and well fed for once. It was a gorgeous day so I decided to walk the 20 plus blocks to my hostel. An hour and a half later I arrived, after a couple of wrong turns and I had already fallen in love with the city. It’s like a friendly version of Paris with better weather. I think I will have to hang out here a while so we can get to know each other a little better. Tonight’s mission: An Argentinean steak.

-A.

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About Amy D. Nelson

Wanderer, hack writer, aspirational hobo, part time aerial surveyor, geologist, forester and whatever else I can do to pay for a plane ticket. Is that sentence fragmental enough?

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