Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Las Cataratas del Iguazú

The minute I learned I was going to be spending this year in Argentina I hopped in the car and hit the travel section of our public library. I still remember the excitement I had as my parents and I flipped through the pages, marveling at pictures of tango-dancers, Patagonia, the Andes, gauchos, and Iguazu Falls. I held the book closer as I landed on the picture of those great waterfalls, trying to imagine what that photographer must have felt like as they stood at the base of those cascades...
...I had no idea.
This weekend it was my turn to be the one standing in awe as I and the 38 other exchange students in our district explored the jungle and waterfalls of Iguazu. I could tell you stats about how at 8,900 feet wide they are the longest waterfalls in the world, or how there is so much water rushing over those 275 cascades that you could overfill twelve Olympic sized swimming pools per second, or I could talk about the monkeys, birds, and wildlife that make up the exotic jungle. I could.. but I can't pretend to be a good enough writer to be able to encapsulate those falls in a blog post.
So instead, I'll do a quick recap of the weekend and leave you with a few pictures in hopes that with 1000 words each they might do a better job:
My weekend started Friday evening as the 3 other exchange students from Formosa and I hopped on a bus and took off. After a quick layover in Resistencia our group grew to thirteen, and by 9 the next morning we were eating pastries at our hotel in Puerto Iguazú. From there the real adventure began: a weekend of hearing about the Rotary trips available throughout the year, of traveling to a lookout point where we could stand in Argentina and look across the river at Paraguay and Brasil, of getting absolutely drenched as our boat sped up to (and under) the crashing waters of Iguazu falls, and a weekend of making amazing memories and friendships with the other exchange students in our district.
I know I say it all the time, but Argentina is so cool.
the exchange students of district 4845 in Argentina, with Paraguay and Brazil in the background! I would have been excited seeing three states at the same time- three countries was pretty amazing.
from left to right, starting in the back:
Belgium, Demark
Washington DC, Minnesota, Germany, and Minnesota!
First glimpse of the falls
From the top of the cascades (holding onto my camera VERY tightly)
Octavio and I getting right up to the edge
Watching as the mist of 'Salto Bossetti' waterfalls soaked those below
Andy, Ruby, Pierre and I taking in the view
The waterfalls and jungle couldn't even fit in the frame
the waterfalls that drenched us from head to toe
(my whimpy poncho couldn't do a thing to keep me dry)
loading the boat
One of the last shots on the boat before our ride turned from 'show' to 'shower'.
In the distance, you can see the Garganta del Diablo (Devil's Throat)- the first of the 275 falls
more waterfalls, more jungle
Las Dos Hermanas
Not looking at ALL like tourists... ;)
Walking out to the Devil's throat. Couldn't have asked for a better day.
Garganta del Diabl0: every second would overfill an Olympic sized swimming pool.
Also, look closely and you can see the rainbow stretched across the cascade
One of the MANY vibrant butterflies

Canon del Diablo and the mist of la Garganta from 230 ft. below


Sam Estenson said...

This was incredible! Like I actually do not believe that you took these pictures...they're too cool, where did you find them?

Gosh, I want to see Argentina so badly now.
Enjoy these days, Maria, you'll look back on them happily often.

Te Amo

Beret said...

wowo maria these pictures are absolutely AMAZING!!! i can't believe you took them. keep living it up my dear, and i hope i get to see you in RECIFE! we'll talk later about the details :)

Naomi said...

Wow!! What an amazing experience!! The pictures are gorgeous! It sounds like you could already be a Argentinean tour guide! Thanks for sharing, and keep enjoying!:)

Samantha Weaver said...

If I could die of jealousy, I'd be dead one million times over. SOOO BEAUTIFUL

Tracy said...

It seems you guys were having a fine time over there in the falls!
I went there once and I thought the same thing you did: how come they are so amazing??
I was first staying in one of those Buenos Aires apartments for rent, and then I headed to the north of the country. I made a lot of friends as well, some of them who I am still in touch with.
Great memories...

Anonymous said...

Sounds good, I like to read your blog, just added to my favorites ;)

Anonymous said...

Great post. Can’t wait to read the next ones :)

Anonymous said...

Jag har velat skriva något så här på min hemsida och det gav mig en idé. Skål.