The whole group took a bus early Friday morning from Buenos Aires to Iguazú (in north-eastern Argentina). We made a few stops along the way and finally we got to our hotel near the falls. The trek to Iguazú took about sixteen hours. With seat service, a hot dinner and breakfast provided, and on-board staff, the trip was more comfortable than I thought. Why aren’t the buses in the US this accommodating? Still, we were so tired from the long trip that we went straight to bed. After we all had breakfast, we met our guide, Francisco, at the lobby of the hotel. He asked us: ¿Están listos para una gran aventura?” We all answered ¡Sí! Estamos listos! With more than 200 falls reaching heights of 200 feet, the power, the size, and the noise of Iguazú are simply spectacular! (It sounded like one of those nature CDs that people buy to go to sleep, only live.) They are taller than Niagara Falls, twice as wide with 275 waterfalls spread in a horseshoe shape over nearly two miles of the Iguazú River.
Before visiting the Falls, Francisco took us to Safari Macuco, at the rainforest. We saw the most amazing plants and animals there: toucans, parrots, hummingbirds, and huge butterflies with bright colors. We also saw opossums, weasel, sloths and anteaters! WOW…This was all new to me; I had never been in a rainforest before. I must have taken millions of pictures (ok, not millions, but a heck of a lot).
During lunch, Francisco told us that the word “iguazú” came from a native language meaning “great water”. There is an Argentinean side and a Brazilian side (Francisco says the Argentinean side is far more impressive, but then again, he’s from Argentina!) The border with Paraguay is very close by. I was so excited! It was time to actually see ride around between the falls! I could hardly wait! All together we were 14 students plus a teacher, Srta. Pérez, and Francisco. We all got into this big inflatable boat and put our lifejackets on. We began our tour around the falls. I was totally in awe, and so was the rest of the group! It was unbelievable! Then we got closer and closer to the falls to a point where we were literally underneath them! Of course, we all got soaking wet. That was cool, but I was worried about my camera! Luckily I put it in my bag right before it would have gotten wet. Janet was mad about her hair getting wet, but I offered to help her do it when we got back to the hotel.
That was a great adventure! We all went back to the hotel, tired and dripping wet, but very happy about our experience! We were advised to go to bed early because the long road trip back awaited us. Well, that didn’t happen. All of us spent hours uploading our pictures and showing each other different shots. And of course Janet made me make good on my promise to help her with her hair. When we realized that we only had a couple of hours to get ready, everyone ran to their room, packed and met at the lobby. Needless to say, we all slept during most of the trip back.