Is it raining???

Trip Start Jul 21, 2009
Trip End Apr 28, 2010

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Where I stayed
Hostel Paudmar Falls

Flag of Brazil  , Paraná,
Saturday, February 20, 2010

Iguassu Falls, by all accounts, is supposed to be amazing.  One of the largest, tallest and widest sets of waterfalls in the world (made up of about 280-some individual waterfalls), it sits on the border between Argentina and Brazil, and can be seen from each side -- apparently, each side giving very different views.

So, after arriving in Foz do Iguacu (the city on the Brazilian side), John and I made a beeline to the falls.  On the Brazilian side, after arriving at the fancy visitors center, we hopped on a bus and headed into the national park.  Where we got off, we hiked along a 1.2 km paved trail with increasingly better and closer views of the falls.  Even with all the hype, the falls managed to exceed expectations -- they were massive, powerful, and absolutely beautiful.  As we walked down the trail, we passed multiple views that, on their own, would be spectacular.  The waterfalls seemed to go on and on in all directions, all tall, but some being super wide and some being average narrow falls.  At the end of the trail, a walkway headed out over top the falls.  Looking in one direction, you were peering straight down over the edge of a waterfall.  Looking in the other direction, you were staring at the face of another very wide fall, from the bottom.  Either way, the spray from the falls was enough to get us quite soaked. 

Finally, from here, we took an elevator up a bit higher, for a veiw of that same fall from the top, as well as a fabulous panaramic view of the whole area.

But the best part?  We get to do it all over again, on the Argentina side -- where you get even more up close and personal with the falls -- in a few days, with my parents! 

After returning to town, we made one more visit to round out the day -- the Itiapu dam.  On another nearby river, bordering between Brazil and Paraguay, is one of the world´s largest dams (largest in terms of energy output).  Having been told, repeatedly, that the dam would be closed to visitors on Sunday, we headed over for their evening "sound and light" show for a chance to see it.  As promised, it was impressively large, and after the show (where they lit up the dam), we drove past along the dam itself for upclose views, while our tour guide explained some of the history and background of the dam.  We also got to see the spillway open, releasing excess water, which is a somewhat uncommon sight.
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