Day 8 (afternoon)
Weather: Cloudy with sunny periods
Brazil Tour: Day 4 Iguazu Falls - Helicopter flight
Since we were staying at the Das Cataratas Hotel located right in the middle of the Iguazu National Park's dense forest, we were given an entry access card by the management which allowed us free of charge to take as often as we wished a double decker bus that brought the tourists in and out of the park.
So, after standing in front of the hotel for at least a good ten minutes, we jumped on the first one that came along heading towards the exit of the park. I know, I know….why leave the park since we had just arrived? Simply because we had the rest of the day at our leisure since our tour wasn’t starting until the following day and secondly because this was the best time on our itinerary for us to take the helicopter flight over the falls. So, that’s where we were now anxiously heading, yep, we were heading towards the helicopter’s tour company that I had spotted at the park’s entrance gate.
Half an hour later, we were in the helicopter flying over the falls and you guessed it…..once again I was sitting at the front right next to the pilot…..the best viewing spot! Michel was behind me, so was another person.
Way up in the sky, way above the lush green forest, far away ahead of me I could see the Iguazu Falls in its total grandeur and splendour. It was quite a breathtaking natural spectacle. Niagara Falls, compared to the Iguazu Falls, well, there wasn’t any comparison at all. Just to give you an idea, it is written somewhere that Eleanor Roosevelt was heard saying "Poor Niagara" when facing the Iguazu Falls!
The Brazilian Iguazu Falls are, undoubtedly, one of the greatest natural phenomena on our planet. About half of the Iguazu River falls into a long and deep steep-side opening or gorge called the Devil’s Throat, a U-shaped, 82 meter (269 feet) high, 150 meter (492 feet) wide and 700 meter (2296 feet) long wonder. From there, the falls are nearly 2.7 kilometer (1.7 miles) long and have immense precipices and about 275 separate waterfalls and cataracts varying between 60 metres (200 feet) and 82 metres (269 feet) high. So, now you know why I was so determined in visiting them!
From way above the falls while sitting comfortably in the helicopter as we circled around them for a second viewing in another angle, the power and volume of the thundering water below me plus the ever present mist and heavy white smoke leading way up into the sky gave me goose bumps as the Iguazu Falls were so amazing!
Fifteen minutes later and $400US poorer, we were back on land but definitely extremely pleased with our entire experience. As they say, you only live once!