This is pretty nice.

Trip Start Oct 06, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Brazil  ,
Monday, March 28, 2005

You may have seen Iguazu Falls before, either live, on film or photo. Or possibly in the opening scene of the movie "The Mission" with Robert de Niro and Jeremy Irons, where a Jesuit priest is bound to a cross and sent over the edge of the roaring waterfalls. It ranks as one of the continents biggest natural attractions, and I guess it only got one competitor in the world "as the most awesome waterfall", namely Victoria Falls in southern Africa. I haven't been to Victoria Falls yet, so I cannot tell you which one I rank as number one. The falls are located close to where the borders of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay meet, and the falls itself are actually shared between both Brazil and Argentina. So you can visit the falls from both sides, each offering different perspectives. Brazil gives you the best panoramic view of all 275 falls, while Argentina has about ten platforms from which you can almost touch the water.

Alf Kåre and I have joined up with Aske and Toke, the two Danish guys from Bonito, as well as a German and Japanese backpacker couple. We stay on the Brazilian side in the city of Foz de Iguazu. There's not much to do in Foz de Iguazu itself, basically tourists coming here only got one mission, to visit the spectacular waterfalls. We visit both the Brazilian and Argentine sides of the falls (you need at least two days), and I have a hard time deciding which side I like the best. They are both equally beautiful I guess (most people seem to prefer the Argentine side, although it must be a close race).

Iguazu basically means "big water" in the Guarani language, and that name really makes sense when you look at the falls from one of the platforms or take a speedboat upstream towards Garganta del Diablo (Devils Throat), the most spectacular part of the falls.

Alf Kåre is truly impressed, and calls it one (if not "The One") of the most beautiful and awesome sights he has ever seen. He doesn't say it just once. And I guess I have to agree, although I sometimes have difficulty showing feelings about places I visit. I don't start screaming in amazement, but rather mumble a quiet "this is pretty nice". That's just how I am I guess, plus it's pretty typical Norwegian behavior. But I must admit I got goosebumps, a feeling I have only experienced a few times before. At Machu Picchu in Peru, Tikal in Guatemala, the Angkor Temples in Cambodia, in a helicopter over Grand Canyon (listening to the great soundtrack from "The Last of the Mohicans") and at some of the National Parks in Southern Utah. There's probably a few more places, but those are the ones I can think about at the moment. Without doubt it ranks as one of the most beautiful natural wonders I have ever seen. One of the highlights of the trip for sure.

The rest of the time in Iguazu we spend eating, drinking, playing cards and also visiting Itaipu Dam, the largest hydro-electric power plant in the world, located on the Parana River between Brazil and Paraguay. It's a joint Brazilian-Paraguayan venture that generates about 80% of Paraguay's entire demand and 25% of Brazil's. Pretty big is all I can say.

14 days has already passed, and it's time for my friend Alf Kåre to go back home. So from now I will be on my own again. The time passed very quickly, but I really appreciated his visit. I haven't spoken much Norwegian on this trip, hardly any at all, so it is good to finally get to talk in your own language again, and that to one of your best friends. Hope I get some more visitors!!!!!!
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mom lopez NY on

loved your pics of Paraguay, you have captured places that is tranquil and beautiful to see!

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