Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Paraguay's biggest tourist attraction, in Argentina

"Hi Taylor!"
"Hey mom, hows it going?"
Muffeled person in the background
"I'm here with Jackie. She wants to know if you've gone to that place yet? She says you have to go to that place with the water falls. "
"What's it called...What?... Igwagoo? " - to Jackie
"Well, anyway you just have to go. Have you gone yet?"

I have had this exact conversation more than once, and I am glad to finally say, Yes Jackie, I've gone to Iguazu Falls, and you're right, it was incredible

Ginsey, Shavon, Vicky and I all hopped on a bus and traveled across the river to Argentina to see one of the natural wonders of the world. It would be a great trip just by the nature of where we were going, but to have the privilege of such awesome company really put the weekend over the top.

Obviously up to no good.
Over the two days in Argentina I laughed so hard I cried; got tricked into ordering Sopa Paraguaya; executed a full on assault of Iguazu Falls; and did some serious shopping in the only store opened on a Sunday.I would say it was a good trip.

While the falls are boasted as one of the reasons to come visit Paraguay, they actually aren't in Paraguay.  They split Argentina an Brasil. I can't decide if that is crazy or make total sense. I've been in Paraguay too long. To be fair you can walk not very far and see Paraguay, but technically speaking the falls aren't in Paraguay.

We got so close!
Both Brasil and Argentina have National parks dedicated to the falls. While the Brasil park is dedicated to great panoramas, the Argentine park, is a more intimate experience. You get down and dirty in the falls. There are trails weaving through the tributaries. You could feel the mists of the falls, and often there is water rushing under the foot bridge. Then there is the "Baptismo!"

For an extra charge you can take a boat directly into the spray of the falls, and get as close as possible without dying. When Ginsey timidly proposed this idea, she was rewarded with an overwhelming "HECK YES!" from all of us. We were here to see the falls and if we could feel them, we'd do that too.

We walked to the boat dock, and saw one tourist after another, shoeless and with the heavy hunch of sopping wet clothes. Most were grimacing.

Further testament to my friends, not for a second was anyone deterred. We were going to get drenched, and it was gonna be awesome!

It was.

We all suited up with our rain jackets the best we could but there was no hope. We entered the spray of the falls, and the force of the water was instantly overwhelming. Hunched over, shielding my face from the blast of the water, I hear Shavon yell at me, "LOOK INTO IT!."


I summoned my strength and faced straight into the blasts of water. Barely able to see, and rendering my otherwise awesome rain jacket useless, -there is a giant whole in my rain jacket where my face goes- a huge smile came across my face. Vicky told us that moving water creates ions that then intern lift a person's mood. Well if that's true, I was OD-ing on them. The only thing halting my laughter, was the water choking me as it sprayed into my mouth.

Wet, but loving every minute.
All of us laughed the whole ride, and for some time afterward. If other passengers were grimacing, that's there own damn fault. That was a blast!

To end our tour of the park, we had to see the falls from above, and headed to the GARGANTA DE DIABLO!

A) What a rad name! THE THROAT OF THE DEVIL
B) I have no suicidal tendencies, but if I ever do, I'm hurling myself into this abyss of water and power. That's got to be the most epic way to go EVER.

Quite possibly my favorite part of the falls, it is hard to believe that the Garganta was created with just water and time. The bottom drops out suddenly from under an otherwise peaceful river into a a swirl of spray and rainbows. You can't see the bottom of the falls, just white mists into nothingness. I almost want to believe there is no bottom. That it really is the gates to the underworld.

So thank you Mom and Jackie for nagging me until I made this trip. A trip to Paraguay wouldn't be complete without this adventure. Even if it's not in Paraguay.