It became very clear to Gaston and me that we would not really get a true perspective of the falls unless we took the helicopter ride our taxi driver/tour guide recommend. To do this we once again had to cross to Brazil. The company that operates the helicopter rides is Argentinian. However, Argentina decided no helicopters on their side because they disturb animals, the environment. The ride is short and relatively expensive. Gaston protested it cost too much. I am conservative about money but thought about it and decided, “I may never be here again. Gaston’s last trip here occurred when he was six, nearly two decades ago. We are going to do this.” This was Gaston’s first helicopter ride.
Even from a helicopter it is nearly impossible to see all the falls at once.
The left side is Brazil, the right Argentina. The falls in Argentina continue to the right beyond this photo. The immensity of this natural wonder never ceases to amaze.
We landed at the jungle airport near the down of Iguazu, found a taxi (the taxi to our hotel was only 5 dollars more than the bus), and continued our adventure. Gaston and I felt lucky; the lady taxi driver gave us excellent service and advice for our three day sojourn at Iguazu. She suggested we head to the Brazilian side of the falls first because the trails are fewer and it was later in the day. All you have to do is provide your passport, roll down your window so they can look at your face, and proceed. At the Brazilian park headquarters everyone has to wait for a bus, which can drop visitors off at various points along hiking trails. The above was one of my first views of the falls.
It became clear almost immediately that it would be impossible to see all the falls from any single place; they are immense to the point of unbelievable, overwhelming. You hear the roar long before you see the cause. At this vantage point, I am standing on Brazilian soil looking across to the Argentinian side. The center of river which causes the falls provides the boundary between Brazil and Argentina.
To reach this vantage point, the trail winds down a rather steep incline. Everything is wet from the mist which is so extensive, it is impossible to be anywhere near and not become somewhat wet. A trail proceeds from here below the falls out over a part of the river where it is like being in your bathroom shower. Gaston took many photos here. The roar of the falls is so loud it is impossible to carry on a conversation.
Coatimundis are everywhere. On the Brazil side in particular huge signs are posted with a person displaying bleeding, serious injuries inflicted by these seemingly harmless creatures. The instructions tell visitors not to feed them, try to pet them, anything. The result may not be good if you do.
The roar, the immensity, overtakes ones emotions. The power of water a millionfold, displayed in all its grandeur overwhelms.
In Brazil looking across to Argentina.