Friday, 7 May 2010

This Marvel Called Iguazu!

There are instances when you know you're small and insignificant, you know there is time and scale and life way beyond you, there has been past and will be future and it will go on for ever. And that's when you're happy to be alive and be there, because you're a witness, you're present, you play a tiny part in that grand scheme. That is Nature.

The Iguazu Falls have been one of the main targets of this trip and they more than lived up to the hype. This certainly must be one of the great wonders of the world. The scale and the beauty of the environment, the enormity of the waterfalls themselves, the unimaginable force and incalculable amount of water descending from hundreds of places, the richness of the rain-forest in terms of life and diversity, the ever-present mist and the loudness! The deafening sound of millions of cubic meters dropping off 275 different cliffs is awe inspiring. If there is one thing I can't take off my mind, it is that constant, brutal force translated through the most violent roar in nature.

I caught myself looking at the same cataract for minutes, trying subconsciously to explain the phenomenon, to comprehend it, to grasp it's scale. Futile. And when I came across another one later on, I swear I though it was a set, a film set of something, a screen projection, anything that my little brain can contain. And no matter how long I spent there there was always a Toucan's cry, a teardrop of mist from a green leaf, a deafening boom from the water round the corner that woke me up: hey! you're in Wonderland! But the best description-to-break-the-spell for Iguazu's impossible grandeur came from my friend Nick: surely, there must be some guys somewhere in that rain-forest that wait patiently for closing time, and when everybody's gone they turn some old, rusty, creaking valves and switch this thing off. Eeek, eeek, eeek.... It just cannot be going on like this for ever... It cannot.

What's also funny about this place, is how all the visitors seem to have pretty much the same reaction to it. A gaping mouth, a giggle and snap! the camera. It's almost like a theme park for kids, only here you do not need to be 10 years old, you become it. It's impossible to resist it and futile to pretend to. Everybody's trying to take pictures, all the time, from every possible angle and I'm pretty sure all of them look the same. And they all look poor too. I know because mine do.There is no way in the world something like this can be photographed. Images do not have sound you see, and video does not spray water on you, and even if it did it'd be silly. And truth be told, words are too small too!

(this is obviously Nick having a blast!)

Two relevant links, one informative with further reading suggestions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iguazu_falls
and one with a different take on our two days here: Cataratas del IguazĂș