The bus journey, although long, offered some amazing views. I love to look out of the window, so this gave me the perfect opportunity to experience as much of the country as possible as it sped through my line of sight. The seats were extremely comfortable and had the ability to be extended far back to an almost vertical position. You’d never get a coach seat like that in the UK!
After skirting the edges of the Iguazu national park, we arrived in the early evening and checked into our hostel. There were many benefits to travelling Brazil during their winter, but one of the negatives was that the sun set early, at around 5pm, so we lost a lot of light during the evenings. We planned to get an early night so we could get down to the falls with plenty of time to explore and enjoy the experience as much as we could. After consulting with the man who had checked us in the night before, we caught the bus from a terminal down the road and we were on our way.
I will never forget that first glimpse of the falls.
It was utterly stunning; I’d never laid my eyes on anything like it. The network of cascading water appeared never ending, with falls of varying size intertwining with each other. The different layers gave the impression of a snakes and ladders board, where you could keep climbing up the torrents of water before sliding back down into the mist. From our initial perspective, it appeared as though those layers could stretch forever and we were eager to continue along the trail to get some better views. We were greeted with a whole heard of Coatis, a species of diurnal mammal that were present in abundant numbers around the falls. Although they appeared harmless, it was wise to keep our food to ourselves in order to not get swarmed by them!
The timing of our trip was perfect, it was winter and a Monday which meant that the number of visitors were at a low. We didn’t have to queue or miss out on seeing anything due to volumes of people. The skies were blue, the heat was perfect, the waters flowed softly, this was clearly the best time to visit.
As we continued along the route, the glimpses caught from between the trees were the most exciting. I knew what was to come when we reached a clearing or a viewpoint and the anticipation was almost as good as the result. That thick Atlantic forest was spectacular, green and gorgeous. The smell was fresh and earthy; you could almost feel those ancient explorers that first came across this land and the awe that must have radiated between them. You could almost feel the land rumbling beneath you as it made way for those roaring and unforgiving waters. The energy created by the Iguazu river cutting through the earth and spilling over the cliff’s edge on that prehistoric day had continued to radiate through the forest for millennia. Events like those can successfully place your mind into such great perspective that allow you to truly respect the things that deserve the most respect. Water, trees and all things nature are what really rule the world. A site like that at the Iguazu falls is an example that adds such extreme weight to this ideology. How could you question such power?
Undoubtedly the best part was when we were able to follow the bridge coming out underneath one of the waterfalls. The sound of the water was almost deafening and the spray created from the impact offered a refuge from the heat. Walking to the end of the bridge felt like walking to the end of the world… luckily, we were able to turn back around and return safely to dry land. I regretted not spending the extra time and money to visit the Argentinian side, but I guess that’s what the rest of my life is for!
This is a spot I will definitely be returning to.