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26 April 2004

After the Fall
Tiff and Brad at Iguazu Falls
OK--I'm totally blown away. This morning we woke up
to a dusty;ordinary South American town. I wondered
if all that 20 hours on the bus was a misteak. Now my
brain is exploding with what we saw. Never-ever have
I seen anything like these out of the way;isolated
falls. You can't even call them falls. The whole
world split and the bottom fell away and all the seas
of the world have spilled out. There are falls of
every shape and size crashing over the edge clear to
the horizon. Some are over 240 feet high. Don't try
ro visualize it--You can't. I have seen Niagra and
many others--You just can't imagine it. I never could
have and I saw pictures. The only thing I've ever
seen as powerful is The Grand Canyon--but then the
Canyon doesn't have all the sound of oceans escaping
and plunging to depths you can't even see because of
the spray. Its all so unimaginably huge. The world
has no boundaries here--Everything is so big and goes
on so endlessly.
Our tour included a jungle 4 wheel drive. There are
440 species of birds here and thick jungle that
harbors all the big cats and poison snakes. There are
85 species of orchids-not blumming now-but many other
flowers were.
Then the best ever. A crazy raft;speed-boat
combination that roared up the raging rapids and right
under one of the falls. The boat driver got into a
contest with the photographer (All our cameras were in
plastic-so the company takes photos under the falls).
We were only supposed to go under once but we went in
and out four times as they messed with each other.
Everyone was screaming. You couldn't see at all under
the falls-in fact I was choking on all the water I
breathed in. It was a blast. We were all laughing
and so excited by our own terror. It was tons of fun.
The boat driver loved getting us scared. None of the
other boats had such a scoundral for a driver. There
were no other English speakers in our group but after
the waterfall dunking we were family. It was like a
bunch of goofy kids.
After walking around a bit on catwalks over the very
edges of a bunch of the falls-we went to lunch. The
waiter had to pull all kinds of colorful beatles out
of my hair before giving us a menu.
The falls happened because one of the gods around here
fell in love with a beautiful mortal woman.
She,however was in love with a mortal man, so she and
her lover decided to flee downriver in a canoe. The
god was so angry-he made the world split and half of
it plunged down in their path. She went over the
widest fall (called the throat of the devil) and is
now a rock at the bottom. He became a tree looking
over the falls at the lover-now rock-that he can never
rejoin but who is constantly in sight but out of
reach. Quite the punishment. The Indian people who
still live here sell their artifacts at various places
here on the walks. They still have their language and
seem very seperate from the rest of the culture. I
haven't learned much about them.
There are birds at the falls that circle and actually
fly into the falls. They are as amazing as salmon in
their ability to challenge rushing water. The other
really wild flying creatures are the hundreds of
beautifully colored butterflies.

posted by - 9:34 AM


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